Last Updated S012020


Unit Code MOG502
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Electrical and Instrumentation in Oil and Gas) Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Electrical and Instrumentation in Oil and Gas)Duration: 2 years

Year Level One
Unit Coordinator Paul Maj and John Westover
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites Nil
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24 (3 credits x 8 (units))

Masters total course credit points = 48 (12 credits (Thesis) + 3 credits x 12 (units))

Mode of Delivery Combination of modes: Online synchronous lectures; asynchronous discussion groups, videos, remote and cloud-based labs (simulations); web and video conferencing tutorials. High emphasis on personal and group self-study.  
Unit Workload

Student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week:

Lecture 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture 1 hours

Practical / Lab 1 hour (where relevant)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

Instrument Engineering for Oil and Gas industries is a very complex and diverse discipline in that many different measurement techniques require knowledge of the laws of physics, chemistry and mathematics. This unit covers these in detail along with applicable theory, which is used in industry. It also has particular emphasis on instrumentation used in the Offshore and Onshore Oil and Gas industry, utilising extensive Offshore and Onshore Oil and Gas Engineering experience of Highly Qualified Lecturers. This unit provides practical examples of how the learning can be integrated into “the big picture”.

This unit focusses on the engineering processes in pressure, level, temperature, and flow measurement technology, control valve technology, measurement, calibration and testing, and differentiating between control, safety, and custody transfer measurement and instrumentation.

This unit requires a high level of commitment and effort. It will be hard work and much is expected of students. However being focused on the skills, knowledge and competencies expected of an Oil and Gas Instrument Engineer in Industry it will be worth the effort.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Determine and apply Units and Conversions used in the Oil and Gas Industry
  2. Analyse and understand the engineering process on pressure, level, temperature, and flow measurement technology
  3. Analyse and understand the engineering process on control valve technology
  4. Apply principles of calibration and testing
  5. Deliver skills, knowledge and competencies on measurement as an Oil and Gas Instrument Engineer in Industry
  6. Understand the difference between measurement and instrumentation for control, measurement and instrumentation for safety, and measurement and instrumentation for custody transfer

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Quiz

Word length: n/a

Topic examples: Fundamental concepts of pressure, level, and temperature measurement

After Topic 5 20% 1, 2

Assessment 2 

TType: Report (Midterm Project)

[This will include a progress report; literature review, hypothesis, and proposed solution with concept workings]

Word length: 1000

Topic examples: Fuel Gas Conditioning, Resolution of Flow Metering Error. Determine instrumentation requirements, prepare data sheets, etc.

After Topic 9 25% 2,4,5

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

[If a continuation of the midterm, this should complete the report by adding sections on: workings, implementation, results, verification/validation, conclusion/challenges and recommendations/future work. If this is a new report, all headings from the midterm and the final reports must be included.]

Word length: 2000

Topic examples: Continuation of midterm, or new topic on tying everything together and developing a cascade control loop, including instrument selection and valve selection, determining when instruments from one application can be used for other data management (e.g. custody transfer level instruments can be used for spill management and incident reporting)

After Topic 12 35% 3, 5, 6

Practical Participation

May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies: E.g. Valve sizing, Simulation or Case study

Continuous 15% 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 - 6

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

  1. B. G. Liptak, Instrument Engineers' Handbook, Vol. 1: Process Measurement and Analysis, 4th Edition, CRC Press, 2003


  1. M. D. Whitt, Successful Instrumentation and Control Systems Design, 2nd Edition, ISA, 2012 (ISBN 978-1-936007-45-5)

Alternative textbook

  • W. Boyes, Instrumentation Reference Book, 4th Edition, Elsevier, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-7506- 8308-1)

Reference Materials

  • %20Ultimate%20Calibration%202nd%20edition.pdf
  • External Notes
  • IDC notes and Reference texts as advised.
  • Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Issues with Data Management and Units and Conversions used in the Oil and Gas Industry

  1. Data management. An instrument is a data collector, as part of a data management system that is the control system. Understanding the issues of data management can help understanding the issues of not only measurement, but also fitting the instrument into the entire control system. Data Sheets and their role in the instrument lifecycle. Index and Loop Diagrams. NE-107/NE-43
  2. SI and Imperial Units – Many Instruments originate from the USA where Imperial Units are used such as psi. As a result confusion can arise which compromise safety and integrity, there have been over-pressurisation incidents resulting in vessels exploding. Thus this section highlights this.

Topic 2

Oil and Gas Pressure Measurement – Principles and Theory

  1. Pressure Measurement Instrumentation
    1. Principles of pressure measurement – Gauge and absolute, pressure ratings – proof pressure
    2. Pressure sources
    3. Differential Pressure
  2. Pressure Measurement Devices and Accessories
    1. Pressure Indicators, snubbers, switches, elements, diaphragm seals and other accessories
    2. Pressure Transducers
    3. Load cells
    4. Pressure Transmitters
    5. Process Take Off, Installation considerations.
  3. Atmospheric pressure with different atmospheres
  4. Tubing
  5. Manifolds, Close Coupling, Monoflanges and Other Accessories

Topics 3 and 4

Oil and Gas Level Measurement – Principles and Theory

  1. Level Measurement Instrumentation
    1. Visual/optical
    2. Capacitance
    3. Magnetic Float
    4. Nucleonic
    5. Buoyancy
    6. Hydrostatic pressure
    7. Differential pressure
    8. Radar and microwave
    9. Ultrasonic
    10. Radiometric
    11. Electromechanical
    12. Density
    13. Bubbler systems
    14. Profiling Techniques
  2. Level Measurement Devices and Accessories
    1. Level transmitters
    2. Level switches
    3. Tank gauging equipment
  3. Issues Related to Level Measurement
    1. Fiscal measurement of level
    2. Interface Level
    3. Profiling techniques
    4. Level calculations – Differential Pressure – Hydrostatic Head
    5. Calculations associated with Radioactive sources
    6. Interface Level Calculations
    7. Interface Level Issues
    8. Elevation and suppression
    9. Reference legs and sealing liquids
    10. Diaphragm Seals
    11. Installation considerations
    12. Use of Stilling Well
    13. Purging and Heating
    14. Impact on the overall control loop
    15. Tank strapping
    16. ALG Class

Topic 5

Oil and Gas Temperature Measurement – Principles and Theory

  1. International Temperature Scales, Deg Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, Rankine, Degree Absolute
  2. Thermo Electric Effect
  3. Thermodynamics
  4. Thermocouple Principle, Types, Ranges, Materials, Cold Junction Compensation, Extension Leads, Ranges, Thermocouple Tables, Construction
  5. Thermistors - Steinhart–Hart equation, Principle, Self Heating Effects, Negative Temperature Coefficient Thermistors (NTC Thermistors), Construction
  6. Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD), Principles, International Temperature Scale of 1990, Resistance v Temperature relationship of Metals, Ranges, Materials, Resistance Thermometer curves, Construction
  7. Liquid filled glass
  8. Bimetallic
  9. Thermowell Construction, Materials, Insertion Length, Vibration Analysis and Fatigue failure (ASME PTC 19.3 TW-2010).
  10. Non-Contacting techniques and Principles– thermal radiation, Infra red, Ranges.

Topics 6, 7 and 8

Oil and Gas Flow Measurement – Principles and Theory

  1. Flow Metering Standards – ISO 5167 - AGA3
  2. Flow Measurement Instrumentation
    1. Differential pressure - Theory – Fluid properties - Bernouilli’s Theorem – Square Law Effect – Orifice Plates – Reynolds Number – Venturi – Pitot Tube – V Cone – Calculations and Sizing, Turndown, Accuracy, Error, Uncertainty, Need for P/T compensation
    2. Restriction Orifice Plates – Principals and Calculations
    3. Positive displacement
    4. Variable area (Rotameter) – Visual and All Metal Type
  3. Preferred Differential Pressure Ranges – effect of flow regime and other parameters
  4. Measurement Based on Mass Flow Rate
    1. Coriolis
    2. Thermal dispersion
  5. Measurement Based on Flow Velocity
    1. Magnetic
    2. Target
    3. Ultrasonic
    4. Vortex
    5. Turbine
  6. Other Types of Flow Measurement
    1. Multiphase flow measurement –API RP86
    2. Wet Gas flow measurement – V Cone Meter
    3. Oscillatory flow measurement
    4. Flare Gas flow measurement
  7. Selection of flowmeters for Oil and Gas Applications
    1. Purpose (custody transfer, safety, machinery protection, general process control, environmental reporting, etc)
    2. Preferences for flow measurement – No Physical Process Connections - Vortex, Coriolis, magnetic, ultrasonic, turbine and positive displacement types.

Topic 9

  1. Business Case for types of Flow meters
  2. Special Flow Measurement issues
    1. Flow Computers
    2. Allocation and Fiscal Flow Measurement
    3. Flow Meter Provers – Compact and Traditional
    4. Tank Strapping – the level equivalent of flow meter proving
    5. Installation of Flowmeters in Oil and Gas Applications

Topics 10 and 11

  1. Oil and Gas Valves
    • Valve types – we can learn about the valve part of control valves from manual valves.
    • Key issue – leakage ANSI FCI 70-2
      1. Leakage issues with throttling control valves
      2. Leakage issues with on/off control valves
      3. Leakage issues with 3-way control valves
      4. Leakage issues with automated shut down valves (emergency valves)
  2. Control Valves – Valve Bodies, Types, Characteristics, Actuators (Pneumatic, Hydraulic and Electric), Power Failure Modes, Actuator Accessories, Sizing Calculations, Split Range, Bench Set, Trim and associated Material Selection (Corrosion and NACE Applications), Cavitation and Flashing, Noise Calculation and Prediction, Stroking Time Calculations, Rangeability, Ratings, Leak Class, Bonnets, Cryogenic service, High Temperature Valves, Valve Stem Packing and sealing, Fugitive Emission Controls, bypass, Materials, Paint coatings, Severe Service Valves, Fire Safe Valves.
  3. Valve Accessories – Solenoids, Positioners (Pneumatic, Electronic and Smart), Transducers, Position Indicators, Boosters • Double Block and Bleed
  4. Oil and Gas Instrumentation using Hydraulics – Principles and Theory
    • Hydraulic Principles and theory, Symbols, Hardware, Fluids, Cleanliness, Standards
    • Wellhead Hydraulic Control Panels
  5. Oil and Gas Electrical and Instrumentation Test and Calibration Equipment
    • Calibration Terminology
    • Understand the reasons behind test and calibration, accuracy, hysteresis, stiction, certification,
    • Calibration frequency
    • NIST and Other Standards
    • Calibrating Smart Instruments
    • Uncertainty and confidence in Measurement
  6. Future Technologies

Topic 12

Project and Revision, and case studies

In the final weeks students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Professional Development

Completing this unit will add to students professional development/competencies by:

  1. Fostering the personal and professional skills development of students to:
    1. Be adaptable and capable 21st century citizens, who can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically and innovatively solve complex problems.
    2. Equipping individuals with an increased capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.
    3. Planning and organising self and others
    4. Instilling leadership qualities and a capacity for ethical and professional contextualization of knowledge
  2. Enhancing students’ investigatory and research capabilities through:
    1. Solving complex and open-ended engineering problems
    2. Accessing, evaluating and analysing information
    3. Processes and procedures, cause – effect investigations
  3. Developing the engineering application abilities of students through:
    1. Assignments
    2. Labs / practical / case studies / self-study (where applicable)

Software/Hardware Used


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  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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