At the basis of a good flow measurement is a properly calibrated flowmeter. Field calibration of flowmeters is far from straightforward and its impact on the operation of a metering station in the field can be considerable. One of the options is including a fixed pipe prover in the metering system. For an article that appeared in this month’s edition of World Pipelines, Eveline Janse interviewed Erik Smits (VSL) and Shukur Aghazadeh (AzMETCO), who shone their light on various methods for the calibration of the pipe provers, their advantages and drawbacks.
“Sending flow meters to a calibration laboratory is costly and time-consuming. Including a pipe prover in the metering system offers a good alternative, with as a major advantage the possibility to check the meters’ accuracy under actual (process) conditions. The Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS) of American Petroleum Institute (API) describes various methods for calibration of pipe provers. One of these methods is the master meter method, which is not often used in practice, even though it offers some serious advantages compared to the more often used water draw method.”