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OMEGA: International Journal of Management Science







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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs) face the problem of managing natural gas purchases under conditions of uncertain demand and frequent price change. In this paper, we present a stochastic optimization model to solve this problem. Unlike other models, this model explicitly considers deliverability, the rate at which gas can be added to and withdrawn from a storage facility, as a variable, and considers its role in ensuring a secure supply of gas. Deliverability is often overlooked in gas supply planning, yet is a critical factor in achieving a secure gas supply. Using data from an LDC in Huntsville, Alabama, we show how this model can be used to minimize total cost while meeting constraints regarding the security of gas supply. We also demonstrate that security is dependent on the rate of deliverability, which in turn is affected by a number of factors including gas availability, storage and transportation considerations, and weather conditions.



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