Complex Field Demands Extensive Data Management

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1 Oil and Gas Complex Field Demands Extensive Data Management by Heather Livingston The oil and gas value chain comprises complex and multifaceted stages from exploration and production through storage and shipping to refining and distribution. Each stage in the chain has one common challenge: document management and it is a significant one. This whitepaper will explain Engineering Document Management Systems (EDMS) technology and discuss its benefits for companies across the oil and gas value chain, from fundamental document management capabilities to advanced initiatives for sharing data between EDMS solutions with other enterprise solutions. istockphoto.com/pal Teravagimov From the editors of Sponsored by

2 2 Synergis Software Mainstream solutions don t cut it when it comes to controlling and securing the vast amounts of documents and data that drive the oil and gas value chain. A purpose-built solution such as Synergis Adept not only supports the unique document control and file sharing needs of oil and gas stakeholders but can save time and money and improve regulation compliance at the same time. The expectations placed on the oil and gas value chain can seem impossibly complex. Everyone from consumers to regulators to shareholders is closely ob-serving the oil and gas industries, evaluating their efficacy from exploration and production through storage and shipping to refining and distribution. Couple the greater oversight with an ever-increasing need for on-demand and field-accessible information, and it can indeed feel like a Herculean task to satisfy the needs of all stakeholders. But satisfaction is a must. Although each stage in the oil and gas supply chain must contend with its own challenges, every sector shares the common burden of managing vast stores of documents. As facilities, pipelines, and transport systems are modified, upgraded, and consolidated, important archival information can get lost in translation and engineering drawings can be stored in unwieldy files that have little to no version control. This has the potential to create a quagmire of misinformation that inhibits communication, causes loss of work, and diminishes the ever-shrinking pool of money and time. No link in the lengthy oil and gas value chain is absolved of the need to minimize risk throughout the project lifecycle. This critical task is further complicated by the need to organize documents in a secure environment while providing easy access to a wide range of users. To tame the digital chaos, oil and gas companies increasingly are relying on engineering drawing and document management systems (EDMS), which have evolved in recent years into sophisticated and dynamic solutions that address the specific needs of the oil and gas supply chain. Synergis Adept from Synergis Software is a leader in the EDMS market. Adept seamlessly manages the complex digital relationships between design, engineering, and manufacturing in the oil and gas industries, including those of third-party collaborators and contractors. It easily integrates with enterprise systems to efficiently share information with stakeholders while maintaining document control and security. Adept is optimized for engineering and design organizations that need to manage 2D and complex 3D models throughout multi-layered, collaborative projects, says Todd Cummings, vice president of research and development at Synergis Software. Version control, workflow, automated transmittals, an electronic audit trail and enterprise visualization make it easy for oil and gas companies to keep up with the industry demands for reduced costs, improved operational efficiencies, and adherence to government reporting and higher security standards. KEEPING CURRENT IN THE OFFICE AND FIELD Case in point is the Sunoco Logistics Company, which transports, terminals, and stores crude and refined pipelines. Sunoco Logistics, as with all oil and gas companies, is being pressed to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies. The company also is subject to intense regulatory demands from the National Pipeline Mapping System and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that require it to deliver spatially accurate electronic data of pipelines and facilities on demand.

3 Synergis Software 3 Sunoco Logistics adopted Adept to replace a document management system that wasn t capable of managing CAD files, complex file relationships, and the version control necessitated by an iterative and ongoing engineering process. When the company acquired Adept, it used the application primarily in the engineering department to store and manage CAD files. Now, their use has expanded to enable field personnel to tap into the EDMS and access the latest, most accurate version of a map. Before implementing Adept, the process of updating a map alignment sheet was lengthy and imperfect: Someone would send out a paper form, make a phone call, then send an update to pertinent individuals. If a gap occurred in the system at any point, an outdated map could end up in the field and a DOT fine could result. Today, that process is simplified and streamlined, reduced from a week to 10 minutes. When changes are made to alignment sheets, Adept distributes the latest version of the map and automatically generates an to the appropriate personnel. Field personnel can use Adept s visualization enterprise tool to review, redline, and assign changes to transfer facility drawings back to engineering, improving both design quality and collaboration. MEETING THE DEMAND FOR DOCUMENT ACCESS For oil and gas companies, an established, purpose-built EDMS such as Adept will prove invaluable day in and day out as well as in emergency situations. NiSource s Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) is a natural gas transmission organization that is in the process of replacing aging infrastructure and modernizing its transmission system. The organization s responsibility for 15,000 miles of pipelines in 14 states means that CPG is inundated with requests for documents from various entities. Before purchasing an EDMS, it simply was unable to keep up with demand, explains Mike Reed, lead designer. All of our drawings were organized on the server in a particular folder by the facility and separated in additional folders by project. So, in order to find a particular document, you had to be familiar with the location on the server and then go into multiple project folders and start opening drawings in their native software to see if those were the files you were looking for. For too long, Reed was the only person in the organization who was able to conduct the intensive document research. To make matters worse, CPG s previous document management system didn t allow for version control, so design efforts often were needlessly duplicated. In the past, Reed recalls, you would receive the same drawing where two different designers had worked on it for separate projects and you would have to open the files and istockphoto.com/legereek

4 4 Synergis Software compare to see which one was the latest revision. It would take a lot of time. Now, designated personnel can access project files and folders, which are checked in and out to ensure that everyone is working from a single version of truth. The new, smarter Adept EDMS solution allows CPG to quickly find and retrieve all files pertaining to a given facility. And with Adept, the user doesn t have to switch back and forth between multiple software applications or even have those applications loaded because Adept s viewer allows users to examine all available files formats. CPG s EDMS was put to the test when a gas leak caused a fire at one of its compressor stations. Responding to the emergency, the company needed to quickly deliver specific engineering documents and drawings with station equipment information and specifications, remembers Reed. Adept allowed us to access this information easily and immediately. It was many times faster to pull up the drawings and get the parts we needed to get the equipment back up and in service. Before Adept, it was taking us hours to find drawings. Now we can find them in minutes. ADDRESSING CRITICAL POINTS OF PAIN Information sharing is critical to the oil and gas supply chain. Whether it s building, maintaining, or modifying rigs, pipelines, or refineries, project environments for oil and gas companies are complex and require up-to-date project documentation and as-built information to be shared between all internal and external project partners, states Cummings. It s our goal to deliver a precise pipeline of information at every stage and to all stakeholders for the best possible insight and decision-making. Because PDFs are a standard way for project partners to exchange information throughout the oil and gas supply chain, Synergis Software s Adept PublishWave, an add-on for single- and batch-file publishing to PDF, further controls and manages critical information. By keeping document publishing within the EDMS environment, PDFs provided to other departments, contractors, customers, and vendors are more secure and reliable. Another expensive mistake that oil and gas companies can make in the realm of digital data is acquiring software tools that don t work well istockphoto.com/tuen van der Dries

5 Synergis Software 5 together, which can cause hours of unnecessary, frustrating work as well as delays in information delivery. The myriad file types used in the oil and gas value chain make interoperability a key concern, and getting enterprise systems that don t have the ability to work within the CAD structure is an avoidable mistake. Synergis Software has fine-tuned Adept to support a variety of oil and gas file-sharing demands. For example, the company understands that oil and gas stakeholders often rely on enterprise systems such as Microsoft SharePoint to share up-to-date information with outside vendors. Adept securely passes files to and from these systems so users don t have to duplicate data entry. Chad Chiasson is a design engineer with Pelican Energy Consultants, a firm based in Louisiana and Texas whose business depends on the seamless file-sharing capabilities of Adept. Among its services, Pelican provides document control for oil and gas clients, which entails managing and securing not only Pelican documents, but also drawings from outside engineering firms and archived files for abandoned sites. It s a job that demands highly capable data management, but Adept makes the complex endeavor seem simple. Says Chiasson, If another engineering company needs drawings from our client they contact me and I sign out the drawings from Adept and them to that outside firm. When they are done with their edits, they send the drawings back to me and I sign them into Adept as the latest version. Pelican also uses Adept to manage clients Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, permits, work orders, inspection documents, images, and PDFs. Rigorous document control within Adept makes Pelican Energy Consultants very appealing to clients and provides a steady stream of income, Chiasson says. Adept keeps everything manageable. LIMITING AUDIT PAIN As Sunoco Logistics began to rely increasingly on GIS information for pipeline design and maintenance, the company realized that it needed to implement a better process for submitting data required by the DOT and other regulatory groups. Through its adoption of Adept EDMS, it now has an easy, reliable way to electronically collect and transmit regulatory information. Additionally, Adept s audit trail feature updates team members on how, when, and what changes are made to a document. What s more, because it has the capability to restrict access, Adept also helps the company comply with federal security regulations and post-9/11 requirements. NiSource s Columbia Pipeline Group relies upon Adept to keep auditors and regulators satisfied. CPG is required to keep certain documents and drawings updated and available to auditors at all times. Adept allows all CPG users to access exactly what they need when they need it. If a CPG employee needs a copy of a drawing, they can go into Adept and print it immediately. And that has happened on a few occasions, where operations needed a particular drawing and they were able to go into Adept and get it immediately... instead of having to call and make a request and then possibly have to wait a few hours or days to get the drawing they needed. states Reed. AN ALL IN ONE EDMS Whether upstream, midstream, or downstream, an oil and gas company has critical needs for document control and security, needs that will undoubtedly become even more complex and stringent in years to come. With Adept EDMS fine-tuned to support document management needs across the oil and gas supply chain document organization, security, and transmission are made simple and reliable. Most importantly, Adept can save time, ensure data accuracy, and help keep up with oil and gas industry demands for reduced cost, improved operational efficiencies, and adherence to government regulation all in one application. HEATHER LIVINGSTON is a contributing editor for Cadalyst, a leading publication covering CAD and related technologies. As a freelance writer based in Massachusetts, she specializes in design, sustainability, and architectural technology. Synergis Software, Synergis Adept, PublishWave, Microsoft, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Excel, and all other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners Longitude Media, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. Synergis Software 200 Kelly Road Quakertown, PA USA

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