Using results from their latest Y2K survey as proof, the NaturalGas Council and the American Petroleum Institute (API) deemed theirworking group, formed to spur on Y2K readiness throughout the oiland gas industries, a success. With over two months to go, 93% ofthe oil and gas companies surveyed said their embedded systems areready for the Year 2000 and the rest expect to be done soon,leaders of the working group said at the National Press Club inWashington D.C. yesterday.

“At our last conference, I challenged the oil and gas industriesto meet the working group’s chosen benchmark date for Y2K readiness— Sept. 30,” said James Hoecker, chairman of both FERC and theworking group. “The industry responded and today’s survey resultsshow that nearly all companies within both industries are Y2K readywith respect to embedded systems and business systems. Theremainder expect to be ready before the end of the year.”

This is the last survey before the rollover date on Dec. 31. Itpolled 2,250 companies and gained 2,160 responses, representing a96% participation rate, the most received for a Y2K survey so far.The total amount of respondents accounted for 94% of oil and gasvolumes used in the nation. Hoecker said the survey included 84% ofproducers, 94% of refineries, 99% of pipelines, 94% of natural gasdistributors (measured in terms of percentage of volumes deliverednationally), and 77% of the nation’s 180,000 retail gas stations.

Besides the embedded systems results, the survey also said that92% of the respondents’ business systems are prepared for therollover. Respondents said by the end of October, these numberswill improve to 97% and 96% respectively, and reach 99% by the endof November. Supply chain systems, which the survey said stand at83% preparedness, are expected to reach 96% by Nov. 31 and becomplete by the end of December.

John Koskinen, chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000Conversion (which the working group reports to) said this survey isan achievement because in September of 1998, only 66% of the oiland gas volumes in the U.S. participated in the survey. He said therise in participation was caused by ” a combination of peer grouppressure, outreach by the trade participation, benchmarking andstandard-setting to measure up to.” He added that despite theseoptimistic results, “there is still work to be done.”

Another reason for the high participation rate in the survey wasthe method in which it was conducted. The working group destroyedthe surveys after extracting the information for the responses,said Peggy Laramie, a spokeswoman for the American Gas Association(AGA), a member of the Natural Gas Council. “That way, companiesknew we were not trying to point fingers and that we were justtrying to fix problems,” she said.

By itself, the AGA sent out 158 surveys and gained 152responses. It found that 94% of its respondents had finishedupdating their embedded systems and 87% had finished their businesssystems. All of the respondents said both areas would be completeby the end of November.

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