The community for the MPKS successor IFLEXX continues to grow apace. Towards the end of last week, the IFLEXX Community – now including 14 members – met at an event hosted by Implico to discuss the latest developments in the petroleum industry and their implications for the IFLEXX (International FiLe EXchange XML) data exchange format. The growing importance of IFLEXX was also marked by the fact that the event was attended by a representative of the US PIDX standard, which also has a European initiative. Options for working in partnership were discussed together.

The 6th Community meeting also welcomed two new members: LomoSoft GmbH and Deutsche Tamoil GmbH. The two companies had attended as guests at the last meeting in April 2010 and were now officially voted in as members. As a result, 14 companies are now members of the IFLEXX Community in Germany. Our guest at January’s meeting, Bremerhaven-based Petrotank Neutrale Tanklagergesellschaft mbH, also expressed a keen interest in joining the group of regular IFLEXX members.

The agenda included the presentation of the finalized IFLEXX logo, initial experience with EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System) and the increasing internationalization of the standard. Discussion of the latter topic also covered potential collaboration with PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange), which is a standard widely used across the US for data exchange. Following a proposal from the Community, options for collaboration will now be evaluated and this work will also assess the feasibility of a joint global solution. In this context, the VP of PIDX Europe gave a presentation of PIDX’s activities to the Community.

The presentation from BP was also a major agenda item: the petroleum company unveiled a project that works with regional depots and refineries to drive the migration of communication process systems and thus exploit the advantages of IFLEXX as rapidly as possible. Over the next few weeks, the company plans to lay the groundwork for the corresponding migration of all 65 regional sites.

In other business, members also discussed the ongoing standardization and harmonization of IFLEXX, and resolved to adopt the 18-digit MRN numbers for electronic export declaration as an additional field in the standard.

The next Community meeting will probably be held in the second half of the year.

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