Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2829003 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2829003
(54) English Title: PROCESS AND FACILITY FOR FLUID TRANSFER BETWEEN TANKER TRUCKS AND RAILROAD TANK CARS
(54) French Title: PROCEDE ET INSTALLATION DE TRANSFERT DE LIQUIDE ENTRE DES CAMIONS-CITERNES ET DES WAGONS-CITERNES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • B65G 67/02 (2006.01)
  • B67D 7/04 (2010.01)
  • B67D 7/78 (2010.01)
  • B61K 11/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • MOLARO, GREGORY A. (Canada)
  • MEYER, RANDY R. (Canada)
  • BISHOP, AARON J. (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • ALTEX ENERGY LTD. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • ALTEX ENERGY LTD. (Canada)
(74) Agent: BENNETT JONES LLP
(74) Associate agent: BENNETT JONES LLP
(45) Issued: 2015-11-24
(22) Filed Date: 2013-09-26
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2014-04-08
Examination requested: 2014-09-18
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract



The invention describes a configured fixed fluid transfer facility for tanker
trucks and railroad
tank cars to arrange, facilitate and manage a plurality of fluid streams and
cam accurately load
and unload tanker trucks and railroad tank cars, segregate the unloaded fluid
streams into distinct
product flows which may include bitumen, and combinations of hydrocarbon or
process fluids
typical in petroleum extraction and production of heavy oil, and manage the
fluids through
configurable conduits and heated buffer storage tanks to unlock the prior
art's dependency
between the railcar and truck transloading. The facility can minimize loss and
blending in the
processes, and some treatment or mixing of various streams may be effected.
Heat is applied to
portions of the system to reduce certain fluids' viscosity and minimize time
required to load and
unload viscous fluids to or from the facility, making the transshipment and
logistical
management of these products efficient.


French Abstract

L'invention décrit une installation de transfert des fluides fixe configurée pour que les camions-citernes et les wagons-citernes puissent planifier, faciliter et gérer une pluralité de courants fluides et que la came charge et décharge de manière précise les camions-citernes et les wagons-citernes, sépare les courants fluides dans divers flux de produits qui peuvent inclure du bitume, et des combinaisons de fluides d'hydrocarbures ou de traitement typiques dans l'extraction du pétrole et la production de pétrole lourd, et gérer les fluides avec des conduites configurables et des bacs tampons de stockage chauffés pour déverrouiller la dépendance antérieure entre le transbordement des camions et wagons. Cette installation peut minimiser les pertes et fusionner les processus, ce qui pourrait toucher le traitement ou le mélange de divers courants. De la chaleur est appliquée à des portions du système pour réduire la viscosité de certains fluides et minimiser le temps requis pour charger et décharger les fluides visqueux vers ou en provenance de l'installation, améliorant le transbordement et la gestion logistique de ces produits.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


Claims

We claim:

1. A fixed terminal facility for offloading heavy hydrocarbon fluid in a
petroleum extraction,
production or collection setting from a tanker truck or railcar, having:
a. A truck loading/unloading dock with connections and safety equipment for
fluid
connection with the truck's tank;
b. A plurality of intermediate heated buffer storage tanks;
c. A first conduit in fluid connection between the truck loading/unloading
dock and at least
one intermediate buffer storage tank;
d. A second conduit in fluid connection between that intermediate buffer
storage tank and
a gantry system;
e. The gantry system including a third conduit in fluid connection with the
second conduit
and with connections and safety equipment for fluid connection with a
railcar's tank car
for loading/unloading of the railcar's tank; and
f. A railway siding with tracks to accommodate the railcar's movement to
and away from
the gantry, as well as the loading/unloading of the railcar's tank using the
conduits and
connections of the system.
2. The facility of claim 1 with equipment associated with the gantry
system, including at least
some of:
i. pump equipment;
ii. a vapor transfer system for capture, recycle or destruction of vapors from
the
transferred fluids;
iii. at least one pressure balance system;
iv. piping systems;

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v. valves and manifolds;
vi. at least one hose connection for connection to a tanker truck;
vii. insulation; and
viii. heating systems.
3. The facility of claim 1 with a fluid test system to measure and classify
the fluid based on one
or more of: fluid density, volume, mass, temperature, and weight, flashpoint,
water content,
sediment, and H2S levels.
4. The facility of claim 1 with a pump situated in the circuit formed
between the truck's tank,
the first and second conduits, at least one intermediate buffer storage tank,
the gantry
system and the railcar.
5. The fixed facility of claim 1 where heat is supplied in a controlled way
to any of:
a. The fluid connection with the truck's tank;
b. The first conduit;
c. The intermediate buffer storage tank;
d. The second conduit;
e. The gantry system;
f. The third conduit;; and
g. The railcar's connections
6. The fixed facility of claim 1 with a truck weigh scale.
7. The fixed facility of claim 1 with meters to measure fluids offloaded
from the truck.
8. The fixed facility of claim 1 where the logistics of arrivals,
departures, loading and unloading
of the truck's tank is managed and accomplished independently of the loading
and

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unloading of the railcar's tank so that truck operations take place
unconstrained by rail
operations, the independence provided by the system of conduits and the heated
buffer
storage tanks.
9. The facility of claim 1, configured for off-loading the fluid from a
railcar to at least one
truck's tank.
10. The facility of claim 1, configured for offloading the fluid from a
railcar to at least another
railcar.
11. The facility of claim 1, configured for offloading the fluid from a
truck's tank to at least
another truck's tank.
12. The facility of claim 1, where an Intermediate buffer storage tank can
be used for, or can be
supplemented with equipment for, mild processing of the fluid it receives.
13. The facility of claim 12 where mild processing may include: heating,
settling, filtering, de-
watering, chilling, demulsifying, separating by gravity or inertia or
evaporation, mixing..
14. The facility of claim 1, where there are two or more fluid types within
the system, where,
the configurable conduits, tanks and other elements may be used to include
fluids from one
or more of the buffer storage tanks in a controlled way to tailor an end-
product to load a
specific tank car or truck's tank trailer.
15. The facility of claim 3 where measurements or classifications are
reliable to reclassify the
fluid designated for onward transport once loaded from the facility.
16. A fixed fluid transfer facility located in a petroleum extraction,
production or collection
setting and serving heavy oil extraction, production or collection operations,
to transfer
heavy hydrocarbon fluid from at least one railroad tank car to at least one
tanker truck or
from at least one tanker truck to at least one railroad tank car, or from at
least one tanker
truck to at least another tanker truck, or from at least one railroad tank car
to at least
another railroad tank car, where fluid being unloaded into the facility is
transferred to at
least one of a plurality of heated buffer storage tanks included in the
facility, the facility
further comprising:

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a. at least one railroad siding for at least one railroad tank car;
b. gantries capable of unloading and loading fluids into at least one
railroad tank car;
c. the gantries with at least one gantry loading/unloading arm;
d. equipment associated with the gantries, including at least some of:
i. pump equipment;
ii. a vapor transfer system for capture, recycle or destruction of vapors
from the
transferred fluids;
iii. at least one pressure balance system;
iv. piping systems;
v. valves and manifolds;
vi. at least one hose connection for connection to a tanker truck;
vii. insulation; and
viii. heating systems.
e. a fluid test system to measure and classify the fluid based on one or more
of: fluid
density, volume, mass, temperature, weight, flashpoint, water content,
sediment and
H2S levels;
17. The facility of claim 16 where measurements or classifications are
reliable to reclassify the
fluid designated for onward transport once loaded from the facility.
18. The facility of claim 16 where the energy for driving a pump to load or
unload the tanker
truck is provided by the truck's diesel engine either through a direct
coupling such as a
power take off or through a hydraulic drive.

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19. The facility of claim 16 where fluid being loaded or unloaded from a
tanker truck is
transferred to or from the buffer storage tanks through a piping system that
is insulated and
heated by means of electricity, steam or another heat transfer medium.
20. The facility of claim 16 where fluid being unloaded or loaded to or
from at least one railroad
tank car or at least one tanker via at least one on-site buffer storage tank
through a piping
system that is insulated and heated using electricity, steam or any other heat
transfer and
the fluid is conveyed using on-site pumps.
21. The facility of claim 16 where, at the delivery or receipt point of the
fluid from at least one
tanker truck or railroad tank car, the fluid is measured for density, volume,
mass and
temperature with the measuring system to facilitate custody transfer of the
fluid.
22. The facility of claim 16 where fluid is transferred to an intermediate
heated buffer storage
tank for short term storage and processing.
23. The facility of claim 22 where the intermediate heated buffer storage
tank is API 650 or B12
certified and is insulated and may be heated with: steam, a heat transfer
fluid or a fire tube.
24. The facility of claim 22 where the fluid in the intermediate buffer
storage tank is maintained
at a suitable viscosity so that it can be pumped.
25. The facility of claim 1 where fluids handled are measured for mass,
density and volume
using a meter which shuts off the fluid flow into a railroad tank car being
loaded when the
railroad tank car approaches either its maximum weight or its maximum volume.
26, The facility of claim 16 where at a designated delivery or receipt
point, whether to either a
railroad tank car or a tanker truck, the fluid being transshipped is measured,
to enable
inventory management or to optimize the weight or volume loaded into a
railroad tank car
or tanker truck.
27. The facility of claim 1 configured such that the fluids it is capable
of handling include:
bitumen, heavy crude oil, crude oil, natural gasoline condensates, diesel
fuel, gasoline,
ethanol and jet fuel, which can be handled as segregated streams.

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28. The facility of claim 1 where the vapor transfer system can move gases
and vapors from a
tank being filled, through conduits of the facility, into a tank or tanks
being emptied.
29, A process for transferring heavy hydrocarbon fluid between vehicles in
a rail-based
transport modality and a truck-based transport modality comprising using the
faclity of
Claim 1 or 16 to render rail-based logistics associated with the facility
independent from
truck-based logistics associated with the facility and vice versa.
30. A process for reclassifying or recharacterizing heavy hydrocarbon fluid
within the apparatus
of claim 3 using detailed test results from the test system.
31. A process for tailoring the characteristics of fluid off-loaded from
the apparatus of claims 1,
2 or 16 by mixing, blending or mild processing of fluids in the buffer storage
tanks of the
facility for loading into an outbound railcar's tank or an outbound truck's
tank.
32. A process for identifying specific hydrocarbon fluid while it is loaded
into the facility of claim
2 or 16 from a specific truck's tank or a specific railcar's tank, and then
moving the identified
specific fluid to a buffer storage tank, and offloading the identified
specific fluid to a
different specific railcar's tank or different specific truck's tank.
33. The facility of claim 1 or 16 where the heavy hydrocarbon fluid has a
density at STP which is
greater than 920 kg/m3,

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Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02829003 2015-08-13
Patent Application
Inventors: Gregory A. Molaro (Rocky View County, Alberta, Canada)
Aaron J. Bishop (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Randy R. Meyer (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Assignee: Altex Energy Ltd. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Title
Process and Facility for Fluid Transfer Between Tanker Trucks and Railroad
Tank Cars
Prior Art
US 4,373,857 Method of Transporting Bulk Fluid or Particulate Material
US 4,304,271 Tank Car and train thereof loading and unloading systems
US 5,468,117 Heating of Tank Car walls for ejecting frozen or congealed cargo
US 7,451,789 Tank Car loading control and monitoring system and method
US 5,305,237 Method and apparatus for monitoring a flowable material in a
transportable vessel
- 1 -
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CA 02829003 2015-08-13
Field of the Invention
The field of the invention relates to a method and system for accurate and
safe fluid transfers to and
from tanker trucks and railroad tank cars at a fixed facility ("terminal"). In
particular, the process
effectively deals with the loading and unloading of segregated products
including bitumen, heavy crude
oil, crude oil, natural gasoline condensates, diesel fuel, gasoline, ethanol
and jet fuel and similar
hydrocarbons or process fluids typical for petroleum extraction and
production/collection operations.
Background of the Invention
Transload of bitumen, heavy oil and other fluids between Railroad tank cars
and tank trucks is normally
achieved using portable loaders and gantries similar to those identified in US
Patents: US 8,109,300
"Fuel transfer system and method of use", US 7,156,134 "Fuel transferring
system and method of use",
and US 6,945,288 "Fuel transferring system and method of use". This invention
offers a different
method and system that achieves better fluid management. A further
complication to the prior art
processes, which creates significant delays, is the need to unload the tank
cars before they can be
loaded and then refill the tank cars and tanker trucks with different fluids.
This invention aims to rectify shortcomings in the prior art.
Brief Description of the Prior Art
The movement of undiluted bitumen and semi-diluted bitumen (dilbits with
densities more than 920
kg/m3) between tanker trucks and railroad tank cars is achieved by pumping the
bitumen and dilbit
rapidly through loading systems. Placed between the tanker truck and the
railroad tank car, these prior
art systems employ a gantry equipped with a meter which measures the mass and
volume of the fluid
while It is being loaded from the tanker truck in to the tank car. In order to
not over weight the tank
car, an operator shuts off fluid flow into the tank car as the tank car
approaches either its maximum
weight or its maximum holding capacity. Hence, the economic efficiency of the
railroad tank car is
achieved when the car is full to either its maximum weight or maximum
operating capacity (volume).
However, the operational efficiency of the entire loading process is dependent
upon the availability of
the railroad tank cars (and where the railroad places them) plus the
availability of the bitumen being
delivered by the tanker trucks, the size of the truck's pump, and the
effectiveness of the physical
transfer process into the tank cars. Without the railroad tank cars and the
tanker trucks being on-site at
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CA 02829003 2013-09-26
the same railway siding at the same time, the conditions for a transfer
process are not met, and a
transfer cannot proceed. Hence, the prior art and the knowledge of those
skilled in the art can work,
but these inventions do not solve at least one fundamental impediment to
efficient operation
(coordination between tank cars and trucks) in their processes. Moreover, any
invention that aims to
solve this fundamental condition must be robust enough to handle fluids in
both directions and be able
to maintain product segregation, in a modern hydrocarbon and fluids
transshipment operation or
facility. This invention aims to achieve loading and economic efficiencies
which are not possible with the
prior art processes and systems.
The railcar-side of this process of transloading of bitumen was proposed by
Altex Energy Ltd. in 2007.
Greg Molaro and Glen Perry filed a disclosure in 2008 which resulted in the
awarding of US Patent
#8,393,359 ("DUAL PURPOSE BITUMEN/DILUENT RAILROAD TANK CAR") in 2013. In
2007, no one foresaw
the need for transporting bitumen and other fluids by rail. In 2010, Altex
began transporting bitumen
by rail using simple transloaders, as described in the prior art. As
explained, those facilities were
bottlenecked by constraints imposed by the interdependencies of the rail
logistics and the truck
logistics.
Brief Description of the Drawings
Figure 1 shows a block diagram and flowpath drawing representing a simplified
embodiment of a
configured system of the invention.
Summary of the Invention
The invention described here is a major step forward in transload design and
operation. The successful
application of this invention, accounts for, manages, and delivers tailored
product streams to both tank
cars and tanker trucks in both directions (that is, where shipped product is
either truck-bound or train-
bound).
In an embodiment, a fixed facility system is provided for offloading fluid in
a petroleum extraction,
production, or collection setting from a tanker truck to a railcar, having:
a. A truck loading/unloading dock with connections and safety equipment for
fluid connection
with the truck's tank
b. An intermediate buffer storage tank
c. A first conduit in fluid connection between the truck loading/unloading
dock and the
intermediate buffer storage tank
d. A second conduit in fluid connection between the intermediate buffer
storage tank and a
gantry system
e. The gantry system including a third conduit in fluid connection with the
second conduit and
with connections and safety equipment for fluid connection with a railcar's
tank car for
loading/unloading of the railcar's tank
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CA 02829003 2013-09-26
f. A railway siding with tracks to accommodate the railcar's
movement to and away from the
gantry, as well as the loading/unloading of the railcar's tank using the
conduits and
connections of the system
= In another embodiment, the system is provided for offloading fluid from a
railcar to a truck's tank. In yet
another embodiment, either system will be provided with a pump within the
fluid's circuit.
In yet another embodiment, the system can simultaneously enable multiple truck
tanks and railcar tanks
to be loaded and unloaded without having the road-based vehicles' logistics or
operations interfere with
the rail-based tank car logistics, and vice versa. In another embodiment, the
intermediate buffer storage
tank can be used for, or can be supplemented with equipment for, mild
processing of the fluid, such as
heating, settling, measuring, filtering, de-watering, chilling, demulsifying,
separating by gravity or inertia
or evaporation or similar mild processing functionalities. Where there are two
or more fluid types within
a system of this invention, the configurable conduits, pumps, tanks and other
elements may be used to
mix two or more fluids together in a predesigned way.
Detailed Description of the Invention:
We have found that efficient fluid management can only be derived by creating
two essentially
independent processes or circuits,: one dealing specifically with Railroad
tank car arrival/management,
loading and unloading; and the other dealing specifically with scheduling and
arrival/management and
loading/unloading of tanker trucks ¨ carried out in a co-ordinated way, using
the system (facility) and
method of this invention. The following description is an overview of the
system in operation.
Fluid delivered to the terminal by truck Fluids which arrive by tank truck are
weighed with a weight
scale 1 or measured with a meter 1 for fluid density, volume, mass and
temperature or weight scale, or
both, and in parallel the fluid is sampled to determine quality (for example,
sediment, water, and
density of the fluid may be measure in an onsite lab). For safety reasons, H2S
and flashpoint may also be
measured. The measurements may be recorded with information about the fluid's
source, location in
the system, or destination. The truck may then be released from the testing
area and can proceed to a
load-offload box ("Load Box") where the trucker can connect an electrical
ground clamp and cable to the
truck and can place chocks under the truck's drive wheels to prevent
accidental movement of the
vehicle. The truck's tank may be equipped with a hose for loading or
offloading fluids. Alternatively, a
connection on the truck may be connected to a hose or conduit for loading or
offloading fluid. Here, all
of these and similar situations are described as the "truck's hose", but it is
understood that this includes
any means of connecting the truck's tank for loading or off-loading of fluid.
The truck's hose is
connected to the truck connection in the Load Box (typically, this is a Cam-
lock fitting). The truck driver
or an operator may then open a valve located in or adjacent to the truck Load
Box, engage the truck's
onboard pump (often PTO driven or hydraulically driven) and commence the
transfer of fluid from the
truck into the terminal's piping system.
To ensure product integrity, prior to the transferring fluid into the heated
and insulated piping system, a
terminal operator or automated operation ensures the correct valves are either
opened or closed so
that the offloaded fluid flows to the correct storage tank.
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CA 02829003 2013-09-26
As the fluid transfers from the truck tank to the facility's intermediate
storage tank displaced air and
vapors from the storage tank's headspace are pushed through a vent line to the
headspace in the truck
or to a scrubber or an incinerator to be either collected or destroyed.
Once the fluid is in the tank, the fluid's temperature is maintained at a
temperature adequate for
pumping and/or below the flashpoint of the fluid by means of a fire tube
heater and/or a heating system
containing steam or another heat transfer fluid. After the truck transfer to
the piping system and
intermediate facility storage tank(s) is complete the trucker or operator
closes the delivery valve located
adjacent or inside the truck box to the piping system, disconnects the truck's
hose from the truck Load
Box, removes the safety equipment (ground cable(s) and wheel chocks), then
moves the truck to exit the
terminal facility (or goes to a staging area, or at least leaves the unloading
area of the facility?).
Prior to exiting, the truck can be weighed (often on an exit scale ¨Scale #2)
and data is collected for
custody transfer purposes or the data is collected from the custody transfer
meter ( Meter #1) located
at or near the truck unloading box and recorded for custody transfer purposes.
Custody transfers
typically involves obtaining and recording results from measuring the fluid
for bottoms, sediment and
water and volume and/or weight. The truck then leaves the loading/unloading
area of the terminal.
The transferred fluid is stored in the intermediate storage tank until a
specific shipper's railroad tank car
is available or the fluid in the tank can be blended to the desired
specifications. Several other physical
and economic transactions within the terminal can occur. Some of these
transactions include: sharing of
tanks, comingling fluid streams, comingling of tank car fleets, sales of fluid
between shippers, sales of
fluids to parties who are not shippers, and fluid sales to individuals and/or
corporations who are not
shippers within the terminal.
After the railroad tank car which is proposed to be used to further transport
the fluid in the
intermediate storage tank is identified and inspected it is placed adjacent to
a loading gantry, wheel
chocks may be placed to prevent the tank car from moving on the rails, manual
brakes are set and an
electrical ground cable is secured between the gantry and the tank car; these
safety procedures will be
appropriate to the facility, the fluids, the equipment used, and the risk
tolerance of the operator, among
other things.
If present, a security tag on the tank car's bottom outlet valve is removed;
the cap on the bottom outlet
valve is then removed. The bottom outlet valve is visually checked to ensure
it is closed. The operator
then accesses the top of the tank car, removes the security tags from the
manway cover and the dome
lid and opens the dome lid. The operator then removes the plug from the vent
valve (typically a 1" ball
valve). A vapor collection line is connected to the vent valve and then the
vent line valve is slowly
opened so that any pressure (positive or negative) that exists in the tank car
is released in a safe
manner. After the pressure is stabilized to atmospheric pressure, the manway
lid is opened so the
manway gasket can be inspected. If necessary, the manway gasket is replaced.
Depending on the fluid transfer system being employed, the fill line
connection is made through the
manway, a false the manway lid, or through the tank car's eduction tube. In
most cases the tank car
remains sealed from atmosphere while the loading process is under way. Once
the hose from the
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CA 02829003 2013-09-26
loading arm (the loading system is also heat traced, typically electrically)
is connected to either the false
manway cover or the eduction tube (after removing the eduction tube plug) the
valve in the manway
cover (if present) or the eduction tube valve is opened. The tank car loader
then signals the pump
operator that the car is ready to be loaded.
The pump operator checks to make sure the proper valves are open (and other
valves are closed)
between the correct tank(s) and the tank car, then engages the pump. The
loader confirms fluid is
flowing to the tank car. The tank car is then filled until the car is close to
the most limiting of the
following factors: its maximum volumetric capacity, a targeted weight, or the
tank car's maximum
weight (as measured by Meter #2).
After the tank car is filled, the loading and vent valves are closed and the
hose connection to the tank
car is undone. Fittings are removed from the vent and eduction tube valves and
the plugs are replaced
and tightened with a tool. If loading was achieved through the manway, then
the false manway cover is
removed and the manway cover is replaced, it's bolts are retightened thus
sealing the tank car. The
dome lid is closed and seals are placed on the manway cover, dome lid and the
bottom outlet valve.
The tank car's Bill of Lading and other shipment documents as are required,
are prepared and the
railroad or the shipper is notified the tank car is ready for transport to its
destination.
Fluid delivered to the terminal by railroad tank car:
When a railroad tank car arrives it is checked to make sure that its payload
product is still secure in the
tank car. The tank car is then moved to a location on a siding, adjacent to a
gantry, where its wheels are
chocked and the tank car is grounded. Seals are then removed from the top and
bottom of the tank car.
Either the bottom outlet cap is removed and a fitting is attached, or the dome
lid is opened ande plugs
are removed from a vent valve and eduction tub and a hose connection fitting
to both valves is
attached. A vent line is attached to the vent valve fitting and the valve is
slowly opened to allow any
pressure differential (positive or negative) in the tank car's tank to adjust
to atmospheric pressure. After
the pressure in the tank car has equalized to atmospheric pressure a hose is
connected to the bottom
outlet valve or the eduction tube valve (located under the dome lid at the top
of the Railroad tank car).
Information about the tank car's readiness to unload is generated and pumping
equipment associated
with the unloading is readied. It is confirmed that the correct valves are
open and the correct valves are
closed and then the tank car's valve is opened so loading can commence. The
pump is started and it is
confirmed that fluid is flowing out of the tank car and into the correct
intermediate or buffer storage
tank.
The hoses and lines between the tank car and the storage tank may be heated,
for example they can be
electrically heat traced, to heat the fluid in the line, thus reducing its
viscosity. The fluid in the
intermediate storage tank may be kept at a temperature below its flashpoint
and any emissions from
the tank may be either retained using a floating roof tank, or sent to a
scrubber or sent to an incinerator
for destruction. The fluid in the interim storage tank may be isolated from
atmosphere, and the fluid
may be: stored, heated or cooled or maintained at a set temperature, blended,
treated, pressurized,
agitated, etc.
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CA 02829003 2013-09-26
When a tanker truck is available to take some of this fluid from the terminal
facility's systems, the tanker
is first weighed to determine the tare weight of the vehicle. The truck then
goes to a particular truck
load box. Wheel chocks may be deployed under the truck's traction wheels, and
an electrical ground
line may be connected to the truck. A hose is connected from the truck's tank
to the facility's load box.
A vent line is connected from the truck to the load box so that any air
displaced during loading from
inside the truck's tank ends up either in the fluid tank or is sent to a
scrubber or is destroyed in the
terminal's incinerator. The hose connections, deployment of the wheel chocks
and an effective ground
to the truck are confirmed at the facility and the loading process starts (it
is to be understood that these
safety measures are by way of example, and terminal or system or truck
operators may follow different
safety procedures ¨ these procedures are not particular to this invention).
Information that the truck is
ready for loading is available, it is confirmed all valves are in the correct
position, and either the
terminal's pump system is engaged to fill the tanker truck or the truck's on-
board pump is engaged and
filling the truck's tank commences. It is confirmed that fluid is flowing to
the truck. After the truck is
loaded the hoses (loading and vent) are disconnected from the loading box and
the grounding cable and
wheel chocks are returned to their respective stations (for example). The
truck then exits the terminal
by crossing the terminal's exit scale where the gross weight of the tanker
truck is gathered.
Alternatively, the truck can go directly to a specific truck loading box to be
loaded using a meter which
measures both mass and volume of fluid loaded. In this manner, the tanker
truck is not over filled and is
not over weight (unless there is a mistake), and the truck's loaded payload is
identified and quantified
during loading by metering. As above, safety procedures are followed, along
the following lines: The
trucker deploys wheel chocks under the truck's traction wheels, and connects a
ground line to the truck.
A hose may then be connected from the truck to the load box. A separate vent
line may be connected
from the truck to the load box so that any air inside the truck's tank ends up
either in the fluid storage
tank as it is displaced during loading, or is sent to a scrubber or is
destroyed in the terminal's incinerator.
It is confirmed that the hose connections, deployment of the wheel chocks and
an effective grounding of
the truck, or similar safety procedures, have been followed and that the
truck's tank is in condition to be
loaded. In an embodiment, the terminal's loader then signals the pump operator
the truck is ready. The
operator confirms the valves are in the correct position, and, if required,
engages one of the terminal's
pumps to fill the tanker truck or the trucker engages the truck's on-board
pump and commences filling
the truck's tank. The loader and truck driver confirm fluid is flowing to the
truck. After the truck is
loaded, the hoses (loading and vent) are disconnected from the truck loading
box and the grounding
cable and wheel chocks are returned to their respective stations. Because the
mass and volume were
recorded by the loading meter there is no need for the truck to exit using a
truck scale. The truck can
exit the terminal once the transfer is complete and equipment is returned to
its "starting position".
The piping system, meter and load box between the intermediate storage tank
and the truck loading box
can be heat traced and/or insulated. Heat can be applied at one or several
portions of the conduits,
piping, storage tanks, gantry, or hoses in the facility's systems to increase,
decrease, or maintain the
temperature of various fluids in the system, primarily to reduce or control
the viscosity of the fluid in the
terminal to ease its handling.
VVSLega1\064456\00027\9583798v1 - 7 -

CA 02829003 2013-09-26
The fluids are pumped from the railcar tank cars through a controllable and
configurable piping and
manifold system of valves, pipes, tanks and hoses to an appropriate
intermediate product storage tank
or tanks and are held until a tanker truck is available to remove the fluid
from the terminal.
Typically, the fluid removed from the storage tank is measured using a
coriolis meter so that the mass,
density, temperature and volume can be recorded during removal. This data may
be the foundation
information for recording, tracking and permitting custody transfer between
the terminal and the
customer, either for accounting or possession purposes (among other purposes).
These fluids can
include: diesel, jet fuel, gasoline, natural gasoline condensates, and
ethanol, and the system is meant to
handle hydrocarbons and other similar fluids common to the petroleum
extraction, production and
collection (upstream and mid-stream) operations
In accordance with the invention is a method and process for the operation of
a fluid transfer system
between tanker trucks and railroad tank cars that produces a plurality of
streams and is capable of:
accurately loading and unloading tanker trucks and railroad tank cars,
segregating those streams into
distinct product flows, comprised of bitumen, heavy crude oil, crude oil,
diluent, natural gasoline
condensates, diesel fuel, gasoline, ethanol and jet fuel, and managing these
streams through a system
storage such that the loss and blending of streams in the process is
minimized, and some processing of
some streams is possible (such as heating, settling, filtering,
demulsification, separation by gravity or
evaporation, and similar mild processes). In addition, heat may applied to
specific product streams at
specific portions of the facility during movement or storage in the facility
to minimize the time required
to load and unload these products by affecting the fluid's viscosity, and can
make the management of
these products more efficient, and simplify the user's ability to account for
these products while they
are at the terminal. Heat may be supplied to products through one or a
combination of sources:
electrical heat trace, steam and/or fire tube in the piping system, tank
storage and in the railway tank
cars. Moreover, the correct implementation of this invention enables railroad
tank cars to be unloaded
while others are being filled using the same gantry system.
While there have been described what are at present considered to be the
preferred embodiments of
the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various
modifications may be made
therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such
modifications as fall within the true
spirit and scope of the invention claimed.
VVSLegaN64456\00027\9583798v1 - 8 -

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2015-11-24
(22) Filed 2013-09-26
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2014-04-08
Examination Requested 2014-09-18
(45) Issued 2015-11-24

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2019-06-12 $200.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2020-09-28 $100.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2020-09-28 $200.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
  • the additional fee for late payment set out in Items 31 and 32 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $400.00 2013-09-26
Registration of Documents $100.00 2013-11-07
Special Order $500.00 2014-09-18
Request for Examination $800.00 2014-09-18
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2015-09-28 $100.00 2015-08-13
Final Fee $300.00 2015-09-11
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 3 2016-09-26 $100.00 2016-07-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 4 2017-09-26 $100.00 2017-09-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 5 2018-09-26 $200.00 2018-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 6 2019-09-26 $200.00 2019-06-12
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
ALTEX ENERGY LTD.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 2013-09-26 2 31
Description 2013-09-26 7 438
Claims 2013-09-26 3 105
Drawings 2013-09-26 1 24
Representative Drawing 2014-02-14 1 12
Cover Page 2014-03-25 2 59
Claims 2015-02-04 5 141
Claims 2015-06-25 6 189
Description 2015-02-04 8 477
Abstract 2015-08-13 1 25
Description 2015-08-13 8 457
Cover Page 2015-10-30 2 51
Assignment 2013-09-26 5 134
Assignment 2013-11-07 7 169
Correspondence 2014-01-28 1 36
Correspondence 2014-02-11 1 13
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-09-18 4 89
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-10-08 1 3
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-11-12 6 314
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-02-04 22 845
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-03-26 4 282
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-06-25 18 618
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-07-29 3 213
Fees 2015-08-13 1 33
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-08-13 6 183
Correspondence 2015-09-11 1 42
Fees 2018-06-05 1 33
Fees 2019-06-12 1 33