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RESEARCH: Ventbuster Instruments pilots new CHOPS solution gas monitoring technology with Alberta Innovates and Husky CHOPS Methane Challenge


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In 2019, Ventbuster Instruments succeeded in filling the technological gap with the Ventbuster®. This novel, patented technology became commercial and was introduced to the industry in late 2019. Once their metering innovation concept was revealed, industry was intrigued with the technological advancement in measurement accuracy and the incredible turndown ratio. The Ventbuster® is unmatched in its accuracy and its ability to intuitively provide intrinsically safe, direct, and continuous real-time measurement, with digitally recorded venting methane flow rates and pressures to the atmosphere.

The same technological gap that led Ventbuster Instruments to create the Ventbuster®, now had them searching for other applications for their patent flow channel technology. Soon after the Ventbuster® was released the company’s founders were approached by many in industry to adapt their technology to meet a wider range of wellsite vents. Alberta Innovates (AI) tendered the Husky CHOPS Methane Challenge, to which Ventbuster Instruments was awarded a research and development grant to adapt their Ventbuster® technology for CHOPS solution gas monitoring.

This research and development led to the creation of the Ventsentinel® an adaptation of the Ventbuster® and designed initially for solution gas venting measurement around oil and gas production. Industry has identified the requirement for a technical improvement of low and ultra-low venting emissions measurement requirements and anticipated Governmental legislation around methane emission reduction targets and carbon levies.

The Ventsentinel® Key Performance Indicators:

  • Volumetric flow range customized for any venting scenario, even beyond that of low and ultra-low flows.
  • The patented flow channel has no restrictions and essentially zero pressure drop through the meter.
  • Continuous real-time monitoring, accurately recording and monitoring erratic, intermittent or constant stream flow rates over any period.
  • Capable of receiving external plant power and adaptable for solar battery power.
  • Communication port that can adapt from a SCADA system platform to cellular telemetry.
  • Free liquids in the solution gas stream are knocked-out at the inlet of the meter.
  • Weather-resistant and functions in ambient temperatures ranging from -40oF to +122oF
  • Ability to measure and record pressures as required for various applications.
  • Hardware and installation are more economical than current differential pressure or positive displacement meters and data acquisition platforms.
  • Eliminate the requirement for and cost of ongoing GOR testing, plus the resultant production accounting and pro-rating overhead expenses.
  • Provides real-time GOR testing, which negates over-production of solution gas and the associated penalties.
  • Enables industry to design solution gas recovery schemes and incineration facilities efficiently and economically.
  • Installation of the Ventsentinel® CHOPS directly to the production casing head vent continuously monitors the erratic solution gas flow rate and pressure. This facilitates an early workover intervention to mitigate the restriction of heavy oil inflow due to annular foaming effects.

The industry has since identified that this smart meter technology has applications in numerous in-line placements on well sites and production facilities to measure and monitor methane emissions in real-time. These placements would be on wellhead vents, field production and storage tank vents, relief valves, underground tank vents, compressor packing vents, instrument air compressors, fuel gas lines, flare lines, and incinerators.  The Ventsentinel® design offers a unique engineering advantage since this one technology can be installed onto all venting systems.

GLJ

As a result of AI, Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework (CCITF) Clean Technology Commercialization – Husky CHOPS Methane Challenge, the “prototype” Ventsentinel® CHOPS Unit is now in commercial field trials. Other iterations of the technology are currently undergoing field and laboratory testing to ensure use on all wellsite emitters.

ventbuster instruments pilots new chops solution gas monitoring technology with alberta innovates and husky chops methane challenge

The Ventsentinel® is not commercially available at this time and is expected to be available for commercial use in 2023.

Read the full project report HERE.

Contact Ventbuster Instruments for information on their products email [email protected].



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