The past several years have seen tremendous change in the oil and gas industry in North America. As production has skyrocketed and strained resources, focus on efficiency and optimization has sharpened. Today, there are powerful methods for optimization, which deliver enormous benefits in a variety of tasks essential for pipeline operations. Major application areas are pipeline planning, throughput forecasting, pipeline scheduling, batch tracking and operations optimization including power costs. Each requires advanced analysis techniques before confident use of the results is possible. With its background in the pipeline industry, divis can confidently deliver integrated solutions for each of these tasks.
Fluid pipeline scheduling aims at generating optimal shipper receipt and delivery schedules automatically. This involves the sometimes complex shipper nominations and allocation problem, supply and demand forecasts, and, in a growing number of cases where utility costs are linked to markets, financial forecasts. For a typical batched pipeline, with many shippers, multiple injection and delivery points, and a long list of pipeline and commodity specific constraints, feasible schedule generation can be a complex task.
Optimization of feasible schedules includes incorporating pump operations, tankage availability and pipeline maintenance costs. Progress over the past several years has yielded advanced algorithms for a wide class of scheduling problems, which are available for use today. One important divis feature is the generation of a flexibility map for each schedule, which gauges the ability to adjust a schedule to meet fluctuations in shipper supply and refinery demand requirements. divis's scheduling solutions also incorporates our background in requirements for interfacing the pipeline schedule with other systems, a key and often underestimated aspect in pipeline operations management.
When building or modifying a pipeline, investment in construction should be examined simultaneously with expected operational envelopes. This allows pipeline layout optimization, scenario planning and optimization, and shipper tariff evaluation, all at the same time. This approach requires a general economic model as well as a field-tested hydraulics model. Our approach of combining these, allowing prototyping of both capital and operational expenses, is unique.
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