Oil and gas companies need to be aware of the incoming wave of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives that will be hitting your company if they have not already. The focus on “going green” will bring changes in regulations and company policy that will translate into changes in how we do measurement…both in the office and in the field.
The impact of oil and gas ESG initiatives will be felt throughout operations, specifically the need to periodically update your measurement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reflect changes to regulations, tariffs, and contracts.
Fortunately, when your measurement SOPs are established on the right foundation, you will be able to quickly pivot and adapt to the latest requirements so that you stay in sync with the changing regulatory and social environment. GGI can help your company achieve compliance with your existing contracts, tariffs, and regulations, while positioning your measurement program for coming changes.
Three Pillars of Measurement in Oil & Gas
Imagine a world where the word “audit” does not instill a feeling of panic and where “monthly close” is just a day on the calendar. Let’s take a look at how GCI can help you build a measurement program designed from the ground up to get and keep you in compliance.
We start with the Three Pillars of Measurement that form a solid measurement program:
- Measurement SOPs: defines how measurement should be performed.
- Measurement training: provides the “how” and “why” to execute the SOPs in the field.
- Supporting software tools: facilitates compliance with SOPs and simplifies documentation and reporting.
1. SOP Compliance Starts with Measurement Industry Standards
Measurement SOPs should be tied to the industry standards for measurement (AGA, API, or GPA) that are called forth in your contracts and tariffs. These are the accepted sources of measurement best practices for natural gas, NGL, and crude that capture how measurement should be executed.
- The standards referenced in the SOPs will determine the specifications and installation requirements for the equipment used.
- The SOP documents determine how measurement equipment will be operated and maintained.
- The SOPs should align with regulations and how they are implemented.
- The SOPs will also reflect company policies that may be more stringent than contracts, tariffs, and regulations, such as internal audit requirements and SOX controls.
Why is this important? If the measurement output from the field is inaccurate, then you expose your operation to non-compliance with regulations, tariffs, and contracts. You need the right foundation for correct measurement, especially to be ready to adapt when there is change.
Measurement and analytical equipment is rapidly advancing. Standards and regulations can change. The increased scrutiny on oil and gas companies due to ESG initiatives results in companies changing their policies. To assure continued SOP compliance, the SOPs must be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary.
Fortunately, when you work with GCI to implement or update measurement SOP manuals used in the field, you can be confident that your documentation will be harmonized with liquid and gas measurement standards and are prepared to face Sarbanes-Oxley audit scrutiny.
Our goal is to ensure that your procedures mirror field operations so that what is presented in the SOP manuals is a true reflection of how personnel work the field. This way, personnel will know exactly what to do, how to perform their tasks, and how to report measurements to the back office. By utilizing SOP manuals, your personnel will get it right the first time, every time to support your operation.
2. Training: Support the Measurement Culture
Oil and gas companies must be mindful that their measurement culture supports the training needed to properly realize measurement SOP compliance.
At GCI, we believe that compliance is best achieved when it is the natural outflow of the actions, attitudes, behavior, and culture of your operation. Field personnel play a critical role in supporting the measurement culture by taking the appropriate actions according to the SOPs.
That’s why field personnel should be trained on the fundamentals of measurement, providing a firm grasp of Measurement Theory, which in turn helps them understand Why measurement tasks are done a certain way.
Training must also include developing the knowledge and understanding of the measurement SOPs defining How specific measurement tasks should be performed. Finally, your personnel need verified skills competency, documenting the ability to perform measurement tasks safely, correctly, and repeatedly.
At the end of the day, you will be compliant with your SOPs because you are organically operating in accordance with regulations, industry standards, contracts, and audit requirements. Additionally, you will be positioned to naturally produce the appropriate records that will satisfy an inquiry.
3. Software: Utilize Tools to Support Workflow, Recordkeeping & Audits
The correct field operations software platform will streamline workflow, guide technicians through infrequent tasks, and facilitate SOP compliance through better scheduling and documentation.
- Advanced scheduling tools track period testing/sampling and warn of overdue activities.
- Site or task-specific inspection forms guide technicians through infrequently performed tasks.
- Customized dropdown fields help produce standardized responses.
- Required fields help assure complete data entry.
- Pre-populated choices speed data entry.
- Availability of previous reports aids in recognition of usual/changed conditions.
- Measurement flow diagrams aid in the resolution of discrepancies and balancing issues.
While no one likes doing reports, they are part of the job and should be completed as easily and quickly as possible. The natural output of the work in the field should be the measurement records required to document compliance, warn operators of deficiencies, and support audits.
Our Muddy Boots platform checks these boxes and more. It supports documentation for audits, helps streamline scheduling and workflow, and provides you with a dashboard summary of overdue tasks at a glance. In addition, the platform supports site measurement drawings and schematics, Management of Change (MoC) tracking, WOs, and more.
Putting It All Together: “Natural Compliance” for Measurement
A well-designed measurement program brings together measurement SOP compliance, measurement training, and supporting software tools. When all three of these are together, operators arrive at a place that we at GCI call “Natural Compliance.”
The result for companies is that your monthly closing process becomes routine, you never have to wonder if you are ready for an audit, and you always know whether you’re in compliance with tariffs and contracts… because it becomes part of your normal workflow and reporting process.
When it’s time for the audit, there is no fire drill to prepare for the inquiry. Instead, through Natural Compliance, you already have what is needed and you know the results ahead of time.
Contact GCI to Support SOP Compliance
If you’re not sure when to update SOPs to reflect changes to tariffs, contracts, and regulations, let’s discuss your options. Or, if your company is concerned about the impact of ESG initiatives on measurement, then talk to GCI about developing a solution built around SOP compliance, implementation, measurement training, and software support.
When you have the resources to perform measurement correctly, then SOP compliance will come naturally. Your operation will benefit from taking action now before you find yourself in a more difficult position later on.
To schedule a consultation with our team about the three pillars of measurement and Natural Compliance, contact us today. We look forward to supporting your company and helping you navigate the rapidly changing oil and gas environment.