43 CFR § 3175.80 - Flange-tapped orifice plates (primary devices).

§ 3175.80 Flange-tapped orifice plates (primary devices).

Except as stated in this section, as prescribed in Table 1 to this section, or grandfathered under § 3175.61, the standards and requirements in this section apply to all flange-tapped orifice plates (Note: The following table lists the standards in this subpart and the API standards that the operator must follow to install and maintain flange-tapped orifice plates. A requirement applies when a column is marked with an “x” or a number.).

(a) The Beta ratio must be no less than 0.10 and no greater than 0.75.

(b) The orifice bore diameter must be no less than 0.45 inches.

(c) For FMPs measuring production from wells first coming into production, or from existing wells that have been re-fractured (including FMPs already measuring production from one or more other wells), the operator must inspect the orifice plate upon installation and then every 2 weeks thereafter. If the inspection shows that the orifice plate does not comply with API 14.3.2, Section 4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), the operator must replace the orifice plate. When the inspection shows that the orifice plate complies with API 14.3.2, Section 4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), the operator thereafter must inspect the orifice plate as prescribed in paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) The operator must pull and inspect the orifice plate at the frequency (in months) identified in Table 1 to this section. The operator must replace orifice plates that do not comply with API 14.3.2, Section 4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), with an orifice plate that does comply with these standards.

(e) The operator must retain documentation for every plate inspection and must include that documentation as part of the verification report (see § 3175.92(d) for mechanical recorders, or § 3175.102(e) for EGM systems). The operator must provide that documentation to the BLM upon request. The documentation must include:

(1) The information required in § 3170.7(g) of this part;

(2) Plate orientation (bevel upstream or downstream);

(3) Measured orifice bore diameter;

(4) Plate condition (compliance with API 14.3.2, Section 4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30));

(5) The presence of oil, grease, paraffin, scale, or other contaminants on the plate;

(6) Time and date of inspection; and

(7) Whether or not the plate was replaced.

(f) Meter tubes must meet the requirements of API 14.3.2, Subsections 5.1 through 5.4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30).

(g) If flow conditioners are used, they must be either isolating-flow conditioners approved by the BLM and installed under BLM requirements (see § 3175.46) or 19-tube-bundle flow straighteners constructed in compliance with API 14.3.2, Subsections 5.5.2 through 5.5.4, and located in compliance with API 14.3.2, Subsection 6.3 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30).

(h) Basic meter tube inspection. The operator must:

(1) Perform a basic inspection of meter tubes within the timeframe (in years) specified in Table 1 to this section;

(2) Conduct a basic inspection that is able to identify obstructions, pitting, and buildup of foreign substances (e.g., grease and scale);

(3) Notify the AO at least 72 hours in advance of performing a basic inspection or submit a monthly or quarterly schedule of basic inspections to the AO in advance;

(4) Conduct additional inspections, as the AO may require, if warranted by conditions, such as corrosive or erosive-flow (e.g., high H2S or CO2 content) or signs of physical damage to the meter tube;

(5) Maintain documentation of the findings from the basic meter tube inspection including:

(i) The information required in § 3170.7(g) of this part;

(ii) The time and date of inspection;

(iii) The type of equipment used to make the inspection; and

(iv) A description of findings, including location and severity of pitting, obstructions, and buildup of foreign substances; and

(6) Complete the first inspection after January 17, 2017 within the timeframes (in years) given in Table 1 to this section.

(i) Detailed meter tube inspection.

(1) Within 30 days of a basic inspection that indicates the presence of pitting, obstructions, or a buildup of foreign substances, the operator must:

(i) For low-volume FMPs, clean the meter tube of obstructions and foreign substances;

(ii) For high- and very-high-volume FMPs, physically measure and inspect the meter tube to determine if the meter tube complies with API 14.3.2, Subsections 5.1 through 5.4 and API 14.3.2, Subsection 6.2 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), or the requirements under § 3175.61(a), if the meter tube is grandfathered under § 3175.61(a). If the meter tube does not comply with the applicable standards, the operator must repair the meter tube to bring the meter tube into compliance with these standards or replace the meter tube with one that meets these standards; or

(iii) Submit a request to the AO for an extension of the 30-day timeframe, justifying the need for the extension.

(2) For all high- and very-high volume FMPs installed after January 17, 2017, the operator must perform a detailed inspection under paragraph (i)(1)(ii) of this section before operation of the meter. The operator may submit documentation showing that the meter tube complies with API 14.3.2, Subsections 5.1 through 5.4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30) in lieu of performing a detailed inspection.

(3) The operator must notify the AO at least 24 hours before performing a detailed inspection.

(j) The operator must retain documentation of all detailed meter tube inspections, demonstrating that the meter tube complies with API 14.3.2, Subsections 5.1 through 5.4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), and showing all required measurements. The operator must provide such documentation to the BLM upon request for every meter-tube inspection. Documentation must also include the information required in § 3170.7(g) of this part.

(k) Meter tube lengths.

(1) Meter-tube lengths and the location of 19-tube-bundle flow straighteners, if applicable, must comply with API 14.3.2, Subsection 6.3 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30).

(2) For Beta ratios of less than 0.5, the location of 19-tube bundle flow straighteners installed in compliance with AGA Report No. 3 (1985), Section 4.4 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), also complies with the location of 19-tube bundle flow straighteners as required in paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

(3) If the diameter ratio (β) falls between the values in Tables 7, 8a, or 8b of API 14.3.2, Subsection 6.3 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30), the length identified for the larger diameter ratio in the appropriate Table is the minimum requirement for meter-tube length and determines the location of the end of the 19-tube-bundle flow straightener closest to the orifice plate. For example, if the calculated diameter ratio is 0.41, use the table entry for a 0.50 diameter ratio.

(l) Thermometer wells.

(1) Thermometer wells used for determining the flowing temperature of the gas as well as thermometer wells used for verification (test well) must be located in compliance with API 14.3.2, Subsection 6.5 (incorporated by reference, see § 3175.30).

(2) Thermometer wells must be located in such a way that they can sense the same flowing gas temperature that exists at the orifice plate. The operator may accomplish this by physically locating the thermometer well(s) in the same ambient temperature conditions as the primary device (such as in a heated meter house) or by installing insulation and/or heat tracing along the entire meter run. If the operator chooses to use insulation to comply with this requirement, the AO may prescribe the quality of the insulation based on site specific factors such as ambient temperature, flowing temperature of the gas, composition of the gas, and location of the thermometer well in relation to the orifice plate (i.e., inside or outside of a meter house).

(3) Where multiple thermometer wells have been installed in a meter tube, the flowing temperature must be measured from the thermometer well closest to the primary device.

(4) Thermometer wells used to measure or verify flowing temperature must contain a thermally conductive liquid.

(m) The sampling probe must be located as specified in § 3175.112(b).