November 2001

Bonus Report: Instrumentation

Tank gauging or metering: guidelines for selection

Here are the deciding factors for custody transfer applications

Sivaraman, S., SS Tech Services; Comstock, D., Comstock Consulting LLC; Ikawa, S., SK Energy

The prevailing view within the petroleum industry that a metering system is the most accurate and preferred option for custody may lead to unnecessarily expensive investments. Each case, metering or tank gauging, must be evaluated on its own merits. A properly operated metering system has the highest potential for reducing uncertainties, but it is not a given that minimum uncertainties are achieved by all operators. Under given conditions (e.g., large parcels or displacements, adherence to norms such as API standards, securing valves, etc.), the custody transfer objective can be met using tank gauging to a high degree of statistical accuracy and, therefore, acceptability by all concerned.

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