Over the past decade or so a number of software packages have been developed for the design and analysis of single phase and multiphase pipelines and related applications. These packages have been installed both on in-house and time-share computers. Various computer network facilities have made it possible to access the programs residing on a computer in one location, in locations far removed from the host computer. An example of such a software library is that of Neotechnology Consultants Ltd. (NEOTEC). This library can be accessed on the CSC, MA, CDC and UIS systems and contains programs for
multiphase and single phase pipeline design and analysis
fluid property predictions
gas field deliverability studies
well bore calculations for both production and injection wells
This approach of bringing the user and the developer of the software together through a time-share network has many advantages, including: instantaneous access to the latest versions of the programs quick help with programs through the use of computer network low initial investment (only a terminal and account ≠ needed) Some of the disadvantages of this approach are: excessive computer and royalty costs for frequent and heavy users of the programs access limited to major centers and dependent upon a good telecommunication system no access in some countries due to political or security reasons Until the appearance of inexpensive microcomputers, the only alternative to time-share systems was to install the programs on in-house main frame machines. Now many of these same programs can also be installed and run on relatively inexpensive microcomputers. While the CPU's of these computers are slower than what is available on most main frames, the user can often get his hands on the results in less elapsed (or clock) time. This, coupled with the fact that most microcomputers are in single-user environments (located in the user's office), makes them an attractive option for many. This opportunity has been realized by the oil and gas industry, as evidenced by the rapid growth in the number of companies developing and marketing microcomputer software to meet the needs of this industry. This trend is bound to continue with the development of more and more powerful and affordable personal workstations like the HP9000 and Apollo DN660. In this paper we will describe some of the software that we have installed on the IBM-PC. Problems associated with this conversion and the performance of the software on the PC will be discussed. Establishment of user groups or special interest groups by professional societies is making it easier to distribute software and educate users. One such group has been established by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). This group publishes short programs in the BASIC language and provides information on other programs. Attempts are also being made by SPE to establish a computer software library with remote access for members. Developments of this type are bound to expand the use of microcomputers in the oil and gas industry.