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The Role of Turbine Flow Meters Particularly in the Oil & Gas Industry

In the current oil & gas industry, it has become a constant challenge for organizations to successfully maintain a balance between compliance, operations, and maintenance, while effectively delivering production targets especially, on schedule and budget. Today the oil & gas manufacturers are under tremendous pressure for meeting strict environmental regulations. Today, most of these manufacturers are increasingly seeking solutions to treat manufactured water and such other byproducts at precisely the drill pad avoiding the additional expenses associated with off-site disposal.

We know that today, there are numerous technologies available for measuring the flow rate in a wide range of Oil & Gas Applications. Companies most commonly use a differential pressure flow meter but it seems to be ultra-sensitive to pressure fluctuations. We know that a Coriolis flow meter could be effective in providing a high degree of accuracy but it is usually, very expensive and gigantic.

Why Use a Turbine Flow Meter?

A turbine flow meter actually is an effective volume sensing device. As gas or liquid passes gradually through turbine housing, it would be triggering the turbine blades that are freely suspended, to start rotating. The turbine rotor’s velocity is supposed to be directly proportional to a specific fluid’s velocity, which is supposed to pass through the turbine flow meter.

As per, “Historically, turbine flow meters (Figure 1) were preferred for clean, filtered, low viscosity fluids. The working principles and design of turbine flow meters are well documented. With comparatively low-pressure drop for in-line meters, turbine flow meters deliver unprecedented accuracy.”

Factors to Consider For Choosing a Flow Meter

Many factors are taken into consideration while choosing the most appropriate flow meter. The factors that are mostly taken into account are fluid type, connection, viscosity, pipe sizing, flow range, process temperature, pressure range, and the accuracy range.

Flow Meter: Some Typical Industry Applications

Turbine flow meters usually are supposed to be used in a broad spectrum of gas and liquid flow sensing applications. A turbine flow meter could effectively measure everything right from liquids and gases from wellheads to water in most hydraulic fracturing operations. Some of the typical applications of a turbine flow meter in the oil & gas industry are the following.

Water Injection: Turbine meters are actually used to measure the process water that has been injected into and also, recovered from the wellheads for constantly keeping fracking formations pressurized. Moreover, a turbine flow meter could prove to be helpful in scrubbing remaining oil from the older wells.

Production & Test Separators: There are three-phase separators meant for well testing, as well as, production measurement including the ones used for bitumen present in oil sands operations, would be needing precision devices such as turbine flow meter along with an effective field monitor for measuring water-based fluids.

Disposal Wells: The manufactured water from the wells is either stored in on-site tanks or allowed to go into the pit. The water is then trucked or piped to the specific disposal well site, or injected underground to store permanently with the use of effective high-pressure pumps. A turbine flow meter is often utilized for accurately measuring produced water.

Chemical Injection: Petroleum manufacturers need accurate and trustworthy mass dosing for the pipeline, downhole, water and oil treatment for minimizing chemical use and maximizing effectiveness. A turbine flow meter would be used for metering gas and liquid additives.


We have seen in the past that a turbine flow meter is perfectly suited to deal effectively with corrosive fluids and chemicals, and particulate matter in gas and oil production. The greatest advantage of using a turbine flow meter for produced water and frack is the reasonable initial cost of such a unit.