Software is the Solution for a more Efficient LNG Value Chain

by , , | Mar 6, 2024 | Digital Transformation, Oil & Gas

Todd Walden

Todd Walden

Public Relations, Advertising & Social Media Consultant

As countries around the globe transition from fossil to renewables, the success of that transition will pivot on a reliable supply of natural gas. But an increase in demand coupled with changing global events has made the liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets more unstable.

This instability has a direct impact on LNG operations. Suppliers are under more pressure than ever to operate at peak efficiency to optimize the entire LNG value chain. However, LNG operations are complex, especially as the product transitions between pipelines and terminals. For companies handling this transition manually, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay competitive.

Fortunately, as Rohan Awasthi and Martha Rendon share in their recent article in Hydrocarbon Processing, there is another way. LNG companies are embracing a Boundless Automation™ vision of seamless data from the intelligent field through the edge and into the cloud to better manage their value chain from end to end.

Manual operation and record keeping increases complexity

Rohan and Martha share a poignant example of the complexity of LNG operations in their article,

“Consider an example of an organization running a terminal and a pipeline. When a vessel arrives in the terminal and starts unloading, it will likely move product into many tanks. The operations team will need visibility into how much product went into each tank, as well as how many different customers have ownership. They will also need to know how much product was already in the tank, and the quality of the product. The team also must reconcile what additional products arrived, the custody owner for each of those products, how much was paid for each, and other information. All measurements, observables, gross calorific value, and any other metrics that capture the energy content will need to be recorded and tracked in energy value.”

That is a significant amount of work. Trying to perform each of those steps manually would not only be time-consuming, but also prone to human error. Complex macros built into spreadsheets can help lift some of the load, but they don’t eliminate the possibility that the original data will be entered incorrectly. Moreover, when one or more of those macros stops working, the company requires highly skilled personnel to fix or replace them.

Transitions between gas and liquid form increase this complexity, adding further calculations that must be managed. And whether LNG is moving between a terminal and a pipeline, or a terminal and a vessel, or even a pipeline and a recipient customer, teams need a simple, intuitive way to manage reconciliation. Typically, spreadsheets are neither.

Fit-for-purpose software is the solution

The answer, Martha and Rohan share, is seamlessly integrated software across the value chain. Fit-for-purpose LNG software like Emerson’s Pipeline Transporter™ and Synthesis™ offer solutions for operations management and transaction management. Both tools are designed to connect out-of-the-box to not only reduce or eliminate manual processes and record keeping, but also eliminate the need to train operators in multiple software applications. Rohan and Martha explain,

“The user simply logs into one application to navigate both gas and liquid contracts, manage daily and weekly nominations, and handle transportation logistics, such as vessel and truck orders. Reconciliation and reporting are automated, and commercialization is simplified. Modern solutions can communicate directly with order-to-cash systems to handle billing, invoicing, and reporting to customers.”

Equally important is the fact that fit-for-purpose software solutions also assist with regulatory compliance, with embedded tools configured with regulatory standards. Martha and Rohan discuss these features and others in their article to help readers evaluate the ideal LNG software for their operation. Head over to Hydrocarbon Processing to check it out!

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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