Pipeline operator training simulators have been used in control centers for more than two decades. They present control center managers with an unparalleled opportunity to ensure their staff are properly equipped with the skills to handle normal and, perhaps more importantly, abnormal pipeline operations. In the U.S. the Operator Qualification (OQ) rule has mandated that control center staff (among others) demonstrate their skills as a prerequisite to being allowed to operate the pipeline, and as the OQ rule evolves, it seems inevitable that it will be used as a template for legislation in other countries. Simulation is cited in the OQ rule as one of the approved mechanisms for demonstrating proficiency, and is the most effective method for exposing staff to abnormal conditions in a safe, controlled environment, and pipeline operator training simulators provide that environment. How that environment is configured will directly affect: • the results that an operating company might expect by incorporating a simulator into a pipeline operator training or qualification program; • the usefulness and acceptance of the simulator; • the initial and the on-going cost of maintaining the simulator. This paper serves to illustrate the spectrum of different configurations, highlighting the pros and the cons of each. The aim is to provide a broad understanding of what goals can be satisfied by each configuration, and the relative costs of each.

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