Ensuring your team is well-trained is a critical component of your operation’s success. Proper training means that your technicians have the knowledge and skills necessary to accurately address custody transfer measurement issues. It can also improve safety, increase efficiency, reduce errors, and ensure compliance with regulations.
These are all vital to your ability to make informed decisions about production and resource management. In a nutshell, oil and gas measurement technician training is crucial for the industry’s success and sustainability. We’re taking a look at 7 of the top reasons your operation needs more training.
Top 7 Reasons for More Training
1. Improved Safety and Reduced Risk of Accidents
Safety is the number one priority in any operation, and it’s not something you can afford to get wrong. Together, Safety and Operator Qualification training, work to keep our employees and our community safe.
In our industry, a strong safety culture just makes economic sense. Not only are mistakes and accidents costly, but they have a long-term impact on a company’s reputation as an employer and a corporate citizen.
Proper training can help you stay ahead of safety incidents before they occur, and ensure that you aren’t re-learning expensive lessons.
2. Increased Efficiency, Accuracy, and Productivity
Inaccurate measurement exposes companies to huge financial risk. The meters and their instruments are only accurate when installed and operated as designed. Training properly on how to use the tools at your disposal is an important step in improving confidence and reducing uncertainty in measurement.
As you improve confidence in your measurement data, you can draw a direct line to an increase in profits. A reduction in unaccountable and measurement losses goes straight to the bottom line.
If you want to take proactive steps to avoid the financial risk associated with inaccurate measurement, training is the place to start.
3. Compliance with Contracts, Tariffs, and Regulations
In our industry, compliance with contractual and tariff terms surrounding measurement can be a daunting task. Contracts and tariffs typically reference Industry Standards, and these standards are frequently revised. It’s important to keep your team up to speed on all applicable standards, industry best practices, and regulations, such as those of the BLM.
Insufficient training is often the root cause of a large percentage of negative audit findings. If your team doesn’t have a fundamental understanding of the contracts and regulations they’re subject to, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to meet those requirements.
Adequate training is the best way to avoid negative audit findings and regulatory penalties around custody transfer measurement.
4. Better Resource Management and Reduced Losses
A common thread among all of the reasons we’re covering is the financial aspect associated with a sound training program. If your team is better equipped to execute their jobs, this will lead to better and more consistent procedure execution. The obvious tangible benefit of more training for your team is the reduction of losses and the reduction of operating expenses, but it goes further than that…as the management gains confidence in measurement data, the operations teams can respond to suspected leaks and other operational problems faster. You also reduce the time that operations crew spends in the field chasing unexplained changes in system balances.
5. Fewer Disputes and Adjustments
All of these benefits combine to help to reduce Prior Period Adjustments (PPAs). Most PPAs are a result of a measurement issue that was discovered too late to be corrected before financial settlements are made. When an error to closed custody transfer measurement volumes is discovered by your team or is discovered by the other party, the correction process can be time-consuming for both measurement and accounting. The labor cost of processing small PPAs often exceeds the value of the product. Most importantly, excessive PPAs reflect poorly on your measurement operation and your company’s reputation.
6. Improved Communication
As we’ve referenced a few times, processes and procedures are critical for your team to operate effectively. Proper training leads to improved communication both within your team and between different crews in your operation. When we better understand the policies we’re supposed to adhere to, it’s easier to communicate changes and discrepancies when they’re observed.
Among other benefits, improved communication leads to a safer and more-profitable work environment.
7. Increased Innovation and Adaptability
Natural gas has been measured by orifice meters for well over 100 years. Ultrasonic gas meters are 50 years old, with the ‘new kid on the block’, the Coriolis meter, being just a few years behind that. Despite the meter technology being mature, the drive to reduce uncertainty in custody transfer measurement is driving innovation. Today, changes to processes and technology are coming at a breakneck pace.
In an industry that is constantly subject to change, training can be a huge help for adapting and innovating. Teams that are better equipped to meet new technology are also better equipped to adapt to changing standards and regulations. Improvements in communication from training will lead to a more cohesive experience when the industry decides to change the status quo.
There’s also an opportunity for innovation, particularly as it’s related to your operation’s internal procedures. As employees are executing processes more effectively and consistently, they’re also more aware of inconsistencies and anomalies. It’s easier to address problems and optimize processes when you are more in tune with your organization’s workflow.
More Training Options – Online & In-Person
Our instructors are individuals with a wealth of varied experience in the processes, procedures, and equipment used in crude, NGL, and natural gas measurement. They are true subject matter experts (SMEs) with experience on both the technical and management sides. Our instructors each have decades of experience and most are actively involved with organizations that write and maintain the standards for custody transfer measurement.
GCI offers in-person training at our Houston training facility, as well as on-site, at your facility. On-site classes can follow our standard course curriculums or be customized to meet your company’s needs. Regardless of where we train, rest assured that students are learning from experts on the topic, which means many GCI classes utilize more than one instructor during the course.
Another option to consider that is flexible and more cost-effective is online training. GCI offers interactive online instruction taught by the same measurement SME used for our in-person classes. Online courses are easier to access and less expensive since students don’t need to travel – anyone with an internet connection can access thorough, quality measurement training.
Here are a few of the upcoming courses offered online through GCI:
- 10-14 Back-Office Gas Measurement Fundamentals (Online)
- 25-28 Gas Measurement Fundamentals & EFM Best Practices (Online)
Here are a few of the upcoming in-person courses offered by GCI:
- 06-09 Gas Measurement Fundamentals & EFM Best Practices
- 06-16 Gas Measurement Fundamentals Certification
- 20-22 Fundamentals of Liquid Measurement
The Importance of a Sound Foundation and of Staying Up-to-Date
GCI focuses primarily on Liquids and Natural Gas Fundamentals Training. That basic knowledge is what the rest of a professional’s training will be built on. This equips students to better understand the “WHY” behind the procedures. The insight from our seasoned instructors helps them avoid common errors that are often brought on by a lack of understanding.
Training should not stop with the fundamentals. See the GCI website to download the American Gas Association white paper on training programs for natural gas measurement technicians and the GCI white paper on training programs for liquids measurement technicians.
We’ve touched on some of the most important reasons that your organization needs to focus on training, and while this list isn’t exhaustive – it’s a great place to start. If you’re concerned with your team’s ability to stay on top of changes in the industry or want to improve your operation’s efficiency and profitability, training is the answer.
Since 2000, Gas Certification Institute (GCI) has provided measurement professionals with industry training. The material in each course is based on AGA, API, and GPA industry standards and best practices. Each instructor-led course covers the important elements and principles of measurement to grow your understanding.
– Need help registering online? Need help making the case to your supervisor to receive training? Contact us today for assistance with receiving more training.