Case Study 5—Industrial Flowmeter
Agar Corporation in Houston, TX, designs and builds multiphase flowmeters. The primary application for these flowmeters is monitoring raw material flow (oil, water, and gas) from wellheads in oil fields. Actually, they may be used anywhere crude oil is pumped-the oil field, into the ship, and into or out of a tank farm. Agar’s flowmeters measure the unseparated fluid from the wellhead and
give the percentage of flow contributed by oil, water, and gas. These sensors use the venturi principle to measure flow without separating the oil, water, and gas into individual streams. Figure 8.1 shows a multiphase flowmeter in use. Monitoring the flows and measuring the volume of constituent materials
is important to oil companies. They want to know how much water vs. oil that they are transporting; it affects their business decisions and revenue. The water has to be removed and treated so that it does not pollute the environment with crude oil byproducts. Agar sells its products directly to end users such as petroleum companies,
refineries, and loading facilities. It has sales offices around the world.