In this month’s episode of the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast, host Weldon Wright discusses the importance of getting involved with organizations and events in the measurement industry, including various organizations and schools.
This episode also features several clips featuring conversations with professionals in the industry.
- SM Energy
- Connect with David Pressler on LinkedIn
- Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline
- Connect with Leia Westerfield on LinkedIn
- Tamara Morgan
- Simple Control Solutions
- Connect with Steve May on LinkedIn
- Daniel Measurement & Control
- Connect with Angela Floyd on LinkedIn
- Apex Measurement | GCI
- Connect with Ardis Bartle on LinkedIn
Getting Involved Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms:
- Quorum Users Conference is the largest gathering of energy professionals held around the world. In 2023, the meeting took place March 27-29 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- AGA (American Gas Association) represents companies delivering natural gas safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible way to help improve the quality of life for their customers every day. AGA’s mission is to provide clear value to its membership and serve as the indispensable, leading voice and facilitator on its behalf in promoting the safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses across the nation.
- The annual AGA Operations Conference is the natural gas industry’s largest gathering of natural gas utility and transmission company operations management from across North America and the world. During the conference, participants share technical knowledge, ideas, and practices to promote the safe, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of natural gas to the end-user.
- ISHM (The International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement) is held annually in Oklahoma City. ISHM provides a number of 1–2 hour training classes on various topics of interest to those in oil and gas measurement.
- ASGMT (American School of Gas Measurement Technology) is the largest gas measurement school in the United States that is devoted to natural gas measurement, pressure regulation, flow control, and other measurement related arenas. It is divided into seven main subject groups: Fundamental Measurement, Gas Quality, Distribution, General and Advanced Measurement, Transmission, Office Procedures and Accounting, and Hands-On training.
- Check out the episode Weldon mentioned with Carvel over ASGMT here
- Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is a pipeline-quality gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas. The quality of RNG is similar to fossil natural gas and has a methane concentration of 90% or greater.Cude
- Hydrogen Gas is a clean energy carrier that can be used to store, move, and deliver energy produced from other sources. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. These qualities make it an attractive fuel option for transportation and electricity generation applications. It can be used in cars, in houses, for portable power, and in many more applications.
- API (American Petroleum Institute) represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry. API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
- GPA or GPA Midstream Association is a voluntary industry organization composed of member companies that operate in the midstream sector of our industry. GPA Midstream sets standards for natural gas liquids; develops simple and reproducible test methods to define the industry’s raw materials and products; manages a worldwide cooperative research program; provides a voice for our industry on Capitol Hill; and is the go-to resource for technical reports and publications.
- NGL – Natural Gas Liquids are components of natural gas that are separated from the gas state in the form of liquids. This separation occurs in a field facility or a gas processing plant through absorption, condensation, or other methods.
- The American Gas Association’s Gas Measurement Manuals provide a comprehensive outline of the gas measurement industry. These standards include a brief history of gas measurement, descriptions of the most salient business practices and theories of operation, as well as a lengthy glossary of terms.
- A Coriolis flow meter measures mass by the inertia of a liquid or gas flowing through a vibrating tube that is equipped with a set of sensors at the inlets and outlets of the meter. The increased movement of the flow produces measurable oscillation that is proportional to the mass. The design and function of Coriolis flow meters has made them the most reliable form of fluid and gas measuring instruments.
- FLOWCAL by Quorum Software is an oil and gas measurement software platform that is used by operators for the back-office validation, processing, and reporting of natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids.
- IoT (Internet of Things) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Getting Involved Full Episode Transcript:
Weldon Wright: Welcome to the Oil and Gas Measurement Podcast, episode 20, sponsored by Gas Certification Institute. For over 20 years GCI has provided measurement training, measurement SOPs, consulting services, and now the Muddy Boots field operations software for the oil and gas industry.
Announcer: Welcome to the Oil and Gas Measurement Podcast, where measurement professionals, Bubba geeks, and gurus share their knowledge, experience, and likely a tall tale or two on measurement topics for the oil and gas industry. Now your host, Weldon Wright.
Weldon: Howdy folks, and welcome to episode 20. We’re going to do something a little bit different for this episode. This time of year is really busy for GCI and for myself. The last four to five weeks we have training in Las Vegas at the Quorum Users Conference.
Two weeks ago I was at Grapevine at the AGA operations conference, and there the American Gas Association Transmission Measurement Committee has a meeting. We work through a lot of things on standards that need revising, talk on new standards.
Then this week we are in ISHM, at the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement. We’re going to talk through something that has been a topic that we’ve just touched on a couple of other episodes, but I’d like to try to expound on here, and that is, what are our industry standard committees and what are our training schools about?
Why should people be involved in them? What do you, and what does your company get out of it? I think we’ve talked about ASGMT with Carvel here on one of the early episodes. We’ve talked about some updates on specific work by specific committees, but let’s just talk for a minute overall about what these committees do for us.
In the United States if we are buying and selling natural gas, crude, or other hydrocarbon products between private companies those transactions, the measurement rules, the procedures for conducting that measurement are not dictated by laws and regulations of the US.
They’re dictated by the contracts. They’re dictated by the tariffs that the two parties agree to. Those tariffs, for the most part, reference voluntary industry standards as how measurement will be conducted.
The primary groups that we see here are the AGA, the American Gas Association, which really focuses on the transmission and the distribution measurement, API, the American Petroleum Institute, which is classically focused on the upstream of the production side and more on liquids than natural gas.
Then GPA midstream, which focuses on the analytical and the calculation processes around gas quality, NGL quality, and similar things. Again, these are voluntary industry standards, voluntary from several different aspects.
First of all, again, it’s not regulation. These are all individual entities that the member companies, the individual oil and gas companies, the vendors in the industry, they are voluntarily members. They pay annual membership dues as a company to be involved in these organizations.
Then they provide the technical expertise in the way of volunteers that are employees of these companies that are involved in the standards making boards of the standard maintaining boards. As I mentioned, we were there two weeks ago with Grapevine where the Transmission Measurement Committee spent two days in committee meetings going over the current topics.
We talked a lot about what’s happening with hydrogen. We talked about what’s happening and what’s continuing to happen with RNG, renewable natural gas, and at the level of what is the definition of renewable natural gas? What does it really mean? What are the quality standards we need to have?
We also talked about some upcoming changes and standards to, “Hey, what are we doing with ultrasonic meters? We have a custody transfer for transmission pipeline standards, but what about for the local distribution? What about for the smaller meters?” There’s work going on at that.
The American Gas Association also has an older document that, as a total, was called the Gas Measurement Manuals. These were intended to be training documents for new people coming into the industry.
They were very valuable and very great documents quite a few years ago, but they kind of fell into disrepair. The AGA Transmission Measurement Committee has undertaken a multiple year commitment to update and, again, get those measurement manuals updated and make them relevant again.
We spent a lot of time at our last two, maybe last three transmission measurement committees working on gas measurement manual three, which is ARFA measurement. Lots of updates to that manual. Also as we looked at that manual, we realized, “Hey, the original manual and the standards, they don’t really address our back office systems.”
There’s several conversations going on now, not only with AGA, but also with API about, “Hey, do we need a new standard? Do we need new documents governing our back office systems?”A lot of things are going on in those committees and a lot of moving parts.
We need new blood in these committees. When I sit around in these committees and look around, it’s a bunch of old guys. If they have hair, it’s gray. A lot of them are bald like me. There’s a tremendous amount of industry expertise in these committees and there are a few younger people but not enough.
We need more folks getting involved, younger folks getting involved. To be honest, we need new ideas in these committees. Many folks get intimidated by the concept of, “I can’t be involved in a standards committee. I’m not an expert in that particular document.”
We’re going to hear a little bit from Artis Bartle here in a few minutes as she shares some of her thoughts on how she became involved originally with her industry standards. I can assure you being an expert is not a requirement to be on any of these committees.
In fact, if there’s a topic that you really want to know more about, and it’s not a topic that there’s already book laying around that you can pick up and read, then the standards committees are really where you need to be involved in, because many times that’s where the pioneering work is being done to put together new standards.
With that said, as I mentioned earlier, I’m here at ISHM, the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement, and this is one of two larger schools that we have here in the Southern US. In one of my earlier episodes with Carvel Jasmin, we talked about a pretty good list of the smaller schools around here.
ISHM and ASGMT, American School of Gas Measurement in Houston are two of the older and definitely the larger schools. The school here in Oklahoma City, ISHM, is really focused while they talk about gas and liquids both here, there’s more crude here honestly, than there is at ASGMT.
The key thing here is just like the standards committees are staffed by, and the work is done by volunteers, air measurement schools, all of air measurement schools across the company, country I should say, but ASGMT and ISHM both 99.975 is my scientific number of all of the work done to put on these measurement training schools, is all done by volunteers.
These committees that run these schools devote hundreds and hundreds of hours of their own time into putting together these schools, to make sure that our industry has the schools available. They want schools that we can send our new folks to.
These, as we like to call them, buffet courses with lots of selections for individual hour to two hour schools. Those are intermixed with something that you can’t get in the classroom. That is hundreds of years of expertise in the vendors that support our industry in the exhibits that are provided along with these shows.
I’m here with GCI this week and we’re actually exhibiting here at ISHM, but the wealth of information that’s there. A new person in the industry just getting started in the industry, they can walk in and literally see, and many times lay their hands on, all of the equipment they would see out there in the field.
With these committees, just like with the standards organizations, they’re driven by volunteers and all that it takes to get involved is to start talking to people and let them know, “Hey, I’m willing to be involved.”
If you have an interest in becoming involved in these committees, find somebody that you know that’s already a committee member and start talking to them. Ask them about what their committee needs, ask them about where you might get help.
I think you’ll find out in almost all the cases, they’re going to welcome you with open arms and say, “Hey, here’s what we need today. Come talk to us.” With that, we’re going to cut into a bunch of snippets that we’ve recorded today, like literally in the last couple of hours over at ISHM for people walking through the exhibits.
We’re going to hear from students. We’re going to hear from a couple people there for the first time. We’re going to hear from a couple of exhibitors. We’re going to hear from a couple people who are teaching classes there.
I’m here with David Pressler. David, tell us a little bit about who you work for and what you’re here to see at ISHM.
David Pressler: Yeah, my name’s David and I work for SM Energy. I’m the measurement foreman over our south Texas division. Just kind of interested in learning new technologies, some of the existing technologies, and new advances in the field.
Weldon: Cool. What classes have you listened to today?
David: On gas auditing and then also liquid Coriolis and gas Coriolis.
Weldon: What’s on your list for tomorrow?
David: I’m still trying to weed through everything. Yeah.
Weldon: There’s a lot of choices there, isn’t it?
David: There is. Yeah. It’s exciting.
Weldon: Thanks again for stopping by and talking with us.
David: No problem. Thank you.
Weldon: Folks, I’m here now with Leah Westerfield. We’re still at ISHM. Leah comes to us from the back office side instead of the field, and she’s going to tell us a little bit about what she’s doing here and what she’s learning. Leah, who are you with first of all?
Leah Westerfield: I’m with Southern Star, Southern Gas Pipeline.
Weldon: Tell us what are you here to learn about today and what’s your takeaway so far and what you’ve seen?
Leah: First and foremost, just to get to experience all the vendors and get to meet some more other people in the field. Get to learn more about some of the classes we’re taking, which is hydrocarbon blending and the new measurement ideas for the back office.
Weldon: Great to hear. We’re always glad to see folks from the back office here. Leah’s actually one of my subjects from a class that I taught here on Back Office Fundamentals a while back. We’re glad to see her and some of her colleagues here today.
Go out, see some more classes, and go back and share the knowledge you get with the folks back in your office.
Leah: Yes, come and experience and enjoy and get to meet your counterparts and get to enjoy a good time and learn more about your industry and what you can do for it.
Weldon: All right. Thanks again, Leah, for coming by. Have a great one.
Leah: Thank you.
Weldon: I just ran across somebody I’ve known here in the industry for way too long. She was reminding me about how many places she’s been through and I’m going like yeah. Now we’re both feeling a little old Sandy Jones. Say hello.
Sandy Jones: Hello.
Weldon: Sandy, who are you with and what are you doing here at ISHM today?
Sandy: I’m with One Oak and I am test at support.
Weldon: All right, and Sandy has brought Doris with her today, who’s new to the measurement world. Doris, say hello.
Weldon: This is your first time at ISHM?
Weldon: You’re new into oil and gas. Tell us what classes have you been to see today?
Doris: I’ve been to the fundamentals of gas measurement, and that is three series of classes, and I’m done with those.
Weldon: You’ve done those all day long. You say done with it. You’re waving your hand at me like you’re done. Done. What about tomorrow? Do you have any classes tomorrow you are going to?
Doris: I have one on FloCal and that’s the one I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.
Weldon: People at FloCal do a great job there. Thank you ladies for stopping by and y’all enjoy yourselves here. Do not partake at too many hospitality suites tonight, OK? I have someone else stop by our booth here who has agreed to talk to us for a moment.
Tamara Morgan, also with Southern Stars, came by.
Tamara, what are some of the things you’ve seen today and you mentioned something just a moment ago that you wish you could hear in some classes. What was that?
Tamara Morgan: I wish you had more classes geared towards back office measurement. We’ve been able to walk around and learn what a lot of the equipment does here and see it hands on knowledge and get an explanation of it, which is really good.
With the equipment and the tools that we use in the back office, we’re able to see problems that happen in the field when the meters are down or the chromatographs are down, and we notify the techs a lot of times before they even know the problem’s happening.
It would be nice to have something more geared here for back office measurement.
Weldon: I agree with you 100 percent because I’m a back office fan. You’re very right. Measurement, that’s a partnership between the back office and the people out in the field both. Neither one can do the job all by themselves, can they?
Tamara: No, they can’t. We appreciate our texts and they appreciate us.
Weldon: Tamara, you have a great day and go learn some more, stop by some more classes, and share some of that information with the people back home. OK?
Tamara: Thank you.
Weldon: I’ve snagged Steve May coming down the aisle here. Steve, tell us a little bit about yourself. I understand you’re teaching something here this week.
Steve May: Yes I am. I am teaching RF fundamentals for IOT. I am the president of Simple Control Solutions out of New Orleans, and we do everything IOT, from sensor to back office.
Weldon: When is your class?
Steve: Tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM in 301 C.
Weldon: Seems to be a pretty good turnout today. You are enthused about your class tomorrow.
Steve: I’m very excited. We’ve been coming to ISHM for 20 years and this year I’m very excited. We got a new venue and did a new class. We’ll see how it turns out. We’re very excited about it.
Weldon: 20 years, it does not sound like it’s much of a decision for you to decide you need to be here.
Steve: Oh no this is always a great turnout at ISHM. We’re always excited to be here.
Weldon: Oh, thanks a lot, Steven. Good luck with your class tomorrow.
Steve: All right. Thank you.
Weldon: Hello again. We’re here with Angela Floyd. Angela I hear you’re teaching a class today. Tell us a little bit about who you’re with and what you’re going to be teaching.
Angela Floyd: Hey, I’m Angela Floyd. I’m with Daniel Industries, and I will be teaching a class on turbine meters today. A hands on class allowing you to take the meter apart, have a look at all the internals, put it back together, ask any questions you like on the use and the application of turbine meters. Thank you very much.
Weldon: That is great. Angela, are y’all giving a lot of people by your booth today?
Angela: We are seeing a lot of interest, yeah, because we have both gas and liquid products, so people are coming by asking some questions, looking at the stuff, looking at the cutaways. That’s always interesting. People are doing that.
Weldon: Yeah. I need you to get more of those guys out there so they can put the turbine meter back together after they take it apart. Thanks again for stopping by and talking to us.
Angela: You’re very welcome. Good to see you.
Weldon: I have the entire analyst crew from Chesapeake Energy here today. Jeff, Aaron, Amanda, and Daniella. Daniella, I understand that you’re the spokesperson of this group. The rest are way, way too shy to give their names. I hear you’ve been here a couple of years. How many years at ISHM?
Daniella: Eight years.
Weldon: Wow. Why do you keep coming back?
Daniella: It’s a great time. I meet a lot of great people in the industry. You always learn a lot and you go back to work with a good sense of knowledge.
Weldon: Amanda, what classes have you listened to today?
Amanda: I went to studying maintenance.
Weldon: Aaron is backed up past the range of my mic wire. Any rate though, it’s just great to see Benjamin Analyst chair. We have hordes, and hordes, and hordes of field personnel here, but it’s glad to see the folks for the back office here and representing themselves.
What can you tell these two young ladies, and I’m assuming this may not be their eighth year here, what should they be focusing on while they’re here?
Daniella: Definitely getting down the fundamentals of everything coming around the trade floor and actually getting to see the field equipment that the guys deal with every day, but that we don’t get to see in the office.
Weldon: I think that is so key to this. There are so many experts here, experts on their own individual piece of equipment. People with 20, 30, 40 years in the industry. There’s so much knowledge here in this room today in the exhibits that you just can’t find anything like that anywhere else. We appreciate y’all for coming by.
Aaron, last chance.
Aaron: No, thank you.
Weldon: No, thank you. All right, ladies, y’all enjoy yourself. One last question. Is there any chance you come for the hospitality suites afterwards?
Weldon: Y’all have a great day.
Weldon: Learn something tomorrow too, ladies. Bye.
Daniella: Bye. Keep an eye out.
Weldon: I’m here with Artis Barlow right now. Artis and I were in the standards update meeting earlier today where there was a brief overview of which standards were being opened up, where work is being done, and what some of the new release standards are.
Artis and I want to talk a little bit about, “Hey, how do folks get involved in our standards committees? How do you become an expert?” Artis?
Artis Barlow: That’s a very good point. Very early in my career and when I was working with P Gas I was at a Chevron meeting with a bunch of the Chevron measurement guys. One of the guys said to me, “Miss Barlow, why are you not on the transmission measurement committee for standards?”
I said, “I did not know there was such a committee.” He said, “There is no quicker way to enhance your career, build your knowledge of the standards, and become a part of the solution of the business if you do not serve.”
I looked at him and I said, “What can I do? I’m not as smart as all these other guys on the committee.” He said, “When you sign up, when you go to your first meeting, just introduce yourself to the chair and volunteer for something.”
When I went to my first AGA meeting, they asked me to be secretary. Now how hard is it to be secretary of a standards committee? It took minutes because the secretary was not able to make that meeting. From there on out, I took assignments that I could do well at.
My first assignment with NCB 109 was to do definitions. I did not have the in-depth knowledge of the antsy standards that Winston Meyer and the guys did. I knew how to manage definitions and be a part of the team.
Every time I’ve worked in my career, I’ve always served on a committee where I may not know as much as the other members do, but I choose a section of a standard, a work group, or a task force of something that I can do or accomplish.
Sometimes it’s no more than my organizational skills like I’m doing right now with AGAGM manual three, which is orifice meters. I always encourage everyone, you can take baby steps, you can work on a committee to represent your company on something that’s important to you, whether it be CO2 produced water, gas, liquids.
You can actually receive a ballot. Anybody can get a ballot to anything API, AGA, and GPA put out. You can comment on that ballot. You may not be able to vote, but you can comment. The most important thing is you now become part of the standards building organization and you gain your own self respect as well as the respect of your peers.
You get to learn more and more about things that you never thought you would begin to deal with.
Weldon: That learning part, Artis, is so true unless you’re a politician. The only way you get to be an expert at something is to surround yourself and listen to people that know more than you do and learn by being involved. It is so true. Get involved from the ground up. Go to these meetings, sit there.
That first job as a secretary there, you got to ride down a bunch of stuff said by a bunch of very smart people I bet.
Artis: Not only that, you will always in your life be surrounded if you’re fortunate with very smart people. The best leaders are the people who understand that everyone around them is smarter than they are.
If you can do that and still learn in that process, then your career can be as fruitful as you want it to be and as self rewarding. The most important thing is you bring value to yourself as well as value to your team members. That’s all I can say is that one of the best pieces of advice that I got many years ago is to serve on a standards committee.
Weldon: Artis is very eloquent at how she says that. Very true. Get involved in these things, folks. If you’re just getting into measurement, if you just got a promotion from being a field rat to up being a supervisor, manager, or foreman, maybe you’ve moved into the back office, talk to your boss. Talk to your management, see who’s involved. Tell them I want to be involved in these things.
Artis: Guys, if you’re not sure, Artis and Weldon are here, we will be glad to make the introduction and put you on the team. We’ve done that for so many of our students. Many of our students now serve on these different committees, and we are happy to make the introduction and get them on the task force that they want to be on.
Let us know. We’ll be happy to take that for you.
Weldon: Thanks, Artis. Have a great one. Thanks for listening folks. I know this episode’s a little different than what you’ve come to expect, but we hope you’ve learned a little bit about how our standards groups work and how the committees that put on our measurement schools work.
As you heard from Artis earlier, if you’ve got an interest, if you want to know more, the only way to get there is to actually make an effort to get involved. Follow up. Talk to your managers.
Talk to other people you know that may already be involved. Again, thanks for listening. If you have comments, if you have suggestions, please go to PipelinePodcastNetwork.com. There’s a comment form down at the bottom.
If you have suggestions for new episodes or would like to volunteer yourself up to the microphone for an episode, its the same thing, fill out comments or reach out to me on social media. Now for the standard little begging, reviews are important to us folks. Those reviews help increase their relevance, scores to the search engines.
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Transcription by CastingWords