Computing technology is applied to improve procedures for managing a gas gathering system by providing information, reports, and analysis to support decision making. The system includes handheld computer terminals, a plant office personal computer, and an interface to upload and download information from a company gas measurement database.

Handheld computer terminals are used in acquiring meter calibration, gas measurement, and physical change data to eliminate paper as the primary means of data transfer. At the end of the work day all data collected is uploaded to a personal computer database in the plant office. The information is easily accessible for analysis and report generation.

A communications datalink is used to transfer information between the plant office PC and the company orifice meter database. When information is downloaded to the plant office PC, volume and pressure trending of sections of the pipeline can be displayed to assist in determining pipeline efficiency. In addition, a more timely and efficient method of updating the orifice meter database is performed by uploading information directly from the PC. Data related to physical changes normally recorded when charts are integrated is now recorded on the day that the orifice meter is actually changed.

Benefits derived from using this system are quickly realized. Manually produced reports are replaced with automatically generated reports. More efficient use is made of field and office personnel. Supervisors more effectively monitor the gathering system since quick access to data and report generation assist them in controlling production and determining problems within the pipeline.

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