PIDX North Sea, Aberdeen

The summer meeting of the European chapter of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Petroleum Industry Data Exchange (PIDX) committee heard of increasing e-commerce take up in Chevron, StatoilHydro and Total. Suppliers Hubwoo, Amalto and standards body Energistics also presented.

The API’s e-Commerce Committee (PIDX) International North Sea Forum was held in Aberdeen, the largest regional forum to date with some 50 attendees from operators and suppliers. Chris Welsh, Eirô Consulting and Chairman of PIDX Europe outlined PIDX history and achievements since its inception in 1987. Since then, PIDX has evolved from Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to support XML-based exchange of commercial data via the API Recommended Practice 3901 e-commerce transaction standards. These allow upstream petroleum industry trading partners to interoperate using XML. PIDX 2007 milestones include the approval of the downstream inventory standard which covers product inventory balances exchange between shipping facilities. The petroleum industry data dictionary (PIDD) now sports a ‘wiki’ on


Jana Schey (Energistics) reported on PIDX standards and guidelines activity. An HSE reporting workgroup has been formed to streamline safety data reporting which is to develop an XML format for training performance data used in vendor qualification and reporting. The API RP 76 standard was published last year. Since then PIDX XML messaging and an Excel template have been approved. The PIDX global business practices workgroup is documenting best practices for global e-commerce on a country-specific basis to overcome global implementation challenges such as variations in legal, fiscal and business practices. A PIDX ‘REGS’ regulatory user group has been formed to develop e-Regulatory data interchange standards with involvement from Energistics, the US Ground Water Protection Council and other regulators. E-permitting with the new WITSML regulatory standards will be ready 2009.


Paul O’Shaughnessy provided an update on Chevron’s eProcurement implementation which in 2008 supported a $20 billion spend on almost 2 million transactions and 17,000 users. eProcurement helps Chevron redirect spend to preferred suppliers and ensures that contact pricing with early pay discounts are adhered to. PIDX standards reduced implement effort. Now 98% of supplier invoices are processed automatically and transaction integrity is assured ‘from delivery through acknowledgement.’ The transaction count is growing steadily from 4k in 2003 to 400k in 2007. In same period, PIDX supported spend has grown from $30 million to around $2.4 billion.

Hubwoo CSP

John Boardman (Hubwoo) described the PIDX Complex Service Procurement (CSP) initiative involving OFS Portal, Hubwoo and major operators. The current solution allows supplier invoices to be processed into SAP. Hubwoo’s CSP solution streamlines the purchase-to-pay process by synchronizing service entries and invoices, ensuring contract compliance. CSP provides connectivity to a large number of suppliers’ systems with ‘end-to-end’ exchange of electronic orders, responses, field tickets and invoices. Centralized event management and monitoring is provided by Hubwoo’s ‘Commerster.’ Service entries to SAP are generated via SAPConnect (Xi connector). A pilot between Shell and Schlumberger targets unplanned services, leveraging PIDX XML documents with attachment handling and display in SAP R/3 Service Entry with discrepancy checking of price, part number, units of measure, price, currency and quantity. Boardman noted that contract analysis needs to be done in order to determine the most suitable implementation targets – not all contracts are candidates for complex services.


Harald Gellein told how Statoil invited Halliburton to participate in the ‘Elektronisk Boring og Brønn’ (eBob) project in May 2005. The aim was for automated exchange of commercial documents between Statoil and suppliers to reduce costs on both sides. The first electronic invoice went through the system in Sept 2006 and the first service purchase order in January 2008. Problems encountered included constant SAP upgrades requiring design freezes, evolving contracts and pricing models and mergers and acquisition. Today, 90 % of all invoices are electronic, representing some 200 invoices and 1,500 pages of scanned support documents per month. StatoilHydro is Halliburton’s 2nd largest e-business customer globally.


Guy Brouaux noted that Total’s eSourcing spend totaled € 4,8 billion in 2007, about 20% of Total’s overall spend. eSourcing concerns 2000 active users in five continents working in all purchasing categories, E&P, raw materials, logistics, services, maintenance IT, general services, intellectual services etc. Total is targeting a € 6,5 billion e-spend by 2010 (25% of group spend). Spend analysis is performed in the ‘RE@CT’ project with a database of some 50,000 suppliers.


Jean-Pierre Foehn described operational improvement using PIDX Standards with a case history of converting a supplier’s CSV* invoices to PIDX format. The supplier was keen to align with the standards that its main clients were using but did not want disruption to its business and had no PIDX expertise. Amalto’s ‘B2Box’ was deployed to convert in-house generated field tickets in CSV to PIDX for consumption in client systems such as ConocoPhillips AS2, Chevron’s RNIF and third party exchanges such as Digital Oilfield. Foehn noted that there is ‘more to this than meets the eye.’ Challenges include managing networks and firewalls, managing security certificates and document transport protocols. According to Foehn, operators also benefit from using the Amalto B2Box as hub. For Foehn, ‘PIDX Standards and end to end automation of exchanges lead to greater procurement efficiencies and improved compliance and reporting.’

* Comma separated values—a standard way of exporting data from Excel in ASCII format.

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2008 Issue # 9.

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