Optimizing Terminal Product Movement Operations

by | Sep 20, 2017 | Downstream Hydrocarbons, Event, Industry, Oil & Gas

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

As liquid hydrocarbons flow through the supply chain, managing their movements, particularly from storage tanks to other destinations, requires tracking to make sure the volumes, qualities and ownership transfers are properly verified and recorded. Beyond the commercial side of the operation, getting the right flows from the right tanks to the right transports or other storage tanks must be accomplished. Optimizing these movements and logistics improves the overall performance for terminals.

Emerson's Dan Myers


In the continuing Bulk Liquids Storage Terminals webinar series, Emerson’s Dan Myers will discuss the challenges terminal operators often face in lacking visibility into the health and operational status of pumps, valves, and manifolds and ways to address these challenges with technologies and work practices. The webinar, Optimize Product Movement and Logistics, will take place tomorrow, September 21 and 1pm CDT.

Leaks can quickly escalate into spills, fires, and other hazardous conditions. Lineup problems can result in contamination, downgrades, reworks, delays, demurrage charges, and ultimately dissatisfied customers. Lineup problems can result in contamination, downgrades, reworks, delays, demurrage charges, and ultimately dissatisfied terminal customers.

Dan will review the basic concepts of product movement, common elements, common errors and solutions in automating the valve lineups and monitoring the pumps.

For example, the work process for transferring a product from a source tank to a destination tank manifold may involve the following major steps:

  1. Verification of correct volumes, qualities, and ownership of both tanks
  2. Verification of selected equipment for entire lineup
  3. Manually opening tank valves
  4. Automatically opening of manually-operated valves (MOVs) to suction of pump
  5. Automatically starting of pump and subsequent monitoring of pump thru-out
  6. Automatically opening of MOVs from discharge of pump
  7. Shutdown of lineup after the target quantity of product has been transferred
  8. Verifying the quantities on both source and destination

Optimize Product Movement and Logistics webinar

The task of completing this and other terminal product movements grows more challenging as the quantity of product transfers increases, the varieties of products increase, terminal customers’ control of scheduling increase, staff turnover increases and regulatory compliance requirements increase.

For terminals with manual valves, problems can occur with incorrect lineups and delays in execution. These incorrect lineups can also lead to product contamination such as inadvertently mixing gasoline with diesel. These valves may also be in difficult to reach locations and increase risks for operators opening or closing these valves. Damage can also be done to pumps if suction or discharge lines are blocked. By monitoring and automating the pumps and manifold lineups these issues can be avoid and the product movements more efficiently performed.

Join Dan for this webinar and make sure to catch the other webinars in this series:

You can connect and interact with other hydrocarbon supply chain experts in the Oil & Gas and Refining industry groups in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.