The following article appeared in the January 6, 1996 edition of the Sarnia Observer.

It talks about a tank farm control system in which tesserNet provided a turn key solution using RTAP.

Reprinted with permission from, Neil Bowen, Sarnia Observer.

Pipeline bring prosperity to Sarnia

By Neil Bowen

An Edmonton gusher erupted in Sarnia 42 years ago when the world's longest pipeline delivered the first batch of western crude to Sarnia refineries.

Jan. 8, 1954, the crude oil arrived from oilfields north of Edmonton via a 2,840-kilometre (1,765-mile) pipeline.

Oil-hungary industry officials gathered for the arrival ceremony which included bottling a quart.

Construction of the last section of 76-centimetre (30-inch) pipeline from Superior, Wisconsin had finished in November 1953.

In preparation for the arrival, the Superior-to-Sarnia section was filled with three million barrels of crude. Between Edmonton and Sarnia, the pipeline held six million barrels.

Preceded by thousands of gallons of water, the oil gushed into Sarnia. It was actually a slow gush as pumps pushed it along at 1.6 kilometres per hour (one mile per hour).

It pumped about 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Sarnia refineries. Today, it delivers 375,000 barrels (15.7 million gallons) of crude daily to local customers.

The constant supply of Chemical Valley feedstock was a power booster for the area's economy. Today, the sense of accomplishment continues.

"We're very proud of the facility. It's second to none," said Larry DeBriyn, Interprovincial Pipe Line's Eastern Region manager based in Sarnia.

Previously crude was delivered by ship from a pipeline terminal in Superior. Before that Lambton oilfields supplied a refinery built by Imperial in 1899.

Arrival of pipeline crude fuelled rumours of a new industries for Sarnia.

But Sarnia's pipeline boom was already under way. Shell and Suncor opened refineries at about the same time as Interprovincial arrived.

Today at the terminal, two computer operators watch oil arrive and leave the terminal. Interprovincial moves oil from Sarnia via pipeline to another storage terminal near Cambridge.

"We're operating a tank farm 150 miles away," said Mr. DeBriyn.

A clicking computer mouse controls millions of gallons. At one time, terminal employees would be jumping about the property opening and closing valves to keep the oil moving.

As they watch a computer screen, operators can move the oil directly to the customer or they can store it in one of 17 massive tanks at the terminal on Plank Road.

From Sarnia a series of giant electric motors move the oil out. In the confined space of the motor building, a powerful odour leaves no doubt oil runs Sarnia.

The motors look "clumsy" but they are tuned and maintained to run as precisely as a watch, said Mr DeBriyn.

Another 40 years service is easily within the pipeline's grasp. U.S. pipelines nearly 100 years old are still working.

Modern technology keeps pipelines in good shape. Anti-corrosive coatings continually improve and electrical systems ward off corrosion by surrounding the pipeline with an electrical charge.

"Smart pigs" or projectiles can also be shot through the pipeline and "look around" to collect data on its condition," said Mr. DeBriyn.