IRM Systems (IRMS), the independent authority in emergency pipeline repair systems, announced the introduction of the Pipeline Integrity & Budget Optimization Tool (PIBOT), a new modular software package. The new tool reduces the amount of time and costs associated with carrying out a diverse range of pipeline integrity engineering and management activities via data management, integration, and smart data analytics.
IRM Systems developed the PIBOT in response to continuing demand from the industry for ways to derive the utmost value from data. “This software solution makes it possible to instantly clean, structure, align, standardise and visualise data, in addition to carrying out pipeline integrity management and smart data analytics,” says Rahul Raghukumar, Pipeline Engineer for IRM Systems. “For example, you could automate the process from inputting data to assessing risk, determining inspection intervals, and producing reports, all in a traceable, transparent way. As a result, operators benefit by working from enhanced data analysis that provides more accurate degradation forecasting and comprehensive risk assessments. It represents a real step-change in maintaining pipeline integrity.”
Multi-tasking tool improves efficiency
The new technology is composed of several stand-alone software modules that can be combined to work in unison. Access to a single module allows the user to be more efficient at a single task. Alternatively, a pipeline operator can enhance the efficiency of a broad range of activities that are essential to maintaining pipeline integrity by incrementally implementing more modules to suit specific requirements.
With all PIBOT modules working together, a database consisting of secure data, open-source databases or combination thereof can be automatically integrated. As a result, the data needn’t be input twice, reducing costs and saving time. It also means that the software provides more insights, giving real value from the data to the user, while simultaneously ensuring that the system is AI-ready.
PIBOT: A history of reducing operator costs
Already, the PIBOT has a track record of reducing operator costs. Operator Petrogas is among those that are using it. It is also producing impressive results for several other North Sea oil and gas operators. IRM Systems attributes much of this success to the PIBOT’s ability to intelligently implement Risk Based Inspection (RBI). In fact, by combining the RBI methodology with the tool’s automated report generation feature, a major operator used the PIBOT for reporting to Staatstoezicht op De Mijnen, a critical regulatory body in The Netherlands. One of its primary strengths is that it makes it possible to manage and visualise complete Risk Matrices for the full asset portfolio, essentially producing a visual representation of all data in a specialised, proven Geographic Information System (GIS).
In addition to reducing operating costs, the PIBOT also helps operators extend the life of a pipeline while safeguarding its integrity. For example, integrity engineers receive a detailed description and visualisation of Risks, Pipeline Status, and Integrity Impact factors by combining multiple PIBOT modules. Plus, individual third-party software and data can be easily integrated by connecting them with any of the stand-alone PIBOT modules.
Another key feature is the Emergency Pipeline Repair System (EPRS) module. This module provides a comprehensive insight into the unique EPRS that is available for the individual pipeline. Because this module ensures that all aspects of the EPRS are fully integrated, an emergency pipeline repair can be simulated, managed, and optimised.
Better prepared for the present and future
According to IRM Systems, the number of calls from customers for ways to use data effectively has risen dramatically in recent years. They want to garner more control over aging assets, prepare for the imminent oil and gas digital revolution, and support leaner operations in order to lower operating costs.
With these objectives in mind, IRM Systems identified data management, data interpretation, human error, and reporting as areas for improvement that would substantially reduce costs. “In addition to supplying better degradation forecasting, pipeline integrity management, and risk assessments, the PIBOT delivers more. The tool also helps in data management and reduces human error and OPEX costs. By providing the operator with structured data, it paves the way for implementing AI, preparing the operator for the future,” says Asli Yazici, Pipeline Engineer for IRM Systems. “Plus, because reporting is notoriously time-consuming, we made certain that the PIBOT provides automated reporting to various stakeholders, including reporting formats for regulatory bodies. The bottom line is that operators strive for ways to reduce OPEX and headcount, and the PIBOT does just that.” The PIBOT tool has helped reduce operating costs by up to 60%.
With the PIBOT as the latest addition to its range of pipeline integrity management solutions, IRM Systems is developing more software tools to provide data that helps to reduce costs and save time. IRM Systems is carrying out a pilot project for risk-based inspections of offshore jacket structures at its headquarters in Delft, The Netherlands. Upon successful completion of trials, it will be rolled out as a software module in 2021.