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Hydrogen Flow Measurement for the oil and gas industry

The oil and gas industry, to stay relevant, is looking at ways to be part of the energy transition. The demand for a carbon-zero future was always going to prove a challenge for those companies relying on fossil fuel extraction, production, and delivery. However, the significant oil and gas players are also vital innovators, and hydrogen is a possible energy future.

There are two ways that hydrogen flow measurement is essential to this innovation. First, there is custody transfer, with precise and effective measurement of hydrogen as it is passed through the supply chain. Second, there is a continued drive for efficiency, which is at the heart of oil and gas measures for preventing further climate damage.

Here we explore these two roles for hydrogen flow measurement for the oil and gas industry.

Custody transfer

There are increasing demands for flow measurement that is capable of effectively and precisely measuring custody transfer. The innovation of the flow meter for this transfer of natural gas has become one of the fastest-growing niches within metrology; the only other sector coming close to this flow measurement innovation focuses on multiphase flow measurement.

Any natural gas can be difficult to measure. Hydrogen, however, is a much lighter gas and readily combustible. It is also likely contaminated with air, which is many times heavier than hydrogen. Therefore, when measuring hydrogen flow from one company’s custody to another, the challenge is measuring only the lighter gas. The possibility of overcharging is an issue that a flow meter manufacturer must guarantee it can resolve.

The SFC3000 Flow Computer is an essential part of this measurement. As well as working as a standalone computer, it can also act as a supervisory machine and a component within a wider system. It is specifically designed to meet these needs of the global liquid hydrocarbon and gas measurement markets.

Environmental protection through efficiency

Hydrogen is an expensive material—the more environmentally friendlier the gas, the more financial investment it takes to produce it. Grey hydrogen can be created with natural gas but emits a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. Manufacturers can use the same Steam Reforming (SMR) but with carbon capture and storage to create blue hydrogen. There is still some carbon emitted, even with this technology.

Consequently, any push for green hydrogen will significantly change technology, using renewable energies to supply the electricity that separates the gas from the water. Although new technology is on the way, the current reality makes this green hydrogen prohibitively expensive.

Therefore, the SFC3000 Flow Computer can positively contribute to the management and conservation of this potential carbon-zero energy resource. The accurate measurement allows for efficient use of hydrogen, essential to any potential uptake of this energy resource in the future.

Those in the oil and gas sector appreciate that they have a potential role in supplying energy in the future. However, experts also know it will take innovation of the right technologies to succeed. At the core of this innovation must be flow measurement of hydrogen. Finding the most accurate and useful tools is going to facilitate a carbon-free future.

Ex~i Flow Measurement is proud to be part of the metrology community driving forward the innovation needed for the energy of the future. If you would like to discuss how the SFC3000 Flow Computer could help your hydrogen flow measurement, contact us today.