With well drilling at an all-time high, the need for water at a frac site is a prime concern. We worked with a skid supplier who manufactures a remote pump assembly that is used to supply the water from a remote site such as a river or lake to the drilling site. They needed to meter the flow because that is how their customers are paid. Rates are based on the amount of water supply to the site.
What’s the problem?
There were a couple of issues, however, that needed to be addressed. First, they tried mechanical meters: turbines. The problem with those, and any other mechanical meters, was that the water from the remote source contained sand and grit, which ate up the mechanical meters on a regular basis. This caused them to not be reliable. The second problem was accuracy: the mechanical meters did not provide the accuracy desired – especially since these are used for billing. Lastly, once the fracking process was started, they could not stop. If a mechanical meter failed during the process, it would impede the flow of water.
As a solution, we suggested the battery-powered Siemens SITRANS FM Mag 8000 magnetic flow meter to solve these problems. First of all, it is non-mechanical so it has no moving parts to impede the flow should the meter ever fail. The Mag8000 is a very reliable meter with a long “Time to Failure” rate. The meter also has an EPDM liner which is not affected by the sand and grit that might be in the source water and therefore requires little to no maintenance. Magnetic flow measurement is more accurate and repeatable than mechanical meters so the end user is confident that they are getting paid for every drop of water they deliver. Since the Mag8000 is battery-operated it does not require any outside power source- this was particularly helpful for remote sites where the only power is from a generator. The customer also wanted the unit to totalize in barrels. Since the Mag8000 meter is electronic, it was easy to comply with their needs, and it totalizes in barrels. In addition to all of the above, the Mag8000 meter also has a built-in data logger, should they ever require one. The data logger can be downloaded thru an IR port directly to a laptop and saved to a file.
With all these features the manufacturer is very pleased with the Mag8000 flow meter, as are their customers.
How are you monitoring water flow at your frac site?