If there were frequent traveler award programs for commodities, oil and gas would win by a mile; make that, hundreds of thousands of miles. It’s interesting that oil and gas, two of the world’s largest energy sources expected to grow in demand two-fold over the next five years in Asian markets, is often energy inefficient. And, not only that, a leak can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and impact the environment negatively.
Before making it to the pump, petroleum liquids travel through pipelines worldwide to arrive at refineries, ships, and tanks, and other containers. As energy is often a pipeline’s largest operational cost, energy efficiency and 24/7 power availability is critical to ensure profitability of oil and gas pipelines, while minimizing risks. In order to maintain security and safety of assets and personnel, while meeting environmental requirements, operators need the right tools to manage pipelines efficiently and remotely.
Preparing for the worst is the best strategy. Whether crude or refined, liquid petroleum products need robust structures that are stable, yet flexible and scalable. The best way to minimize disasters and accidents is through efficient pipeline management. And, this involves a lot planning.
Technology helps refiners, pipeline, and terminal operators to optimize pipeline management. At the most basic level, pipeline management solutions need SCADA, modeling and simulation, forecasting, measurement, accounting, and reporting applications.
At a higher level, end-to-end pipeline management solutions enable operators to integrate new tools with existing systems, scale pipeline infrastructures to meet regulatory changes, and maximize energy efficiency.
Because pipelines run thousands of miles through all kinds of terrain, it is important to scrutinize entire pipeline operations regularly to ensure top performance and reduce risks. Field data collection and analysis capabilities in pipeline management solutions allow operators to have a better view of their pipeline infrastructure. And, accurate leak detection capabilities allow fast resolution of abnormal conditions, and even helps anticipate other future potential issues.
Effective energy management enable oil and gas pipeline operators to improve personnel safety, minimize down time to deliver the product on time, and optimize operational costs with comprehensive pipeline management systems. The ideal solution also dramatically decreases maintenance and energy costs.
The political debate on energy consumption and fossil fuels may be the last thing on your mind. Take for instance, the Keystone pipeline debate. Whether you agree with one side or the other, the fact is that renewable energy producers can work together with oil and gas producers so that all of us have more choices.
For global energy, the road less traveled is often the best path to take if we want to ensure the sustainability of our planet. Energy efficient pipeline management is a start to meet both business demands and green objectives. What else can we do?