Another month goes by trying to solve the problem of lost and unaccounted for natural gas. Everyone is searching for the elusive answer – the “One Issue” that explains the losses and allows a quick fix. Unfortunately, the root cause remains a mystery, despite untold hours of searching in the field.
Then, another month goes by. Your team repeats the pattern of looking for quick fixes, without being able to dig deeper into systemic issues. You again end another month frustrated, with management breathing down your neck.
You don’t have to settle for “this is just the way it has to be done.” There is a better way by ensuring that your operation has sound Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for measurement and the support of industry experts. We can provide this support through our dedicated SOPs program and GCI Consulting service.
The Challenges with Lost and Unaccounted for Natural Gas
Does this sound like what your company is facing?
- Unacceptable lost and unaccounted for gas.
- Month-to-month inconsistencies in system balances.
- High numbers of prior period adjustments (PPAs).
- Frequent volume disputes with other parties.
This list of challenges often leaves companies overwhelmed with the daunting task of trying to identify and address the root causes. After all, there could be multiple issues that need to be addressed. And, if measurement operations is siloed from other groups in the company, it can be very difficult to enact positive change.
– A prominent issue could be on the measurement side, rooted in inadequate or improper training for field personnel. They could be configuring meters improperly, they could be unfamiliar with new equipment being used in the field, or they do not know how to calibrate measurement equipment or sample properly to produce a consistent and accurate measurement.
– Another issue could be on the data processing side, where back-office measurement personnel are entering data incorrectly, missing meter problems, or are not trained on how to calculate lost and unaccounted for gas.
– You could also experience issues with third parties such as contractors and service providers who are responsible for calibrating meters and identifying physical loss. They could be misreporting information on leakage surveys, using incorrect calculations in their reports, or underreporting due to lack of training, which is causing unaccounted for losses.
Because these issues are complex and oftentimes isolated from each other, the entire measurement operation suffers. And, system losses and unaccountable gas will get worse over time if companies are not diligent in staying on top of these issues.
It’s time to address this challenge once and for all.
The Solution to Address Lost and Unaccounted for Gas
– Start with measurement SOPs. SOPs are a key component of a well-run measurement operation. SOPs define much of your field measurement operations, such as meter calibration procedures and intervals. Additionally, measurement SOPs are a valuable guide when selecting and installing new measurement equipment.
If your company already has SOPs, yet you are experiencing common issues with system losses and unaccountables that we identified, then it’s time to review whether the current SOPs truly reflect your operating reality. There could be gaps, a lack of understanding, or outlaw activity where personnel are simply not following the SOPs.
Keep in mind that when implementing new SOPs or updating current SOPs for your company, you are defining measurement operations going forward. However, they do not give you the answers about what’s creating your current measurement problems. They do not reveal what problems might have existed prior to placing your new or updated SOPs in place. You still need to address these root causes. GCI can help.
– Utilize GCI’s measurement expertise. Our team of subject matter experts can help evaluate your current operating reality and identify what could be causing the repeated issues with loss and unaccounted for gas.
We will set up a measurement consulting project, which typically goes hand-in-hand with an SOPs implementation project. During the measurement consulting project, we will systematically review the following elements to uncover root cause issues:
- Gas contract language from a measurement perspective.
- The suitability of existing equipment.
- Equipment configurations in field operations.
- Activity of third-party service providers.
- Allocation and balancing configurations.
- Other elements specific to your operation.
Through our support, we will provide you with a game plan to address the issues we identify. This could include refining your SOPs, providing measurement personnel with training, supporting back-office measurement personnel, and/or implementing the Muddy Boots all-in-one field operations platform to optimize the connection between the field and office.
Our goal is to help break down silos that might exist in your operation and ensure that you have the right-size solution to put an end to the wasted monthly routine of trying to address lost and unaccounted for natural gas.
– Let’s get started with a consultation about what issues you are seeing or experiencing. Following the consultation, we can get started on the path of implementing a solution for your company.
Contact GCI today to get started. Give us a call or send us a message through our contact form about how we can help. We look forward to speaking with you.