Phillips Pipe Line is implementing a comprehensive system to perform nominations processing and batch scheduling. This paper describes some of the advantages of this fully integrated system, and these include:

  • improved customer service, especially due to availability of shipper information over the Internet

  • organization and consolidation of information crucial for decision support

  • ability to support schedule and pump optimization

Nominations are entered via browsers on the Internet and are communicated directly to pipeline operations. The delivery of nominated volumes is scheduled and monitored using a system which performs the following functions:

  • consolidate system-wide nominations information

  • calculate capacity proration

  • divide monthly nominations into a batch schedule

  • forecast demand for products at terminals

  • generate an operational movement plan

  • calculate line fill with respect to any time in the schedule "window"

  • track confirmed nomination status

  • provide reports for operations and accounting functions

Possible system enhancements include schedule (batch sequencing) optimization, pump power optimization, power contracts management, and neural network based product identification. PSIG '99 Liquids Pipeline Nominations Processing and Batch Scheduling


The business of scheduling a batched crude oil or refined product pipeline can be a time consuming, tedious, and demanding process today at most liquid petroleum transmission companies. Nominations are often communicated via facsimile or verbally over the phone to scheduling groups. Scheduling must receive all nominations, and prorate capacity in the event that nomination quantities exceed the transmission system's capacity to deliver. Accepted nomination quantities must be communicated back to shippers by fax or phone, and then movement orders generated for the pipeline controllers, terminal operators, and shippers. The pipeline operations must be managed so that nominations are satisfied while scheduling downtime for equipment maintenance, scheduling constant operations during unmanned periods for non-automated stations, and trying to take advantage of variable fuel costs for pump power. Once a nomination is satisfied, the shipper and the pipeline's accounting group are contacted via fax or phone and an invoice generated and sent to the shipper of the product. With the advent of increasingly competitive pressures brought about by the deregulation of the energy transmission business, shippers demand that pipeline companies provide scheduling data that is longer range, more accurate, and more detailed than ever before. Pipelines must find a means of providing this enhanced information to their shippers. They must operate as optimally as possible over the course of hours or days. They must have detailed information about their own operations so that decisions may be made with the full knowledge of the effects of those decisions. In the final analysis, it may not be the low price transporter that earns the shipper's business, but rather the transporter that provides enhanced shipper information to enable better decision support by both the pipeline and the shippers.

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