Dear Sadie

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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Dear Reader,

Sadie here.  Y’all may be wondering why there isn’t a quiz today.  Well…that’s because I’m gonna be a grandma!!  That’s right, Decatherm just gave birth to three wonderful little kittens!  It’s hard to think of quiz questions when you’re tryin’ to name your new babies.  What do you think of Ranger, Tracc, and Noms?  Admittedly the names are a work in progress.

Now, ain’t y’all lucky!?  You get one more opportunity to learn from the legendary Sadie.  Today I’ll explain how to best utilize Pipe Ranger’s pipeline maintenance and capacity related pages.  Read on…

Addled and Buffaloed on Pipeline Capacity/Maintenance Pages

Dear Sadie,
On your Pipeline Maintenance News screen on Pipe Ranger, the number in the “% of Max” column doesn’t seem to correspond with the cut volume percentage of my nominations.  Why is this?
Addled in Albany

Dear Sadie,
I’m confused…on Pipe Ranger, when should I be looking at the numbers on the Physical Pipeline Capacities page and when should I be looking at the numbers on the Pipeline Maintenance News page?  What is the difference??
Buffaloed in Buffalo

Dear Readers,

Awesome questions this week!  This gives me the opportunity to help you understand some of the valuable informational tools available on the Pipe Ranger.  It’s Decatherm’s favorite site, don’t ya know!

Let’s start with the Pipeline Maintenance News page.  It’s a good place to look if you are thinking about the transportation business you are going to do with CGT in the coming month.  The folks at CGT post the next month’s maintenance information before the start of bid week.  This reflects CGT’s best information, based on average temperatures, pressures and pipeline inventory, of the impact that planned maintenance will have on the maximum pipeline capacities on the Redwood Path, the Baja Path, and any impacts to specific interconnects.  It is CGT’s look-forward to available capacities in the coming month.

By contrast, the information displayed on the Physical Pipeline Capacities page reflects the most up-to-date information available on the capacities at all of CGT’s interconnects and other important points on both the Redwood and Baja Paths.  This information is for today’s gas day and tomorrow’s gas day, and is based on the most current temperatures, pressures and pipeline inventory as it is right now.

If you have received unexpected path or interconnect cuts on your firm nominations and are wondering why, one place to look is the Physical Pipeline Capacities page, used in tandem with the Firm Capacity Commitments page.  This page shows the total volume of firm committed capacity that CGT has sold, by path, by month.  It is updated at the beginning of every month.

As an example, let’s say that it is December 25.  On the Physical Pipeline Capacity page, you see that, for today’s gas day (Dec. 25), there is 1360 MMcf/day available on the Redwood Path.  When you look at the Firm Capacity Commitments page, you see that in total, CGT has sold firm capacity of 1512.1 MDth/day on the Redwood Path.  Ignoring differences in units, and as a rough estimate, you can conclude that, in total, all firm customers should have gotten cut by approximately 10% prorata.

But you’re seeing a 15% cut to your firm nominations.  What happened? There could be something ELSE going on.  Maybe the cuts have occurred because there is a problem with your nominations.

The fact is that customers make mistakes and/or things happen – a counterparty forgets to submit their matching nomination, or a scheduler misses the nomination deadline, or they exceed their MDQ, or they leave their pools out of balance, or maybe their upstream supply doesn’t show up.  Any number of things can go wrong.  And if something DOES go wrong (assuming the mishap occurred to a customer with Firm transport and, again, the pipe was flowing full, i.e., all FIRM customers were flowing all their firm capacity), then that customer will lose their space on the pipe.

That means instead of flowing 90% of your Firm gas, you are now only flowing 85% or even less!  That’s the downside.  The upside is that for other customers, whose noms suffered NO such mishaps would actually flow MORE than the 90% of capacity because their nominations would capitalize on the space forfeited by a Firm customer(s) who lost their space.

So, there are a couple of take-a-ways here – one is that Pipeline Maintenance News page is a good one to look at if you are planning your business for the coming month.  However, if you want to know what the actual physical capacities look like for today’s gas day, check out the Physical Pipeline Capacities page for today.

The other take-a-way is that due to customers’ nomination errors and/or upstream supply cuts, some customers may end up with a different percentage cut of their nominations as compared to the expected total firm prorata cuts.  Therefore, customers need to ensure their nominations are as correct and as timely as possible so that they have the greatest chance to flow.

It’s All Over but the Quizzin’

Ok, next week I promise I’ll have a quiz ready for y’all.  Make sure to catch up on all of my previous articles.  You nail that quiz, and you can win some amazin’ prizes.  Good luck!

Catch ya on the next nom cycle, and be safe!