Heavy Oil Production

Managing the challenges of viscous oil

All production of heavy oil – and oil sands mining in particular – carry challenges beyond those encountered in production of light, sweet crude oils. One of them is finding instrumentation that can cope with the harsh process conditions, like:

  • High process and design temperatures due to application of heat, hot water or steam
  • Rocks and chunks of undissolved bitumen, clay, sand and ice traveling through pipelines
  • Wax, asphaltenes, resins and clay depositing on piping and vessel internals
  • Tight emulsions, severe foaming and long separation times

Sentech AS have a proven track record in heavy oil applications, which keeps leading us to new customers by word of mouth within this industry segment.

24″ Sentech Water Cut Meter in oil sands pipeline, installed in 2006.

32 SeCaP sensors detect flow profile and provide alarm if water is separating along bottom of pipe, as this would cause risk of water freezing along length of pipe.

When opened for routine inspection in 2016, operator found no visible wear on the sensors

Particularly well suited for heavy oil applications


These are some of the reasons why Sentech's products are so successfull in heavy oil applications

SeCaP sensor – incredibly robust:

  • Available in High Temperature versions rated for 175°C and 225°C
  • Burn-in of sensor ceramic suface at 1600°C closes porosities and minimize adhesion
  • Burn-in of ceramics also increases hardness of sensor surface to same as sapphire

Sentech Level Profiler – designed for and with heavy oil operators:

  • Allows heavy oil producers to understand and improve separation
  • Flushing option enables in-separator cleaning of sensors without stopping production
  • Suitable for large vertical separators – 30 m long profiler installed in 2017

Sentech Water Cut Meter – suitable by nature:

  • Works equally well with similar and identical oil and water densities/gravities
  • Works in poorly mixed and even stratified flow regimes
  • Measures 0 – 100% water in-line (full bore) on any size pipeline – 24″ and larger
  • Provides indication of how water is distributed in the pipe, in addition to average water cut
  • Is fully non-intrusive – solids can never get stuck
  • Can be used to measure flow velocity on large bore pipe with non-homogenous flow
  • Can be supplied for design temperatures up to 225°C

Do you have any questions about our products?

Learn more about our products


Level Profiler

A "virtual window" into separators and vessels

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Water Cut Meter

Suitable for the most difficult applications

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