PELC 2006—The Hague

Standards use rises in offshore construction—especially when operators make them contractual.

The 2006 Plant Engineering Lifecycle Conference (PELC), held last June in The Hague, attracted around 120 engineers from the oil and petrochemicals construction industry. PELC has a strong standards focus with particular emphasis on the ISO 15926 plant data taxonomy standard. Keynote speaker Henk Koese (ABB Lummus) regretted the delay in take up of data integration and standardization—which he attributed to the complexity of the oil and gas supply chain. While plant owners operate on a 20 years plus life cycle, contractors are ‘opportunistic and dynamic’. Contractors ‘roll out and move on’ without much incentive to promote standards.


Current high oil prices have engendered a construction boom. There are now more projects than Engineering Prime Contractors (EPC) can handle. Fabrication is an ‘overheated market’. Equipment supply is likewise constrained—it can take over a year to order a big compressor. Koese sees a new role for EPC suppliers—with a closer relationship between OO and suppliers of key equipment. Here standards could play big role in asset data and manufacturing. But the big question is, ‘can suppliers change role from followers to leaders in standards?’


Peter Zgorelski described procurement of process control systems (PCS) in Bayer. This leverages XML schema and the Prolist/NE 100 database. A workflow might start with a Bayer PCS engineer working with a computer aided engineering (CAE) system to generate an XML enquiry file, leveraging pre-negotiated framework contracts. This is translated to a request for quote to suppliers who generate an XML offer that can be consumed by Bayer’s CAE system. The XML documentation can be reused in plant and materials management systems. Suppliers are mapping in-house catalogs to Prolist compliant property lists.

Greater Plutonia

Steve Pearson (Pearson-Harper) presented Howard Chipperfield’s (BP) paper on web-enabled vendor data collection on BP’s deepwater Angolan development, Greater Plutonia. BP has made information management contractual—telling engineering contractors (EPC) to use ISO 15926 40/224. This involved establishing BP’s own standards and equipment templates which have been web-enabled to help suppliers including KBR (topsides), HHI (hull) and Stolt/Technip/FMC (subsea). Plant data specialist Pearson-Harper was engaged to gather suppliers’ data—discovering many anomalies in tag numbers. Greater Plutonia is a $4 billion project with six FPSOs and 80,000 equipment items. The system is integrated with BP’s SAP system. The project has proved hard because ‘there is 40 years of change going on here’. But today, suppliers enter data once and generate reports for deliverables. Data is then available to meet the requirements of specialist user communities. On the second Plutonia project (block 18), data completion is up from 50 to 90%. Data is available 18 months earlier and is organized to enable data sharing across BP projects. Data accuracy is assured by the validation process.

Semantic Web

Fluor Corp’s Onno Paap gave a presentation on the Accelerating Deployment of ISO 15926 (ADI) project which targets ‘integration, exchange, and hand-over of information between all parties involved in the process industries during the entire life cycle of a plant.’ This project will provide a platform for interoperation based on ISO standards ‘leveraging the global knowledge-base of the domain experts from the participating companies.’ One goal is to develop an online Work-In-Progress (WIP) ISO 15926 Repository. This is to leverage state-of-the-art software tools and methodology—especially the W3C’s semantic web work and the web ontology language, OWL.


Robin Benjamins spoke about Bechtel’s data integration and use of ISO 15926. Bechtel’s IT includes Documentum and a ‘home grown’ knowledge management system working in ‘cross functional systems’ and supporting engineering and construction etc. Bechtel started its standard data broker in 1999 and it is now deployed on 69 projects. The tool uses the STEPLib reference data library and has been extended to include ISO 15926 Part 7. Bechtel is now in a position to switch to other data models.

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