Emerson’s Solution Streamlines Terminal and Pipeline Processes and Enhances Capability

Author photo: Sharada Prahladrao
By Sharada Prahladrao
Project Success Story

Client Profile: Buckeye Partners, USA owns and operates one of the largest petroleum products terminal and pipeline networks providing refiners, wholesalers, marketers, airlines, railroads and other commercial end users with transportation and storage of refined petroleum products.  Besides pipeline transportation services, Buckeye provides terminalling, storage and refined product distribution services.  Buckeye owns more than 100 refined petroleum products terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of over 64 million barrels/10.1 million cubic meters, and owns and operates a major natural gas storage facility in California.

The Requirement: As the global demand for additional storage capacity increased, Buckeye realized the need for an Information System that would support its growing number of pipelines and terminals, and the evolving new business models, while curtailing cost and resources.  Previously, Buckeye relied on a custom developed commercial system that bridged the gap between its terminal automation systems and its accounting systems to provide support for the required commercial functions.  Buckeye began evaluating custom developed solutions and packaged software solutions that could provide it with the following functions:

  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Ticketing
  • Inventory Management
  • Contract Management
  • Billing



After a rigid selection process, Buckeye selected Emerson’s Synthesis system for its ability to support existing needs as well as its ability to support Buckeye’s growth strategy.

The Solution: Synthesis is an enterprise liquid logistics management application used by companies that store or transport liquid hydrocarbons to manage their entire order-to-cash cycle.  It is specifically designed to unify these processes for the liquid logistics industry.  It helps with the commercial aspects of operating a terminal/pipelines and integrates seamlessly with terminal automation systems/pipeline operators and back office systems to significantly enhance these.  It streamlines nominations management, ticketing, inventory, and invoicing — all in real time through an intuitive web browser interface. Some of the core midstream oil and gas solutions that Synthesis® provides are: inventory management, terminal and pipeline activity, rack activity, billing and invoicing.

Benefits and Quantifiable Results: By selecting Synthesis as its order-to-cash solution for its terminal and pipeline network, Buckeye has a fully integrated management information system that reduces cost, increases throughput, and keeps customers satisfied.  This is validated by the fact that Buckeye recently acquired 33 terminals; and the Buckeye team was able to implement the Synthesis® system within a 30 day period with very little assistance from Emerson (formerly Energy Solutions International).  Moreover, Buckeye did not require any additional staff or other resources to manage these terminals.  Synthesis customers have experienced a reduction in their monthly closing from 6 days to 2 days while other customers have increased throughput rates by 25 percent.  Because of better planning capability and when orders are integrated through to invoices, all processes in a terminal’s workflow are simplified.  This solution enabled Buckeye to realize its goal of catalyzing growth while keeping costs low.

Today, Buckeye’s enhanced capability gives them more time to focus on expansion and operational excellence, and Synthesis® supports their endeavors. 


Keywords: Emerson, Synthesis®, Buckeye Partners, ARC Advisory Group


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