Ever-loyal to the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," the oil & gas industry selectively uses equipment and follows processes which date back a century or more. Where viable and still cost-effective, this philosophy can clearly pay bottom-line dividends. But in some instances, a move to the 21st century is certainly in order.
One example of the need to move forward is the still extremely widespread use of paper delivery tickets to document petroleum transfers, especially common for the pick up of crude oil from storage tanks at or near the wellhead for hauling to a terminal. Documenting and tracking high-value loads with handwritten tickets can be the root-cause of a litany of potential problems, including the possibility of lost or damaged paper tickets, extended reconciliation times, transcription errors when entering data from manual tickets, and outright fraud.
Electronic delivery tickets, whether generated by load transfer equipment and instrumentation or hand-entered into an advanced software system, offer many advantages. Among these are the nearly instantaneous creation and distribution of the tickets; a clearly delineated audit trail of activities; significant reduction in the potential for missing or incorrect data based on paper tickets; electronic exchange of transfer information for timely reporting, archiving, analysis, and reporting; direct import into corporate systems such as accounting and measurement software; prompt, accurate reconciliation of transfers across a network of loading and unloading points; and enhanced checks-and-balances for fraud control.
With the ever-increasing emphasis and dependence on mobile applications in today’s business world, a comprehensive electronic ticketing solution should also fully leverage smartphones and tablet computers to maximize ease-of-use and overall flexibility. If your organization is still heavily dependent upon paper tickets for tracking and reconciling load transfers, now may be an excellent time to explore your options for moving into the digital world.
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
~ George Herman “Babe” Ruth, American sports legend