Capital facilities information handover standard meet

USPI-NL meet hears Shell report on progress of embryonic engineering data exchange standard. ExxonMobil’s ‘digital vision’ for engineering to embed CFIHOS. Total’s ‘Quantum’ digital plant working towards convergence. Chevron cools on mega projects. IOGP sees CFIHOS as ‘quick win.'

Speaking at the 2017 Management Board Meeting of the USPI-NL standards body* in Amersfoort, Netherlands, Shell’s Anders Thostrup provided a recap of activity on the flagship Cfihos** initiative. Membership has grown from 19 to 47 companies and is now breaking even financially. Recent and imminent deliverables include a tag classification document that aligns earlier company-specific information, equipment classes and document metadata and EPC implementation guides. These include EPIM STI equipment documents and data and Mimosa datasheet definitions. Alignment with DEXPI for smart P&ID data is also under consideration.

Thostrup believes that Cfihos now has critical mass amongst owner operators and most EPCs. Also of note is an agreement with the UK-based IOGP whose JIP 33 is also addressing equipment specifications. Involvement with the ISO 8000 quality management was politely declined by the membership. A renewed focus on ISO 15926 for engineering data management (although deemed ‘less practical’ than Cifhos) met with a better reception.

Robert Talbot outlined ExxonMobil’s digital vision for engineering and its ‘journey’ to Cfihos. This is seen as germane to both handover and to Exxon’s future digital vision. Talbot was called-in to fix information handover. This was ‘not done very well’ despite the fact the Exxon manages some of the largest capital projects in world. Much information is handed-over as ‘photos,’ voluminous document-centric information packs. It can be a struggle to provide these in a timely, consistent way. There remain challenges on terminology, document numbering and versioning. Although engineering work is done by third parties, ‘we are responsible for standards.’ Exxon’s digital transformation means that henceforth, new calls will include references to Cfihos along with a move away from documents towards data-centric IM. There will be no hard copy transfer of information, even documents will be PDFs. Exxon is working on a toolset to support this and has standardized on Aconex DMS. Talbot commented that ‘Cfihos is a language that is readily understood.’ For further use, a guidance document along the lines of a ‘Cfihos for Dummies.’ Talbot also opined that it was too soon to consider submitting to ISO, ‘let’s not be premature.’ Today the cooperation with EPIM, MIMOSA and IOPGP is good as is the fact that ‘we are starting with an achievable scope.’ For the future, Exxon’s digital vision is of AI tools for drilling and concept design leveraging a catalog of pre-qualified equipment.

Philippe Derrien leads Total’s ‘Quantum’ digital plant program which launched in 2016 to digitally transform Total’s E&P. Quantum leverages product lifecycle management and building information management concepts to provide a comprehensive capability for asset data management, information search and visualization. Quantum is also Total’s take on the digital twin concept. It is ‘obvious that Cfihos should be able to reduce costs and bring efficiencies.’ Total and its contractors make up an ‘extended enterprise’ that is implementing new ways of working through seamless, controlled data exchange. The digital twin provides the common equipment descriptions. Although Total and its contractors are also moving from document to data centricity, the issue of legacy plant (some refineries are 70 years old) means that documents will be with us for a while. Total is working on progressive publication of engineering data via a portal, to accelerate and improve handover. ‘Cfihos and ISO 15926 are cornerstones for us and we are working hard to converge our reference data with Cfihos and ISO 15926, minimizing Total-specific RDL components in contracts. Total is to actively contribute to the Cfihos effort.

Bob Watson traced Chevron’s involvement with Cfihos which began in 2015 during the oil price collapse. Since then, things have changed. Chevron is no longer involved in ‘giga projects’ as its focus turns to shale. Demands on engineering will change too. Lower for longer is impacting information management and there are disruptions to finance systems, engineering… everything! Picking standards is ‘very important’ although Chevron ‘can’t do too many standards.’

Watson went on to present the IOGP’s ISSC (information standards sub-committee). In the old days, operators had experts who talked to multiple standards bodies. Now the experts have gone and companies can’t afford to interact point to point. The answer is to channel interaction with standards bodies through IOGP. The relationship between JIP 33 WG10 (design of equipment) and Cfihos is seen as a ‘quick win’ for this approach. Other IOGP projects include an engineering class library (BP Shell Chevron with Cfihos) and a 3D model catalog (with Total).

Brian Imray, (ShareCat and chair of the O&G UK cost sustainability select committee) opined that oil and gas is ‘not so good’ at supply chain efficiency. ‘Other industries collaborate well, oil and gas works in silos.’ Thus there are taxonomy problems and other issues. There is no government body to oversee this (in the UK). There is poor reuse of information and excessive duplication of effort. ‘We are proceeding at a snail’s pace here!’ The RDL is ‘not good enough, a lot of companies don’t have an RDL.’ Cfihos came along just in time for the proposed UK Hub. This will be made up of operators and will be run by ShareCat. So far Aker Solutions, BP, Shell are on board. The exact relationship between the UK hub and Cfihos was clarified in the Q&A when Imray stated that the plan was to use Cfios, ‘but not globally from day 1.’ More from USPI-NL.

* An EU association of process industry companies working with international standards and best practices for product and plant life cycle information.

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