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- Intrinsically-secure PLC and RTU control
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Upstream Oil & Gas Assets that Need Secure Remote Monitoring
December 18, 2020 | Robert Bergman
About two years ago, ORBCOMM, a supplier of asset monitoring and control solutions published an article calling out seven upstream oil and gas assets that could benefit from remote monitoring. We found this well-worth revisiting, not only because of its relevance to today’s pandemic and economic conditions, but also because of its relevance to Open Secure Automation (OSA).
Here are the seven upstream assets that the article calls out.
- Compressors – Compressors convert natural gas to liquid so it can flow through a pipeline. In addition to operating status, performance and diagnostics can be monitored remotely.
- Tanks – Tanks at well-sites hold oil, condensate liquids or saltwater. They must be monitored for leaks and spills, for cost, performance and environmental compliance.
- LACT Meters – Lease Automation Custody Transfer (LACT) are the cash registers of the oil and gas field. If these are not monitored for peak performance, field owners will not have accurate knowledge on whether its gaining or losing money on each transaction.
- Rectifiers – Rectifiers protect petroleum equipment by transmitting a current through their exteriors to prevent corrosion resulting from chemical reactions that occur when disparate metals are exposed to water – aka cathodic reactions. Regular monitoring of these transmissions extends the lives of pipelines, tanks, wellheads and other equipment.
- Test Points – Gas and oil fields run frequent test points to measure pipe-to-soil potential to certify effective cathodic protection.
- PIGs – Pipeline Inspection Gauges (PIGs) run inside the pipelines to detect anomalies or corrosion that may be troublesome. By synching with controls and GPS systems, technicians pinpoint the location of problems and make more timely responses.
- Gas Meters – Gas meters help large energy suppliers synchronize supply and demand for their products with profitability. Optimizing these calculations requires secure, real-time data.
The OSA platform enables the secure remote monitoring of process and equipment variables, as well as the secure integration of API-compliant flow calculations with process controllers. In addition to improving LACT, as mentioned above, this can also enable separators and totalizers for integration into cloud-based data analytics. For insight on remote monitoring see Remote Monitoring Comes of Age.
For more information about how Open Secure Automation improves custody transfer read: Flow Computing Goes Digital
For a case study about how one upstream service provider utilizes Bedrock Open Secure Automation to improve operational efficiencies read: Reducing Water Transfer Costs at Remote Fracking Sites with Open Secure Automation