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High Pressure, Hazardous Area Approved Flow Meter for Offshore Oil Drilling


Offshore oil platforms require accurate flow measurement to pump drilling mud at controlled, high pressures through the drill pipe to cool and lubricate the drill bit, deep in the seabed. A Brooks Instrument metal tube variable area flow meter enables consistent, repeatable pumping of drill mud under these severe process conditions.

Oil, gas, fuel mixtures, natural gas, specialty gas

Application Requirements

The drill bit sits at the end of the drill pipe where there is high pressure, cutting away at rock in the seabed to extract oil. Surrounded by rock, the drill bit can quickly overheat due to the friction and high pressure. The drilling mud is pumped into a pipe to the drill bit and then transports any rock cuttings up to the seabed. During this process, Brooks Instrument metal tube variable area flow meters are used to measure the flow of the drilling mud to keep the flow consistent.


  • Unique engineering design for pressure up to 885 bar
  • 316 stainless steel housing
  • Controlled and consistent flow performance for high pressure

Process Solution

The engineers from an oil and gas company specified the MT3809 metal tube variable area flow meter. The flow meter has been installed on the offshore platform to precisely measure drilling mud flow at a consistent rate through a drill pipe. Once the mud reaches the drill bit, the mud will cool off and lubricate the bit which is in a narrow shaft in the seabed. The drill bit also has holes for the mud to travel through to prevent any clogging. Also, if there are any rock cuttings, the mud will transport the cuttings back to the surface.

Additionally, a Brooks Instrument MT3809 metal tube flow meter with its corrosion resistant and stainless-steel housing can withstand high pressures up to 885 bar, a mixture of process fluids, and a range of temperatures from -198°C/135°F to 420°C/788° F, ideal for a hazardous environment such as oil drilling. The simple design enables easy installment and maintenance which is preferred for an application out at sea.

Offshore oil drilling platform
Flow Scheme

Although flow meters are a small component compared to the size of an offshore oil platform, their function is critical in keeping the drill bit and drill pipe operating at scale. The flow meter also minimizes operational downtime and production costs for a harsh and demanding application.

About The Author

Kostas Sklikas, MBA
Global Product Marketing Manager, Variable Area Industrial

Kostas is the global product manager for industrial variable area flow meters at Brooks Instrument.

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