An oil and Gas Flow Meter is A device installed in a pump manifold or treating line to measure the fluid flow rate. Oil and Gas Flow Meters can be used to measure the flow rates of liquid or gas and are available in various configurations and with different operating principles.

Explore Oil and Gas Flow Meters

Flow Meters for Measuring Oil and Gas

Every day, a large amount of oil and gas are transported back and forth, refined, and then transported, as well as custody transfer. Difficult oil and gas flow measurement challenges such as corrosive media and harsh environments are our daily work. This requires mature and safe technology. Through instrument measurement and display monitoring, safe and reliable operation can be achieved.

Many types of flow meters are used to measure oil and gas flow. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. The following content discusses these advantages and disadvantages.

Coriolis Flow Meter

A Coriolis flowmeter is a type of mass flow meter. It is designed differently and works differently than thermal or differential mass flow meters. Coriolis meters provide extremely accurate mass or volume flow, density, and temperature measurement with few moving parts and no straight pipe requirements.

Coriolis flowmeter is also called Coriolis mass flow meter. Based on the principles of Micromotion mechanics. Coriolis meters provide extremely accurate mass or volume flow, density, and temperature measurements.


  • The Coriolis mass flow meter directly measures the mass flow rate with high measurement accuracy.
  • It can measure a wide range of fluids, including high-viscosity liquids, slurries containing solids, liquids containing trace gases, and medium and high-pressure gases with sufficient density.
  • The measuring tube has a small vibration amplitude and can be regarded as a non-moving part, and there are no obstructions and moving parts in the measuring pipe.
  • It is not sensitive to the flow velocity distribution of the upflow, so there is no requirement for upstream and downstream straight pipes.
  • The measured value is not sensitive to the fluid viscosity, and the change of fluid density has little effect on the measured value.
  • Multi-parameter measurement can be done, such as measuring density at the same time, and deriving the concentration of solute in the measurement solution from this.


  • The instability of the zero point of the Coriolis mass flowmeter forms a zero point drift. This affects the further improvement of its accuracy. Many types of meters have to divide the total error into two parts, the basic error and the zero point instability measurement.
  • Coriolis mass flowmeters cannot be used to measure low-density media and low-pressure gases. The gas content in the liquid exceeds a certain limit (depending on the model), which will significantly affect the measured value.
  • Coriolis mass flowmeters are more sensitive to external vibration interference. In order to prevent the influence of pipeline vibration, most models of Coriolis mass flowmeters have high requirements for installation and fixation of flow sensors.

Ultrasonic Flow Meter

The ultrasonic flow meter measures the liquid flow rate quickly and effectively. There are two types of ultrasonic flowmeter technology: Doppler frequency shift and transit time.

Transit time ultrasonic flow meter is most suitable for measuring the flow of cleaning liquid. Therefore, it is the most popular type of ultrasonic meter.

Doppler ultrasonic flow meter can measure the frequency difference of sound waves reflected from bubbles or particles in the airflow. It is suitable for aerated or dirty liquids.


  • The clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeter can realize non-contact flow measurement. Even if it is a plug-in or internally attached ultrasonic flowmeter, its pressure loss is almost zero. The convenience and economy of flow measurement are the best.
  • The ultrasonic flowmeter can measure various media of water, gas and oil. Its application field is very broad.
  • The manufacturing cost of the ultrasonic flowmeter has almost nothing to do with the caliber. It has the comprehensive competitive advantage of reasonable price and convenient installation and use in the occasion of large-diameter flow measurement.
  • The portable ultrasonic flowmeter can measure the flow rate on pipelines of various pipe diameters and materials with one flowmeter. It is the preferred flow meter type for online calibration, comparison or period verification as a standard meter.
  • Ultrasonic flowmeter has the convenience of traceability based on the two basic physical quantities of length and time. It can be foreseen that it will surpass other principles of flow meters to become the carrier of flow standards or even flow standards.


  • The current disadvantage of ultrasonic flowmeters is mainly that the temperature range of the measurable fluid is limited by the temperature resistance of the ultrasonic transducer and the coupling material between the transducer and the pipeline. And the raw data of the sound transmission velocity of the measured fluid at high temperature is incomplete. At present, our country can only be used to measure fluids below 200°C.
  • The anti-interference ability is poor, and it is susceptible to the influence of bubbles, fouling, pumps, and other ultrasonic noises, resulting in poor accuracy. If the above situation occurs, the accuracy will deteriorate in the slightest, and the meter will not display in the severe case.
  • The measurement circuit of the ultrasonic flowmeter is more complicated than that of the general flowmeter. This is because the flow velocity of liquid in general industrial measurement is often a few meters per second, and the propagation speed of sound waves in the liquid is about 1500m/s.

Vortex Flow Meters

A vortex flow meter is also called a Vortex shedding flow meter. Vortex Flow Meter is suitable for flow measurement of steam and various liquids and gases.

The vortex flowmeter is a volume flow meter that measures the volume flow of gas, steam, or liquid, the volume flow of standard conditions, or the mass flow of gas, steam, or liquid based on the Karman vortex principle. When the fluid flows through the dust collector rod of the vortex flowmeter, a vortex is formed. The frequency of vortex shedding is proportional to the fluid velocity. Temperature and pressure compensation can be configured.


  • The vortex flowmeter has no moving parts, and the measuring element has a simple structure, reliable performance and long service life.
  • The vortex flowmeter has a wide measuring range. The turndown ratio can generally reach 1:10.
  • The volume flow of the vortex flowmeter is not affected by thermal parameters such as the temperature, pressure, density or viscosity of the fluid being measured. Generally, no separate calibration is required. It can measure the flow of liquid, gas or steam.
  • The pressure loss caused by it is small.
  • The accuracy is high. The repeatability is 0.5%. And the amount of maintenance is small.


  • The volume flow of the vortex flowmeter in working state is not affected by thermal parameters such as the temperature, pressure, and density of the fluid being measured. But the final measurement result of liquid or steam should be mass flow. For gases, the final measurement result should be the standard volume flow rate. Both the mass flow rate or the standard volume flow rate must be converted by fluid density, and changes in fluid density caused by changes in fluid working conditions must be considered.
  • Poor vibration resistance.
  • Poor adaptability to measuring dirty media. The generating body of the vortex flowmeter is easily dirty by the medium or entangled by the dirt. Change the size of the geometry. Greatly affect the measurement accuracy.
  • High requirements for straight pipe sections. Experts pointed out that the straight pipe section of the vortex flowmeter must ensure the front 40D and the 20D to meet the measurement requirements.
  • Poor temperature resistance. Vortex flowmeters generally can only measure the fluid flow of media below 300°C.

A thermal gas mass flow meter is a flow meter that can detect the mass flow of gas without temperature and pressure compensation.

Thermal Mass Flow Meter Unaffected by changes in viscosity, density, temperature, or pressure. Thermal mass flow meters are designed based on the principle of thermal diffusion.

Including natural gas, coal gas, liquefied gas, flare gas, argon, carbon dioxide, and other mixed gas flow measurement.


  • Wide turndown ratio. It can measure gas with flow velocity as high as 100Nm/s to 0.5Nm/s. Can be used for gas leak detection.
  • Good seismic performance and long service life. The sensor has no moving parts and pressure sensing parts, and is not affected by vibration on the measurement accuracy.
  • Easy to install and maintain. If site conditions permit, installation and maintenance can be achieved without stopping production. (Need special customization)
  • Digital design. Integral digital circuit measurement, accurate measurement and convenient maintenance.
  • Using RS-485 communication, or HART communication, factory automation and integration can be realized.


  • The response is slow, and the measured gas composition changes greatly, and the measured value will change greatly due to the change of cp value and thermal conductivity, which will cause errors.
  • For small flow rates, the meter will bring considerable heat to the gas being measured.
  • For thermally distributed thermal gas mass flow meters, if the measured gas deposits on the tube wall affects the measured value, it must be cleaned regularly; for thin tube meters, it is more prone to clogging and cannot be used under normal circumstances.
  • The use of pulsating flow will be limited.
  • Thermal mass flow meters for liquids are also restricted in the use of viscous liquids.

Extended reading: Gas Mass Flow Meter

Differential Pressure Flow Meter

Differential Pressure Flow Meter is also called DP flow meter. Differential pressure flow meters use the principle of differential pressure to measure the flow of liquid, gas, and steam.

The differential pressure flow meter is measured by the working principle that there is a certain relationship between the pressure difference and the flow rate when the medium fluid flows through the throttling device. Differential pressure (DP) flow meters are the most widely used form of flow measurement products today. Including integrated orifice flowmeter, average velocity tube flowmeter, venturi tube, wedge flowmeter, underwater flowmeter, orifice plate, orifice carrier assembly, nozzle flowmeter.


  • The most widely used, such as orifice flowmeter, has a firm structure and stable and reliable performance;
  • It has a wide range of applications and is still the most used type of flowmeter;
  • The detection parts, transmitters and display instruments can be produced by different manufacturers, which is convenient for large-scale production.


  • The measurement accuracy is unstable. Affected by installation and fluid impact (such as orifice plate, nozzle flowmeter) is prone to wear. In turn affect the accuracy of measurement data;
  • The range is narrow, generally 3:1~4:1;
  • On-site installation conditions require high requirements, and inaccurate installation will have a greater impact on measurement accuracy;
  • The pressure loss is large.

Volumetric Flow Meters

A positive displacement flowmeter as a mechanical flow meter is a common type of Volumetric Flow Meter. It can measure the volume flow of high viscosity and corrosive fluids.

  • High measurement accuracy;
  • The installation pipeline conditions have no influence on the measurement accuracy;
  • Can be used for high-viscosity liquids;
  • Wide range;
  • The direct-reading meter can directly obtain the cumulative and total amount without external energy.
  • Clear and clear, easy to operate.


  • The measurement accuracy is high, and the basic error is generally ±0.5%R. Special ones can reach ±0.2% R or higher. It is especially suitable for use in the field where high-precision measurement is required.
  • There is no influence on the measurement accuracy when measuring the distortion of the flow velocity field of the rotating flow and the pipe choke. There is no requirement for the front straight pipe section.
  • Can be used for the measurement of high-viscosity fluids. Wide flow range. Generally, it is 10:1 to 5:1, and can reach 30:1 or more in special cases.
  • With on-site flow direct reading. No external power supply is required. The cumulative total can be measured, the display is clear, and the operation is convenient.


  • The design of the measurement structure is complicated. The flowmeter is large and heavy, especially the flowmeter with larger caliber. Huge volume, only suitable for small and medium calibers.
  • Compared with other general flow meters (such as orifice flow meters, float flow meters, electromagnetic flow meters, vortex flow meters). The measured medium type, medium working condition (temperature, pressure), and caliber are relatively limited, and the scope of application is narrow.
  • Only suitable for clean single-phase fluids. When the fluid contains particles and dirt, a filter must be installed upstream. Not only increases the pressure loss, but also increases the maintenance work. If measuring liquids containing gas, a gas separator must be installed.


Turbine flow meters are velocity flow meters, also called impeller flow meters. Can be used to measure the instantaneous flow and cumulative flow of liquids and gases.

Turbine flowmeters are widely used in flow measurement: petroleum, organic liquids, inorganic liquids, liquefied gas, natural gas, coal gas, and cryogenic fluids. Turbine flowmeter signals can be divided into pulse signals or current signals (4-20mA). It is suitable for use with secondary display, PLC, DCS, and other computer control systems.


  • The cost is moderate.
  • Very good at clean, low viscosity fluids of moderate velocity and a steady rate.
  • Turndown is very good as it can read very low compared to the greatest flow.
  • They are reliable if put in a clean fluid especially if it has some lubricity.
  • AGA and API approved for custody transfers.
  • They do cause some pressure drop where that may be a factor such as gravity flows.
  • High accuracy. Among all flowmeters, it is the most accurate flowmeter.
  • No zero drift, good anti-interference ability.
  • High accuracy. Among all flowmeters, it is the most accurate flowmeter.
  • No zero drift, good anti-interference ability.


  • Not reliable for steam.
  • Bearings wear out.
  • Requires constant backpressure to prevent cavitation.
  • Accuracy adversely affected by bubbles in liquids.
  • Turbine meters can be used with clean liquids and gases only (may need to install a strainer upstream to prevent damage from particulates).
  • Not applicable for measuring corrosive fluids.
  • May not function properly with high viscosity fluids where the flow profile is laminar.
  • Cannot maintain calibration characteristics for a long time.

Crude Oil Flow Meter

To measure crude oil, you can also consider the oval gear flowmeter first. If the precision is extremely high. Then you can use a mass flow meter.

The first mass flowmeter is required to measure the flow of crude oil in the supply pipe to the primary oil refining. The mass flow rate here is 1600 t/h.

The second meter is used to measure black oil in the pipeline to the Commodity and Raw Materials Park.

Additionally, the customer required simple installation, high accuracy, and smooth integration of the new meters into existing systems.

Extended reading: Oil Level Measurement Solutions for the Oil & Gas Industry

Flare Gas Mass Flow Measurement

The measurement of flare gas flow has always been the requirement of refinery, petrochemical, chemical and other various factories. Better measurement of flare gas flow. It can not only alleviate the pressure of enterprise safety management, but also reduce material loss, which is of great significance. However, there are many difficulties in flare gas measurement. Take a look at the following different measurement methods, there is always one that suits you.

Flare gas flow measurement method

There are three main methods to measure the flow of flare gas. These methods include the following types of flow meters:

  • Ultrasonic flowmeter
  • Thermal flow meter
  • Differential pressure flowmeter

In global gas flow measurement applications. The growth rate of flare gas flow measurement is ranked second. With the increasingly stringent environmental requirements, the demand for flare gas measurement will continue to increase. In this field, ultrasonic flow meters, thermal flow meters, and differential pressure flow meters have their own advantages.


In the oil and gas industry, there are many items that need to be metered. Generally, monitoring instruments are used. Such as pressure gauges, flow meters, thermometers, etc. These are called meters in the oil and gas industry.

The main purpose of the Oil flow meter is to measure the volume or mass flow of oil media. Such as commonly used turbine flow meters, gear flow meters, mass flow meters, and so on.

For the measurement of fuel flow. We prefer turbine flowmeters.

As far as the current industry technology is concerned. Mass flow meters are a type of flow meter with relatively high accuracy.

The flow meter is a device installed in a pump manifold or treating line to measure the fluid flow rate. Flowmeters can be used to measure the flow rates of liquid or gas and are available in various configurations and with different operating principles.

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Oil and Gas Flow Meter Selection Conclusions

As long as there is commercial oil and gas extraction, the industry faces the challenge of accurate measurement. From allocating production to the stakeholders of each well to monitoring the oil and gas delivered. Everyone in the oil and gas industry has a vested interest in ensuring that flow rates are measured correctly.

Over the years, this has spawned a variety of metering technologies. The growth of the oil and gas market has in turn generated demand for different flowmeter types.

Before you choose the right Oil and Gas Flow Meters, you need to consider many factors. If you need technical support, please contact our engineers.

Sino-Inst’s Oil and Gas Flow Meter offer reliable and accurate volume flow measurement in a large range of sizes and pressure rating while being fully compliant with international standards.

Sino-Inst is the risk-free choice for your gas flow measurement applications.

Sino-Inst supplies Oil and Gas Flow Meters, like: gas turbine flow meter. vortex flowmeter, thermal mass flow meter, and more.

Sino-Inst’s Oil and Gas Flow Meters, made in China, Having good Quality, With better price. Our flow measurement instruments are widely used in China, India, Pakistan, US, and other countries.

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