Operations Info Initiative Results
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
California Gas Transmission is pleased to announce a customer satisfaction initiative targeting concerns surrounding Pipe Ranger's Pipeline Status forecasts and their accuracy. In CGT's 2003 customer satisfaction survey, a few customers questioned the accuracy or timeliness of operations data found in the Pipeline Status pages. CGT's response to these concerns is two parts direct action and one part information.
Alarm for Plan 1
As requested by customers, CGT makes every effort to post OFO notices as early as possible. On a few occasions during 2003, CGT posted timely OFO notices at approximately 7:15 a.m. but did not post the accompanying plan 1 update until significantly later, beyond CGT's goal of 7:45 a.m. Such a lag results in an OFO Outlook, based on the pending plan 1, that does not correspond to the Pipeline Status information, still based on the previous gas day's plan 5.
To avoid these rare occurrences, CGT installed a new alarm system to be used by its Operations group. Although Operations uses many alarms to signal potential pipeline system troubles, this new alarm will now sound in the event plan 1 information is not sent to Pipe Ranger by 7:45 a.m.
CGT will continue to make the timely posting of OFO notices a top priority. CGT knows that, first and foremost, customers want simply to know whether there is an OFO. For this reason, CGT posts the OFO notice prior to completion of plan 1. The new alarm will ensure that Pipe Ranger is updated with plan 1 information with only the minimum delay required for its completion.
Timely Meteorology Inputs
PG&E's Meteorology group has modified procedures to ensure that the first and most important weather forecast does not slow development of plan 1 and the OFO forecast. Automated data now smoothly feeds key inputs to the Operations group and core forecasting models by 6:25 a.m. each morning.
A Wealth of Information
Pipe Ranger's Operations pages offer volumes of information. The Pipeline Status page, in particular, presents the OFO Outlook for the next three days, the corresponding inventory forecast and the significant detail behind the forecast. CGT provides this information-the same detailed forecasts CGT operators use in their daily planning-and an extensive archive because customers requested it as a tool to better predict and therefore reduce the number of OFOs.
Such a wealth of information can be ripe for misunderstanding, however. In addition to the two systematic improvements mentioned above, CGT offers the following informational resources to support increased appreciation of the Pipeline Status data:
- The Supply and Demand Forecast's Inherent Volatility, a new addition to the Pipe Ranger Library's CGT Business Facts, explains some of the large drivers of the forecast's volatility.
- In November 2002, CGT developed the Supply and Demand Forecast and OFO FAQs to aid understanding of the Pipeline Status forecast.
- You CGT Account Representatives are available to discuss any questions you may have.
Improved Operations Information
CGT believes these improvements will increase the reliability of Pipe Ranger's Operations data. Although variability and uncertainty are staples of the gas marketer's diet, CGT's goal is to minimize, to the extent possible, any uncertainty surrounding its published numbers. CGT welcomes your suggestions on this subject; please feel to discuss them with your CGT Representatives or to contact Mike O'Donnell, Manager of Operations, Planning and Control, at email@example.com.
Stay tuned to Pipe Ranger for complete news of CGT's customer satisfaction initiatives.
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