Embrace the Future of Tank Monitoring to Save Time and Money

By Carolina Ruiz • Published April 24, 2023 • 5 minute read

Are you still visiting well sites to monitor tanks? Modern technology changes everything.

Chemicals are critical to oil and gas wells running optimally. This is true whether you’re an upstream, midstream, or downstream producer.

Chemical companies and distributors that rely on manual processes to capture tank levels at well sites can put operations at risk. If visibility of tank inventory is limited, emergency outages and false alarms, among other challenges, will inevitably occur.

Visibility of tank levels can seem minuscule compared to other challenges plaguing the industry like slow customer growth, low employee retention, and ongoing shortages of skilled labor. Yet it could be the costliest problem of all. Fortunately, it is the easiest to solve.

Today’s Tank Monitoring Process

Ensuring that chemical inventories at well sites are properly stocked is a responsibility that often falls to the account managers and sales reps of chemical companies. They must coordinate with the producer of each well site to know which tanks need to be checked.

Without remote visibility, someone has to drive to each site and manually check or “stick” the tanks to get a read on inventory. Visiting these locations on a regular basis is time consuming and expensive. It’s also risky since any mistakes could result in a depletion of chemicals that forces a well operation to shut down.

There’s an inherent limit to what one person can do in one day. Physically driving to each site and monitoring each tank is a significant labor cost. With the skills and labor shortage challenges impacting nearly every industry, well sites are at risk if monitoring schedules can’t be maintained.

Schedule challenges can snowball into tank run outs, which are incredibly costly. Alternatively, it can result in over-servicing tanks. This has many hidden costs, including faster truck depreciation, inefficient routes that result in higher fuel consumption, excessive repairs and maintenance, and extensive administrative work.

Traditional methods for tank monitoring have many more implications for the business (and its people) than leaders might be aware of. By applying the power of remote monitoring technology, outdated approaches become a thing of the past, and everyone benefits.

The Future of Tank Monitoring

Intelligent remote monitoring technology with anomaly detection can solve today’s tank monitoring challenges. The technology consists of three components: telemetry, which sits on top of a tank and has cellular communications, a cable, and a sensor.

The sensor measures weight and, based on the gravity of the product, computes the gallons left and sends that data to a web portal. Battery operated and easy to install, the sensor is designed to resist any type of extreme weather. The technology works with any tank size and all types of liquids that can include petroleum, gasoline, and methanol.

With this modern technology, chemical companies can guarantee customers that they will not run out of product in tanks. It’s essentially an insurance policy that also helps win new customers and drive revenue growth.

Peace of mind comes with this. If people can’t physically get to the well site to check the tanks, or if they don’t have enough people on staff to hit each site, they no longer have to worry about the consequences. All critical information is served up in real-time via the web portal.

Other benefits include:

  • Greater confidence: Teams can be instantly alerted when tank usage patterns abruptly change, which significantly streamlines work for dispatchers responsible for placing orders for tanks. Alerts such as low-level data or ‘days to empty’ data reduce guesswork and increase confidence for all involved.
  • Labor savings: As one of the biggest ROI metrics from using remote tank monitors, the time and money saved in human resources makes it possible to handle more accounts and more locations with the same number of people.
  • Less deliveries: This technology helps reduce the number of deliveries by automatically planning more efficient routes that minimize mileage and labor costs while boosting customer service. Instead of sticking to a preset delivery schedule for tanks, you can be alerted when tanks are 75% empty, for example, and then make a trip to the site.

Today’s tank monitoring solutions allow companies to save on labor and instead focus on areas that need attention. There’s more time to dedicate to winning new business and ironing out other inefficiencies to maintain strong day-to-day operations and scale for growth.

If you’re ready to sidestep your tank monitoring challenges and embrace the technology that smoothes and streamlines everything for you, reach out today.