Liquids measurement in the oil patch is suddenly getting a lot of attention. Some are dismayed at the low level of technology used to measure liquids. Today, custody transfer of 80 to 85% of onshore crude and condensate production is still documented by a hauler climbing to the top of the tank and strapping it. “That would be a fair estimate,” concurs Mark Davis Staff Engineer Shell Exploration and Production. The hauler straps the tank before loading his truck and again when he finishes. The producer is paid on whatever that hauler writes on the ticket.
“I did not realize it was that immature,” remarked Grant Farris, Vice President Producer Services, CIMA Energy.
So, why it is that immature? Simple, really. The United States is experiencing the highest level of active liquids exploration and production in 40 years. Five years ago finding an oil play at NAPE was almost impossible. While the industry was diligently automating gas measurement to the digital world via electronic flow measurement, oil at $30/bbl and 15bbls/day was not given the same level of attention nor effort. These dynamics have changed.