Water Cut Meter: A Cost or an Investment?

When it comes to instrumentation and metering, safety features are often what's prioritized in the early stages of a project. Advanced metering, can be seen as an unnecessary cost, often postponed, to reduce the initial project CAPEX. The water cut meter is this kind of instrument, continuously monitoring the water-ratio of what’s flowing through your pipeline.

In this article we will go through the application of water cut meters and how it benefits the long- and short-term production.



Benefits of Installing a Water Cut Meter

If implemented with care, the quality data generated by sensors and instrumentation is immensely valuable. It allows you a real-time feed of production trends and a detailed situational view of your entire operation.

Key benefits:

  • Make good decisions faster
  • Increase production
  • Improve efficiency / productivity
  • Reduce emissions
  • Reduce OPEX
  • Optimize the use of human resources
  • Improve HSE and reduce risks
  • Allow for automated decision making

Knowing in real-time how your production is performing gives you a huge advantage. Combining historical and current data allow operators to optimize and predict the production and processing operating conditions. Strategically placed sensors across your plant allow for such comprehensive monitoring and prediction. This expands to the operation overall.

With a detailed view of the production characteristics, at any given time, you will see a reduction in downtime, production losses and maintenance/repair cost.

Cost of planning, organizing and transporting human personnel can be substantial, but with a robust and performant control system it can be kept to a minimum. This in turn improves HSE, reduce the cost of idle crew on standby and your emissions overall.

Suggested reading: How Real Time Monitoring can Reduce Emissions


The Necessity of Optimization

After the facility construction and start-up phases are completed, the need of optimizing becomes predominant, and new type of instrumentations are sought after.

Looking at the plant control and automation system, many will solely focus on the computer performances and the software features. However, to have advanced control and overview of your operation, you should always consider the quality of the data coming from the plant, and the instruments that generates that data.


Monitor Variations to Anticipate Outcomes (Digital Twin)

Any oil and gas production and processing facility has a unique design, due to their specific environment (offshore, artic, desert, tropical, etc.), and because it has to deal with unique hydrocarbons resources coming from the underground. Therefore, pre-set operation conditions can only take you so far.

A digital twin is a new powerful tool, that allows for a virtual representation of a complex system (like an oil and gas production and processing facility), dynamically over a long period of time. This tool utilizes advanced industrial software, capable of fast processing and contextualization of historical and real-time data.

These types of systems need large amount of data that are mostly generated by a large variety of instruments distributed across the plant.

It grants you true control and ownership of your operation processes, no matter what unforeseen events you could encounter during the production phase.

Considering the need for such data generation and transmission systems early in the design of any new facility, it is an important part of the digital revolution we are experiencing.

Suggested reading: How Real-Time Monitoring Can Improve Your Digital Twin



Asset-intensive industries are becoming increasingly data-driven and those who don't adapt will soon fall behind the competition. All instrumentation will carry a cost, but will always be a wise investment, more so with time.

With particular focus on the production and processing facilities of the upstream oil and gas industry, the insights gained by utilizing advanced water cut meters allow you increased productivity and efficiency, while reducing unplanned shutdowns, loss of production, maintenance- and repair-costs.

With an ROI time measured in hours to days, for operations often spanning decades, installing an advanced water cut meter should be an easy decision.


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