CriticalControl: serving the information management needs of Energy

Petroleum Pipeline Management Applications

Petroleum pipeline transport companies fight battles every day. Running the gauntlet between the refineries that produce the products and the tank terminals where customers expect to receive the product exactly when it is promised. Throw in terrain that by its varying peaks, valleys, water crossings, passages under highly populated areas or environmentally sensitive zones, and the pipeline transport business proves itself a marvel of intricate scheduling, fluid dynamics, co-operation on a very large scale and plain hard work. Dealing with the day-to-day challenges of making accurate, timely deliveries to customers under conditions that can change as fast as the spot price of oil or gas while keeping operations within strict governmental regulatory controls means only the most well-managed companies thrive in the industry. CriticalControl focuses on the batch scheduling and real-time leak detection aspects of petroleum pipeline transportation management. With a highly integrated suite of products delivered to customers by a team of experienced pipeline hydraulics specialists, CriticalControl is a recognized leader in the select industry of pipeline applications software suppliers.

Products and Services that help Petroleum Companies manage their pipelines:

• PipeWorks LeakWarn, Scheduler, Trainer
• LeakWarn Classic
• Simone Gas Applications

PipeWorks is an integrated suite of software tools that assists petroleum companies in managing a pipeline system. PipeWorks is made up of a number of modular applications that perform real-time modeling, look-ahead modeling, and training simulation. It also includes a complete set of utilities and tools that allow effective use of PipeWorks including graphical user interface, object oriented database management system and a number of ancillary tools and utilities.

The PipeWorks system has been designed to include a complete selection of pipeline operation applications. Some applications exist in the current PipeWorks offering while others will be added in the future.

  • Real-time Transient Model
  • Training Simulator
  • Look-Ahead Model
  • Predictive Model
  • Pipeline Integrity Monitor
  • Instrument Analysis
  • Batch Tracking
  • Batch Scheduling
  • Composition Tracking
  • Scraper Tracking

PipeWorks incorporates standard third party software for its database and uses JAVA for the user interface. This ensures ease of interfacing and also ensures that the product will stay current with industry standards.

The common platform, consisting of the database, GUI and application interfaces means that users pay only for the added functionality once. Add additional functionality without rebuilding or replicate databases. The system is easier to maintain since data is entered only once into a common database. This architecture also allows for modules to interact, reducing the individual complexity but allowing for sophisticated functionality. For example, the scheduler can call on the pipeline model to check for hydraulic violations of a particular schedule without the need to incorporate a full hydraulic model into the Scheduler.

Solutions that Automate Critical Information

Document & Records Management

All energy companies have at least one thing in common: each generate an enormous volume of information. The burden of the Information Revolution is information management. Organizations have no trouble creating or acquiring information. The difficulty comes in deciding what information is important enough to keep, how to find it when others want access to it and for how long to keep it.
Document and Records Management is the science of information management. Organizations face increasing issues from the growing store of accumulating information, such as:

Storage Costs – needless information retained in the organization’s computing and paper-based information systems costs money, either in extra computers or in real estate lease charges. Prudent destruction of excess information directly reduces operating costs
Accurate Retention and Retrieval – organizations must keep relevant information for long periods. The difficulty becomes how to retain it in an organized, structured fashion and how future users can find it and retrieve it. An organized document and records management strategy ensures information can be retrieved accurately and easily regardless of length of time in storage.
Privacy – organizations now face privacy guidelines that govern the retention of private individuals’ information. Organizations now bear the burden of proof that private individuals’ information is retained only as long as legal requirements permit, and accessible or shared only in keeping with the wishes of each private individual.
Competent organizations employ a structured approach to document and records management, to manage the company’s information and ensure minimum risk from uncontrolled access or distribution of information. Document and Records Management Systems are designed to automate information and put the controls in place to allow for easy retrieval under proper distribution control.

Document Management Systems

Document management systems are purpose-built software systems that facilitate paper input into electronic format (whenever that step is necessary), then create structured, central electronic document repositories to find, share and store documents in a controlled, traceable fashion. Document management systems connect to industrial-grade paper scanners, so that large volumes of paper documents can be put into the system electronically. Using complex software known as CRS (Character Recognition Software), document management systems convert scanned written information into individual characters, allowing unstructured content to be treated like native digital text.
When is a Document a Record?
Most of us use the terms “documents” and “records” interchangeably. However, in the science of document and records management, the two are very distinct.

Documents versus Records

Documents comprise the majority of an organization’s information sources. Documents can range from a simple memo or e-mail containing some useful information, to multiple volumes of exhaustive material on a related field or subject. The information in Documents can be vital to retain for long periods, or short-term in nature and relatively inconsequential. Documents can be legally binding contracts between parties or routine notifications passing between groups or individuals. In short, the term “Documents” is a general title encompassing arguably all forms of visual information. However, all Documents are not Records.

Documents become Records once some information in the document is designated to be retained in an official capacity. Within all organizations, only a subset of all Documentation held by the group becomes classified as Records. For example, contracts for drilling leases; the name/address/telephone number of an individual on the pipeline right-of-way; the custody transfer total between two organizations on a specific date, all are vital pieces of information that must be retained exactly, to protect the integrity of the information. Document Management Systems focus on making all content available in electronic form. Records Management Systems address the tracking and retention of official information.

Records Management Systems

Records Management Systems allow users to apply structured rules to the storage and retention of information. Records Management Systems usually do not shape or alter documents, as those activities are ably handled by document management systems. Records Management Systems act as information accountants, establishing formal control over access, distribution, retention and ultimately destruction of any information designated as a record under the control of a records management system. A complete corporate document and content management solution would include both a document management system and a records management system.
Many very large companies today sell asset management software. Why would any Energy customer choose instead to work with CriticalControl, admittedly not the largest asset management company in the industry?

CriticalControl saw that most of the big asset management companies have developed their products around a classical manufacturing industry model, where an asset is purchased new, installed in a specific location, operated and maintained over its lifetime and then retired when the last drop of usefulness has been rung out of it. That approach may work very well for assets that stay in one place, like in a car manufacturing plant. But CriticalControl knows that the upstream sector moves their materials very frequently, with drilling rigs traveling literally around the country, and wells being rotated in and out of production. Such materials movements make it easy to lose track of a portion of a company’s invested capital. In a company with 1,000 oil wells, materials can become misplaced before their useful life really has come to an end, leading companies to buy new replacements before it is actually necessary.

In the upstream oil and gas materials management industry, customers choose CriticalControl because we specialize in the management of materials for the upstream oil and gas industry.

Document & Records Management Consulting

The Electronic Revolution has accomplished many major milestones since the introduction of computing. Two cornerstone events stand out:

Computers small enough to put one at every person’s fingertips, typing their own documents, managing their own spreadsheets and storing their own data.
Connecting computers together over networks, so that information can be shared easily between users.
Now that we have computing power available to everyone who wants it and networks that will carry our information around the world in an instant, the difficulty users face is the amount of data we handle and how to manage it effectively. More and more, the combination of all people creating their own documents and being able to send them to anyone anywhere for their input means more documents are being shared more widely than was ever possible before. This expanding phenomenon is raising issues of version control, document storage, accidental disclosure of sensitive information and a variety of other issues that were not so easily accomplished in the pre-electronic world. The science that has emerged to address these issues is known as “Document and Records Management.” Evolutionary steps taking place now address moving from just creating documents and e-mailing them around, to implementing managed document sharing methodologies, built within formal Document and Records Management Systems. CriticalControl is an expert at designing, procuring, implementing and deploying document and records management systems for our customers.

CriticalControl is not a manufacturer of document and record management systems. CriticalControl is a document and records management systems integration organization, with a large consulting staff who work with customers on their specific document and records management needs, then design and deliver complete document and records management solutions tailor-made to meet each customer’s specific requirements.

CriticalControl accomplishes these projects with the help of our partners, each an accomplished and successful document and records management industry member in their own right:

Power plant size

Large (50 to 500 MW for instance):
• Commonly, oil is burnt to generate high pressure steam in a steam boiler. Power generator is steam turbine driven.
• It is mandatory to burn only very heavy fuel or residue, to avoid wasting money with unnecessary increase of operating costs.
Medium (3 to 30 MW for instance):
• Electricity generator may be driven by steam turbine or diesel porno engine.
• Once again, steam turbine means burning very heavy fuel-oil to avoid unnecessary waste in plant operating budget.
Diesel engine generator drive:
• Very often engine manufacturer has designed diesel engine to accept fuel specification up to bunker C.
• To reduce operating cost, the heaviest fuel oil acceptable to engine manufacturer must be supplied.

Fuel oil heating value

When generating thermal electricity, only recovered kilocalories or BTU are important: the additional qualities of the fuel oil are not improving the produced KWH quality. In other words, burning LPG , gas oil , domestic fuel or any oil product that could be better used, means burning its better properties… and wasting the differential part between thermal content value and total real cost .

Imported fuel

If fuel was available at power plant fence door, it may be assumed every plant manager would decide buying the cheapest heaviest fuel offered.

Unfortunately usually fuel is imported from overseas and sea tanker tranported .

Here start transport limitations, whatever their name:

Pour point, freezing point, paraffins content.
High viscosity ( Redwood, Saybolt, furol, engler, ..) absolute or kinematic, centipoises or centistokes.
Each fuel has its own specific properties, but as first estimation:

Light fuel, such FO 180, is usually easy to transport
Heavy fuel, such FO 380, is usually difficult and may be impossible to transport
Extra heavy fuel , such pitch, is not intended to be transported
Burned fuel

Thermal power plant usually burns fuel in a steam boiler to generate high pressure steam for the alternator steam turbine. Any fuel can be supplied to the boiler burners, provided the required viscosity is respected.

Typical example . Economical Feasibility

An excellent image of distillates and fuel prices correction with properties and specially viscosity is the spot price in various harbours where they are exported. In june 2003 for instance, an average range is:

Heavy fuel FO380 153 US $/T
Heavy fuel FO180 160 US $/T
GO cut MDO 240 US $/T
For the example , following is assumed:
Depending on imported heavy fuel characteristics, transport of FO180 is possible
but transport of FO380 not possible.
Power plant FO consumption: 400 000 T/Y

As shown on the simplified flow scheme hereafter, it is possible to import a fuel at 160 US $/T
and burn a transformed fuel costing only 153 US $/T:
Positif result # 400 000 T/Y * 7 $/T = 2.8 MM $/Y

A simple skid mounted distillation unit is necessary to achieve the gas-oil separation from the imported porno fuel.( mini-refinery type fractionation unit).

Pay-out time # 3 years