Abstract

For over 30 years, pipeline companies have attempted to use software simulation tools to help with the design and operation of their pipeline systems. The software that has been developed and implemented during this time have produced mixed results. There have been many factors that have contributed to the varying degrees of success with these tools. Although the basic pipeline equations of state have remained the same, almost everything else has evolved. The way these equations are calculated, how the model is defined, the processing power available, connectivity to data from other sources, increases in accuracy, transient modeling, the simulation companies themselves, the integration of business planning with pipeline planning, and many other factors have all introduced new challenges, and thus new tools for the pipeline industry. Has the introduction of these factors helped the pipeline planner? Are the tools now generalized so much that it is too cumbersome and top-heavy for most individual pipeline systems? Can a simply steady-state simulator accomplish most design objectives? Certainly the most comprehensive and feature rich product available is useless if it is too difficult to navigate, or crashes so much that the planner stops using it. This workshop is intended to foster interaction between the pipeline simulation software industry and pipeline designers concerning the effectiveness of current and future simulation tools. Topics to be covered are:

  • Traditional Goals of the Pipeline planner

  • Traditional Software development

  • Transformation in the pipeline industry

  • How to keep up with evolving goals

  • What the planner really needs

  • Factors in acquiring simulation software

  • What the future holds

Biography

Mike McCoin: Mike McCoin graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a B.S. in Computer Science in 1988. He went to work outside of the energy sector at International Mathematical and Statistical Libraries, for 2 years before joining Scientific Software-Intercomp. During the last 10 years he has worked in pipeline simulation, and has witnessed the evolution of the software company as well as the pipeline industry. He has also seen the industry needs from several aspects. From pure product development, to sales, to project implementations, he has observed the changing needs of the planner. Currently, he is a senior technical engineer at Energy Solutions International, in Houston Texas.

Biography

Bill Chmilar: Since graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in System Design Engineering in 1976, Bill has had broad and varied responsibilities throughout the oil and gas industry in Canada. Bill is currently employed by TransCanada Transmission in the Pipeline System Design Department where his responsibilities include development of techniques for stochastic pipeline design as well as service risk assessment. Bill has also contributed to the PSIG meetings before, having presented a paper and conducting workshops in recent years. Most recently, Bill was also the Chairman of the Standards Committee of the PSIG.

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