In the post 636 environment, many pipeline companies have elected to install real-time and predictive simulation models in the gas control room. The technology is needed to properly control pipelines in the face of operations being dictated to a large extent by customer scheduled volumes. Pipeline companies have largely concluded that the execution of these simulation tools requires engineering expertise and an amount of effort which is beyond what most pipeline controllers are willing to undertake given their pipeline responsibilities. This has led to the widespread belief that an engineer in the control room is necessary to get useful results from the models. This paper details the efforts of Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation to develop applications which simplify the execution of commercial on-line simulation models. A user interface is developed which limits the flexibility of the control of the simulation to a similar level of control the operator is able to maintain over the pipeline itself. Operators are not only capable of maintaining the data flow to the real-time model, but are also able to perform predictive model runs, normally without the assistance of simulation engineers, obtaining useful information needed to efficiently run the pipeline.
The Project At the end of 1995, Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation (TETCO) undertook a project to modernize many of their business process to better adapt to the new post Order-636 environment. This was done in recognition that the response cycle for running a natural gas pipeline in the U.S. was quickly becoming "within day". It was further recognized that simulation of the pipeline would be an integral part of the operation since this technology provided an enhanced level of visibility of the pipeline which was required. Pipeline Simulation It was guncrally accuptcd that unless the gas controllers embraced the simulation technology and hocame comIbrtahlc with its use and its demands. the project would be jeopardized. It was not feasible at TETCO for engineering support to be supplied to gas control on an around the clock basis. Therefore, the models had to be usable by gas control day-to-day operation of the pipeline without continuous engmeermg support. The Texas Eastern System The TETCO pipeline system consists of approximately 9,700 miles of pipeline, including 74 compressor stations. The system extends from the Mexican border near McAllen, Texas to Staten Island, NY. TETCO's pipeline takes two separate routes. The 30" system parallels the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast before turning northeast across Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky into southeastern Ohio at the Berne Station. The 24" system runs from Texas through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and into southeastern Ohio, joining the 30" system at the Berne station. The Beme compressor station is the start of the Penn-Jersey system which represents the market end of the TETCO system. Penn-Jersey is designed to be primarily a peaking system. In the Penn-Jersey system, compressor stations are very close together, spaced only by about 30 miles. TETCO's as well as third party market area storage fields also reside in this area.