Today's world of gas brokers, spot markets and interruptible service is not conducive to the monthly cycles of billing and customer reconciliation of imbalances which supported the business of transporting gas for large, established, long-term transportation customers.
Today's gas transmission company must be able to monitor, control, and report transportation business within shorter time constraints. Traditional divisions between real-time pipeline control and custody transfer billing must be removed and computer systems supporting these functions must reflect these business changes.
GSAM is an integrated computer system designed to support real-time and custody transfer transportation management. Through the integration of meter facility, customer, transportation agreement, SCADA, gas composition, and custody transfer volume data, daily monitoring of customer activities and monthly calculations for commodity billing are accomplished to provide pipeline system and customer imbalance control.
In order to function in the deregulated gas industry in North America and remain competitive, gas transportation companies need to not only automate but integrate traditionally segregated areas of real-time pipeline control and custody transfer billing. NOVA Corporation of Alberta is meeting this challenge with a gas transportation management computer system, GSAM, integrating the Gas Supply and Measurement areas.
Integrating all gas transportation management software systems under the umbrella of one central data base system is a concept which is achievable and desirable with the recent changes in focus of the natural gas industry.
An integrated gas transportation administrative system is especially applicable to providing assistance in the operation of a deregulated, competitive gas transportation pipeline with a rapidly growing number of transportation customers and with demands that each operating department have access to current data as soon as it is available. The GSAM (Gas Supply and Measurement) system is an integrated gas transportation management system, developed by one gas pipeline company to handle this need. The development and functions of this particular system will be reviewed in this paper to show how natural gas pipelines can benefit from a similar approach.
This paper defines the approach taken, explores the functions the integrated system performs, discusses the background behind the need to create it and describes how an integrated system can contribute to the smooth operation of the gas transportation business.
Deregulation in the gas industry has meant a significant difference in the way gas pipeline systems are operated. In the case being studied, the requirement for an integrated gas transportation software package became evident with an increase of over 2,000 percent in the number of gas transportation customers, an expanded variety of transportation services and the dramatic growth in the number of transportation agreements being administered.