March 2023

Trends and Resources


Globally, > 90 MMbpd of crude oil, natural gas and refined hydrocarbons are produced, transported, stored and sold to end users.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Enhanced, precise measurement of high flows

FIG. 1. An Endress+Hauser Promass Q Extension.

Globally, > 90 MMbpd of crude oil, natural gas and refined hydrocarbons are produced, transported, stored and sold to end users. With enormous transactions like these, any instrument inaccuracy, even the most infinitesimal, can result in significant shortfalls for the supplier or buyer. Promass Q (FIG. 1), a high-tech Coriolis flowmeter line from Endress+Hauser, alleviates concerns of inaccuracies with its four-tube technology, while measuring with minimal pressure loss over a wide range of flowrates.

Promass Q recently welcomed new additions to its lineup. It is available for larger pipes than ever before—up to 10-in. (DN 250)—for measuring flowrates up to 18,900 bbl/hr (bph) (2,400 tph), opening the door to additional applications in the oil and gas industry. These include high-precision metering for custody transfer, fiscal metering, master metering as a reference device for onsite verification, and more.

In addition to mass and volumetric flow, Promass Q also records process density and temperature. This enables the incorporation of fluctuating process and ambient conditions into flow measurement, with appropriate compensation, helping achieve tight error bands of ±0.05% for mass flow and ±0.2 kg/m3 for density.

Compared to meters with two measuring tubes, four tubes reliably measure 25% greater flowrates, enabling faster transactions in the oil and gas business. This can save operators money by reducing standstill times while loading and unloading oil tankers, and by reducing port charges.

Additionally, four-tube technology reduces pressure loss while pumping and measuring due to the increased cross-sectional flow area relative to line size. This provides further cost savings because operators can use smaller pumps that consume less energy relative to overall volumetric output. The lower pressure loss also alleviates harmful cavitation effects and gas break out, for example, in exceptionally light hydrocarbons, such as liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), natural gas liquids (NGL), condensates and other cryogenic fluids.

Promass Q flowmeters are available in stainless steel and IP66/67-rated materials, ensuring robust and long-term operation, even in harsh conditions, such as offshore areas with high humidity and salt spray. Promass Q is rated for process temperatures ranging from –321°F (–196°C) to 401°F (205°C), with the low-end making Promass Q meters an ideal choice for measuring cryogenic fluids.

With SIL ratings in compliance with IEC 61508, Promass Q is also suitable for safety-related applications. Its numerous hazardous area approvals (e.g., ATEX, IECEx, CSA) further expand its list of potential applications. The Promass Q’s compact design relative to its flow measurement capacity enables installation in confined spaces, such as on stationary or mobile skids for custody transfer.

Numerous test measurements have proven Endress+Hauser Coriolis flow measurement technology for measuring viscous hydrocarbons, like heavy oils and bitumen, in addition to fluids with entrained gas. This is particularly applicable to Promass Q meters. Testing highlights include: 

  • Measuring accuracy of ±05% o.r., tested and confirmed in various external, accredited oil and gas calibration facilities
  • Density measuring accuracy of ±2 kg/m3 (±0.0002 g/cm3), certified by H&D Fitzgerald/UK
  • Superior turndown and zero-point stability 
  • Excellent measuring performance for liquids with microbubbles thanks to patented Multi-Frequency Technology
  • Lowest pressure loss compared to conventional devices with the same line size 
  • Exceptional repeatability of ±025% across the entire measuring range 
  • Highest immunity to fluctuating process and ambient conditions, such as pressure, temperature and vibration.

Proline 300/500 transmitters have been proven for years in the industry and are under constant development for continual improvement, making them complementary to the enhanced Promass Q line of sensors. Proline 300/500 transmitters provide a host of user-friendly capabilities, including a WLAN webserver for wireless operation and configuration onsite, HistoROM programming for safe configuration and device data storage, and Heartbeat Technology, making advanced instrument diagnostic, verification and secondary process value data available for consumption by host systems.

By combining Promass Q flowmeters with Proline 300/500 transmitters, plant personnel gain measurement reliability and assurance, in addition to diagnostic visibility, empowering them to optimize operations and increase uptime.

For more information, go to Proline Promass Q flowmeters and Proline transmitters.

Enterprise platform empowers process manufacturers with new level of intelligence

FIG. 2. With AI search engine capabilities, eschbach’s Shiftconnector®  will now bring a new level of intelligence to the plant floor.

Global software developer eschbach, the provider of Shiftconnector® digital manufacturing software for process manufacturing, has now made artificial intelligence (AI) an integral component of its enterprise platform (FIG. 2). With AI search engine capabilities, Shiftconnector will now bring a new level of intelligence to the plant floor.

For nearly 20 yr, Shiftconnector’s software platform has been enabling process industry manufacturers to enhance communications among shift teams for effective shift handovers, transparent team communications and increased asset performance.

With the addition of AI’s Smart Search capabilities to the Shiftconnector platform, teams can now improve plant performance by quickly finding solutions based on the history of documented tribal knowledge from plant operations teams. Retrieving the most relevant information will accelerate operations and offer capabilities to help teams recover from disruptions by immediately identifying appropriate fixes. Also, captured knowledge can be managed to support workforce changes.

Large amounts of data flow through a plant operation and it can be costly to overall operations to find solutions when similar processes happen regularly and downtimes occur. As different teams must develop unified responses, act on unexpected events and maintain a cohesive workflow throughout multiple shifts, natural language processing is essential. 

For more information visit

New capabilities of Bentley iTwin Platform

FIG. 3. The iTwin Experience. Image courtesy of Bentley Systems.

Bentley Systems Inc. has significantly extended the scope and interoperability of infrastructure data that engineering firms and owner-operators can use to create and leverage digital twins in design, construction and operations workflows.

The new iTwin Platform capabilities will power Bentley Infrastructure Cloud, a set of solutions that span the end-to-end infrastructure lifecycle and value chain, encompassing ProjectWise, SYNCHRO and AssetWise, unified and made interoperable by Bentley’s infrastructure schemas.

The iTwin Experience (FIG. 3) is a new cloud product to empower owner-operator’s and their constituents’ insights into critical infrastructure by visualizing and navigating digital twins. It accelerates engineering firms’ “digital integrator” initiatives to create and curate asset-specific digital twins, incorporating their proprietary machine-learning, analytics and asset performance algorithms. iTwin Experience acts as a “single pane of glass,” overlaying engineering technology (ET), operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) to enable users to visualize, query and analyze infrastructure digital twins in their full context, at any level of granularity, at any scale, all geo-coordinated and fully searchable.

Additional iTwin products include:

  • iTwin Capture—for capturing, analyzing and sharing reality data—enables users to easily create engineering-ready, high-resolution 3D models of infrastructure assets using drone video and survey imagery from any digital camera, scanner or mobile mapping device. Infrastructure digital twins of any existing assets can accordingly start with reality modeling, rather than requiring a BIM model. iTwin Capture offers a high-fidelity and versatile means of capturing reality to serve as the digital context for surveying, design, monitoring and inspection processes.
  • iTwin IoT—for acquiring and analyzing sensor data—enables users to seamlessly incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) data created by sensors and condition monitoring devices. Infrastructure IoT can be used effectively for real-time safety and risk monitoring in operations and construction activities, including to measure and visualize environmental changes, structural movement or deterioration for condition assessment, maintenance scheduling and to prompt precautionary interventions. By securely incorporating real-time data at scale from among hundreds of sensor types, iTwin IoT increases the value of engineering and geotechnical data.

Bentley is broadening its strategic priorities for iTwin, including adding “digital-twin native” advantages to its infrastructure engineering applications. iTwin Experience is in early access; iTwin Capture and iTwin IoT are available now. iTwin Experience incorporates capabilities from OpenCities Planner. iTwin Capture incorporates capabilities from ContextCapture and Orbit 3DM. iTwin IoT incorporates capabilities from the sensemetrics platform and Vista Data Vision. To find out more, visit

Alkaline detergent ideal for engine and transmission rebuilds and repairs

FIG. 4. Madison Chemical’s ULTRA-CLEAN US-159 is an alkaline detergent developed specifically for difficult cleaning operations involving the removal of aged, oxidized, burned-on oil and grease.

Madison Chemical has introduced ULTRA-CLEAN US-159 (FIG. 4), an alkaline detergent developed specifically for difficult cleaning operations involving the removal of aged, oxidized, burned-on oil and grease, including engine and transmission repair and rebuilds. Intended for immersion, including agi-lift and ultrasonic equipment, this special formulation cleans more thoroughly in less time, thus increasing productivity. Its unique formula produces low-to-moderate foam, maximizing ultrasonic cavitation. ULTRA-CLEAN US-159 is ideal for machinery rebuilding, including engines and transmission, component cleaning during maintenance procedures, and more.

Safe for use on ferrous alloys when used as directed, ULTRA-CLEAN US-159 may etch or stain aluminum and zinc alloys, therefore pretesting before use is recommended.  Dilutions from 2%–10% by volume in water that is 120°F–160°F are typically effective.  Heavier soils and/or ultrasonic applications may benefit from operating at higher temperatures up to 190°F. Follow the cleaning step with a thorough ambient-to-warm water rinse.

Madison Chemical is a chemical formulator that provides cleaning, sanitation, maintenance and surface preparation products for the industrial maintenance, metalworking, pulp and paper, and transportation industries, among others. For additional information visit

Observability platform to help chemical and energy producers increase uptime

ControlRooms has launched its AI-powered observability platform for chemical and energy producers, and announced its selection and deployment by OCI N.V., a leading global producer and distributor of hydrogen-based products. OCI is utilizing ControlRooms in its U.S. methanol and ammonia plants to provide end-to-end observability of production. The ControlRooms platform enhances safety and efficiency, resulting in reduced downtime, costs and emissions.

With ControlRooms, operators and engineers can improve troubleshooting and achieve true observability of their operational data. ControlRooms uses advanced AI to shine a light on the trends that matter and identify anomalies across plant systems. Unlike some other AI solutions, ControlRooms is quick to set up, designed for operators, and is able to deliver value in minutes, not months.

Corporate IT often leverages cloud-based observability solutions to ensure performance and troubleshoot potential issues across thousands of IT servers. However, operators and engineers of critical infrastructure have not had access to this technology to date. By adapting proven observability and monitoring methods from information technology for the operational technology (OT) sphere, ControlRooms gives plant operators the ability to detect sooner, troubleshoot faster, and reach their production goals of critical compounds, the company said.

ControlRooms is now available to use for free—users can upload unlimited data batches to be processed within ControlRooms for free, forever. Companies can also sign up for ControlRooms' Pro and Enterprise tiers where data from plants is streamed and monitored in real time to give plant operators and engineers an active view of trends and anomalies within their systems.

To learn more and experience OT observability, visit HP

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