As responsible pipeline engineers, planners, and operators, it is imperative that complete up-todate pipeline operating information be made available in a timely manner. The results of computer-aided pipeline simulation have played an extremely important role in providing this information. Specifically consider the areas of dispatcher training, operations planning, and system design. New pipeline operators do not have the experience level necessary to make daily decisions relating to normal gas control. In fact, several months and in some cases years of direct operating experience are required before complete operating confidence is gained. Earlier training was mainly just working on the job, watching experienced operators at work. Unfortunately there exists no way to relate the time spent to the amount of knowledge gained: a new operator may spent several months on the job and never see a crisis. And when a crisis does occur, the most experienced operators will make the decisions, so the trainee gets only partial benefit from the experience. Generally a crisis will affect only the people involved during that one shift, so other shifts learn about the crisis second hand. A means is needed to rapidly expose new operators to a full range of operating conditions so that the training cycle can be reduced. Pipeline operations planning is typically performed by senior experienced gas controllers planners without the benefit of information generated by a pipeline simulator. This type of planning is acceptable for "normal" operations that do not involve complex operating issues. This acceptance also assumes the proper planning personnel are available at the time the plan is generated or the plan needs to be updated. Unfortunately in the real world of pipeline operations these conditions are rarely met. Clearly if the pipeline has any complexity at all, the human mind is incapable of exhausting the various operating alternatives in time enough to build a safe and efficient plan. In fact, operations personnel realize the planner/strategist/tactician is faced with literally hundreds of alternate methods for operation. A properly staged pipeline simulator can evaluate the relevant alternatives and provide the information to the planner necessary to finalize the operating strategy. The information generated by pipeline simulations is most familiar to the pipeline design personnel. Pipeline engineers have been successfully using simulators as a normal part of their job for many years. Key issues such as compressor sizing, valve locations, safe operating pressures, maximum flow rates, and so on have been typically resolved using computer-aided pipeline simulation. The simulation technology to provide solutions to all of the above scenarios has been available for many years. It is the access, control, and presentation of this information that has been Information Management for Pipeline Simulation Systems lacking. This paper presents the case of an information management for pipeline simulation systems designed for the modern user.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.