Coriolis Flow Measurement to Natural Gas Accounting

In the news a while back was Emerson and Flow-Cal, maker of the leading natural gas accounting software. They introduced Coriolis-specific data integration to the FLOWCAL software. The purpose is:

…to enable direct interface of API Ch. 21.1-compliant Micro Motion Coriolis data with Flow-Cal accounting software for natural gas production and transmission data management.

The API Ch. 21.1 standard refers to the electronic gas measurement portion of Chapter 21, Flow Measurement Using Electronic Metering Systems. It encompasses the flow computer as well as the gauge/impulse lines; cabling/wiring; peripheral devices including counters, pulse generators, on-line analyzers, densitometers and gravitometers; calibration equipment; and measurement software.

I turned to Emerson’s Marc Buttler, a manager in the Micro Motion division to get the story for how this integration was made possible. He described the typical natural gas accounting path. It starts with the flow meter measurement on the gas production line. The flow meter feeds a transmitter or flow computer, also known as electronic flow measurement (EFM). A SCADA system typically polls this information, and sends it to the enterprise management accounting software.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Gas Association (AGA) have very strict requirements for this data required by the natural gas accounting software. The data must include the measurement, associated configuration, and the event logs around the measurement.

Marc shared with me that the Remote Automation Solutions business within Emerson has had a longstanding relationship with the Flow-Cal organization. The Micro Motion team also has had a longstanding relationship with their parent company, Coastal Flow. The engineers at Micro Motion and Remote Automation Solutions teamed with the Flow-Cal engineers to complete the path from the Micro Motion flow meters, with a FloBoss 107 or a ROC809 as the flow controller, and ROCLink software used in place of SCADA polling software.

Technically what happens is that the ROCLink software delivers the flow meter data in the Flow-Cal specified .CFX file format for Coriolis natural gas flow measurement required for AGA 11 (Measurement of Natural Gas by Coriolis Meter) and API Ch 21.1 compliance.

By automating this flow of information through this collaborative R&D effort, energy producers can increase the reliability of their natural gas measurements and production accounting, while reducing the maintenance and capital costs. Much of these improvements come from the accuracy and reliability of Coriolis measurement. It measures gas volume without additional temperature or pressure measurements, which reduces the components to purchase and maintain.

As Coriolis measurement continues to move into the mainstream of natural gas flow metering, Marc sees more SCADA polling suppliers developing and providing the connection from the electronic flow measurement device to the Flow-Cal software to provide the end-to-end natural gas production and transmission management.

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