Author: Rossella Mimmi
Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units provide a method to transfer the ownership of crude oil from the production facilities to pipelines or trucks. Their use is constantly increasing due to the many advantages they present compared to tank gauging and other systems: for instance, increased measurement accuracy, better use of labor, better scheduling of runs to pipelines, elimination of measurement errors due to tank botom build-up or encrustation, and reduction in investment and maintenance costs. Manual tank gauging also brings up concerns regarding safety.
A crucial component of a LACT unit is the flow meter itself, suitable for custody transfer measurement; meter types that are commonly used are turbine, positive displacement, or Coriolis meters. The meter will accurately and precisely measure the fluid stream volume or mass and accumulate the total throughput.
However, a periodic calibration of the meter is necessary, as its performance can be affected by changes in fluid physical properties (pressure, temperature, flow rate, density and viscosity), mechanical wear, obstructions in the pipe, or deposits from asphaltenes and paraffin. The performance of the meter must be regularly verified to make sure that repeatable results are consistent and traceable to an external reference. Meter calibration provides traceable evidence of meter performance through on-going trending of meter accuracy and repeatability. Continue Reading ▶
A blog by Robert Ferris, Ph.D.
Nanomanufacturing is the next industrial revolution
The term nanomanufacturing has emerged as industry adopts nanotechnology. Nanomanufacturing indicates the various methods companies are using to a make the advanced materials and devices enabled by nanotechnology. At the core, nanomanufacturing is a collection of processes that can control assembly at the nano-scale to produce novel devices and materials. Microprocessors are a great example of nanomanufacturing, but semiconductor manufacturers primarily uses one category of nanomanufacturing called top-down processing. Other examples of nanomanufacturing include the supercapacitors made of carbon nanotubes. Here, carbon nanotubes are grown from the surface of the electrode, representing a bottom-up fabrication process. Continue Reading ▶
Increasing shale oil and gas production in the U.S. is increasing the need for storage tanks to hold it. One example as highlighted in a recent Bloomberg article, Houston Fills With Crude Oil That Can’t Be Shipped Out:
Storage tanks are filling as new pipelines carry light, sweet oil found in shale formations to the coast and U.S. law keeps companies from moving it out. Most crude exports are banned and the 13 ships that can legally move oil between U.S. ports are booked solid.
This week, at the National Institute for Storage Tank Management (NISTM) 16th Annual International Aboveground Storage Tank Conference & Trade Show
in Orlando, Florida, Emerson’s Chris Amstutz
will be presenting Wireless in Terminals – Challenges, Benefits, and Applications. Chris will describe the changing landscape in terminals, which are having to store more hydrocarbons, handle more of it through the terminal storage tanks, and have to move more of it through the terminal to meet market demands.
For many terminal operators, current instrumentation does not provide the required insights into current tank inventories. Wiring these measurement devices back to the control rooms is technically and economically difficult given the distances involved. As a result of limited measurements, operators at the facilities cannot see the process operations occurring within and between tanks. Also, the lack of measurement devices can make it insufficient to detect potential safety and environmental incidents early enough to avoid losses. These losses can potentially be in the millions of dollars. Continue Reading ▶
According to an ISA presentation given by Process Automation Hall of Fame member, Greg McMillan, the most common measurement device is the differential pressure (DP) transmitter. It is most commonly used in level and flow measurement. Measuring the differential pressure across an orifice plate is the common way to measure flow. Wikipedia provides a quick primer on orifice plates if you’re new to process automation.
Emerson’s Brian Fretschel shared with me some new, short educational videos the team managing the Rosemount brand of measurement products has put together. Today we’ll feature one of them on DP flow measurement, How Conditioning Orifice Plates Work (run time 1m 57s). Continue Reading ▶
Measurement instrumentation has traditionally been used by process manufacturers to control their processes safely and reliably. This instrumentation may not be enough to operate the process as efficiently as possible.
In a recent comment to one of my earlier posts, Finding Areas for Energy Efficiency Improvements
, Emerson’s Jonas Berge
When it comes to new plants, these should not be built the old fashioned way where only process critical control and safety is automated, but rather built to support business critical needs from the very beginning, including wireless sensor networks and an asset management system with its specialised applications. This way, the plant is prepared to quickly and easily add more sensors when needed in the future as industry demands inevitably change. Learn more from this new article:
Second Layer of Automation
Continue Reading ▶