A problem in the petroleum industry has producers and operators not getting timely data from their LACT, tank, and truck custody transfers.

Automation and Information – A SQL Success Story

The quicker data is transferred, the faster analytic teams and other stakeholders can uncover mistakes, forecast transaction values, and generate billing.

Flow Data, as a systems-integrator, offers a complete automation solution that places SQL at the site, in addition to:

  • Controlling LACT skid processes
  • Measuring fluid transfers between LACT skid, tanks, and trucks
  • Recording detailed information about transactions (e.g. truck driver and shipper info.)

Traditional systems are cumbersome and require trained IT programmers to make simple changes to reports, transactional databases, or system protocols.

When a client approached us for a solution, they were using a leading, brand name controller. Their frustration stemmed from their inability to get timely transaction data. The system was limited: first, it could only hold 30 transaction records, making it difficult to review historical data for analysis; second, the system used proprietary programming language, which required multiple software interfaces and protocol conversions to retrieve the data; and third, given its proprietary nature, it was complicated and costly to modify.

The SQL Solution

By placing a SQL database at a LACT unit, tank battery, truck station or terminal – your data collection possibilities are endless.

  • The SQL database holds over 10,000+ transaction records, retrievable via a simple SQL data query
  • System data integration is easy; any accounting software that understands SQL can access the database
  • It runs without multiple “translators” like OPC servers or SCADA systems – providing access to information on demand

C-Level to Field Level Operators Sing SQL’s Praises

The Flow Data solution is managed at the corporate admin level. Changes are pushed to the site system by a quick configuration, making it easy to manage changes in hauler, producer, driver, production information, and more.

No more mediators! The solution is:
  • Easier to maintain, change, or configure
  • Manageable by personnel at the corporate level
  • More straightforward, because non-programmers can make changes
  • Relevant, as MS-Excel reports are pulled from the historic OR dynamic detail
Old News is Simply Bad Reporting
Our clients demand better reporting. Obtaining transaction data is complex and involves a lot of manual entry and complicated software programming conversions to get the data to integrate with back-office systems. Integrating both manual and digital data takes a long time to get figures from the field to the corporate office. Plus, missing or suspect data has to be verified before transposing it into reports. Reporting could take up to 30 days following the transaction.
This old process impacts analysts, accountants, and automation technicians in the field. Changes made at the corporate level don’t reach the field quickly because of proprietary programming. Our client consistently had issues with keeping accurate records of current haulers. Changes driven at the Corporate level weren’t making it down to the field system. Field techs were forced to either call the home office to verify the change, or manually enter the information on a paper transaction ticket, where it would later have to be verified by the home office.

Flow Data has been integrating the QLogiX and PADPro solution successfully in the market for many years. We use patented technology provides transaction data in real time. As petroleum products or water transfers from one owner to another, it digitally records the activity and data in as much detail as you desire, dynamically. For more information or to see a demonstration of how our solution works, please call us.

The Bottom Line

The chart shown, demonstrates the potential ROI you may see with the Flow Data solution. These figures are conjecture but representative of the savings some of our clients have experienced.

Cost ComparisonPrevious Proprietary SystemFlow Data SQL Solution
System hardware panel$25,000$30,000
Proprietary system program set up costs $5,000--
Flow Data programming support set up--$5,000
Proprietary system reporting integration programming$10,000--
Proprietary programming costs for report changes
4X / year
Proprietary programming costs for protocol changes
6X / year
Write-offs due to manual ticketing errors non-SQL solution
(Single tank battery- annually)
Write-offs due to manual ticketing errors w/SQL system
(Single tank battery- annually)
No manual tickets, with Flow Data’s Panel HMI & SQL database
1X integration setup - from proprietary system to SQL DB --$10,000
SQL DB report changes – costs
(done internally by non-programmer)
SQL DB protocol changes – costs
(done internally by non-programmer)
ROI$85,000 savings in the first year