Data Validation and Reconciliation in the Gas Transportation & Distribution Sector

Improving Operations and Digital Transformation processes through Sigmafine

Natural gas is forecasted as one of the most important energy sources of the next decades. Being a relatively clean fossil fuel, gas has also potentials to reduce worldwide pollution during the transition period to renewable energy technologies. As gas is so valuable and useful, economies are gradually becoming increasingly more dependent on this natural resource.

With more than 20 years supporting several worldwide companies in the digital transformation process, Sigmafine is currently used in this field by companies operating in gas production, processing, liquefaction, regasification and storage.

Applications of Sigmafine in the Gas Transportation & Distribution Sectors

Gas Production

Gas Processing

Storage

LNG Liquefaction

LNG Regasification

LNG Storage

Transmission Pipelines

City Gate Station

Distribution Pipelines

Sigmafine Application

In pipelines systems, accurate flowrates data are essential for the proper calculation of transactions. Imbalances in these systems generate revenue losses to companies and instrumentation failures can also affect the estimators, thus reducing the efficiency of operations.

Sigmafine, a proven software system that provides the framework and infrastructure to support all the activities related to managing data quality in a process, is the ideal solution to assist customers when facing the following challenges:

  • Gas network balancing
  • Estimation of unmeasured flow rates
  • Monitoring & estimation of losses
  • Meter failure identification
  • Meter placement simulation & optimization
  • Quality and Composition tracking
  • Ownership tracking
  • Engineering calculations

 

Gas Network Balancing

Pimsoft strategy is based on the implementation of Sigmafine, a robust system for checks and balances. By developing a gas network model used to evaluate and define different strategies, Sigmafine generates a dataset that is coherent, trustable and usable to improve the daily operations of the gas network.

The reconciled flow values, output of the gas network model, can be used for various calculations and simulations, for example the estimation of the unmeasured flows based, leak minimization and meter failure identification.

Sigmafine can deal with a wide range of model sizes (e.g. city and district level) and complexities to support specific applications as well as facilities (e.g. pressure reductions stations, meters, etc.) and distribution network datasets.

Anomaly Detections

Gas imbalances can be caused by different reasons, for example metering failures, theft, illegal connections or losses. Thanks to its algorithm and statistical indicators that compare meter flow data with the network reconciled flow, Sigmafine is able to estimate the location of the detected leak/anomaly and to give to the user the conditions under which a leak will be detected.

Meter Placement

The goal of the meter placement analysis is to place the sensors at the best locations in order to determine the flow of the gas network as accurately as possible.

Through the simulation algorithm, every meter is virtually placed one by one in a specific spot of the network in order to identify the best configuration that will support the model to have the highest data quality at the lowest price.

The simulation is fully configurable, specific characteristics for each meter can be taken into consideration. The obtained locations show the potential to largely decrease the uncertainty of the flows calculated by the gas network model.

Tracking

Through the Sigmafine model is possible to track changes in the gas ownership during the delivery process. The assignment of the quantity of gas to the correct owner can be based on the measured data as well as on the reconciled ones. Sigmafine allows to calculate up-to-date estimates of gas composition and qualities (e.g. density, viscosity, odorant, etc.) related to tanks, pipelines and external information (e.g. laboratory analysis). It empowers daily – and even hourly – monitoring, which enables operations teams to quickly fix process inefficiencies and update the planning throughout the month to optimize logistics and reduce costs.

Next Challenges

The Sigmafine gas network model can support companies in facing new challenges, such as:

  • Maintenance: comparison of different scenarios to improve the network maintenance planning.
  • Biogas: despite being theoretically equivalent to natural gas, biogas chemical compound and caloric value can be different. New challenges may arise due to the input of biogas in the network (e.g. safety monitoring, contamination detection, etc.). Thanks to Sigmafine capability of gas composition tracking, companies would benefit from its employment when facing these challenges.

 

Conclusions

Reconciled data obtained through a reliable gas network model have a big potential to change the ways gas networks are designed and operated today. The versatility of Sigmafine and the possibility of an easy configuration and customization can improve how gas networks are made by rendering them more efficient and less costly to maintain, reducing the impact on the environment and increasing profitability.

Resources

Webinar: Mass Balance and Metering for Gas Transportation & Distribution

Discover Pimsoft’s approach to enable an improved mass balance of the Gas Network and enhance meter placement through simulation & optimization analysis

LThis webinar discusses how Pimsoft’s Sigmafine algorithm will support the digitalization process in the Gas Transportation & Distribution Sector, allowing you to make the most out of your data.

View Presentation
Applicazione di Sigmafine e del PI System nel settore Distribuzione Gas

Webinar: Applicazione di Sigmafine e del PI System nel settore Distribuzione Gas

Scopri come Sigmafine e il PI System supportano il processo di Digital Transformation per mezzo del bilancio di massa e dell’infrastruttura real time.

View Presentation

Pimsoft Contact

Gabriele Marazzi

Gabriele Marazzi
Industry Principal for Gas Transportation and Distribution
Pimsoft, S.p.A.
Milan

   

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