A case study on evaluating and selecting soil /pipeline interaction analysis software for the oil and gas industry

The evaluation and selection of appropriate software solutions to meet an organisation’s inherent business requirements can be a problematic process that if done incorrectly can have a significant, costly and adverse effect on the business and its processes. The aim of this paper is to showcase a process and evaluation criteria in order to identify the right engineering software for the identified business requirement such as functionality and usability. A case study approach coupled with an action-based research methodology was undertaken to aid an organisation within the Oil and Gas Industry, by using an innovative solution suitable for conducting stress analysis for Soil-Pipeline Interaction Analysis (SPIA). Through development and use of the below presented software selection and evaluation process to capture and measure key requirements, it was possible to determine a viable approach to selection of a suitable software for the organisation’s requirements. This paper investigates software evaluation criteria for evaluating software packages and methodologies for selecting software packages. The study will also provide an explanation of the adopted methodology. The key findings of the study are: (1) there is currently no universal selection criteria within the gas and oil engineering industry, (2) how the presented methodology could be used to capture business requirements to evaluate software for SPIA consultants (3) findings must be validated based on the evaluation technique and evaluation criteria for selecting software packages for the engineering industry. The findings of the study are offered to support consultants in the Oil and Gas industry to improve software selection methodologies for SPIA.