Standards Stuff

SEG-technical standards and CSEM, Fieldbus Foundation safety spec, Process Safety Forum.

There have been some interesting discussions at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ technical standards committee on the extension of the SEG-D field data recording format. SEG-D Rev 3 is a potential candidate for the recording of novel data types such as controlled source electro-magnetics (CSEM). However the CSEM community is lukewarm about using seismic oriented formats, preferring more modern open source self describing binary formats such as Net CDF/Unidata* used by the meteorological and astronomical communities and also HDF5**. The possibility of such a paradigm shift in the SEG’s own field recording standards seems remote—the feeling is that the industry is not going to rewrite 100,000 lines of code. Hence the current SEG-D revamp, a half way house that integrates modern IT concepts (embedded navigation, tagged data and a table of contents) with the existing technology.

The Fieldbus Foundation has announced a new Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) technical specification, an interoperability test kit and a description library for SIF-aware devices. The SIF protocol has been approved by the German TÜV authority. Last year, SIF solutions were successfully demoed at the Shell Global Solutions technology center in Amsterdam. In a live test, Fieldbus-enabled safety valves, pressure, temperature and diagnostic devices were tested. Shell’s Audun Gjerde said, ‘Shell expects enhanced diagnostics through this integrated asset management system. We also anticipate less testing thanks to smart testing and diagnostics, as well as online testing and partial stroke testing. This will result in early detection of dangerous device failures and fewer spurious trips.’

The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) and Oil & Gas UK are teaming with other trade bodies in the chemical and nuclear industries to create a ‘pan sector’ Process Safety Forum. The Forum will provide a platform where initiatives, best practice, incident learnings and process safety strategy can be distilled and shared across all the industry sectors, with the aim of preventing major incidents. The Forum has been set up in the wake of the UK’s Buncefield tank farm disaster. UKPIA director Chris Hunt said, ‘Incidents in the downstream oil industry in recent years have focused attention on the need for greater sharing of knowledge and best practice across the high hazard sectors. Through the Buncefield Standards Task Group and its successor the Process Safety Leadership Group, the value of a wider pan industry dialogue has been demonstrated, to complement the existing safety forums within these sectors.’



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