Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us! As we prepare to dive into the madness of feast prepping, gift buying and traveling, we thought we would offer a fun little reprieve from all the holiday madness with a game of Turkey Day Bingo!
Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “change is the only constant in life.” The Oil & Gas industry is no exception. As we start preparing for the new year, we wanted to take some time to reflect on recent changes and prepare for what’s next. Let’s take a look at proposed rulemaking and updates from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) and the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS).
For data to be meaningful, it must be complete, accurate, and valid. We strive to protect the data that drives reports and analyses to ensure that organizations can make the best decisions. However, those who are responsible for data management of pipeline systems understand the challenges involved in balancing data security with making sure that it can be updated in a timely fashion.
It is not enough to merely lock users out once your data is in a good state. As maintenance is done on assets in the field, it is essential to update the information in your GIS as quickly as possible to make sure that the data consumers in your organization have access to is the most accurate, complete, and valid information possible.
It takes a lot of work to gather, organize, and manage asset data. Whether the data is old or new, things can get messy quickly. We’ve got some tips on how to make the data management process more efficient through converting data to a common format and centralized location, data cleanup, and making use of views and queries.
Extreme Makeover: Data Edition
Convert physical records to a digital format
This can be a daunting task, so take a deep breath and make a game plan. Assign as many resources as possible to this task and limit the data being converted to what is really important. Even though it is tempting, you don’t need everything; prioritize and stay focused on the end goal. During the process, be sure to document all actions and QA/QC the converted data in ArcMap.
Get data into a single location
Don’t spend time searching multiple places and files for that one piece of data. Make it easily accessible for everybody by knowing who the stakeholders of the data are, and then find a common reporting or data sharing location. This lessens time-consuming queries on the integrity department and makes for a more optimized workflow.
Handling large data sets
Staring down hundreds of columns and rows of data and not sure where to start? Turn to proven processes from experience within the company, a vendor, or consultant, then determine what data is the most important. Be careful, don’t make any assumptions! Take the time to research, chat with field personnel, and meet with a SME to determine the core, most useful data to users. Once you’ve sorted this out, test with a small group of data to make sure you’re getting what you wanted and it’s meeting the organization’s needs.
Clean Up, Aisle 5
Get rid of the ‘junk’
Believe it or not, more isn’t always better. Take the time to sort through the madness to remove gaps and overlaps, duplicates, centerline corrections and domains. It also helps to consider what is really necessary when it comes to the level of detail and precision for certain data points. Going through these steps can relieve storage issues, lead to better database performance, and elevate the value of reports and analyses.
Good data is organized data. It takes a complete system that includes tools, people, and processes to properly manage data. First things first, identify who will be responsible for the data. This can be one person or a committee of people. Next, establish a process for who governs what, how data is being captured into the system, where the data is coming from, and who validates it. With a clear path and organization of files, maintaining and utilizing data will be a breeze.
Views, and Queries, and Derived Layers, Oh My!
Sometimes people want an answer, and they want it now. Through the use of pre-determined views, queries and derived layers, you can provide that johnny-on-the-spot data and increase your organization’s efficiency. This can be essential when it comes to emergencies and incidents to get pipeline specs with a single click. Business Development and Integrity groups can utilize these, as well, to see multiple tables of data at once and perform quick assessments and analysis.
In the end everything comes back to data, so having good, clean, accessible data is paramount. Put in the effort and, trust us, it’ll be worth it!
Whether you’re a pipeline operator, government official, or part of the general public, it’s important to know where oil and gas pipelines reside, both for the safety of the community at large, and for the safety of your family and loved ones. How are you supposed to find this information? Easy! It’s called the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS).
The NPMS is a “dataset containing locations of and information about gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants which are under the jurisdiction of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)”. The information gathered and made available can be helpful in different ways to pipeline operators, government agencies, and the public.
Let’s take a look at what’s required and how it’s used by these groups.
We’ve wrapped up our 10th Client Conference in our backyard here in Fort Collins, CO. A huge thank you to all that attended!
If you’re living in the US or Canada, chances are you’re living close to a pipeline. It’s just a fact of life. So, how can we live in harmony with these lines? What tools are available to keep us safe and keep those pipes from becoming a problem?
Our annual Client Conference is coming up and we are excited to share updates on our software and services, dive into important industry topics, and discuss how to address the future of the industry and ever-expanding technology.
This post is not meant to endorse specific agencies or companies, nor is it meant to support any specific piece of legislation. Rather, we just wanted to begin a much-needed conversation about cyber security and our nation’s pipelines.
We are all aware of the acute threats from hackers and of their ability to wreak havoc, disrupt infrastructure, and compromise data integrity. And the threat to the oil and gas industry is no less.
The US has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world, with more than 2.7 million miles of pipe. A cybersecurity breach within the pipeline environment could have a tremendous impact, from compromised data creating competitive disadvantages to automated pressure changes causing catastrophic physical disruptions.