News Archive 2009, Q1-Q2

"The Quest for Data and Application Interoperability" Abstract Accepted for the GITA Oil & Gas Conference

With the cancellation of last year’s GITA Oil & Gas Conference due to Hurricane Ike, the attendance at the 2009 conference is expected to surge. Contributing to the success of the event will be Ron Brush, president of New Century Software, with his presentation titled, “The Quest for Data and Application Interoperability.”

Data interoperability is increasingly important for pipeline GIS. This presentation will examine the critical details of data interoperability, looking at more than a dozen factors that will either help or inhibit data portability among different systems. The presentation will also focus on application interoperability and will explore what it takes to develop and evaluate interoperable desktop and Web applications both from the GIS and from the application perspectives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn 12 factors that will help or inhibit data interoperability.
  • Understand what operators can do to test and improve application interoperability.
  • Identify six critical factors for desktop and Web application interoperability.

The GITA Oil & Gas Conference is being held September 13-17 in Houston.

New Century to Co-Present with Questar Pipeline Company on, "Using GIS to Meet Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) Requirements" at the ESRI International User Conference

A presentation on, “Using GIS to Meet Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) Requirements” will be presented by Questar Pipeline Company and New Century Software at the upcoming ESRI International User Conference. The conference is being held July 13-17 in San Diego and is described by ESRI as the world’s largest gathering of GIS professionals.

The paper approved by the ESRI User Conference committee reads:

Federal regulations will require distribution system operators to develop Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP). The purpose of the regulations is to reduce the injuries and deaths associated with natural gas distribution systems. This regulation will place new and significant requirements on distribution operators’ GIS. Operators already gather some of the data needed for meeting DIM. The challenge lies in efficiently and accurately integrating and evaluating all system data so operators can make risk-informed decisions. Similar to the role geospatial solutions played in helping transmission pipeline operators meet Integrity Management Program requirements, this paper will discuss the role GIS can play in helping operators meet the DIMP regulations. How geospatial solutions developed for transmission pipelines can be utilized for meeting DIM requirements will be discussed. How risk-based decision making can improve operational efficiency and resource allocation will be discussed.

New Century Software Reaches Agreement to License NYSEARCH Cased Pipe Integrity Assurance Model

New Century Software has been granted the exclusive license to sell and distribute the NYSEARCH Cased Pipe Integrity Assurance Model to the oil and gas pipeline industry. The model provides operators with the ability to prioritize pipeline integrity management actions and improve safety by better characterizing actual level of risk, to create cost savings through the prevention of unnecessary excavations and inspections, and helps operators to comply with federal regulations.

New Century’s industry leading Spatial Risk Analyst application serves as the delivery mechanism for the NYSEARCH model. “By using the Cased Pipe Integrity Assurance Model to assess threats and manage risk, operators can minimize the need to perform costly internal inspections, pressure testing, and direct assessment on cased pipe segments. Spatial Risk Analyst is an outstanding fit with NYSEARCH’s goal of offering a commercial solution for cased pipe integrity assessment because the application features an open data architecture and supports very simple to very complex risk models for transmission and distribution integrity management regulations,” said Richard Arata, practice manager with New Century Software.

“Collaborative efforts like this empower pipeline and local distribution operators with stronger, consistent, and defensible safety solutions while taking advantage of technologies that allow them to manage risks and reduce costs,” said Daphne D’Zurko, executive director for NYSEARCH. “Program funders as well as other distribution and transmission industry users will be able to enhance their decision making with this methodology.”

Webinars will be hosted on May 12th and 14th for pipeline operators interested in learning more about using Spatial Risk Analyst to implement the NYSEARCH Cased Pipe Integrity Assurance Model.

New Release of SheetCutter and TemplateDesigner (Version 7.0) Includes an Enhanced Workflow and Tighter Integration with ArcMAP

New Century Software has announced the release of version 7.0 of its SheetCutter and TemplateDesigner applications. The release includes significant enhancements to the workflow that pipeline operators and engineering firms experience when generating alignment sheets and area maps from a pipeline GIS.

SheetCutter is an industry leading tool for generating alignment sheets and area maps from a pipeline GIS implementation. With the release of version 7.0, users can now create, delete, and generate sheets directly from the Table of Contents view within ArcMAP. This tight ArcMAP integration greatly reduces the number of clicks needed to complete tasks and makes the workflow more intuitive for new users. The application has also been upgraded to accept both non-measured centerlines and non-numerical Route IDs.

TemplateDesigner allows users to create custom alignment sheet and area map templates for use within SheetCutter. The application now includes a Band Manager panel so users can quickly view the available band types and apply them towards a mapping template. Users will also find the process of configuring data sources and editing symbology much quicker thanks to the Table of Contents view.

Oil and gas pipeline operators and engineering companies interested in learning about alignment sheet generation solutions from New Century Software are encouraged to visit the SheetCutter or TemplateDesigner webpages or request a custom demonstration.

Ron Brush Elected to PODS Board of Directors

Ron Brush, president of New Century Software, has been elected to the PODS (Pipeline Open Data Standards) Association Board of Directors. Mr. Brush was one of the founding members of the PODS Association and previously served as the group’s President. His vision is to continue driving a standardized pipeline data model within the oil and gas industry that will boost pipeline safety and increase application interoperability for operating companies.

The PODS Association brings worldwide industry experts together in a round table approach to engineer a business-driven pipeline data model. The PODS is the industry standard, ensuring that the model will meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs. With existing computing infrastructure and data, the model is the foundation positioning companies to move aggressively toward the future – embracing new technologies and business strategies. The data model is dynamic, meeting the needs of pipeline operators and regulatory groups.

Presentation on spatial risk assessment for water utility pipelines to be presented at the ASCE Pipelines Conference

Robin Magelky, a Project Engineer with New Century Software, has been selected to deliver a presentation titled, “Assessing the Risk of Water Utility Pipeline Failures Using Spatial Risk Analysis” at the ASCE Pipelines Conference being held in San Diego August 16-19.

The number of water utilities implementing asset management systems and spatial databases is growing, and vast amounts of data are accumulating at these utilities. One of the challenges faced within this community is developing a methodology to evaluate and manage risks to heterogeneous pipeline systems in the face of aging infrastructure and limited budgets. Predicted budget shortfalls for the United States for water utilities over the next twenty years exceed $500 billion. Allocating resources to increase infrastructure stability under these challenging conditions highlights the importance of increasing the return on investment of any expenditure.

A spatial risk analysis methodology, derived from the oil and gas pipeline industry integrity management programs, can be used to evaluate risks to the integrity of water pipeline systems, increasing the return on investment for asset management and GIS data collection. The risk methodology can incorporate diverse data sources to provide a quantitative analysis of the probability and consequences of a failure. The method uses dynamic segmentation to incorporate information from linear events, such as pipe attributes, and geospatial data, such as soils data, into a customizable risk algorithm.

In addition to evaluating the risk of water line breaks with regard to the assets of the water utility, the methodology can also incorporate the impact of failures on the surrounding community, whether that be due to overland flow resulting in damages, loss of service, or other consequences. This risk methodology can be used to provide a quantitative guide for investment in future inspections, pipe replacement or repair, changes in security measures, and other mitigation activities to reduce the risks to the utility and community of water line failures. A case study will be presented, demonstrating the use of this methodology to evaluate the condition of a water utility pipeline.

Spatial Risk Analyst Release Enhanced to Meet DIMP Regulations for Gas Distribution Systems

New Century Software announced today that the latest release of its Spatial Risk Analyst application has new features and enhancements designed to help gas distribution system operators meet the challenges of upcoming Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) regulations. Widely used by oil and gas transmission pipeline operators, the application now has the ability to meet specific requirements of gas distribution systems. These enhancements also provide new risk assessment capabilities for transmission and gathering system operators. With Spatial Risk Analyst’s ability to analyze both geographic information system (GIS) and non-GIS data, the application serves as a powerful tool to help operators meet integrity management requirements.

"DIMP will place significant demands on distribution system operators and their GIS. Spatial Risk Analyst’s tight integration with GIS data and its ability to pull data from numerous non-GIS sources will greatly aide operators in meeting the upcoming challenges," said Rich Arata, Distribution Practice Manager with New Century Software. "We recognized early on that a "one-size-fits-all" approach wouldn’t work due to the diverse nature of the distribution industry. Spatial Risk Analyst provides an open and comprehensive solution for distribution risk and integrity analysis"

With this release, New Century has removed the need to have a measured centerline to perform risk assessments while still allowing for dynamic segmentation. In addition, new density analysis and sliding mile capabilities have been added that help operators manage one-call, leak, anomaly and other such data common to all types of pipeline risk assessment The result is an off-the-shelf software application ready to implement at gas distribution systems. The application comes with a "starter" DIMP risk algorithm that can be modified to meet the particular requirements of a distribution system. This algorithm is designed to help meet the proposed PHMSA regulations and provide operators with a scalable tool ready to support risk-based decision making and program compliance.

AGA Operations Conference Selects New Century Software to Moderate Panel on "Developing Risk Models for Distribution Integrity Management"

Rob McElroy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for New Century Software, has been asked to moderate a panel pertaining to Distribution Integrity Management Programs (DIMP) at the AGA Operations Conference being held this May in Pittsburgh.

The Distribution Integrity Management Program will require operators to calculate risk scores for their distribution systems. Based on calculated scores and supplemental considerations from SMEs, the facilities can be ranked accordingly. Each panelist will provide an approach to the weighting of relevant factors and the use of mathematical tools to analyze and establish risk scores. The panelists for “Developing Risk Models for Distribution Integrity Management” will include Mary Bartholomew of Southwest Gas Corporation, Robert Sawaya of SourceGas Distribution, and Steven Troch of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.

Asset Integrity Management: Risk Analysis and Prioritization workshop to be offered at GITA’s Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference

At GITA’s 2009 Geospatial Infrastructure Solutions Conference being held this April in Tampa, a team comprised of experts from New Century Software, Kiefner Associates, FEMA, and Mary Ann Stewart Engineering will be delivering a workshop titled, “Asset Integrity Management: Risk Analysis and Prioritization.” The four-hour workshop will cover four main topics:

  1. Basic principles of Risk Assessment
  2. Using GIS to meet distribution integrity management (DIMP) requirements
  3. GIS risk assessment using HAZUS
  4. Risk assessment ROI
Presenters from New Century Software include Ron Brush, President, and Rich Arata, Gas Distribution Practice Manager.

Presentation on "Using ArcGIS to Streamline Well Planning" accepted for ESRI Petroleum User Group Conference

Shell Oil and New Century Software will be making a joint presentation titled, “Using ARCGIS to Streamline Well Planning” at the ESRI Petroleum User Group Conference this February. The presentation will report the results of a three month pilot project that was completed in 2008. By incorporating ArcGIS into the client’s workflow, the process of planning for the next season of wells was reduced from three months to just two weeks.

The pilot project successfully leveraged New Century Software’s transmission pipeline GIS capabilities into the oil and gas production sector. Details on the presentation will be available on the ESRI PUG website in January.