IFLEXX takes a key step towards Europe

13 July 2011

Oil industry standard achieves further market penetration in Germany / coexistence with PIDX


IFLEXX-Meeting-in-Hamburg-en.jpgThe new IFLEXX data exchange standard (International FiLe EXchange XML) has now received a distinctly European touch. With BP presenting its pan-European project at the last meeting of the IFLEXX Community in late June, IFLEXX is now finally on its way to establishing itself as an international standard.

IFLEXX, the independent and open standard for data exchange in the oil industry, arrived in 2008 with the intention of replacing the previous national and outdated standards – first in Germany and then elsewhere in Europe. Driven by BP, its European launch will now be taking place earlier than expected. The oil corporation's plans to leverage the benefits of IFLEXX by 2013 now also include its sites in Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland. In addition, BP has also submitted some initial recommendations for a standardized data format for the exchange of load authorization data between oil companies and terminals to the growing IFLEXX Community.
The other 14 companies now represented in the IFLEXX Community also declared their express commitment to IFLEXX at the Implico-hosted meeting in Hamburg. Overall, the vast majority of major loading sites in Germany are now increasingly working with IFLEXX. "In only a few years' time, I doubt that there will be any further role for the German antecessor MPKS," comments Implico CEO Kay-Peter Buhtz. The consulting and software company has coordinated and chaired the Community for three years.
Others topics on the agenda at the last meeting included potential synergies between IFLEXX and the US PIDX standard. It was stressed that the issue was not one of deciding to implement either PIDX or IFLEXX: instead, the aim was to arrive at a common, compatible solution. Minor amendments to the IFLEXX format to accommodate this aim were also presented by BP, and a final vote on these amendments is scheduled to take place at the next IFLEXX meeting. This would make the result data sets of IFLEXX and PIDX fully compatible in terms of content.
The next Community Meeting will be held during the fourth quarter.
About IFLEXX (International FiLe EXchange XML)
IFLEXX is the new international data exchange format in the oil industry. Data exchange using IFLEXX offers oil companies many advantages. Not only does XML permit the transfer of large volumes of standardized data, but IFLEXX also enables the bidirectional exchange of loading data both to the tank truck's onboard computer and the oil company's accounting systems.
Use of the independent IFLEXX standard is increasing at sites within Germany: Both Bayernoil refineries work with IFLEXX, as do the Holborn refinery in Hamburg, Wilhelmshavener Raffineriegesellschaft and Petroplus Raffinerie Ingolstadt GmbH. IFLEXX is also used by a number of BP, TanQuid and joint-venture terminals. In addition to Implico's OpenTAS solution, loading data transfer via IFLEXX is also supported by several third-party TAS systems. Several shipping and accounting solutions now also support the processing of IFLEXX data.
About the IFLEXX Community
The ILFEXX Community comprises 14 companies, including BP Europe, Eni Deutschland (formerly Agip), Holborn, Implico, LomoSoft, Marquard & Bahls, OMV, Petroplus Deutschland, Shell, Tamoil, TanQuid, Total and VTA, who jointly develop and promote the IFLEXX data exchange format. Consulting and software company Implico has coordinated and chaired the community for three years and will continue to accept proposals and requirements for the new format, discuss these with stakeholders and implement them accordingly. For further information, please call Frédérique Even at Implico GmbH on +49 (0)40 / 27 09 36 - 0.

Photo 1: IFLEXX Community visiting Implico in Hamburg
. © Implico GmbH
Photo 2: IFLEXX logo