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Going with the Flow: First Coordination Meeting on Project to Apply Radiotracers to Oil and Gas Flow Meters


Particpants at the first coordination meeting for the new project. (Photo: IAEA)

Participants in a new IAEA technical cooperation project to apply radiotracers to calibrate and certify the flow meters that are used in oil and gas industries in Latin America met in Vienna from 28 May to 1 June.

Flow meters are devices that measure the rate of flow of fluids in pipes. They must be calibrated periodically to ensure that measurements are precise. Radiotracer techniques are ideally suited for calibrating flow meters, and can be used for the accurate measurement of both gas and liquid flow rates under operating conditions in a wide range of flow systems.

The event – the first coordination meeting for the new project[1] – was attended by experts from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Over the course of the week, each participating country presented its capabilities to use radiotracers to measure the flow of different fluids such as water, gas and hydrocarbons. Analyses which examine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) were also carried out for each country.

Discussions included the status of the current International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for water flow measurement (ISO 2975) and how to extend it to other fluids.

The plan of activities for the 2018-2019 period was discussed and elaborated. Planned training events will cover the preparation of radiotracers, as well as flow measurements in closed conduits for water and hydrocarbons.

[1] RLA1016, ‘Certifying Flow Measurement Methods and Calibration Techniques of Flow Meters Used in the Oil and Gas Industries by Radiotracers (ARCAL CLXI)’

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