BP is the biggest operator and largest oil producer in the North Sea, producing both oil and gas from a number of offshore locations.
The Dimlington Terminal, located on the East Yorkshire coast, is the administration and communications support centre for all of BP's Southern North Sea gas operations. Dimlington receives and processes dry gas from Cleeton/R-South, R-North, Johnston, Neptune, Mercury and Minerva via the Villages pipeline system.
Easington was Britain's first terminal to receive natural gas from the North Sea and has a maximum handling capacity of 300 million cubic feet of gas per day.
Easington receives gas from the fields West Sole, Hyde, Newsham and Hoton which, after compression, is sent to the Dimlington terminal for conditioning prior to returning to Easington for metering and export into the national transmission system. The control of the terminal and offshore platforms is carried out from the Dimlington control room.
All offshore fields and onshore refineries have to comply with strict DTI regulations, with DTI officers able to inspect metering systems at any time to ensure compliance.
The correct maintenance and operation of metering systems is crucial in satisfying these regulations, as is having a complete set of routine calibration inspection certificates for all primary measurement devices.
It is our responsibility to oversee such inspection procedures on the offshore fields and onshore terminals controlled at Dimlington and to ensure that inspections are traceable and compliant with DTI Oil and Gas Division Petroleum (production) Legislation.
Regular, accurate inspections using specified standards takes time, as does the recording and management of the information gathered. Without software to schedule and manage these checks, it is difficult for engineers to keep track of paperwork, maintain its storage and easily obtain clear reports on instrument stability.
The solution comprised of an upgrade of 15 FisCal Engineer systems, which together maintain the whole of BP's SNS gas operations.
FisCal Engineer enables Metering Technicians and Supervisors to move towards an automated inspection regime, with the ability to produce reports on full maintenance records and calibration results over time.
Each system holds all field and test equipment configuration specific to an individual site and allows the scheduling of routine calibration of equipment with the flexibility to change configuration in line with actual needs.
The software gives the user/supervisor the ability to instantly view missed inspections due for completion, as well as the results of historical inspections over time.
Using FisCal Engineer, employees both offshore and at Dimlington have found it simpler to prove compliance with regulatory requirements, whilst instant reporting aids auditing and saves time.
The system is far more efficient than paperwork, as a clear picture of calibration tasks and their status is available at any time and human error is eliminated due to instant data validation and consistency over all checks.
FisCal Engineer provides greater control over calibration scheduling and, since configuration data does not have to be entered for every check, a further time saving element is added.
Installing new equipment is straightforward due to the Form Browser utility and a choice of standard calibration forms and training costs are minimal because of the user-friendly interface.
The Data Analysis and Stability Search functions enable supervisors to easily review and determine the frequency of required inspections, so no time is wasted on inspecting more often than is necessary.
And The Future:
When asked if he thought FisCal software would continue to be of benefit on BP sites, Dave responded that FisCal is part of their "special recommendations" to third party projects bringing in additional gas to their systems. FisCal is also recommended as an important tool, through the Central Measurement Team, to all other BP installations.
Dave Hunter, BP SNS Metering Technical Authority.