Did the title of this article hit a nerve? Maybe it sounds a little too familiar? If so, you are not alone. In the fast-paced oil and gas industry, we know that things like site facility diagrams fall through the cracks because of a lack of resources.
As a measurement technician or supervisor, you know the importance of accurate site diagrams and pipeline diagrams, but do you even know if there is a current set? The reality is that the process of updating drawings is usually slow and tedious. Find the “most current” copy and get them printed, make a set of hand markups, and then send them to drafting. Is it any wonder that they just don’t get updated until there is an audit or a problem? THTF?
Regardless if you work for an oil and gas producer, a midstream gathering company, an NGL pipeline company, or a transportation pipeline, the same thing tends to happen with these key drawings.
- There was a set of drawings when the project was started.
- Once the project was complete and “online,” the engineering was done, and the drawings became stagnant.
- But, in day-to-day operations, changes are made. How are the changes incorporated?
For example, a fuel takeoff is moved upstream of a meter, a check meter is installed or removed, or a vapor recovery skid is set by a service company. These are all normal tasks, but who is responsible for making sure drawings are updated? Is it covered by your MOC process? Is it assumed that the measurement tech will do it? Maybe the operations group is responsible?
Getting everyone on the same page is critical. Why? System balances, loss\gain reporting, settlement statements, and allocations are all based upon having an accurate model of your facility or pipeline. Essentially, it’s critical for the operation to function, which is why you need software tools to make this process easier to manage on a daily basis.
Site Facility Diagrams Support Metering Accuracy
The proper operation and accuracy of the oil or gas meter is important, but once you know “how much,” you then need to know “where it came from” and “where it went.” You must be able to account for how much product flowed and whether it is entering or leaving the system. Can you answer these two questions:
- Is any product being used on-site?
- Are there known losses that need to be tracked and reported?
While there may be simple sites and pipelines where tracking the ins and outs on a spreadsheet is possible, as complexity increases, a visual representation of what has happened becomes essential. This is where facility diagrams and pipeline drawings come into play.
These drawings go by different names at different companies: flow diagrams, measurement one-lines, pad drawing, BLM “Site Facility Drawing,” CADs, pipeline drawing, P&IDs, flowlines, site schematics, and more. Regardless of the label you put on them, they should be the basis for your system balances, allocations, and accounting settlements.
While your meters may be thought of as the cash register that captures the monetary value of your product, the drawings determine if you are the one paying or the one getting paid. The big activity will get caught, but what about those small fuel uses, those recycle valves, and similar small volumes?
All too often, the original engineering diagrams for a well pad, compressor station, or pipeline were last updated when the original project was finished. For many operators, the oil and gas site measurement diagrams are not updated as events occur. Over time, the individual site diagrams and the overall pipeline system diagrams become further and further away from being an accurate representation.
Digitalize Site Facility Diagrams To Reduce Scramble Time
We get it. It’s hard to justify the time to keep those drawings current. After all, it’s really not your job. You probably don’t use those drawings on a day-to-day basis. You cannot do it yourself, as you have to mark up changes to an old drawing and send it to a drafter.
And, if you’re already spending too much time at the job site doing reports or inefficiently using multiple pieces of software, then updating site facility diagrams is probably the last item on your list. Maybe you go months without needing or seeing a site diagram or a pipeline drawing.
But, then, one morning, you hear some dreaded words from a higher-up. You are quickly reminded of the importance of drawings when you hear these phrases:
- The landowner is questioning royalty payments.
- Accounting says the allocation percentages look “funny“ this month.
- Gas losses increased and management wants an answer NOW.
- We received an audit request from another party claiming figures were off by 15%.
- We received a letter from the Bureau of Land Management and we need to meet with the BLM inspector … today.
- We added a big well last week, but the plant has not seen volumes increase.
Regardless if you’re in operations, a measurement tech, or a settlement accountant, you’ve likely felt a slight panic and a dreadful feeling when hearing those words. What follows is predictable. The “real work” slams to a halt while you scramble to research the issue. You quickly realize that one of the first things you need are current site diagrams or pipeline diagrams.
“Current site diagrams! Yes, we have those somewhere … don’t we?”
So, what do you do? Do you call drafting and ask them to send you a PDF of the current file? Do you dig through an old flat file for an ancient set of drawings?
When will you get the drawing? And, how do you know if it’s current? That little feeling of dread is getting stronger.
The reality is that for most companies, the process of updating drawings is not a high priority. It is cumbersome, and it is slow. So, it gets skipped — until current drawings become a show-stopper, and someone has to be dispatched to the site to verify whatever drafting has on file. The process takes time, but you need the info as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there is a clear path forward to better satisfy this need.
Use Muddy Boots For Site Facility Diagrams
Imagine a world where you, your boss, the settlement accountants, and engineering all have access to the most recent site facility drawings — at any time — from a smartphone or tablet. Imagine a world where you can make the updates to the drawings yourself, as well as see a history of all previous updates.
Instead of scrambling to find the latest version of your site facility diagram or to find a BLM compliant 3173.11 site facility diagram to present to a BLM inspector this afternoon, all you have to do is push a button. That’s it. It’s there.
This is the opportunity available to your operation through the Muddy Boots all-in-one field operations platform. This platform puts you in control of site diagrams, scheduling, Work Orders, and compliance reporting — all from the palm of your hand.
Request a Demo of Muddy Boots Field Operations Platform
Give us a call today at 281-598-7200 or request a demo through our website so that we can show you how the Muddy Boots field operations platform supports your exact needs managing, tracking, and accessing site facility diagrams. We can help with:
- Pipeline Drawings
- Plant Drawings
- BLM 43 CFR 3173.11 compliant Site Facility Diagram
- Communications Infrastructure Diagrams
You can do it all from your mobile device. You can enter data from the field without data service on your phone. You can do it all without a long-term contact or high start-up cost.
Let us show you and your supervisor how the Muddy Boots platform will solve your site facility diagram challenges. After you start utilizing the platform, you’ll be asking yourself a different question instead. Why didn’t we do this sooner?