How To Perform A Lost & Unaccounted-for Gas Program

Author: John McDanielDownload File

any (likely most) gas pipeline companies struggle with lost-and-unaccounted-for-gas (L&U) and it can be a significant cost to their bottom line as shown below.

As shown in this inset, by reducing L&U from 0.6 percent to .25 percent, a typical company with a 2 BCF daily throughput could save Over 7.6 million dollars annually based on $3.00 gas prices, which is a daily loss of $21,000.









2,555,000 $3.00


MMBtu Annual Throughput Average Percentage of L&U MMBtu Lost Annually

MMBtu Annual Throughput Average Percentage of L&U MMBtu Lost Annually

MMBtu Lost Annually at .6 Percent MMBtu Lost Annually at .25 Percent MMBtu Potential from Loss Reduction Price per MMBtu

Value Potential from Loss Reduction

FIGURE 1. L&U Reduction Value Example

NOTE: For simplicity, the formula assumed a Btu factor of 1,000.

Key Considerations

Now that you see the amount of money your company can save by performing a lost and unaccounted for gas program, you need to consider the key issues to achieving the goal, and making it sustainable.

  •   First, you will need management’s “buy in” to insure cooperation throughout the lost and unaccounted for process and the company must be willing to make changes. Those changes involve implementing industry “best practices” for measurement and gas loss control, i.e.
    •   A state-of-the-art, measurement collection, balancing, and reporting system,
    •   Pipeline segmentation for loss control,
    •   Well trained people in both the field and measurement support,
    •   Regional Measurement Specialists,
    •   The proper equipment for testing and calibration,
    •   Good standards and procedures, etc.