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When Remote Working Requires Being Better Connected to your Custody Transfer Metering Systems Than Ever Before

by | Apr 30, 2020 | Flow, Measurement Instrumentation

Brandon Bromberek

Brandon Bromberek

Vice President Oil & Gas, Measurement Solutions

Connectivity and Digital Transformation in Custody Transfer Applications

oil-gas-custody-transferAs the world works hard to adjust to a new normal, and remote working is quickly becoming routine, Emerson is taking a look at how we can aid our customers in the transition. Fortunately, we have a head start in building out remote connectivity and monitoring solutions for the digital age. Over the past decade, Emerson has been cultivating this expertise and creating the tools our customers need to stay at the forefront of the digital frontier. Now, we can explore what this means for you by examining some examples of the power of connectivity already in action.

A fantastic illustration of this digital innovation is our Plantweb Advisor for Metrology software, a modular analytics platform. Utilized by our oil and gas customers, Plantweb Advisor for Metrology provides operators insight into the health of every one of their custody transfer metering systems as well as every device within  those systems. This insight includes enhanced diagnostic software, remote monitoring capabilities, predictive analytics, and measurement verification in a process that is extremely sensitive to uncertainty validation issues. These days, many businesses are learning about the value of remote work, but sometimes challenges like this result in better systems and more efficient technologies than we ever had before.

The Challenges of Custody Transfer in the Oil and Gas Industry

There are many process and logistical steps from the point when oil or gas is first extracted to when it reaches its final destination. When one company sells and transfers this product to another along the line, it is known as custody transfer. Accurate measuring systems for the flow of these liquids and gases are crucial to this process. At one end, the seller needs to be sure they are sending precisely what has been paid for, and at the other end, the purchaser needs to be able to confirm receipt of the correct amount of product. When transfer-quantity disputes occur, precise data and proving technology are paramount to resolving the issue.

Each of these custody transfer systems is engineered specifically for the purpose, application, and location for which they are built. Offshore platforms, for example, have extreme space constraints for their specialized equipment. Metering solutions need to be designed with these limitations in mind without sacrificing the accuracy of the system. Compact designs like these make it difficult for operators to manually access each individual custody transfer system to retrieve data, check the health of the equipment, and troubleshoot issues.

Many of these metering systems are also spread out across vast distances, like stations along a pipeline that are miles apart. If a problem is detected down the line, it can take personnel multiple hours-long trips to diagnose and correct any issues. Without a platform connecting these disparate systems and proactively alerting you to potential errors in the equipment, you are continually playing catch-up; backtracking through the data to discover which instruments need attention or replacement.

Empowering Remote Connectivity with Plantweb Advisor for Metrology

Plantweb Advisor for Metrology is cutting-edge technology that centralizes all the data from these custody transfer systems and makes it accessible to our customers no matter where they are in the world. Whether you are working from home, a remote operating station, or on-the-go via a mobile device, you can drill down to any asset in any system and see how it is performing. You can set up automated diagnostic checks and verify flow computer calculations. If there is an issue, you can troubleshoot without sending a worker out to manually retrieve the data, minimizing the hours spent traveling, investigating, and servicing your equipment.

Even small snags in metering performance can lead to significant losses down the line if they result in miscalculations of the amount of product being transferred. Diagnostic capabilities like the Coriolis Smart Meter Verification® gives you proactive insight into the heath of all your metering assets via the Plantweb Advisor for Metrology application. The platform gives you on-the-spot information so that you can maximize your system’s performance as well as its accuracy, significantly reducing uncertainty. Also, perhaps most importantly, remote access means increased worker safety as a result of spending less time on the ground at industrial sites.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become a way forward for improving these systems and driving efficiencies in processes like custody transfer. Digitizing your flow metering systems means gaining an unprecedented level of insight into the function and health of these vital assets no matter where you are located in the world.

For more information on Plantweb Advisor for Metrology, visit: https://www.emerson.com/en-us/catalog/emerson-plantweb-metrology

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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.