OFO Process Improvements Planned for the Future

Friday, January 25, 2008

As a result of the OFO Forum of last fall and the subsequent OFO Survey, PG&E's California Gas Transmission has an action plan to improve some processes related to OFOs. Many thanks to all who participated in the OFO Forum and to all who provided feedback via the online OFO Survey. Your thoughts and opinions are driving our choices of future actions.

Calling OFOs as early as 5:30 a.m. Pacific time

One message came across loud and clear:  If CGT has an indication it may need to call an OFO, call it early!  CGT will pursue the process of calling OFOs as early as 5:30 a.m. Pacific time, if conditions warrant.  We are currently working out the details (revising our procedures and retooling our programming) and expect to be able to commence this new process by second quarter of this year.  We'll let you know when this process is in place.

Please be aware that all OFOs called at the 5:30 a.m. timeframe will only be system wide.  Additionally, even when CGT has the capability of calling OFOs as early as 5:30, we will still retain the right to call OFOs later in the day when market conditions and/or operational conditions dictate the necessity.

Auto Hold

Possibly unclearly named, this option is simply a system enhancement related to Capacity Holding.  Currently, if gas supply during flow day cycles ID1 and ID2 causes inventory to exceed acceptable levels, CGT has the ability to hold the flow limit at interconnects to the prior cycle scheduled volumes ("Capacity Holding").  Currently, the holding process constrains all flow nominations, even when they do not increase system inventory.

The Auto Hold improvement would further enhance the process so that nominations to off-system destinations and to storage would be exempted from the holding process. CGT will pursue this automation project, but because of resource constraints, does not expect this to be implemented until mid- to late 2009.

Same Day OFOs

One concept discussed in the survey was the ability for CGT to call an OFO, with noncompliance charges, during the gas flow day.  We received a mixed response on this issue, although there is clearly a shift in opinion from a couple of years ago (from highly negative to mixed).  Although CGT will not pursue this at this time, we may pursue this idea in the future, should there be more solid support for the idea and the required tariff change.

Change to the OFO Exemption Basis

Another proposal included in the survey was the idea to modify gas Rule 14 so that the exemption basis for an OFO would be changed from $1,000 per OFO event to 1,000 Dth per OFO event.  This proposal did not receive a high level of support in the results of the survey and therefore, CGT will not pursue this change at this time.

Additionally, thanks to all who have been participating in the Beta Test of the OFO Key Indicators and who provided us with feedback. Your response indicated that you find some version of the OFO Key Indicators to be valuable (some modifications were suggested as well as the deletion of some graphs). We hear you and we are currently researching when/how we can provide the OFO Key Indicators in a more "permanent" format and provide them for all five operational planning periods.

In the meantime, we will continue to e-mail you the OFO Key Indicators for Plan 5 every weekday morning. If you would like to be added to this e-mail list, would like to be deleted, or would simply like to know more about the OFO Key Indicators, please contact your CGT Account Services Representative.