2019 CFIHOS Annual Meeting

Capital facilities information handover standard meeting hears from Yokogawa on Yamal LNG, Autodesk on DEXPI piping and instrumentation standard, Equinor’s ILAP project.

While global warming and sea level rise is not particularly germane to a discussion of Cfihos, the capital facilities information handover standard, the town of Amersfoort, where Yokogawa recently hosted the annual Cfihos board meeting is a Dutch talisman for sea level rise. The Dutch phrase ‘Amersfoort by sea’ is shorthand for what might happen if Holland’s pumps stopped pumping*. As we reported in our last issue, the main business of the day was the mooted/impending* transfer of the Cfihos intellectual property from USIPI NL to the UK IOGP’s JIP 33** technical standards committee. The fact that Cfihos’ future was unclear allowed the meeting to cover other, equally interesting, non Cfihos activities.

Elbert van der Bijl and Patrick Kools, both from Yokogawa Europe, teamed to present Yokogawa’s contribution to the Arctic Russian Yamal LNG project, ‘a project where there were no standards’. As a subcontractor to the Technip/JGC Corp. Yamgaz joint venture, Yokogawa was the main automation contractor for Yamal and provided process control, safety instrumentation and alarms from its Integrated Production Management System (IPMS) portfolio. Yamal is quite a beast, the equivalent of around two Groningen gas field. Yokogawa designed and delivered the IPMS during construction, integrated with the Quantum control system and OSIsoft PI. Delivering first gas went well but delivering the first invoice required ‘a new way of thinking’ for the Russian partners. An IBM middleware bus and PI OPC connectors connect 16 apps from 16 vendors systems across Aveva’s engineering data warehouse, Meridium work management, Lims and gas management systems. ‘All without standards I must say!’ Each app provider tested its own integration before acceptance. In the end, there were 48 point to point integrations, each a joint effort between business owner, app vendor, middleware vendor. Ownership was shared between the business and the information architecture team. Yamal now has a single version of the truth. In the Q&A, Anders Thostrup observed that ‘you made a standard on the fly’. Note however, that the Yokogawa system was delivered for operation of Yamal. So this activity is all post-handover.

Comment – Not however that neither Total or Technip made use of Cfihos during construction. Yamal could be taken as a great example of the centrality of middleware as opposed to a protocol definition. It also may be telling us that interoperability is less of a problem now than it used to be.

Reiner Meyer-Rössl (Autodesk) presented on DEXPI, data exchange across the plant lifecycle. Dexpi’s focus is the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID), one of most important documents in the plant. P&IDs are 2D drawing along with equipment lists and structures. They are currently delivered as either Autodesk DWG files, on paper, in Excel or as PDF. There are multiple systems and workflows for dealing with P&IDs that are hard to relate one to other. DEXPI’s aim is to migrate from document to a data handover. The concept already has currency in vendor solutions such EG Siemens Comos P&ID, Autocad PID and X-Visual. These can also re-used DEXPI-formatted data in other applications. Dexpi holds a bi-yearly hackathon, the most recent was chez eVision in The Hague. Dexpi is work in progress, P&ID is just a start. The Dexpi spec V1.2 is a free download from the website. There is also a Dexpi validator from AixCAPE. More too from Github.

Robert Skaar reprised Equinor’s ILAP project as ‘a slightly different approach from Yokogawa’. All vendors (Yokogwa, ABB, Siemens, Oracle...) want to sell you their own stuff ‘at great cost’. We don’t want to pay more! Oils need to exchange data and schedules between SAP and Oracle seamlessly but ‘sometimes we pay 2x 4x the price – and get poor quality’. Every industry in the world is paying over the odds for lower quality data. Why do we accept this? Habit? Most industries (banking, airlines with Amadeus) have done interoperability since the 1970s. Not so in oil and gas. ILAP (integrated lifecycle asset planning) started in 2012 under the auspices of the IOGP/ICCC. Its findings are published as ISO 15926-13 and are delivered as an API for Primavera, SAP, Safra, Excel and MS Project, built on common planning theory and practice. Implementation strategy is simple, users need to require ILAP in contracts. The system went into production at Equinor in May 2018. ENI, ConocoPhillips and AkerBP are in late phase pilots. ILAP V1.5 was out in December 2018, Ilap 2, aka ILAP-as-a-Service, will be delivered ‘real soon now’. Other related Equinor projects include ILAC (project control), ILAR (risk) and READI (documentation).

* Anecdotally, we heard that a couple of days of power outage could put half the country underwater!

** See also the letter from IOGP elsewhere in this issue.

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