Tips to Overcome Challenges in Product and Custody Transfers

Emerson's Sachin Tere


Author: Sachin Tere

Product and custody transfer applications are spread across the oil and gas industry, from the fields to the refineries, to transport vessels to storage tanks and terminals. Here are some problems that hinder you from achieving efficiency in fluid production and movement, and corresponding tips on how to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Interruptions during loading and unloading

Traditional, outdated flowmeters have moving, mechanical parts that wear over time, requiring repair on a regular basis. Moreover, these meters do not offer the high precision that is necessary for accurate loading and unloading.

Tips to overcome problems in product and custody transfersTip: Go for non-intrusive Coriolis/Ultrasonic meters that have no moving parts. This will eliminate maintenance and repair costs, providing improved reliability and longer service life.

Challenge 2: Unplanned Proving

Periodic checks or on-supplier-demand proving of metering system is necessary to ensure that the meters perform according to expectations. However, unplanned proving is expensive and can result in costly production slowdowns or shutdowns.

Tip: Advanced flowmeter technology allows you to check the meter performance in line, on demand and without stopping the process flow. Called Smart Meter Verification (SMV), this technology postpones proving cycles, performing a total meter check including the flow tubes, signal processing, and electronics.

Challenge 3: Not meeting product quality targets

Missing quality targets is often caused by poor monitoring, erroneous measurement and mishandling of quality samples in laboratory, leading to waste and rework.

Tip: Take advantage of a technology that can perform simultaneous, online measurement of flow and density, viscosity, watercut, and other properties. This allows for real-time monitoring of changing fluid properties, so you can take action immediately to mitigate deviations.

Challenge 4: Undetectable errors in custody metering system

Questionable flow accuracy is caused by factors such as improper installation, entrapped air, leakage, slippages and contamination, among others. With outdated metering systems, it takes a long time to identify the root cause and perform troubleshooting.

Tip: Meters with no moving parts are less prone to improper installation issues. With advanced technology, you can implement a system that can handle air entrapment and conduct saline water detection.

Challenge 5: Incorrect Blending Ratio

Blending is done by ratio control of the components, and it is important to control the flow rate accurately as the components are blended together. Incorrect blending ratio happens when meters lose their accuracy due to two-phase flow, coating, and fluid characteristics or due to mechanical wear overtime.

Tip: Choose Coriolis meters that can enable accurate blend control with high accuracies and repeatable measurement. Coupled with high capacity globe valves, the meters will ensure accurate, repeatable results.

Challenge 6: Changing Regulatory requirements

Improved control and monitoring is required to meet stricter government regulations for volatility and sulfur specifications.

Tip: Invest in industry best technology and practices recommended by leading regulatory bodies globally. Make sure to work with an expert who can help you roll out a holistic regulatory compliance program. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Emerson have Flow Excellence Centers equipped with facilities and resources to design, manufacture, test, and service advanced flow-metering systems.

Want to know more about product and custody transfer applications? Emerson tank and terminal experts will be at the Tank World Expo 2016 in Dubai. Grab this opportunity to discuss your application.

Posted Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 under Flow.

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