Author: Brian Kurbel
Trucks are a vital part of the midstream segment that moves hydrocarbons and other chemicals throughout the supply network. Trucks are often used to access locations that other methods of transportation – such as rail and pipeline – may be unable to service. It is critical that the product being transferred between facilities and trucks be properly and accurately accounted for to ensure all stakeholders are compensated fairly in the transaction.
Poor measurement during truck loading or unloading can cause an improper accounting of product, over or underfilling of vessels or trucks, or incorrect diversion of product resulting in additional processing costs. The key to a successful truck loading or unloading system is obtaining reliable, accurate, and repeatable measurement. To achieve this, it is critical for a truck transfer system to combine precise measurement technologies with superior software, accounting, and data integration methods.
This post will discuss common challenges of truck loading and unloading applications and offer solutions to these pitfalls.
Truck Loading and Unloading
A multitude of products are transported by truck throughout a network of wellsites, batteries, plants, terminals, and other facilities. Ownership of the product is also transferred between parties when trucks pick up or offload product, and therefore must be accounted for with precision. The need for such accuracy demands a system with features such as:
- Accurate water content determination in oil emulsions
- Ability to handle varying product densities and viscosities
- High accuracy flowmeter measurement
- A user friendly trucker interface
- Long duration and high-speed data retention
- Regulatory compliance (AER, BC OGC, SK PNG017)
I will now break down these requirements and offer solutions to these common problems.
Water Content Measurement in Oil Emulsion
Many truck unloading systems are not integrated with measurement technologies that can measure water cut from 0-100%. Therefore, these systems cannot accurately account for products with a wide range and varying densities and viscosities being transferred through a single riser. This can result in inaccurate volumes and ultimately have a financial impact to both parties involved.
This can be improved by using water cut technologies that are able to accurately measure across the full range of water cut and densities across the hydrocarbon spectrum.
Spartan Controls’ AutoComp™ feature uses both capacitive and microwave-based water cut measurements as inputs into our proprietary algorithm to accurately determine the oil and water densities in real-time. Live calculations for water cut using AutoComp™ removes the requirement to continuously sample and spin cuts, providing a more accurate representation of the product transferred over the entire load.
A multitude of products are transported by truck throughout a network of wellsites, batteries, plants, terminals, and other facilities. Ownership of the product is also transferred between parties when trucks pick up or offload product, and therefore must be accounted for with precision.