The Pitfalls of Using Spreadsheets for Managing Unmetered FFV Data

Envirosoft - April 27, 2016

The vast majority of methane emissions are from hundreds of thousands of unmetered sources in the field, which poses a significant data management challenge.

With the recent announcements from both the provincial and federal governments for targeting significant methane reductions from the oil and gas industry, increased scrutiny will be placed upon the accuracy of current methane inventories. Companies will be required to set up more robust systems to enable the collection and management of unmetered FFV data in a transparent and auditable manner.

Currently, many companies try to collect this unmetered FFV data using spreadsheets, because they are unaware of any other systemized solution available to them.  Unfortunately, the use of spreadsheets will not provide a sufficiently robust solution to manage and maintain this data in the future for a number of reasons:

  1. Managing a new spreadsheet per area for every month can quickly become a recordkeeping and file management nightmare.
  2. Emission estimates embedded into the spreadsheets to handle the volume estimations are not transparent.  Since the backup data required for determining the estimates cannot be stored in the spreadsheet, a separate document management system is required for managing the source data and demonstrating the calculations for how these estimates are derived for audit purposes.
  3. Maintenance and updates to the emission estimates over time is challenging, and users would be dealing with different versions of the same spreadsheet.
  4. Spreadsheets are not capable of properly managing historical records, and do not provide appropriate business controls over the integrity of the data.
  5. Spreadsheet cell reference formulas can become corrupted over time, which can introduce calculation errors that can easily go unnoticed.
  6. Spreadsheets do not provide the opportunity for data integration to other internal or external systems.

Envirosoft’s Fuel Flare Vent Manager provides a unique, fit-for-purpose solution to the oil and gas industry for providing a systemized option to overcoming these challenges.  Please contact us today to find out more!