FIATECH Annual Technology Conference and Showcase

US standards body hears from Bechtel, BP, Chevron and NRX of real world ISO 15926 deployment.

The Austin, TX-based Fiatech organization held its annual technology conference and showcase in New Orleans last month. Fiatech is a technology standards body that promotes integration and automation technologies in capital intensive projects. Fiatech director Ric Jackson outlined the consortium’s activity which includes automated procurement and supply networks, a global valve e-catalog, self-maintaining facilities and accelerating deployment of the ISO 15926 Standard (see also our report from the Norwegian ‘Semantic Days’ conference on page 6 of this issue). Fiatech is also working on permitting and regulatory standards and on harmonization with operations (MIMOSA) and geospatial (OGC) standards.

ISO 15926 WIP

Robin Benjamins (Bechtel) described the Fiatech ‘work in progress’ (WIP) implementation of ISO 15926—a.k.a Accelerating Deployment of ISO 15926 (ADI). The business case for the standard is clear, a reduced turnaround time for catalogue searches and information requests, less mapping between supplier, internal and owner classification systems, streamlined procurement and more information handed over. ISO 15926 can also form a baseline for a lifecycle enterprise data dictionary, deployable from front end engineering design, through handover and on to operations. A roadmap for deployment is under development with the formation of ADI special interest groups targeting suppliers and owners and EPCs.


Calgary-based asset master data management specialist NRX has provided an open source WIP browser proof-of-concept (available at The plan is for a SQL Server data base of the RDS/WIP feeding through a RDS to RDF converter into a SPARQL server. The NRX template browser leverages W3C and IETF protocols to read from the RDF Server on a ‘Semantic Web’ framework (Pellet, Java, Jena). Benjamins concluded that the ISO15926 can be quickly and usefully implemented with available Semantic Web tools that cross platforms and implementations successfully—leveraging the strong foundation of W3C and IETF standards.


Hakan Sarbanoglu (Kalido) presented a paper on integrated asset information management, co-authored by Bill Nyström, manager of BP US’ pipelines and logistics program. BP has leveraged Kalido’s master data management solution in its pipelines and logistics data management initiative. A meta and reference data repository was built using a generic storage design based on ISO15926 Part-2. Physical data is stored in a triple store design which remains the same for any model and data. Changes are defined as incremental meta data (ISO-18876). BP transports 2.5 million barrel miles per day of oil, refined products, natural gas liquids, carbon dioxide and chemicals through its 10,000 miles of pipe, 70 light-oil terminals and 500 trucks. The data improvement program began with the construction of a central asset repository and pipeline business model. Data cleansing was achieved using DataFlux’ data quality tool. Benefits included the discovery of missing assets and the improvement of key processes spanning in-line inspection, corrosion tracking, HSSE incident tracking and more. Today all BP’s pipelines systems and facilities have been loaded into Kalido MDM. The program enabled the decommissioning of multiple Excel spreadsheet ‘databases.’ Reporting is now performed with Business Objects offering savings in compliance costs.


Edward Fry, manager of IM/IT on Chevron’s major capital projects revealed that Chevron’s 2008 capital program for 2008, at $23 billion, is its largest ever. A high cost environment means that execution is critical. Chevron has a dozen world wide projects with over a $1billion net share. Information management (IM) on major capital projects requires control of complex document routing workflows, frequent exchange of data with third-parties, content organized to support both the project and subsequent operation—all in the context of increasing IM scale and complexity as the project moves from concept selection, front end engineering, detail design and execution.

IM gaps

Previously gaps were exposed in Chevron’s major capital projects information management. With the growth in project number, size and complexity, experienced IM personnel demand was outstripping supply. Stop gap solutions led to extensive and costly rework in software and procedures. A lack of standard IM specifications and standards made for inadequate sharing of best practices and lessons learned and challenged Chevron’s ability to find and retain personnel.

Fiatech vision

The solution was to implement Fiatech’s vision—going beyond building information management to ‘total asset lifecycle information modeling.’ Chevron is therefore a keen participant in the Accelerated Deployment of ISO 15926 (ADI) program. Chevron’s major capital projects IM (MCPIM) initiative leverages Software Innovations’ Coreworx document management system and business process automation. Data quality is being addressed as an essential precondition to successful MCPIM. Data governance has been implemented such that data is captured once at source and maintained throughout the life cycle. ISO 15926 is seen as the standard for data exchange. It was selected because it is the only industry standard that is close to Chevron’s requirements and it aligns with Chevron’s service oriented architecture (SOA). Current MCPIM deliverables include a project management handbook and Chevron contract language template that includes the IM standards. Bentley’s ProjectWiseLifecycle Server and Aveva’s Vnet are also used (notably on the Agbami FPSO—Oil ITJ July 07). Going forward Chevron is mapping its MCPI classes to ISO 15926. But most significantly, Chevron is now mandating ISO 15926 compliance from its suppliers.


Alexandre Casalechi described Petrobras’ 3D virtual reality (VR) deployment for production optimization and asset management which leverages VRcontext’s WalkInside and ProcessLife applications. These tools are said to fit into the Fiatech ‘philosophy’ by allowing for the re-use of 3D design investments throughout the asset life cycle. Petrobras has a dozen refineries using VR for intuitive, real-time information management and to support a ‘knowledge-enabled’ workforce. Flagship deployment is at the Replan refinery, Brazil’s largest with a capacity of 360,000 barrels oil per day.

1,000,000 objects

The 3D plant data management system has been in use for a decade, covering engineering, operations, maintenance and HSE. The model contains over a million objects and some 7,000 real time monitoring points coming. The VR system provides access to real-time attributes such as pressure, temperature, volumes and alarms. Walk-Inside also displays computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and satellite imagery inter alia. More from

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