Contrasting views of standards at EU PIDX meet

BP believes in standards—but not sure which one to use! Pemex fast tracks PIDX deployment.

Around 80 turned out for the European meeting of the American Petroleum Institute’s ‘PIDX’ committee for e-commerce standards in petroleum. EU PIDX chairman Dave Wallis reported on take-up of the standard with a flagship deployment underway at ConocoPhillips (CP). The PIDX standard is being tested on CP’s SAP materials management system for over 1 million equipment items. CP has submitted several hundred new items and templates for inclusion in the standard PIDX. CP’s use shows that ‘increased use brings better definitions.’

BP supplier enablement

John Aberson stated that BP views standards as a way of reducing variability and costs. The key question is, and here BP’s experts don’t agree, which standard should BP adopt? PIDX, CIDX, XCBL, GS1, EDIFACT, IDOC or what? BP has a broad spectrum of e-activities spanning sales, refining and the upstream. The world is becoming IDOC compatible (the SAP standard). ‘Currently BP has adopted PIDX but continues with multiple others. BP’s i-Buy initiative addresses ‘indirect procurement’ of IT, consultancy services, stationary etc.. In the upstream, purchase to pay e-commerce is implemented with SAP SRM on the Maddog and Holstein developments. Elsewhere there are ‘tactical initiatives such as the use of OB10 e-invoice to speed up payment. For BP, e-invoicing is a Field of the Future enabler.


Bill le Sage (OFS Portal) presented a fast track PIDX deployment for e-enablement of Pemex’ $97bn annual spend. OFS Portal has supplied a PIDX-based solution offering full integration with PIDX documents. Some interesting language and cultural issues were noted, for instance, Factura means ‘invoice’ in Spanish except that ‘it is not an invoice!’ In the end the term ‘tax document’ was used. The project involved what is probably the first end to end PIDX purchase to pay implementation.


Gary Benson presented OB10’s commercial business to business invoicing. OB10 started in 2000 and now has around 30,000 suppliers on its network. OB10 implements a buyer-specific supplier enrollment program including data cleansing, and prepares tailored invitations to a client’s suppliers. OB10 has many large clients but as yet no oils. ‘Any to any’ data formatting is available with no new hardware or software for clients. While OB10 recognizes the ‘seduction’ of standards, its system was built to ignore them. Instead, OB10 uses ‘any format and transport protocol,’ and provides its users with the data in any format they want, standard or not.

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