Improving Custody Transfer Financial Performance

Oil & Gas Production Digital TransformationWith the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale oil & gas production regions here in Texas, there is a need to accurately measure the transfer of produced fluids using Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units. These LACT units accurately measure crude oil transfers between financial parties.

One Eagle Ford oil & gas producer was challenged with high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels in their produced fluids along with dynamic storage tank levels. Together, these factors made it impossible to follow the API MPMS Chapter 18 standard for selling crude oil via manual tank gauging.

This operator was forced to rely on third-party drivers – using the float level in a truck tank and manual grind-out techniques for Basic Sediment & Water (BS&W) determination. There were an estimated 3 to 7 barrels of volume lost per truckload. In addition, manually entered ticket data was time-consuming and error-prone. The operator needed to implement a Loss Prevention Strategy around their truck LACT sites to minimize the economic impacts of inaccurate measurements and manual effort.

Each Central Delivery Point was automated with a LACT unit for truck loading based upon a Micro Motion Coriolis meter, a BS&W (basic sediment & water) probe, and Rosemount pressure and temperature instrumentation. A ROC800-Series flow computer using the Tank Manager application software automating all aspects of the LACT unit, including the local HMI. Volume accuracy was improved to a hundredth of a barrel.

Using the company SCADA system, data from the ROC800 was routed directly to the production accounting system. The consequent elimination of manual entry of tickets and time reconciling associated errors resulted in hundreds of hours saved per month. At the current $104/bbl oil, the project savings were expected to be a nominal $23 million annually.

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