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Survey Documentation - Shore Tank Temperatures

Temperature determination of petroleum cargoes in a shore tank is critical to the custody transfer process.  At the time of gauging, therefore, temperatures should be carefully taken in accordance with procedures. 

Heavy cargoes, heated cargoes and cargoes in unheated tanks in very cold weather may tend to have temperature stratification within each tank.  When this situation is suspected, extra temperature measurements should be taken.  On high-heat cargoes, such as asphalt, it may be impossible to obtain representative temperatures with the use of cupcase or portable electronic thermometers; it may be necessary to use permanently installed temperature measuring devices.

The use of a permanently installed measuring device should be noted in the report, along with when and how the device's accuracy was verified.

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As a cautionary note - the surveyor should remember that the temperatures taken at or near heating elements may distort temperature profiles.

- Portable Electronic Thermometer

The portable electronic thermometer (PET) is the preferred means for obtaining temperatures,

The PET should have a calibrated range of accuracy that meets the desired temperature range of the material from which a temperature is to be taken.  For example: a PET with a calibrated micro-circuitry accurate to 300oF/149oC is not acceptable for asphaltic products that are stored at 350oF/177oC.

- Cupcase Thermometer

Cupcase thermometers must remain in the oil long enough to reach the temperature of the liquid that is being measured.  With regard to liquids in which temperature stratification may occur, the time constraints involved in using a cupcase thermometer to profile a tank may necessitate the use of a PET.

- Dynamic Temperature Measurement

If a temperature probe in the shore line is used to determine the temperature for the correction of metered quantity loaded, verify and record in the inspection report the last two times that the probe was checked for accuracy.

- Automatic Tank Gauging and Temperature System

In an automatic tank gauging and temperature system is used and readings cannot be verified by manual measurements, record in the inspection report the last two times that the automatic system and the manual measurements were compared.  Explain on the inspection report why manual measurements were not taken and indicate any corrections that were made to the automatic gauges.

It may be noted that automatic gauging systems with accuracy and/or measurement tolerances equal to or better than manual measurements may be used for custody transfer by mutual agreement among interested parties.

Sections of text taken from API - MPMS Chapter 17 Marine Measurement

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