Real-time models and associated applications have been widely used to support the safe and efficient operation of pipelines from within the confines of the pipeline operations environment. Commercial systems have also been independently implemented to manage the business relationships between gas suppliers, shippers, transporters, and end users; however, the direct interchange of information between models and commercial business systems has typically been limited. As part of a comprehensive upgrade of their gas shipping system, Petrobras has implemented a real-time model on several of their pipelines, integrating SCADA and model data with the new shipper system. The shipper system provides Petrobras with the capability to schedule, consolidate, allocate, and provide detailed energy and volume information for invoice generation. Real-time model and SCADA data are used by the shipper system to provide real-time supervision of the shipper contracts by monitoring and reporting contractual gas quality, volume, and operational pressures, directly against commercial contract parameters, in real time. Further, a nomination forecasting application is used to forecast supply and demand, identifying future volume and energy penalty conditions. Through web access, each client also has the capability to monitor real time flow profiles against their nomination and nomination forecast profiles, allowing the client to be proactive in avoiding penalties. In this paper, an overview of the shipper system functionality and its integration and use of real time data will be provided. The challenges, experiences, benefits, and future enhancement considerations will also be discussed.
The Brazilian gas market is regulated by ANP (Petroleum National Agency) from its production to the delivery to distributors. Distribution to final consumer is a monopoly of each Brazilian State government which is executed through concession to private companies. A Federal Law from 1997 defines six different roles for the gas market and the activities and combinations allowed among them. These roles are: producer, processor, importer, shipper, transporter and distributor. The diagram in Figure 1 below shows the relationship between these roles with respect to the physical flow of gas and commercial relationships. It should be noted that the processor is not shown in this diagram. In reality the processor sits between the transporter and the producer. The retailer in this diagram is known as the shipper throughout this paper. Prior to 1997, Petrobras, a corporation formed by the Brazilian government in 1953, was the only player in the Brazilian gas market, except for the distributor role that was already given to the States by the constitution of 1988. After the 1997 Federal Law, Petrobras created Transpetro to act as transporter, operating all existing pipelines in Brazil. At the same time, a new private company was created to build the Bolivia-Brazil pipeline, with 51% participation of Petrobras. In the year 2000, a natural gas business unit was created in Petrobras to play the shipper role. As the largest oil & gas company in Brazil, Petrobras is the main shipper for both gas transportation companies.