In the Gulf Coast, Shell USA is the big producer—and therefore the one that sets the standards for anyone who wants to work with them in any capacity—upstream, midstream, field service, etc. They want to make sure oil flow in or out is measured as accurately as possible—for the good of everyone involved.
You’ve got to have their certification to service their LACT (Lease Automatic Custody Transfer) meters or to work with anyone who transfers oil to or from Shell in this region. Their standards are the ones everyone abides by.
It works, because these standards are the highest they can be. Anyone who is trained and certified at this level can meet the criteria for anyone else’s meters in any field.
It’s the gold standard.
These operating procedures make sure that the billions of barrels that pass through Shell’s LACT units are accurately measured, accounted for and paid for. Even a slight miscalibration could cost thousands or millions of dollars.
For a time, while we had some great measurement techs and dedicated people, we didn’t have anyone who’d been certified at Shell’s Robert, LA training facility. To be honest, it cost us some business from clients who otherwise would’ve been glad to use us, but they couldn’t because they did business with Shell.
Now we can verify that our work sticks to the highest standards of accuracy, and that our clients can truly trust their meters.
We have proof.
We can also do lab tests on the product flow through these custody transfer points so everyone will know the oil’s API and the value of its contents. And they can make sure its water and sediment have been removed as those standards require.
Shell certified technicians fully understand the inner workings of the meters—and they also understand all the factors that can affect a meter’s accuracy. They know the meter’s place and function in the larger system.