Oil and Gas Revisited - IT and Embedded Systems

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Oil and Gas Revisited - IT and Embedded Systems Myth #1: The oil industry can't finish on time and instead will "fix on failure."

Fact: The oil industry is fixing now and testing now, and most systems are complete. No major software projects are ever truly "finished", especially projects as large as y2k which involves much new software. But the oil and gas companies can finish mission critical systems in time, or worst case, will have contingency plans in place for the few systems that might not complete. Will they do it perfectly? Even the industry expects some Y2k bugs to occur - mostly minor but possibly a few more serious. That's why they have contingency plans - this isn't "fix on failure", this is taking precautions. Perfection was never achieved in computer systems prior to the year 2000, and it's not required for the year 2000. Even so, the status provided by the organizations and companies below indicate that overall, the oil and gas industries are in good shape for y2k.

From the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion November 10th press release at http://www.y2k.gov/new/prel1110.html: "Oil and Gas. Over 90 percent of companies, representing 96 percent of all oil and gas consumed in the United States, report that they have met the industry-wide goal of being Y2K ready by September 30, 1999." The complete "Oil and Gas" section from the Council's recently released Fourth Summary of Assessment Information is provided below.

Myth #2: "The strategic Petroleum Reserve is unusable due to contamination, etc."

Fact: The strategic Petroleum Reserve can, and has been used. See the information provided below.

Myth #3: "There are thousands of embedded systems deep inside oil wells and in inaccessible locations on offshore oil platforms that are not Y2K compliant."

Fact: Engineers don't place equipment that can fail in inaccessible locations unless the equipment is considered expendable, since eventually the equipment WILL fail and must be repaired or replaced. Sometimes process sensors and wiring are placed in harsh environments, but these aren't electronic circuits with date sensitive "chips" - the electronics are usually remote for sensors in harsh environments. Even sensors would not be placed where they couldn't be accessed unless they were considered expendable. I have investigated the products of a number of companies producing equipment and sensors for oil wells and offshore oil platforms, and have yet to find an example of an embedded system with date functions that would be used in an inaccessible location. You be the engineer - ask yourself this - does it make sense to put a device whose operation is critical to day to day operations in a place where it can never be fixed or replace, or ever seen again, when most certainly it will eventually fail? Most engineers would answer no - unless the device were expendable, wouldn't cause a serious problem upon failure, and you had plenty of backups.

Being good engineers, lets look at this a little deeper. Lets say we want to measure temperature down a well or at the bottom of the ocean, and we want to record or display and date stamp the data. We therefore need to put a temperature sensor at the inaccessible location - an RTD or thermocouple will do. We need some type of equipment to display or record the data in a readily accessible location, otherwise we can never get the data! Were also going to need a power supply, electronics circuits for signal processing and displaying or storing the data and stamping the data with a date. Lets use a real time clock (RTC) for the date stamping, since it's fairly accurate. We're also going to have to run wiring from the sensor to the electronics package. Now lets ask ourselves - do we want to put the power supply, all the electronics circuits, and RTC in the inaccessible location down in the well, or the accessible location where we look at the data? There really isn't much of a choice to make here, is there? Note: This is a simplified but quite accurate example for sensors used in remote/harsh environments. There are some sensor types that have have integrated circuitry as part of the sensor (these are not microprocessors). Other types of instruments have the signal processing in a package with the sensor - an example is Rosemount transmitters. A Rosemount smart transmitter is an "embedded system", i.e., microprocessor based. Such transmitters would never be placed in inaccessible locations.

A "DHS-5000 Down Hole Monitoring System" was cited in one post. This equipment is not an example of an "inaccessible" device - in fact, this device isn't even a good example of a serious Y2K failure, since it doesn't fail. The device successfully makes the rollover but since two digit dates are used, the manufacturer warns that other interfaces must interpret the data correctly. Like many embedded devices, it does not properly handle the leap year- a number of companies have non-leap year compliant devices that they have not made compliant - some Allen Bradley PLCs with RTCs, Westronic digital recorders, for example. Leap year processing hasn't been a significant issue in the past in embedded systems and they year 2000 won't make this problem any worse. (FYI, this is why some devices are classified as Y2K "Ready" by those testing, since the devices don't pass all of the date tests, i.e., the leap year test ). During my research, I found that most of the sensors used within oil wells and submersed in offshore oil platforms had remote electronics, not in the sensor (pressure, temperature, etc.). I did find one pressure sensor made by a vendor in Norway that had electronics built in one of their probes, but no RTC or date functions were found in the product information. See below for the manufacturers disclosure regarding the DHS-5000.

So here's the "Inaccessible Embedded System Challenge": 1. Provide the manufacturer, model number, and confirming product information for an inaccessible device with date functions used deep inside oil wells, OR in offshore oil platforms, as a part of normal operations (this excludes exploratory probes where the devices are considered "expendible"). To be "inaccessible", this device must not be retrievable, repairable, or replaceable. To have "date functions", his device must have date functions within the electronics of the device, date functions performed by interfacing equipment that can be accessed do not count.

2. Provide evidence that at least one thousand of these devices are in use by the oil industry inside of oil wells and/or in inaccessible locations on/under/inside offshore oil platforms. If you provide the manufacturer contact information (link, telephone number, etc.) and I can get confirmation of quantities from the manufacturer, that's fine.

3. The devices must be non-Y2K compliant - no, I take that back...lets not make this too hard....the devices can even be Y2K compliant. I'm not even going to require that the devices be important to operations. I don't care what color the unicorn is, I just want to see it:}

The Reward: Your personal satisfaction in presenting the facts regarding "inaccessible embedded systems" and Y2K. Send the information to me at the address below. Following confirmation with the manufacturer, I will humbly admit my error and acknowledge the first individual to identify a device meeting the evidence requirements of 1 and 2 above. If I'm mistaken, it would be worth eating a little humble pie to learn the true facts about "inaccessible embedded systems with date functions from hell that will doom us all." But we all know deep down that I'm not mistaken on this one, don't we..... Note: If you're thinking of using RTUs as mentioned in the Wired Texaco article as an example, I'll give you a heads up, these devices are common to many industries including the electric power industry that I work in, and they aren't "inaccessable". SCADAs are out as well. And forget quoting someone else unless a manufacturers model number is provided. And please, don't give me exploratory probes that are designed to be discarded, Mars orbiters, etc...:)

Oil and Gas Industries - Y2K Status Meanwhile, for those interested in the Y2K status of the Oil and Gas industries, see the information posted below. Both IT related computer systems and software and embedded systems are addressed.

Regards, FactFinder@bzn.com

Previous Topics Posted at TB2000: The Electric Utilities Y2K Status Reference List Embedded Systems Revisited 10 Documented Examples of Y2K Functional Failures in Embedded Systems Bently Nevada Important GPS Notice Y2K Pentagon Papers - Secret Papers Back ONLINE - NAVFAC Master Utilities Y2K Preparaedness Status Spreadsheet Explained The NAVFAC Diaries - (Links and humor)


FERC Oil and Gas Sector Survey on Y2K Readiness http://www.ferc.fed.us/y2k/y2kcover.html

YEAR 2000 READINESS OIL & GAS INDUSTRY AGREGATE INDUSTRY SURVEY RESULTS http://www.ferc.fed.us/y2k/aggregatesept.pdf October 21, 1999 Summary 7 Companies within all sectors of the oil and natural gas industry have reported that they are Y2K ready, with limited exceptions, and all companies report 100 % ready before Dec. 31. 7 Increase in response rate coverage from May (96% vs. 93%); 2,160 companies responding. 7 Increase in No major obstacles / 95% indicate staff on duty during roll-over period. 7 Increased confidence in readiness of key partners  electricity and telecommunications. 7 Strong increase in retail gasoline service station coverage  from 51% to 77% . Included in responses is feedback from over 140,000 entities (largest response in any industry or sector surveyed). 7 The remaining issues appear in the validation stage, including finalizing and testing contingency plans, completing new system testing, and ensuring supply chain and cooperation  none of which would impede readiness. 7 100% of the respondents will have contingency plans in place.


Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) http://www.ingaa.org/ NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Mary ODriscoll (202) 216-5943

Interstate Gas Pipelines Confident of Y2K Date Change Operations

WASHINGTONInterstate natural gas pipeline companies say they are confident that gas will flow and pipelines will operate normally during the Jan. 1, 2000, date changeover, according to a survey released today by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA).

The survey says that all interstate gas pipeline companies are Y2K Ready for their business information technology systems. The companies report that they will complete testing of embedded systems and supply chain operations by Nov. 30, making all pipeline companies Y2K Ready by then. Y2K Ready means that through a combination of remediation and contingency planning, a company anticipates that the Year 2000 date change will not adversely affect its mission-critical activities.

The survey covers the final industry-wide Y2K analysis performed by INGAA in conjunction with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Natural Gas Council and the American Petroleum Institute (API) through the oil and gas working group of the Presidents Council on Y2K Conversion. Since mid-1998, the oil and gas industries have used periodic surveys to report their progress in ensuring smooth operation of information technology, embedded systems and supply chain processes among individual companies.

The survey analyzed responses from 19 interstate pipeline companies, representing 99 percent of the total interstate gas pipeline throughput. The survey shows that pipelines found no major challenges in completing their Y2K work and that pipelines will have all contingency plans tested and in place by the end of the year. Also, all companies will have staff on duty during the Year 2000 rollover to monitor pipeline operations.

### INGAA is the North American association representing the interstate and interprovincial natural gas pipeline industry. ---------------------------------------------------------

[An earlier INGAA statement regarding embedded systems] Oil, Gas Industries Y2K Efforts Show Marked ImprovementSurvey http://www.ingaa.org/INFO/1999Press/021899.htm (Feb. 18, 1999) One key discovery in the survey was that embedded chips do not pose a significant problem for the industries, said Ron Quiggins, director, Year 2000 Program, Shell Services Corporation and chairman of the API Year 2000 Task Force, said. "Were not finding the embedded chip failures that we thought we had."


American Gas Association (AGA) http://www.aga.org

September Survey Results Source: http://www.ferc.fed.us/y2k/agaseptsurvey.pdf

Summary 7 Natural Gas Utilities from across the country have reported that they are Y2K ready, with limited exceptions, and all companies report 100 % ready well before Dec. 31. 7 The remaining issues for those utilities not ready include finalizing contingency plans, completing new system testing, awaiting delivery of final parts, and ensuring supply chain and cooperation  none of which will impede readiness. 7 100% of the respondents will have contingency plans in place and tested and 99% will have staff on duty during the rollover period. 7 Record industry response -- survey includes 99% of membership volume which is 94% of all natural gas delivered in the U.S.

Survey Profile Surveys Sent 158 Responses 152 (96%) 99% of membership volume Total U.S. natural gas volume in responses 94% Size of companies (revenue) Small ($0  49 Million) 24% Medium ($50 M - $1B) 51% Large (>$1 Billion) 25%

Readiness Status  September 1999

Y2K Readiness Stage Remediation Validation Y2K Ready Business Systems 2% 11% 87% (133) Embedded Systems 1% 5% 94% (143) Supply Chain 30% 70%

Estimated Dates of Readiness (Cumulative) 9/30/99 10/31/99 11/30/99 12/31/99 Business Systems 87% 95% 100% 100% Embedded Systems 94% 97% 100% 100% Supply Chain 70% 80% 98% 100% Contingency Plans In Place 91% 95% 100% 100% ------------------

[An earlier statement regarding embedded systems] Natural Gas Utilities Are Making Substantial Progress on Y2K Readiness, American Gas Association Says (March 2, 1999 ) http://www.aga.org/aboutaga/new/pr149.html "Embedded chips do not pose a significant problem for the industries, as had previously been thought, according to the survey. "


American Petroleum Institute (API) http://www.api.org/ September Suvey Results Source: http://www.ferc.fed.us/y2k/apiseptsurvey.pdf

October 12, 1999 Summary 7 The September 1999 survey shows that all respondents expect to be Y2K ready by the end of 1999. 7 Nine out of ten companies surveyed project that they will be Y2K ready by September 30, 1999--a full three months before the turn of the millennium. 7 Increased response rate from 58% in January to 78% in May. 7 Increased coverage of all sectors, especially retail.

Surveys sent out 1425 Surveys received 1063 75% response rate

Readiness Status - Septemember, '99

Y2K Readiness Stage Planning Inventory Assessment Remediation Validation Complete Business Systems 1% 0% 0% 3% 8% 89% Embedded Systems 0% 1% 1% 2% 7% 88% Supply Chain 1% 1% 4% 9% 85%

Estimated Dates of Readiness (Cumulative) 9/30/99 10/31/99 11/31/99 12/31/99 Business Systems 89% 93% 96% 100% Embedded Systems 88% 92% 95% 100% Supply Chain 85% 89% 92% 100%



Source: YEAR 2000 Website Frequently Asked Questions (last updated 11-1-99) http://www.texaco.com/shared/y2k/docs/y2k_faq.html What types of Y2K problems has Texaco found? Most of the problems we have identified were in financial systems and equipment that "date stamped" data in our operations. Very rarely did we identify any potential problems in the primary control systems upon which we rely to operate our producing fields and refineries.

Source: Texaco's Y2K Readiness http://www.texaco.com/shared/y2k/docs/y2k_d.html As of September 30, 1999, all of Texaco's critical and essential systems have been assessed for Y2K compliance. All of those systems have either been fixed or alternative procedures have been established, with the exception of one essential system that will be completed in early November. We are continuing to perform internal audits and external reviews of our systems to ensure that we're prepared for Y2K. Additionally, we have completed our reviews with critical suppliers and customers as to their Y2K state of readiness.

A smooth Y2K transition depends on many factors, including some that are outside of our control. Since there is no guarantee that everything will operate without incident, we have developed contingency plans to deal with a wide variety of potential situations. While some problems may materialize as we enter the New Year, we are confident in our ability to handle these situations. For more information on Texaco's monitoring plans for the Y2K weekend, please see the TEAS Process.


Parker Drilling Company Source: http://www.parkerdrilling.com/y2k.html Parker Drilling Company and its subsidiaries (including Parker Drilling Offshore Corporation; Parker Drilling Offshore USA, LLC; Parker Technology, LLC and Quail Tools, LLP) (hereinafter the "Company") have recently completed the awareness, inventory, assessment, detailed analysis and substantially completed its compliance testing on the company's critical business and information technology systems as part of its seven phase Year 2000 compliance project. Remediation has also been completed on critical in-house developed systems. Selected non-critical systems were also included in the process. Before establishing the Year 2000 project, the Company made a decision to replace most of its outdated systems with commercial off the shelf systems and standardized desktop systems. The Company spent much of 1997 replacing critical financial, human resources and payroll systems. The inventory and assessment of drilling rig components containing imbedded chips indicated that most do not have date related logic. Testing conducted on components with date sensitive chips has verified that a date related problem is unlikely to occur.


PHILLIPS PETROLEUM Year 2000 Update Source: http://www.phillips66.com/y2k/y2kstatus.html Y2K excerpt from Phillips Petroleum's 1999 Second Quarter 10-Q

IT Systems The Infrastructure section consists of hardware and systems software other than Applications Software. This section is substantially complete. The company estimates that approximately 98 percent of the planned activities related to the section had been completed at June 30, 1999. The testing phase was completed as hardware or system software was remediated, upgraded or replaced. Contingency planning for this section was completed in June 1999.

The Applications Software section includes both the conversion of applications software that is not Year 2000 compliant and, where available from the supplier, the replacement of such software. This section is substantially complete. The company estimates that the software conversion portion was 99 percent complete at June 30, 1999. The vendor software replacements and upgrades were approximately 97 percent complete at June 30, 1999. The company estimates that, overall, 99 percent of the planned activities of the Applications Software section were complete at June 30, 1999. Testing was conducted as software was repaired or replaced. Contingency planning for this section began in third quarter 1998 and was completed in June 1999.

PC&I The PC&I section of the Project includes the hardware, software and associated embedded computer chips that are used in the operation of all facilities operated by the company. This section is substantially complete. The company estimates that the repair and testing of PC&I equipment was approximately 99 percent complete at June 30, 1999. Contingency planning for this section began in third quarter 1998 and was completed by June 30, 1999.


BP AMOCO Source: BP Amocos Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure - October 1999 http://www.bpamoco.com/technology/y2k.htm All planned systems work is done with a few managed and planned exceptions scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter. An example of remaining fourth quarter work is upgrades to some process control systems, which can only reasonably be done when our manufacturing plants are shut down for routine maintenance. For the most part, the remaining work consists of implementation of known and tested products.


CHEVRON Jim Sullivan, Chevron Vice Chairman, recently shared his thoughts about Y2K in a Chevron employee publication. That article is reprinted at: http://www.chevron.com/newsvs/currentissues/y2k/index.html . This is a very interesting article, Jim once did some programming himself. He also discusses his own personal preparations for Y2K.

Some interesting Y2k findings concerning Chevron's shipping Source: http://www.chevron.com/newsvs/currentissues/y2k/y2k_shipping.htm

Chevron Shipping Company is considered to be one of the leaders in the maritime industry in addressing Year 2000 issues. Chevron Shipping is committed to protecting the safety of its employees, as well as that of the environment and communities through which it transports products and crude oil.

Its preventive efforts have included thorough audits of each of the 36 ships that Chevron Shipping operates, and its inspectors have visited these vessels all over the world, examining technical drawings and probing instrument panels. They have inspected these vessels searching for embedded technology with the potential for failure as the date rolls over to the year 2000.

The findings: According to the audits and supply chain inquiries, the company found that almost all on-board equipment is Y2K compliant throughout the fleet of vessels operated by Chevron Shipping.

Many of the older vessels have fewer potential problems due to the simpler requirements of the operating systems, but the fleets two newest ships, the J. Bennett Johnston (pictured here) and the Frank A. Shrontz, have been guaranteed Y2K compliant by their builder.

Chevron Shipping is currently formulating Y2K remediation plans and working to make sure that any foreseeable problems in mission-critical areas such as safety and environment are solved before the date rollover. It is also developing extensive new contingency plans and enhancing existing contingency plans to manage potential Y2K emergencies -- asking all the what if questions to make sure Chevron Shipping is well-prepared.

But while Chevron Shipping can control the risks within its own ships, it cannot control the vessels around it -- so as a precaution, Chevron Shipping has created a new safety policy:

During a 48-hour rollover period around New Years Day, 2000, the vessels operated by Chevron Shipping will limit cargo operation and movement through restricted waters -- narrow channels, harbors or other high-traffic areas.


MOBILE Year 2000 Discussion: Second Quarter 1999 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 10Q filed August 11, 1999 Source: http://www.mobil.com/year2000/level4/y2k10q_fr.html [Excerpts regarding Y2K Status]

The inventory and assessment and the strategy and planning phases of the work dealing with IT systems are complete. The execution phase of this work involves both application and infrastructure repair and systems upgrades and replacements. Application and infrastructure repair involves: the remediation and testing of non-compliant code; the remediation, replacement and testing of computing infrastructure and telecommunications devices; and the upgrading and testing of end user applications. The application and infrastructure repair work, which is being performed by both Mobil personnel and third parties specializing in resolving year 2000 issues, is nearly complete, with final completion expected by September 30, 1999, and Mobil estimates that approximately 99% of the projects comprising this work had been completed as of June 30, 1999. The systems upgrade and replacement work consists of the implementation of a major integrated enterprise software system in North America (which would have been implemented regardless of year 2000 considerations) and numerous other systems. The major integrated software system in North America is complete. Mobil estimates that approximately 91% of the projects comprising the work to upgrade and replace the other systems had been completed as of June 30, 1999, and all such projects are expected to be essentially completed by September 30, 1999.

The inventory and assessment and the strategy and planning phases of the work dealing with non-IT systems are essentially complete. The execution phase of this work, much of which is being performed by the vendors of the products involved, is expected to be completed by September 30, 1999, and Mobil estimates that approximately 91% of the projects comprising this work had been completed as of June 30, 1999. This brought the percentage of year 2000 compliant non-IT systems in Mobil's inventory of materially important non-IT systems to approximately 98% as of that date. The majority of the post-June 30, 1999 work dealing with non-IT systems is either work whose timing must be coordinated with plant operations or work to install new upgrades from vendors or to change upgrades previously provided by vendors.

Excerpts from "Mobil prepares to make millennium uneventful" FAIRFAX, Virginia, September 15, 1999 Source: http://www.mobil.com/year2000/level4/y2knr_fr.html

In contrast to people who may still be hoping to find space on a cruise ship, Dan Zivney knows exactly where hell be on New Years Eve. Hell be watching for "Y2K bugs." As project director for Mobils Year 2000 project, Zivney will be in one of seven regional Mobil incident response centers that will follow the new millennium as it makes its entrance around the world.

"Quite frankly, Im optimistic that our preparedness will reduce or eliminate the work for the response centers," he says. "I want our program to be so successful that the end of 1999 and the beginning of the year 2000 will be remembered as nothing more than a big yawn. However, the residual risks from potential Y2K failures by external parties require us to take precautions."

Test and test again Testing has been a key component of the Y2K program. In addition to running trials on internal Mobil computer applications, the team is testing integrated systems such as those that do electronic fund transfers with banks or that send information to government agencies.

"We cant just assume somethings compliant," notes Zivney "Weve defined tests around various scenarios based on what that particular application or process control device does. Its not easy, and we wont catch every single potential error because of how the programs have been developed over the years. But weve given the most critical applications and control systems a very, very high level of attention."

Industrywide cooperation Every company in the energy industry faces the same challenges, Zivney says, so avoiding these problems is a common goal. To that end, oil and natural gas companies have shared best practices and solutions through industry trade organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute, the American Gas Association, the Australian Institute of Petroleum and the United Kingdoms Offshore Oil Association, and others. In addition, many companies like Mobil support Y2K programs with key business partners in the countries in which they operate.

"For example, in Japan, Indonesia, Nigeria and Qatar, were sharing solutions with the government-owned oil companies and joint venture business partners," Zivney says. "We are building on Mobils efforts by helping the international operations with which were involved."

Oil-producing countries are highly motivated to keep their income streams moving, he notes, and many are allocating extra resources to their Year 2000 preparedness plans, regardless of how much they rely on technology.

Oil shortages unlikely Those efforts, coupled with standard operational practices, mean shortages and supply disruptions are unlikely.

"Our industry supply chain is a very efficient one," Zivney says. "Weve proven ourselves able to manage many disruptions, including natural disasters and global disturbances. In addition, many governments have strategic stockpiles of petroleum reserves that provide cushions. So without a prolonged outage  and we really dont see a prolonged outage  we feel its highly unlikely that youll see any shortages of gasoline or natural gas as a result of the year 2000."

Zivney notes that it takes several weeks to ship crude oil from major producing area like the Middle East to say the U.S., so any impact on local problems will take some time to appear which can be used to find other supply sources.

Panic buying and stockpiling could change that. "The greatest catalyst for shortages would be if consumers resorted to last-minute panic buying and hoarding," he says. "That would create a self-fulfilling prophecy that wasnt due to an actual shortage or Y2K problem."


MARATHON - ASHLAND MARATHON GROUP OF USX CORPORATION Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure (as of September 30, 1999) The Marathon Group includes Marathon Oil Company Group("Marathon") and certain other subsidiaries of USX Corporation ("USX"), which are engaged in worldwide exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas; domestic refining, marketing and transportation of petroleum products primarily through Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC ("MAP"), owned 62% by Marathon; and other energy related businesses.

State of Readiness Both our Information Technology (IT) and Non-IT system readiness stand at 99.9% as of September 30, 1999. This means that with only few exceptions, the Marathon Group is "ready" for the new century. These exceptions, which will be completed in the fourth quarter, include overdue delivery of Y2K-compliant versions of vendor-supplied software and replacement components, implementations deferred to coincide with operational shutdowns, and pending acquisitions and dispositions. These remaining items are being monitored closely and contingency plans have been written with a goal that remediation will be accomplished in a timely manner, but if not, the contingency of having no plans will assure us there will be no adverse impact on business operations after December 31, 1999. A very small percentage of contingency plans remain to be completed.

[Selected excerpt relating to foreign exports] If any country is unable to export oil, other countries may be able to increase production and exports. According to the API report, in any event, import deliveries of oil would not stop immediately as there is always crude oil en route to the United States. In addition, the United States government has a Strategic Petroleum Reserve to act as a buffer to protect against temporary interruptions in foreign oil supplies. An API survey conducted in September, 1999, covering 96 percent of domestic oil and gas demand, showed more than 90% being "Y2K" ready as of September 30, 1999. The remaining companies said they will be ready before years end. The Marathon Group could be adversely affected by a disruption in supply if alternate sources of supply are not available.


PETRO-CANADA http://www.petro-canada.ca/html/Y2K/index.html Progress to Date Petro-Canada has now completed all remediation and testing of internal mission critical applications and process control systems.

The following is an overview of Petro-Canadas Year 2000 plan:  SAP Implementation Complete Appoint Year 2000 Project Director Complete Establish Year 2000 Project Team Complete Develop Detailed Project Plans Complete Complete Inventory and Assessment Complete Remediate and Test Mission Critical Systems and Applications Complete Develop Contingency Plans Complete  Test Operational Contingency Plans Through Simulation Exercises Complete Test National Response Communications Protocol October 29 Test Partner / Customer Interfaces 1999 Address Non-mission Critical Systems Q2 1999-Q1 2000 Clean Management Ongoing


BHP (Includes BHP Steel, Minerals and Petroleum businesses, including BHP Petroleum Americas) http://www.bhp.com.au/y2k.htm

Source: http://www.bhp.com.au/ASX%20Sep99%20V2.2.doc RELEASE TO THE AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE AND THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION YEAR 2000 BHPs Year 2000 Project will continue through to March 2000, covering the Leap Year issue, at which time we will reach 100% completion. Therefore we anticipate approximately 98% completion at year end. As at the end of August 1999, taken overall and allowing for the different sizes of projects, and transition/contingency planning, we have achieved 92% completion.

On average, and taking into account the different sizes of projects, completion by activity was as follows as at the end of August 1999:

Business systems > 95% Desktop systems > 95% Process Control systems > 95% Internal Systems We set a scheduled completion date of 30 June, 1999 for assessment, remediation and testing of internal systems. We have met this target date for most systems. For a small number of systems completion has been delayed by operational conditions, availability of software or availability of implementation windows. Consistent with our managed risk approach, where critical systems are involved, we have developed contingency plans.

Some software vendors are continuing to release patches (modifications) for Year 2000 compliance, or are modifying their upgrade recommendations. This poses a potential risk if it continues. As a precaution, we have issued guidelines for managing the acceptance and implementation of such software changes, and we are taking residual risks into account in our contingency planning.


PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos) Source: http://www.pemex.com/ingavan2000.html Regarding PEMEXs productive assets such as off shore rigs, refineries, petrochemical plants, industrial facilities, buildings, pipelines and ships, a strategic plan was devised in order to minimize the probable effects of the Year 2000 Problem. The current status of the six phases involved is the following:

Phase Title Starting date Ending date Status as of October 14th. I Preparation and collection of information (Y2K Inventory) July 1st, 1998 Oct. 30, 1998 100.00% II Inventory discrimination Oct. 1st, 1998 Jan. 31. 1999 99.0% III Definition of solution proposals and impact evaluation Feb 1st, 1999 Apr. 30, 1999 99.0% IV Field implementation of modifications May 1st, 1999 Sep. 30, 1999 86.0% V Certification of Operability Jul. 1st, 1999 Oct. 30, 1999 84.5% VI Evaluation and contingency actions Apr. 1st, 1999 Nov. 15, 1999 85.5%

I. Preparation and Collection of Information The inventory throughout the companys facilities has been completed and the following results have been obtained:

223 different facilities and work areas have been identified as operating probable non Y2K compliant hardware and software, distributed in the following way: 82 in PEMEX-Exploration and Production, 29 belonging to PEMEX-Gas and Petrochemicals, 80 in PEMEX-Refining, 9 concerning PEMEX-Petrochemical, 22 located in hospitals, as well as several telecommunication areas.

PEMEX currently maintains a company length database with remote Intranet access to allow users throughout the country to capture and update the information regarding the status of 18,239 items which are considered as possibly non Y2K compliant, including both software and hardware pieces. This also allows analysts and executives to diagnose and assess the situation and take the necessary corrective steps.

II. Inventory Discrimination Items within the Y2K inventory have been discriminated by detecting 90.22% of trouble free items, 8.69% of problem items which are subject to corrections and a 1.09% of elements which are still undergoing research and analysis testing.

PEMEX is a member of international programs such as EPRI (Electrical Power Research Institute), API (American Petroleum Institute) and has access to the Year 2000 Specialized Data Base supplied by Raytheon, Inc. These memberships facilitate collecting information from other users in order to validate vendor and third party solutions, as well as research and testing during the discrimination phase. PEMEX currently uses an Intranet Discrimination Tool that contains over 53,000 records concerning compliance information for the most popular equipment brands used in the telecommunications, medical and industrial branches.

III. Definition of Solution Proposals and Impact Evaluation Several general agreements have been established with the main manufacturers and vendors of critical systems (distributed control systems and systems based on logic programmable controls), such as ABB, Bailey, Bristol, Fisher-Rosemount, Foxboro, Honeywell, Siemens and Yokogawa. Also 165 different contracts have been drawn to supply PEMEX with specific solutions in several locations at a national level.

The definition of proposals for Y2K solution included the evaluation of testing protocols, plant availability and maintenance and production programs in order to minimize the economic impact of implementing the proposed alternatives. As a way of standardizing the application of tests, PEMEX requested its vendors the compliance with the British Standards Institute PDC-2000 definition and the testing protocol recommended by the API, which is used by major oil industries in the world.

IV. Field Implementation of Modifications 1.6% of the inventory items are currently being modified or tested and 142 of the contracts were accomplished which will mean a 86% progress in the overall program by October 30, expecting a 93% by the end of October. The remaining 7%, which involve hardware and software for non-critical systems and processes, will be undertaken during the last two months 1999.

The results of post-modification testing have been extremely successful and its tendency indicates the existence of minor non critical problems, situation that is consistent with the statements issued by the Director of the Y2K Program in Shell Inc. and President of APIs Y2K Task Force.

Roughly speaking, the actions implemented by the vendors and manufacturers to provide Y2K solutions and modifications have required 2 days per facility and in the case of post-modification testing, only a couple of hours.


Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies Source:

Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure The Group Year 2000 programme addresses business risks through remedial action and contingency planning and covers four areas: information technology (IT) applications, associated IT infrastructure including communications, industrial automation (embedded chips) and the business supply chain. Progress by Group companies on Year 2000 issues continues to be monitored quarterly by the Committee of Managing Directors. Over $450 million has been spent on the programme from the start of 1997 and total costs are now expected to be around $500 million. Costs are expensed as incurred. Excluding work scheduled for the fourth quarter for operational reasons (for example to coincide with planned refinery maintenance schedules), Group companies report that on average their remedial programmes on both business critical and other systems are 99% complete. The remaining work is currently being completed by the companies involved (just over 30% of Group companies) and is monitored closely. Work with the Groups suppliers and business partners will continue through the fourth quarter to manage the supply chain risk.

There are factors outside the Groups sphere of influence, such as extended supply chains and uneven global readiness. The business continuity and contingency plans that have been developed are intended as far as possible to cater for any disruptions which may occur. Over 70% of Group companies have completed implementation and testing of their contingency plans, with the remainder scheduled for completion shortly. Central monitoring and support over the New Year period will be in place and as part of the preparations, further crisis response exercises involving all Shell businesses were held in September. In many countries Group companies have worked closely with governments, utilities and energy companies to minimise the impact on infrastructure services.


VENEZUELA (Official country y2k site: http://www.venezuela2000.gov.ve/ )

Oil and Oil by-Products Source: http://www.venezuela2000.gov.ve/Vene_Y2K_Status.zip


3. Oil and Oil by-Products National Coverage, High Impact Petrsleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) represents the whole oil industry of Venezuela. PDVSA is the sole carrier, refiner, distributor and exporter of oil and its by-products. It also carries out most prospecting activities and manages agreements with multinational companies for the prospecting of remaining oil fields.

PDVSA has tackled the Y2K problem through the PDVSA 2000 Program, started in 1995 and comprising five main areas: Information Systems, Industrial Automation, Telecommunications, General Systems, and Internal and External Relations. At this stage, virtually all of the companys critical systems are fully remediated and tested, and contingency planning is ready in case of any failure that may occur. In the area of information systems, most administrative applications run on SAP-R3 system, which is fully Y2K compatible and is totally installed and operational in the companys main branches and subsidiaries. In the case of specialized applications for the prospecting and production areas, they are operated jointly with Geoquest (a Schlumberger division). At this time all critical applications, which include about 25 million code lines, are completely remediated, tested and implemented. Critical systems and equipment of the industrial automation area are 95% ready, with only a few isolated systems to be repaired during October and November. In telecommunications, PDVSA completed remediation and testing of critical systems, including testing of components already certified as Y2K-compliant by their manufacturers. The area of general systems includes, among others, medical equipment (95% compliant), security and access control (83%), buildings and other facilities (99%). Finally, in the area of internal and external relations, PDVSA developed an aggressive communications strategy towards its employees, the country and the international community, which also included visits to customer countries.

To meet the needs of its logistic structure, PDVSA has worked jointly with customers and suppliers to ensure continuity of purchases, sales and inter-company communications. As a part of this effort, it created joint task forces at a national level with the electric, telecommunications and financial sectors. As a result, integrated tests of national and international telecommunications networks were carried out, as well as data interchange tests with banking institutions.

PDVSA investment in the PDVSA 2000 Program totals over US $ 200 million, and this does not include the implementation of SAP/R3, nor costs involved in associate operations where PDVSA participates but not as main operator. The Program was given maximum priority by the highest levels of company management, and has therefore involved the whole organization, together with a dedicated team of up to 1,000 including consultants and employees. Considering the financial resources, organization and time spent, as well as the progress achieved, no problems are expected in PDVSA critical processes and the oil industry in Venezuela. "


President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion Nov. 10, 1999 Press Release: http://www.y2k.gov/new/prel1110.html Fourth Summary of Assessment Information http://www.y2k.gov/new/4thquarterly.html [The entire Oil and Gas section of the document is below]

OIL AND GAS (Working Group Chair - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)

Roughly 2,160 companies, representing 96 percent of all oil and gas consumed in the United States, participated in a September 1999 survey of Y2K readiness within the oil and gas industries. Over 90 percent of the responding companies reported meeting the industry-wide goal of being Y2K-ready by September 30, 1999. 92 percent of companies reported that their business systems were Y2K ready. 93 percent of companies reported that their operations and embedded systems were Y2K ready. 90 percent of companies reported having contingency plans in place; 77 percent have tested those plans.

The Council's Oil and Gas Working Group, led by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is made up of 11 Federal agencies and 26 industry groups that gather information on the Y2K readiness of the oil and gas sector. The Group has been highly effective in assessing the Y2K readiness of major companies within the sector that have responsibilities encompassing production, refining and processing, transportation, and distribution of oil and natural gas.

Oil and gas sector operations are heavily dependent upon the proper functioning of electric power, telecommunications, and transportation. Thus, Oil and Gas Working Group members have been participating in an Inter-Industry Task Force, which also includes representatives from the electric power, telecommunications, and transportation sectors. The task force is currently focused on coordinating information exchange among the sectors during the date rollover, through industry command centers and the Y2K Council's Information Coordination Center.

The Oil and Gas Working Group has conducted four surveys of oil and gas company Y2K readiness. The first survey, done in September 1998, received participation from companies representing 66 percent of domestic oil and gas consumption. The most recent assessment, conducted in September 1999, had participation from roughly 2,160 companies representing 96 percent of total U.S. consumption of oil and natural gas.

September 1999 Assessment Data All of the oil and natural gas companies participating in the September 1999 assessment reported having formal Y2K plans. The participants represent a cross section of the oil and gas sector. The survey coverage is as follows:

99 percent of oil and natural gas pipeline volume. 94 percent of natural gas distribution. 94 percent of refinery capacity. 84 percent of oil and gas production. 77 percent of retail gasoline service stations. Over 90 percent of the responding companies reported meeting the industry-wide goal of being Y2K ready by September 30, 1999. The remaining companies expect to be ready by the end of the year. Most companies report that systems not yet Y2K ready are in the validation stage.

Y2K Readiness Stage Remediation Validation Y2K Ready Business Systems 1% 7% 92% Operations/Embedded Systems 1% 6% 93%

Estimated Dates of Readiness 10/31/99 11/30/99 12/31/99 Business Systems 96% 99% 100% Operations/Embedded Systems 97% 99% 100%

Retail Gas Stations The September survey showed a significant increase in the response rate for retail gas stations. Of the nation's 180,000 retail gas stations, 77 percent (150,000) participated in the September survey, up from 51 percent in May. Gas pumps and dispensers are reported to be Y2K compliant and will operate as long as electricity is available. According to FERC, the similarities of the equipment used in all gas stations makes it likely that the readiness of stations that did not respond mirrors that of stations participating in the survey. Assuming normal patterns of consumption, there is roughly 30 days of fuel storage built into the system, and fuel can usually be trucked expeditiously to any locality that experiences a shortage.

End-to-End Testing Oil and gas companies have been working to ensure that their supply chain relationships will be ready for the date change. In the September survey, 83 percent of responding companies reported that their supply chain relationships were ready for the date change. All respondents project that they will be ready by the end of the year.

Y2K Readiness Stage Remediation Validation Y2K Ready Supply Chain -- 17% 83% Estimated Dates of Readiness 10/31/99 11/30/99 12/31/99 Supply Chain 89% 96% 100%

Contingency Plans Oil and natural gas companies normally have contingency plans and have been refining them to accommodate Y2K issues. As a general matter, much of the equipment within the sector has mechanical and manual backups so that it can be run when breakdowns in automated processes occur.

Most domestic companies within the oil and gas sector have conducted Y2K drills or tests of their contingency plans; 77 percent of companies responding to the September survey reported that they had tested their contingency plans. All companies expect to test their plans before the end of the year.

Estimated Dates of Readiness 10/31/99 11/30/99 12/31/99 Contingency Plans Tested 87% 95% 100%

International oil companies have also participated in drills at various ports conducted by the United States Coast Guard, and a drill conducted by the International Energy Agency on September 28, 1999. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is expected to have a two-month supply of oil on hand at the end of the year, which will provide a significant buffer to any disruptions in international oil supply.

An oil and gas industry command center will collect information on system operations from companies during the date rollover. This command center will be located at the Department of Energy Emergency Operations Center, which will report data to Y2K Council's Information Coordination Center.

For more information, consult:




US STRATEGIC PETOLEUM RESERVE DOE Strategic Petroleum Reserve http://www.fe.doe.gov/spr.html http://www.spr.doe.gov/

SPR Is A Ready Supply of Oil For Use In A Y2K Emergency Source: American Petrolium Institute http://www.api.org/ecit/y2k/whitepapers/reserve.html

In 1975, in response to the 1973 oil embargo, the United States created a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)literally a domestic stockpile of crude oil. Today, 572 million barrels of oil are stored in huge salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. In an emergency, that reserve can be tapped to protect consumers from a loss of foreign oil imports. Nearby refineries could readily convert that oil into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, home heating oil and feedstocks for manufacturing a wide range of essential products from medicines and medical equipment to eye glasses and contact lenses, clothing, computers, VCRs, telephones and consumer goods of all kinds. The SPR is also an enormous buffer that protects the nation if foreign suppliers cannot produce or transport oil because of Y2K computer problems.

The U.S. Department of Energy, which manages the SPR, says that in an emergency it can produce 3.9 million barrels of oil daily for 90 days, or 38 percent of the daily oil imports in the first five months of 1999. The oil would be sold in sealed-bid auctions, and give existing suppliers time to find ways around the millennium bug so they could produce and transport their oil. Or, U.S. oil companies would have time to identify new suppliers. All it takes to start the process is a declaration by the President that there is a "severe energy emergency."

The SPR is "the nations first line of defense against an interruption in petroleum supplies. It is an emergency supply of crude oil"* that works to calm the marketplace. That was demonstrated the one time the SPR was tapped in an emergency. On January 16, 1991, President Bush ordered the first use of the SPR after Iraq had invaded Kuwait. DOE said it would sell 33.75 million barrels of crude. The sale, reports DOE, went forward "on schedule and without major complications." It helped stabilize the market and the amount to be sold was cut in half. Only 17.3 million barrels of crude oil were sold to 13 companies. Test sales were successfully conducted in 1985 and again in 1990.

DOE reports that it keeps the SPR "in a high state of operational readiness" so it can respond to a presidential declaration that an emergency exists.

The SPR should give motorists new confidence that even if some foreign oil suppliers temporarily cannot get their product to the U.S. when the Year 2000 arrives, an adequate supply of crude oil is waiting. That should reassure motorists that even in a Y2K emergency, they will have the fuel they need to commute to work and then return to an affordable home, their children can get to school, and emergency services can reach them if help is needed.

* See "Profile of the SPR."

Editorial and Special Issues Department Public Affairs Group 6/15/99 (f) JDB


Centrilift - DHS-5000 Down Hole Monitoring System Disclosure Source: http://www.waii.com/y2k/webPDS/Centrilift/centrilift%20DHS5000%20Downhole%20Monitoring%20System.htm The Product was internally evaluated for possible problems associated with operating in and after the year 2000. The: evaluation took three general areas into consideration : (1) clock chips that might malfunction at or after the year 2000; (2) internal electronic logic which is hard-wired on logic boards that might incorrectly handle dates and leap years after the year 2000; and (3) software that contains embedded code which itself makes improper assumptions about month and year formats and leap year dates occurring after 1999. The evaluation confirmed that the Product contains a real time clock. The internal clock is used to date-stamp shut-down events and record the time, day, month, and year of the event. The event log can be transmitted via a communication link. The data format for the year register is two digits and there is no century representation through the internal clock or the date stamp.

The internal clock chip has a battery back-up to ensure continued operation of the clock in the event of a loss of power. The events are recorded on a thermal printer output, or transmitted via communication link. Events are not stored in non-volatile memory. No other date-based processing occurs within the product.

Contingency Statement Based upon our internal evaluation, it was determined that (1) the Product does not account for leap years; and (2) because the Product uses a two-digit year register, century date data requested from the Product after the Year 2000 rollover will indicate a year of "00". The Product will continue to operate correctly through the change of the century with no adverse effect attributed to the processing of dates occurring after December 31, 1999. However, the integrity of the data acquisition event logs may be affected if the interfacing programs do not interpret the correct century and there may be inconvenience or potentially misrepresented data due to the fact that the year may be extrapolated to an incorrect year.

Centrilift plans to continue to sell this product "as is" with no warranties, express or implied, provided with regard to year 2000 compliance. Centrilift does not intend to make any design changes to the product in order to meet Y2K standards.


OTHER LINKS Links to Petroleum Company Y2K Sites: http://www.api.org/ecit/y2k/company.html

International Energy and Y2K http://cio.doe.gov/y2k/Energy_Sector/International.htm



-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), November 15, 1999


This seems to be a little more credible than DD1. Do we have anybody that can tear these statements appart? I sure would like to get to the bottem of this oil industrie. Any first hand experiences? I have to admit, I got a little more worried about y2k after reading the stuff DD1 posted. Still not convinced these statements above are not just Lawyer CYA talk.

-- Gambler (scotanna@arosnet.com), November 15, 1999.

"Fact: Engineers don't place equipment that can fail in inaccessible locations unless the equipment is considered expendable, since eventually the equipment WILL fail and must be repaired or replaced. "

NOT a fact!!!


"You be the engineer - ask yourself this - does it make sense to put a device whose operation is critical to day to day operations in a place where it can never be fixed or replace, or ever seen again, when most certainly it will eventually fail? Most engineers would answer no - unless the device were expendable, wouldn't cause a serious problem upon failure, and you had plenty of backups. "

YES!!! it makes sense if that is the core premise of your Business Plan.

Sorry, FactFinder, you make a great case for a straw-man argument.

Fact : Italian and German companies who manufacture saugage-making machines, who sell those machines in the US, who hire and fire and pay engineers, do in fact, direct those same engineers to build into those machines NON-EXPENDABLE components DESIGNED to prematurely fail, so that the owners of the machines, [especially if those owners are in the US or another country] have to either :

a) buy proprietary replacement components from the OEM in Europe, or

b) have components made by a local machine shop.

POINT ? your question about "would an engineer do such a nasty thing" is a canard. [of course he would if he wants to keep his job!]

ask the REAL question:

Do companies direct their engineers to design, build, install and do other things that might seem 'unthinkable' to an outsider, but which, in fact, are done specifically to screw their customers in various and ingenious ways so that the customer will, in fact, have GREATER down time than they might otherwise have had, if they owned and operated someone elses machines?

The answer is YES!!!

your attempt to use a ton of bandwidth to mislead and confuse is silly;

any observant person knows that many companies survive ONLY because of the ingenious ways that they screw [hook] their customers with prematurely obsolescent parts.

[it's the same with tobacco and drugs; once the 'hook' is in, they've gotcha...]

would the makers and installers of oilfield downhole equipment be any different?

I doubt it.

Analyze what you read, folks, all that glitters ain't gold.

-- Perry Arnett (pjarnett@pdqnet.net), November 15, 1999.

Quotes about oil and gas from the Senate Y2K Committee's 100 day report:




The international Y2K picture is more disturbing. The Y2K preparations in many countries of economic and strategic importance to the U. S. are inadequate. Of greatest concern are Russia, China, Italy, and several oil producing countries. The Y2K problem has highlighted the economic interdependence of nations. A significant potential exists for the Y2K induced problems of other nations to wash up on our shores whether in the form of recession, lost jobs, or requests for international assistance.


Oil and gas companies have made notable advances since the Committee's last report, but continued progress remains essential. Nearly 500 companies do not plan to complete repairs until late 1999, which makes disruption possible for some domestic oil and gas billing, production, transportation, and distribution. In addition, the likelihood of disruption in oil imports is high due to the lack of preparedness in key oil producing countries. Disruptions could ultimately affect gas prices and availability.


The heavily regulated insurance, investment services, and banking industries are farthest ahead in their efforts; healthcare, oil, education, agriculture, farming, food processing, and the construction industries are lagging behind.


The Committee is greatly concerned about the international Y2K picture. Several countries of strategic and economic importance to the U.S. are severely behind in Y2K remediation efforts. Regions of the world of most concern to the Committee are Eastern Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia and South America. When considering strategic and economic factors, and the status of Y2K remediation efforts within specific countries, the Committee's greatest concerns lie with China, Russia, Italy, and several of the countries from which the U.S. imports oil.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), November 15, 1999.

<< "You be the engineer - ask yourself this - does it make sense to put a device whose operation is critical to day to day operations in a place where it can never be fixed or replace, or ever seen again, when most certainly it will eventually fail? Most engineers would answer no - unless the device were expendable, wouldn't cause a serious problem upon failure, and you had plenty of backups." >>

Let's rephrase it...

"You be the software professional - ask yourself this - does it make sense to design a system using 2 digit dates whose operation is critical to day to day operations and neglect to document it or retain the source code, when most certainly it will eventually fail? Most software professionals would answer no - unless the software were expendable, wouldn't cause a serious problem upon failure, and you had plenty of backups. "

But they did!

-- John (jh@NotReal.ca), November 16, 1999.

Found the fact-finder interesting reading. Agree with Perry about the planned obsolessence and things will break (for profit, stupidity or ignorance). Believe the fact-finder info (to some degree) that embedded sys underground are "probably" not time-date stamped, but will assume nothing until Spring 2000.

As far as DD1light - found her in a Y2Knews.com chat room today chatting about odds n' end's prepping - it seems she has found a less controversial audience with streaming chatter. (I did not spend any time there for the room is always flying with religion, I love the lord and misscallanous (sp) chaos.

-- dw (y2k@outhere.com), November 16, 1999.

The odds may be as low as the expected emmbedded failure (1-3%) that someone on this forum has enough technical OIL expertise to give FactFinder his request. To my view, it the emmbedded systems in the refineries that "are" accessible that still are the most threatening. It would be great to find the "unicorn". It would be great to find out there are few problems with OIL.

But Perry makes good sense.

Again, all the the reports are self-reported.

Back to square 1.

-- Gregg (g.abbott@starting-point.com), November 16, 1999.

The short response:

Not everything that needs to be fixed will be found.

Some companies have openly acknowledged this. Enron is one. (Go through the oil and gas pipeline company threads of several weeks ago to find the others.)

~ Not everything that is found will be fixed.

~ Not everything that has been fixed will be fixed properly.

~ Not everything that has been fixed will be tested.

~ Not everything that has been tested will be tested properly.

The time, the resources, and the expertise are not sufficient to do what needs to be done, even over the next several years. We would be wise, nonetheless, to persist in remediation and testing efforts, now and well into the coming year, as long as it takes to make sure that the highest hazard sites, plants, refineries, pipelines, systems, etc, etc, are as safe as they can be.

It also seems important to make the trite, but all too true observation, that

Not everything in print is true.

For instance, for the most part, the assessments found in the President's Council's "Final" report that focus on the oil and gas industry are a summary of self-reported assessments. One must search for statements from companies that have admitted that they are not going to be able to finish on time and include those in any thorough assessment. I did not see one of these reports excerpted in the material quoted above and they certainly were not highlighted in the "Final" report.

If a company is not going to be able to finish its remediation efforts, then it is going to be "fixing on failure". The President's Council's "Final" summary assessment report does not dwell on these companies and does not address the implications of "fixing on failure" when, for instance, a gas pipeline is involved. I find this a glaring omission. I raised this issue in the Press Briefing at the National Press Club on November 10. I raised a second issue at the same briefing concerning nuclear power plant safety. I found the responses lacking in both cases. (The briefing is available on video through C-SPAN.)

In the case of the question on nuclear power plant safety, it was as if the President's Council had only listened to the industry and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. If that is indeed what they did, then the final summary report does not represent a summary. It represents selected highlights of favorable findings. If the assessment is to be a true representation of the facts that can be found, then there should have been at least some mention of the abundance of findings gathered by "watchdog" groups such as the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) (http://www.nirs.org) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) regarding serious Y2K-related issues involving nuclear power plant safety.

See the review of a July 28, 1999 panel on Y2K and nuclear power plant safety in which NRC, the Nuclear Energy Institute, NIRS, and UCS participated at


Findings by NIRS and UCS are totally counter to major representations made by the industry and the NRC, now in November as they had been in July at the time of the panel. The President's Council had been presented such findings in a meeting in June of 1999, yet no mention of the findings appears in the "Final" report and no mention was made of such findings in the Press Briefing on November 10.

Study what NIRS and the Union of Concerned Scientists have to say.

Compare what they say with the representations made by NRC and NEI.

Judge for yourself who has the best understanding of the facts of the situation.

Judge for yourself who has the most thorough knowledge of the official documentation of serious problems that have been identified, including diesel backup generation capacity problems.

Judge for yourself who understands the technical issues most thoroughly.

Judge for yourself who understands what the stakes are if failures occur.

Judge for yourself who has the public interest at heart.

Judge for yourself the completeness of the summary analysis in the President's Council's report regarding these issues or oil and gas sector issues.

The video of the July 28, 1999 panel on Y2K and Nuclear Power Plant Safety should be posted soon at


along with other videos of the July 1999 GW Y2K Conference.

For a review of the panel by Patrice Kaufman and for a copy of her presentation on oil sector related concerns, see


-- Paula Gordon (pgordon@erols.com), November 16, 1999.



MOBILE Year 2000 Discussion: Second Quarter 1999 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 10Q filed August 11, 1999

The inventory and assessment and the strategy and planning phases of the work dealing with non-IT systems are essentially complete. The execution phase of this work, much of which is being performed by the vendors of the products involved, is expected to be completed by September 30, 1999, and Mobil estimates that approximately 91% of the projects comprising this work had been completed as of June 30, 1999. This brought the percentage of year 2000 compliant non-IT systems in Mobil's inventory of materially important non-IT systems to approximately 98% as of that date. The majority of the post-June 30, 1999 work dealing with non-IT systems is either work whose timing must be coordinated with plant operations or work to install new upgrades from vendors or to change upgrades previously provided by vendors.


Now for Mobil Corp's most recent 10-Q report.


MOBIL CORP - Quarterly Report (SEC form 10-Q)

November 12, 1999

Year 2000 Project

The inventory and assessment and the strategy and planning phases of the work dealing with non-IT systems are complete. The execution phase of this work, much of which is being performed by the vendors of the products involved, was essentially complete as of September 30, 1999, with minor work remaining that affects less than 1% of the controls inventory. This remaining work is either work whose timing must be coordinated with plant operations or work to install new upgrades from vendors or to change upgrades previously provided by vendors.


So, the vendors are doing the upgrades. The vendors are also doing the upgrades to their upgrades.

Question for FactFinder:

Who is certifying these upgrades, the vendors?

-- GoldReal (GoldReal@aol.com), November 16, 1999.


You are one messed up Polly troll. We've been over this time and again. You continue to twist, manipulate and distort the FACTS.

I WILL respond in kind to this when I can find the time to take this apart piece by piece and expose your fallacies once again.

BY THE WAY... You never responded to ALL the lists of non-compliant products that are listed at Baker Hughes Inc. How convenient of you to blissfully ignore the very evidence you had demanded. WHAT A MORON! Nevertheless, we'll deal with your misrepresentations in a separate thread.

-- R.C. (racambab@mailcity.com), November 16, 1999.

Some of what Texaco found as it was becoming Y2K ready:

"This Is Not a Test - For Texaco's millenium commandos, the war against Y2K is being fought one RTU at a time."


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), November 16, 1999.


You just won't quit misrepresenting the facts will you? We've been down this road before. EVERY TIME YOU IGNORE THE DATA. We give you the website address of Baker Hughes and the parts and systems that it sells and that it admits are not Y2K compliant, and for which it also indicates that other systems that may seem compliant on the shelf may NOT be compliant because of customized installations.

I am not sure whether it's worth my time to again go back and document exactly how you are twisting, distorting and misrepresenting the FACTS. Perhaps I should ask the others. If so, it will take some time that I really don't have at this moment.

Were the situation not so serious, your post would be ludicrous and dismissed out of hand.

-- R.C. (racambab@mailcity.com), November 16, 1999.

January House testimony:



Oil production is largely in the hands of multi-national corporations in the oil-producing countries, but this sector is highly intensive in the use of information technology and complex systems using embedded processors, and is highly dependent on ports, ocean shipping, and domestic infrastructures.

The industry is fraught with potential Y2K problems. Embedded microprocessors are found throughout in the oil industry in drilling, pumping, transportation, processing, and refining operations. A typical offshore platform or onshore gas plant reportedly uses 50-100 embedded systems, each containing up to 10,000 individual microchips. While the industry has been actively involved in remediation, planning for remediation of a single offshore platform can reportedly involve up to 60 different vendors. We are concerned about the shipping of oil products, because ocean shipping and foreign ports have both been flagged as among the least prepared sectors.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), November 16, 1999.



A typical offshore platform or onshore gas plant uses 50-100 "embedded systems." These are sets of electronic code used to control equipment which are effectively sealed, and cannot be altered by the users. These systems contain anything up to 10,000 individual microchips. We have found that up to half of these systems are critical in terms of production and the impact of our activities on the environment.


-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), November 16, 1999.

Everything fails sooner or later. That being said, what is your answer to would someone put a chip where you can't get at it. Do people put parts in new cars knowing they are going to fail? Yep, everyday. Does NASA send probes to Mars knowing they are going to fail? yep. ect. ect. ect.

-- FLAME AWAY (BLehman202@aol.com), November 16, 1999.


Time is short and you've contributed a lot to this forum regarding the oil/gas industry. At this point refuting Factfinder's post and rehashing over and over again the same points is fruitless.

I'll say it again, the world's Achilles Heel regarding Y2k is the Oil industry and air transportation. It was unfixable in the time that was alloted.

-- Cary Mc from Tx (Caretha@compuserve.com), November 16, 1999.

There never was enough time to check every embedded system. All we can do is test a representative sample and assume the results would have applied evenly to every similar model. A lot of assumptions there, but what's the alternative?

-- Dog Gone (layinglow@rollover.now), November 16, 1999.

R. C.,

Just checking in to let you know I read your comments.


-- Laura (Ladylogic46@aol.com), November 16, 1999.


When do you estimate the equipment itself will let us know its status? Is DD's estimate of 3rd week in January a good estimate? Or do you expect most major failures to happen in the first day or two?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), November 16, 1999.


From what I've understood, things should start unraveling within the first couple of days...but will John Q Public see evidence in the first 48 or 72 hours? That's another question for which I'm not sure because in order to answer it one must guess how the oil industry and the Gov't will try to spin the deal. IF the media stays up, IF the lights stay up and the phones stay up...and only oil has trouble... then I expect that in the first few days the media/gov/and big oil will keep the spin machine going. IF problems are only sporadic or intermittent, and ships and ports have no problems...then perhaps the only problems would be with just pipelines, wells and some refineries. How long before the public could see tell tale signs of problems is hard to know. It's possible it could be 3 weeks but I don't think so. I personally, (based on what I've heard)think that the boys inside the oil biz command centers will know within the first 48 hours, based upon GMT and tracking it around the world.

HOWEVER, IF your local power goes down..OR IF THE GRID GOES DOWN... you can figure it will likely be even more severe for oil. OH, let's not forget the phone aspect. Phones are also critical for oil, espec the pipelines themselves.

I'm not sure why DD was saying 3 weeks...unless she's thinking that they'll have stockpiled back enough that things won't get desperate until then... however, my refining guys are telling me that the EPA and local/state equivs have spent the last 15 years condemning more and more tank farms and or re-arranging the rules regarding multi- purpose uses of tanks. Nowadays most tanks must be dedicated to one product only and not mixing from one product to another. Therefore for the most part, refineries can only provide about 3 days of storage before it will be gone to demand.

-- R.C. (racambab@mailcity.com), November 17, 1999.

"Because of the scope of its operations, the company believes it is impractical to eliminate all potential Year 2000 problems before they arise. As a result, the company expects that for non-mission-critical items and those mission-critical items for which temporary "work arounds" have been developed, Year 2000 remedial efforts will continue into the year 2000."

If that isn't fix on failure, what is?


All of the major oil companies are taking this same approach.


If you are going to continue to post this kind of garbage, please change your name to "Trashfinder."

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 17, 1999.


-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), November 20, 1999.

I need any job on oil platforms.Please send me more information. I have 30 years.I'm worked like metal worker fitter.Thank you

-- Predrag Jovanovic (stormboy@myhotjobs.com), October 25, 2000.

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