Mobile Lease Automated Custody Transfer System Improves Accuracy & Safety in Production Chain

  • Improves monitoring of fluid volumes and temperature; eliminates guesswork.
  • Approved by North Dakota Industrial
    Commission (NDIC).
  • Reduces safety hazards to minimum;
    avoids manual tank gauging.
  • Optimizes load capacity to DOT regulations.

    Accurate and safe transfer of crude oil from tanks at remote well-pads to tanker trucks is key to profitable and well-documented operation. One key component of the mobile LACT is the Emerson MicroMotion™ Coriolis meter shown here at center


Crude oil custody transfer at remote well-pad.


Midstream oil transporters and ancillary service providers.


The economic impact of custody transfer in the oil and gas industry is huge. Transferred fluids are expensive, so producers, carriers and end users want to make sure that quantity and quality are measured precisely. Also, as taxes and royalties are calculated on these values, measurement accuracy and reproducibility are legal requirements.
There are two methods mostly used for custody transfer of liquid hydrocarbons at the well-pad: tank gauging or dynamic measurement with LACT units. Tank gauging has been used for decades. It is well accepted by the industry and involves a volume assessment of liquid products in a tank in static conditions – meaning that no liquid can enter or leave the tank during the measurement. Basic sediment and water (BS&W), density and temperature all have to be measured manually, exposing drivers to potentially dangerous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and gas vapors. Some uncertainties, however, are associated with tank gauging, including tank deformities, temperature measurement duration and difficulties, and human error.


Novaspect is providing a mobile Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) system on oil trucks approved by the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC). The benefits are twofold: accuracy and safety. The primary benefit is to reduce production costs by increasing accuracy of measurement. Current estimates of manual tank gauging inaccuracies range from 0.5%
to 1% or greater. Mobile LACT units for custody transfer offer measurement accuracy of 0.25% or better. This comes from not just the meter, but from the choice of all the necessary instrumentation and devices integrated in the system. Safety: The second important benefit is reduced exposure of personnel to safety risks and hazards. These include exposure to deadly H2S gas, natural gas vapors, prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, as well as the danger of climbing on tanks with potential for slips and falls.

Other valuable advantages of the automated system:

  • Protects against overfill. System can monitor gross volume and alarms at maximum truck capacity or shutdown pump.
  • Eliminates tank strapping costs.
  • Reduces load times.
  • Optimizes load capacity to DOT regulations, thus providing cost savings on truck operation.
  • Simultaneous on-line measurement of gross volume, net volume, temperature & density.

Emerson mobile LACT product features include:

  • Rugged instrumentation
  • System historian
  • Plug-and-play configuration with cabling
  • Easy-touch screen user interface

As an option, Novaspect technicians can also assist with integration into mobile systems, SCADA, or offer direct ticket printing plus local service and support in North Dakota.