Custody transfer refers to the transfer of ownership of physical substances, such as oil and gas, from one party to another at various transfer points along the supply chain, including well site, pipeline, plant, and storage facility. At each transfer point, there must be an accurate accounting of the volume and quality of the product to determine its value and ensure that buyers receive what they pay for and sellers are paid for what they provide.
The measurement of the commodity is crucial in custody transfer, especially when it involves gas, which is invisible and weightless. This places significant demands on measurement instrumentation, which must provide accurate, reliable, and repeatable measurements to serve as the source of truth in determining the value of the product exchanged.
Custody transfer metering systems are subject to a combination of laws, protocols, contracts, and industry standards that require a high level of accuracy, repeatability, and traceability. The regulatory requirements for custody transfer metering systems may include industry standards such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS), ISO 17025, or local measurement regulations. These standards provide guidelines for meter selection, installation, and calibration to ensure accurate measurement and traceability.
In summary, custody transfer is a critical process in the oil and gas industry, and accurate measurement of the volume and quality of the product is essential to ensure fair and equitable exchange of value between parties. Custody transfer metering systems must adhere to stringent regulatory requirements to ensure accuracy, repeatability, and traceability of the measurements, and industry standards provide guidelines for meter selection, installation, and calibration.