BIG DATA and GAS NETWORK MANAGEMENT: two extremely different terminologies used in the past in extremely different contexts. This paper details the effort and success by Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), PETRONAS. This initiative was supported by SAS Institute and Protechnology/Netgas. It is to merge the 2 worlds and handle the current challenges met in the management of complex upstream gas pipeline networks with an innovative and effective solution based on the principles of big data analytics.
The starting point was for us to gather the requirement to respond quickly and accurately to demand volatility and changing network operation conditions, while complying with the tripartite commercial agreements between PETRONAS, our natural gas customers and our Petroleum Arrangement Contractors (PACs). A software solution was developed to put the gas flow process, with its fluid- and thermodynamic rules, in the center of the operational process of gas gathering and blending, as well as the management of related commercial transactions and pipeline network operation management. The solution optimizes the volumetric transactions and ensures the delivery quality of the natural gas, supplied from different platforms at different qualities, while ensuring operational controllability with precise operator guidelines. It ensures so the highest operational regularity and planning flexibility. The modular software solution brings a couple of important innovations like dynamic calculus-numerical modeling of a full pipeline network, reverse simulation which optimizes automatically the supply and controls to meet the demand, integration of the commercial volumetric logic with the operational fluid- and thermodynamic, workflow automation and data and information integration. Supporting existing business processes, like planning, scheduling and operational monitoring, the fast staged implementation approach and the ease of use round up the benefits of this innovative solution with low entry barrier.