Tracerco develops unique solution to carbon trading demands


Leading flow measurement specialists, Tracerco, part of the Johnson Matthey group, has developed a unique technology that will help oil and gas companies comply with new carbon emission laws that are due to be introduced next year, potentially saving organisations more than £50,000 annually.

As part of a carbon trading initiative, the European Union’s second phase of its emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) will see fines for companies who break strict emissions limits, more than double from Euro 40 to Euro 100 per tonne of CO2 released over their allocated amount.

The new legislation, which is due to come into force on 1 January 2008, will require companies to prove the accuracy of the equipment that they use to measure CO2 emissions. This can cost companies upwards of £1 million in shutdown time and logistical costs with gas flow meters being sent to an onshore facility to be tested.

Tracerco has developed an addition to its Precision Diagnostics portfolio, a flow study technique that is carried out in-situ and is significantly more accurate than other systems. The system has the potential to save companies more than £50,000 by reducing the length of time flare systems are shutdown. The technique will also reduce safety concerns by removing the need for the meter to be manually removed.

Andy Hurst, Managing Director of Tracerco said: “The emissions legislation could have a huge impact on the oil and gas sector and it’s vital that companies are prepared for it. We’ve used our extensive experience in improving pipeline flow to develop a system that will accurately check the flow of gas in situ without the need for equipment to be removed.

“By adding a tracer to gas that flows through the meter, our engineers can accurately measure its volume and provide essential information to companies to ensure they comply with the new regulations. Our system is more accurate that others that are currently available because the tracer is not affected by any impurities that might be in the pipeline such as oil or water droplets.”

Previously, the meter would have to be transferred from the installation to a laboratory onshore where it is calibrated. Where the Tracerco technology differs is that a tracer is injected directly into the gas, in-situ and the speed at which it flows through the system is measured to give a much more accurate reading.

Tracerco works with some of the world’s leading operators, including BP, Total, Halliburton and ConnocoPhillips, providing them with advice and expertise to ensure the flow of oil and gas through their pipelines remains as effective as possible.

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