GRTgaz operates, maintains and develops a 20,000 miles-long natural gas transmission system in France. In the last few years, GRTgaz has experienced challenging evolutions in the regulations and in the behaviours of its shippers. This has changed the way of operating the network and lead to a need for intraday decision help tools, helping operators on a real-time basis to perform an optimization of operations.

GRTgaz and the CRIGEN, GDF SUEZ main research center for gas and renewable energies have developed a tool, called HELP (Hourly Enhanced LinePack) that builds houly plannings of flows and linepack usage. This paper will present how this software is used on a daily basis and what gains it has brought. We will also discuss the main difficulties of building such a tool and enhancing it to have more accurate and complete transient optimization of operations.

New Tools for a Changing World

Since 2005, there has been many evolutions for GRTgaz. Since GRTgaz network is at the crossroads of European gas networks, it is currently going through a 4bn€ investment program to enhance fluidity between the different European Gas markets.

The network is changing, and the way shippers use it also is. Back in 2005, following European regulations, Gaz de France split its transmission system, storage, LNG terminals, distribution network into different subsidiaries. GRTgaz, the transmission system company then worked as an independent TSO. The number of shippers using GRTgaz network has increased oversince, to more than 110 shippers at the end of 2013. Therefore, from a transmission network including storages and used by only one company with a predictable supply behavior, GRTgaz now faces many different shippers who can hourly change their position according to European gas markets. That becomes harder to anticipate.

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