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Energy Technology Risk: Managing Hyper Gas Markets

Energy Trading & Risk Management: Gas price volatility has increased. Relying on antiquated scheduling systems is a recipe for disaster.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2005

seamless gas solution are obvious: Schedulers and cash traders can exchange ideas on possible execution strategies in real time, providing an effective mechanism for furthering inter-group efficiency and managing expected operational variances. Advanced scheduling systems provide a seamless flow of transaction data, from trading and risk operations to scheduling for next-day, or real-time scheduling within some markets.

Regardless of the geographic focus, energy traders should have the capacity to customize their module to suit their specific needs.  Although supporting third-party pipelines is a standard feature, with optional add-on modules, many new scheduling applications will allow pipeline operators to manage volumes on their own pipelines as well.

The Commonsense Approach

Another common mistake to avoid is overlooking the true, total costs of the competing solutions. The temptation is to select the solution with the lowest software license—usually a relatively small component of the total project cost. The commonsense saying, “You get what you pay for,” definitely applies here. A cheaper solution with limited capabilities usually requires more add-on patches or manual workarounds with expanded professional service expenses. In the end, you wind up paying more. 

Finally, given the energy software industry’s not-so-stellar record in product development/investment, how comfortable would you be with under-capitalized companies supporting your mission-critical applications? That’s how many energy companies got into their energy trading system integration problems in the first place.