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Survey Documentation 

Open Measurement

Closed / Restricted Measurement

Data Collection

Special Considerations

Precautionary Notes

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Survey Documentation - Sampling

All samples taken must be properly tagged and labeled and, if appropriate, sealed with the numbers duly recorded.

- Tank Samples

Each shore tank to be used in the loading should be sampled in sufficient quantity to meet the requirements of interested parties and regulatory agencies.  Specify in the inspection report the tank locations from which the samples were obtained with the steps that were followed in obtaining a representative sample.  When heavy products are sampled, the shore tank product height should be divided into thirds to test the stratification.  The three levels are to be sampled separately by taking a spot sample inside each of the levels.  If only part of the product in the tank will be used for the loading, then the loading zone samples must be taken from the part of the tank that will be involved in the transfer.

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Sample containers must be clean and, in the case of petroleum products, should be flushed with the product prior to drawing the sample.  Sample containers must meet the requirements of MPMS Ch. 8.1.  Containers and packaging that are used for transport and storage of samples must meet appropriate regulatory requirements.

If manual sampling is required, it is strongly recommended that samples be taken at multiple levels in the tank and individually tested prior loading for any evidence of stratification.  All concerned parties should be notified if the material is deemed to be stratified, and each party should agree on further actions before proceeding.  The inspection report should state whether the tank was equipped with mixers, a circulating system, or aerators and should note the extent of mixing that was performed on the tank.

- Automatic Sampler

Automatic sampling is the preferred method of sampling a marine cargo transfer.  If the automatic sampling system is installed, it should be proved and operated in conformance with MPMS Chapter 8.2.  If an automatic sampler is used, it must be properly set up and clean in preparation for taking the sample and a visual inspection of the sample container must be made.  Check with shore personnel to ensure that the grade rate is proper to collect a sufficient sample to meet requirements without overfilling the container.  On at least three occasions during the transfer, observe by non-intrusive means whether the sampler is operating properly.   Observe and note down the start time for the sampler and the amount of oil in the sample receiver at the halfway point during loading and near the completion of loading.  Indicate whether the automatic sampler used for flow was flow proportional or time proportional.  Any deficiencies should also be noted.


Terminal operators are responsible for the operation of their meter provers and are expected to submit appropriate meter proving data to measurement personnel.  A meter measurement ticket should be provided for each custody transfer and should include the information required in MPMS Chapter 12.2.  Terminal operators or inspector who are aware of meter difficulties that could affect accuracy should report the problem immediately to all parties involved in the custody transfer.  The incident and resolution must be recorded in the inspection report.

Prior to loading, record the opening meter readings.  It is recommended that meters be proved during loading in accordance with MPMS Chapters 4 and 12.2.  A completed Meter Prover Report and meter measurement ticket for each meter used should be attached to a completed Metered Quantity Report.

If a manual and/or automatic shore tank measurements are taken, show a comparison with metered volumes.  If both measurements are taken, record the results in the inspection report.

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

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