Starting in 1984 dramatic changes began to take place in the way in which El Paso Natural Gas Company carried out its dayto-day operations. Beginning that year, in anticipation of reduced market demands, the effects of energy deregulation, and the more competitive nature of the Natural Gas Industry the Company began an effort to streamline its operations. This effort continued through 1985 during which "Spot Market" transactions began to show up as an increasingly significant portion of the overall system thruput. In 1985 also, the Operations and Engineering departments embarked on an ambitious and far-reaching automation program; upgrading the turbine units at our compressor stations, many of which were located in remote areas of the Southwestern mountains and deserts, with computerized controls, equipment and the telemetry required to link all of it electronically to a centralized facility. Within two years of the compressor station automation program another major project was begun to acquire a great deal more flow meter information thru electronic measurement devices called EFM's. One hundred and eighty brand new measurement sites were added and over five hundred and forty additional data points were broughr into our data base of flow and pressure information. As a result of this project our company was able to acquire a "real-time" handle on over 99 percent of the gas entering and leaving the nearly 22,000 miles of our pipeline system, In 1986 an "Asset Utilization" program was introduced within within the company. "Asset Utilization" was designed to complete the transition from a dual marketing-transportation function to that of solely transportation by ensuring the orderly transfer of those facilities primarily associated with the marketing of El Paso's commodity gas. The completion of this program marks the final stage in the transition of El Paso from a marketer, to a transporter of gas. As the Gas Business has changed so has the flow of information used in running the business. The Gas Control function has gone from a dispatching function in which three regional dispatching centers were needed only six years ago -- in which most of the control came about through telephone or radio communication with the personnel at the various compressor stations; with the ubiquitous desk-sized log sheets on which hourly averages were dutifly entered and saved. These were the gas control "data bases" of their day - - to one centralized location, operated out of the Company Headquarters in El Paso. Under the old way of doing business, Plants and Stations kept their own records, processed information and kept statistics; then passed these upward through the organizational channels to top management. Now, in many cases, data comes directly via micro-wave, radio or satellite to the main office and the tabulated results and statistics are disseminated back down through the channels into the lower levels of the organization.
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VISA A Computer System For Bringing Back Data to Its Roots
Paper presented at the PSIG Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, October 1990.
Paper Number: PSIG-9003
Published: October 18 1990
Grafe, John. "VISA A Computer System For Bringing Back Data to Its Roots." Paper presented at the PSIG Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, October 1990.
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