FLO-CORP’s MEMFlo(TM) Volumetric Flow Meters Get the Job Done in the Marcellus Shale

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Growth in hydraulic fracturing has sparked an increased need for accurate flow instrumentation. FLO-CORP met that need at a Pennsylvania Hydraulic Fracturing site by providing ten meters with accurate visual indication and excellent tolerance to suspended solids and high pressure.

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MEMFlo™ meters measure river water as it is pumped into ten tanks and pressurized.

With the help of FLO-CORP's meters, workers can make quick visual checks while pressurizing tanks with river water. This key step contributes to the successful recovery of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.

The Marcellus Shale is the most expansive deposit of natural gas in North America. The mining of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale has a multi-billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy. Recent drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is done through a process called Hydraulic Fracturing or “Fracking”. While other documentation does an outstanding job of discussing the process of fracking, the focus of this article will be on addressing the increasing need for flow instrumentation to make the process work correctly.

Most fracking treatments are done through the use of high pressure water mixed with sand and a 0.2~0.05% chemical mix. Typically, fracking requires two to four million gallons of water for each fracking treatment in a well. When possible, the water is pumped from natural sources. “Water for drilling and hydraulic fracturing of these wells frequently comes from surface water bodies such as rivers and lakes...” explains Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer. This reduces the truck traffic in and out of the local area, as well as transportation costs. As water is pumped from lakes or rivers, the water is measured to ensure proper pressure levels for fracking. Measurement is taken through the use of flow meters. "An important criteria the meters must meet is the ability to deal with the suspended solids and sediment found in fresh water sources. Without the added expense of filtering, the proper meters for this application need to allow particulate matter to pass through without affecting flow measurement and that's where FLO-CORP's meters fit the bill" said Dave Grumney, President and Owner of FLO-CORP.

In Pennsylvania, FLO-CORP recently provided a fracking operation with ten MEMFlo™ SupraFlo™ MFAM all metal volumetric flow meters. These meters are specifically designed to allow for suspended solids and high pressure media making them a great fit for the Marcellus fracking project. Click here to see a demonstration of how the meters work. The meters are ideal because they provide a range of measurement options starting with simple visual indication, to flow rate and total flow, to advanced features including data-logging, reporting, and even remote monitoring. The slotted core tube design allows suspended solids to pass through the meters without affecting the accuracy of flow measurement. The meters' tolerance to suspended solids is one key feature that resulted in the selection of the SupraFlo™ MFAM meters over other available technologies.

The meters monitor the flow of river water as it is pumped into ten tanks and pressurized. The flow meters set the level of the pressurized tanks by measuring the rate of flow into the tanks. After the water is pressurized, it is mixed with sand and chemicals, then pumped into the Marcellus Shale.

Accurate flow measurement is important to obtain the appropriate pressure in each tank for the fracking treatment. MEMFlo meters provide the correct technology for this need. With the help of FLO-CORP's meters, workers can make quick visual checks while pressurizing tanks with river water. This key step contributes to the successful recovery of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale through the process of Hydraulic Fracturing.

FLO-CORP (Flow Line Options Corp.) is committed to providing properly selected and configured flow, level, and display products with a focus on innovation and customer service.  In 1988, FLO-CORP was incorporated in the State of Ohio and started as a small distribution company.  In the last five years, FLO-CORP has moved past distribution and into manufacturing our own line of products.  Through manufacturing, we have gained more control over origin of product, quality, and lead times.  Furthermore, FLO-CORP now has creative control in the development of new products.  We can focus on adding the functionality and features that will best serve our customers.  FLO-CORP’s management of quality, lead times, and innovation come together allowing us to provide more product value to our customers.  We remain committed to personal customer interaction, where help can still be found without hearing an automated phone system.  The FLO-CORP family is dedicated to working hard for our customers by using over three decades of combined experience in flow, level, and display. For more information, visit the company website at http://www.flo-corp.com.


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