In order to deal with continuing volatility in both price and demand, companies need to find ways to improve their efficiency and timeliness when it comes to the complexity involved in managing the natural gas supply chain, from the acquisition of raw natural gas liquids through delivery of refined components and timely completion of accounting.
The opportunity for improved profits lies within the operations of the business itself – within the chance to create single straight-through processing of all relevant data in the various silos throughout the organization and applying and sharing deep expertise up and down the enterprise.
Openlink provides a comprehensive front- to back-office solution for natural gas supply, distribution and trading – covering physical gas in both liquid and gaseous form, as well as in financial derivatives. A single, integrated solution covers all aspects: equity production, gas processing, scheduling, forecasting, storage and transport, route optimization, as well as the financial facets of marketing, trading and position management, risk, accounting and reporting. Of course, this virtually eliminates manual data integration and reconciliation work associated with a business this complex. With an aggregated view of all positions, risk and P&L on one system, decision-making happens more quickly, decisively and profitably.
Midstream marketers and refiners need a view of positions across the gas processing value chain for physical transactions, as well as any financial hedges included in the portfolio. However these transactions are often processed in separate systems. As a result, data needs to be extracted at a granular level from each system and then standardized and integrated into consolidated reporting tools. Should an issue need to be addressed, it means going back to the source system to analyze the problem.
Openlink provides automated, straight-through processing of both physical and financial NGL transactions. With our real-time reporting tools, you can see your aggregated positions, risk and P&L and then drill down to the transaction level, all at the click of a mouse.
Since refiners and marketers need to deliver the right product at the right time to the right location, purchases need to be made by traders many months in advance, and then schedulers need to manage logistics and transportation either by voyage or pipeline. But schedulers and traders often share information in an ad-hoc fashion making this process harder than it needs to be. Additionally, schedulers need to closely monitor the supply chain to ensure product is on schedule for target delivery dates – and ad-hoc planning makes this difficult.
With Openlink, refiners and marketers can manage purchases against a budgeted requirement or market commitment and seamlessly coordinate easily with schedulers managing the transportation logistics. Manage the flow of scheduling and inventory information from nomination through movement for all major transportation methods, including vessel voyages. Observe and track product flows over time.
NGLs are subject to complex pricing and logistics as they are processed, fractionated, transported (in various modes), stored and refined. The many forms and methods that this product experiences in its lifecycle until actually delivery creates enormous complexity. For this reason, many organizations leverage two different software packages for managing the process, creating the need to enter data into multiple systems and to manually reconcile them in order to remain current and accurate.
With Openlink you can manage this entire gas processing value chain a single solution, eliminating the need to reconcile between two systems, reducing duplication of efforts and finally, reducing risk of errors in the process.
Inventory of the various carbon components needs to be managed at an accurate and reliable manner. Storage capacity at each facility, as well as the delivery commitments are not understood at a consolidated level to ensure that inventory is managed for full optimization. Information sharing can be incomplete and ad-hoc. In addition, schedulers need to closely monitor the supply chain to ensure product is available and on schedule for target delivery dates.
Openlink tracks all transactions related to inventory and exchange agreements including storage, cargos and in-transits, to provide accurate balance and statement reporting. We track product re-grades, location differentials and other critical details to produce timely and accurate exchange balances.
Movements in and out of storage accounts are tracked and grouped so they can be reconciled with third-party statements and/or physical inventory readings.
Ticket management for loading and off-loading product can automated for easy tracking, reconciliation and accurate settlements.
Trading and scheduling quantity updates, location changes, matching tickets and reconciling contracts are all issues that prevent settlements from being accurate and timely. Natural gas liquids are subject to a wide range of costs including transportation, processing, fractionating, refining and possibly product blending, before eventually being sold. In order to properly settle with counterparties, companies need to track and manage these costs. However in many cases these costs are in desperate systems or managed in spreadsheets across different parts of the business creating unnecessary obstacles.
Openlink captures all transactions, pricing and cost components in a single system, to ensure accurate and timely settlement of transactions. This happens automatically due to the inherent nature of the system’s straight-through processing functionality.
To learn more about how Openlink Solutions can work to improve ROI and streamline operations in your business, contact us for a free consultation or no obligation demo.