Amidst the seeming chaos associated with producing natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), condensate, and crude oil in all areas of the country, the very real, bottom-line benefits of incorporating a hydrocarbon measurement policy into energy companies' day-to-day operations are often overlooked. With the growing shortage of trained personnel throughout the upstream and midstream sectors of our industry, most companies are relying more heavily than ever on third-party service providers to perform critical measurement services. Without a comprehensive measurement policy, company employees and contract service providers are more likely to follow differing and potentially conflicting procedures. This can result in confusion associated with establishing prices, cost overruns, and producing less accurate, accountable results.
An effective measurement policy should not only state goals and objectives, but also establish critical guidelines for regulatory and contractual compliance, scheduling, meter inspection and calibration, quality control, as well as volume and quality determinations. For an outline of more comprehensive gas and liquid measurement policy requirements, please click here
While strict adherence to measurement policies should be required, this must be a "living" do cument with periodic reviews and revisions, as required, to accommodate changing business conditions and as new measurement methodologies, standards, and technologies are introduced to our industry. While many of us view "policy," in general, to represent a potential bureaucratic nightmare, a well-executed hydrocarbon measurement policy can have a tremendously positive impact on accuracy, accountability, efficiency, safety, and, ultimately, profitability.
"To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer."
~ George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright