Revolutionizing Offshore Oil Transport: XSENS Flow Solutions in Shuttle Tankers

Shuttle Tankers: Solving crude oil flow measurement with high GVF.


In the ever-evolving landscape of offshore oil transport, the role of shuttle tankers has proven pivotal in overcoming challenges posed by unpredictable weather, deep-sea conditions, and the need for flexibility in oil delivery. The deployment of XSENS Flow Solutions’ clamp-on non-intrusive flow rate meters has emerged as a game-changer in this domain. This innovative measurement technology has found a crucial application in shuttle tankers, where handling crude oil flow with up to 30% Gas Volume Fraction (GVF) presents a unique set of challenges.

Shuttle Tankers: Solving crude oil flow measurement with high GVF.

The Significance of XSENS Flow Solutions:

XSENS Flow Solutions has distinguished itself by providing an advanced flow rate meter capable of handling crude oil flow with significant GVF. This capability is especially critical during the transportation of crude oil through pipelines situated below the sea surface. In such scenarios, the lines are under pressure, containing remnants of gas in liquid form. The rapid rise of the pipeline to the shuttle tanker results in a quick pressure drop, causing the gas to instantly transform into free gas, forming bubbles.

The Challenge for Traditional Flow Meters:

Traditional flow meters, such as coriolis-type and other clamp-on meters, have struggled to contend with the presence of free gas in the liquid. The bubbles created during this process have proven to be a major hindrance for accurate measurement. However, XSENS Flow Solutions’ clamp-on non-intrusive flow rate meter has overcome this challenge by switching between time-of-flight and doppler mode with the same transducers. This intelligent adaptation allows XSENS to measure liquid flow rates with up to 30% GVF present, ensuring precision even in the presence of free gas.

Understanding Shuttle Tankers:

Shuttle tankers, a specialized category of vessels, play a crucial role in transporting oil from offshore wells to onshore refineries. Originating in the 1970s, shuttle tankers were initially designed to navigate the challenging conditions of the North Sea. Their primary function is to move oil in scenarios where pipelines are impractical, such as ultra-deep waters or areas with severe weather conditions. Unlike larger tankers, shuttle tankers offer the flexibility to deliver oil directly to refineries, eliminating the need for fixed pipelines.

Unique Features of Shuttle Tankers:

Shuttle tankers possess unique features that set them apart from larger tankers. Their ability to navigate in locations where draft requirements would limit larger vessels proves instrumental. Additionally, they boast superior safety measures, equipped with dynamic positioning systems comprising stern and aft thrusters. These systems ensure stability in varying sea conditions, providing a distinct advantage over crude oil tankers that operate exclusively in calm waters.

Shuttle Tankers: A Versatile Offshore Solution:

Shuttle tankers have evolved beyond their initial purpose of weathering rough seas to become a versatile solution for various offshore drilling challenges. Their dynamic positioning capabilities allow them to operate in diverse conditions and access multiple small wells efficiently. With lower draft requirements, they can offload in a broader range of locations, providing a level of flexibility that larger tankers cannot match. The safety record of shuttle tankers further underscores their appeal, offering a more maneuverable alternative with backup systems in place.


In the dynamic world of offshore oil transport, the integration of XSENS Flow Solutions’ innovative clamp-on non-intrusive flow rate meter into shuttle tankers marks a significant stride forward. The ability to handle crude oil flow with a substantial GVF ensures accurate measurements, even in the presence of challenging free gas conditions.

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