GITA Oil and gas pipeline conference, Houston (December 2012)

PODS and IPLOCA team on new worldwide standard for pipeline construction.

Cheryl Bradley (Chevron Pipeline) set the scene at the Geospatial Information Technology Association’s (Gita) annual meet in Houston, describing the how the regulatory environment dictates an integrated approach to the maintenance of up-to-date, geospatially-referenced pipeline materials and integrity management data in its environmental, population and cultural context.

Earlier this year the Swiss-headquartered International pipe line and offshore contractors association (Iploca) met with the US-based Pipeline open data standards (Pods) to discuss data standards for new pipeline construction. The idea is to extend the current model, which concentrates on operations and maintenance, to include structures for new construction along with the transfer of critical information and metadata. Pods director Janet Sinclair stated that a joint workgroup is now gathering information pending formal project approval from the Pods and Iploca boards.

Questar’s Ted Peay told how accurate ‘as-built’ field notes can be captured with GPS devices such as Trimble’s GeoXH and a laser rangefinder. A methodology was presented from data dictionary creation through data capture and review. This allowed for the creation of lines, polygons and points from GPS shots with ‘sub foot’ accuracy.

Noble Denton’s Jeff Puuri teamed with Mike Greene (South Carolina Electric & Gas) to describe integrating field data collection with GIS for compliance with the US Pipeline safety, regulatory certainty and job creation act which went into law earlier this year. Section 23 of the Act governs maximum allowable operating pressure (Maop) determination, verification and reporting. The proposed solution blends the APDM (ArcGis) data model with PODS to visualize Maop status corridor analysis and network modeling.

Willbros Engineering’s Peter Veenstra analyzed the potential of the Cloud for pipeline data management. The cloud lessens the relevance of data models with a shift from storage and structure to processing and the ‘agility’ of noSQL and ‘discoverable’ data. Note that the move to the Cloud is not a GIS, IT or legal decision. It is a ‘C-level decision,’ about whether businesses ‘want to build another GIS or operate a pipeline.’ Delegating such decisions the IT department isn’t necessarily the right idea. Concerns of security are red-herrings. Presentations on the GITA website.

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