Improved Scheduling Capabilities and Better Visibility of Logistics Costs are Critical Success Factors in Crude Pipeline Scheduling, OpenLink Survey Reveals

Only 8% of those polled consider their standardization and IT support adequate to meet their needs

New York – October 3, 2011 – OpenLink Financial LLC (OpenLink), a leading provider of energy, commodities, trading, and risk management (ETRM/CTRM) solutions, which support the entire transaction lifecycle, has released survey results from a webinar conducted with Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

Results show that 46% of participants believe improved scheduling capabilities and better visibility of logistics costs are the critical success factors in crude pipeline scheduling (CPS), followed by controls around real-time exposure management (32%).

Lyn Bird, Senior Executive, Accenture’s energy industry group, noted, “As North American crude production increases across frontiers, there is more pressure on crude logistics handling. Currently, there are a number of crude logistics constraints, such as infrastructure bottlenecks, trucking capacity and intricacies of localized markets. With large crude margins at stake, sound analytics and insight will be at the heart of the success stories – crucially, this will be driven by technology that can deliver data in real-time.”

In contrast to the key success factors, only 8% of those polled believe their standardization and IT support is adequate to meet their needs, while 48% of respondents thought there were too many different formats and processes involved in pipeline nominations.

Dr. Wolfgang Ferse, EVP, Energy and Commodities Solutions, OpenLink, remarked, “Based on the current environment in the North American crude market, the opportunities for business improvement are tremendous. The data from the survey supports our vision that the deployment of standardized technology and applications that integrate all the important elements of the CPS value chain – especially trading, scheduling and nominating, and risk management – will be decisive to achieving the key success factors identified. To drive margins requires an ETRM/Logistics platform, which integrates physical and financial positions and exposure data to be instantaneously available and presented in a meaningful way, such as those provided by OpenLink.”

When asked what areas of crude pipeline scheduling and logistics those polled considered most important and were most interested in learning more about, the top four results were:

  • 29% – Benefits and challenges of linking ETRM and CPS
  • 28% – Elements of the CPS process chain which need to be supported by IT solutions
  • 27% – The interactions between planning, scheduling, and actualization within the CPS process
  • 16% – The differences in modelling for various types of crude pipelines (e.g., fungible vs. batch pipelines)

The poll surveyed senior industry professionals focused on CPS and reveals respondents key critical success factors, challenges, and areas of interest.

Learn more about OpenLink’s solutions for energy and commodities or listen to the webinar on scheduling the crude pipeline network.

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