Joint Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Petroleum Sections of AIME, 3–4 March, Denver

Introduction

Lease Automatic Custody Transfer or LACT as it is now commonly known has become a catchword in the industry. It may be defined as consisting of equipment and procedures whereby the measuring of quantity and quality and the running of crude oil from the producer's lease to the connected pipeline is accomplished on a completely automatic and therefore unattended basis, all in accordance with preset schedules and applicable regulations.

Producers and pipeline companies alike are devoting an increasing amount of attention to ways and means of putting this new concept to work, and a few are now actually in service but many more are on the drawing boards. Each group seems to have a slightly different approach but the systems may be classed broadly as those which achieve their automatic control by (1) all electric, (2)electro-pneumatic, or (3) all-pneumatic means; crude measurements are made either by (1) volumetric chamber measuring, or (2) meter measuring.

Imperial Oil Ltd. have been operating a 16-well lease in the Redwater field, some 40 miles northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, on an automatic custody transfer basis since November, 1955. Automatic control is achieved by all-electric means and crude oil measurements are made by means of positive displacement meters.

This installation was of course preceded by considerable background work on the part of the Imperial Producing Dept. in evaluating the performance of automatic control equipment and on the part of the Imperial Pipe Line Co. in evaluating the performance of meters and samplers.

The first installation of production control equipment was made on a tank farm located in the Leduc field some 25 miles southwest of Edmonton, and was completed in February, 1954.

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