SCADA TO ENHANCE NORTH SEA OPERATIONS

Offshore platform and pipe-line SCADA systems for Shell Expro in the Northern and Central areas of the North Sea are to be replaced by a system being developed by Scomagg, which won the software contract. Platforms affected include the four Brent units and Cormorant Alpha – 12 in all – and in particular the 12 […]

Offshore platform and pipe-line SCADA systems for Shell Expro in the Northern and Central areas of the North Sea are to be replaced by a system being developed by Scomagg, which won the software contract.

Platforms affected include the four Brent units and Cormorant Alpha – 12 in all – and in particular the 12 CAPO (Computer Aided Production Operations) systems and two PLIS (Pipe Line Integrity Systems), now running on Argus 700s. The CAPOs comprise about 5-10,000 I/O each.

Scomagg’s solution moves these over to HP 9000s running its proprietary RTAP SCADA software. The system will also harness Shell’s SOFS application software, providing, says Scomagg, considerable enhancements.

In brief, the CAPO and PLIS systems will be concentrated on-shore at Shell Expro’s Aberdeen centre, run by Hewlett-Packard D class servers. Offshore, on each platform, system viewing will be via H-P C class workstations, and the MMI at the control centre will also be a C class workstation.

Offshore, the I/O will be scanned by the existing field data collection units, but with concentration via new front end processors, giving the appearance of local collection. Data transmission will then be via satellite, all networking being TCP/IP.

According to Ian Gore, principal software engineer for Scomagg, the project is being handled in two phases. The first, expected to take nine months, involves developing a generic system, before going on to implement it on an initial CAPO site. This will be followed by Phase Two – the roll-out programme. Time scale here is some 15 months. The project is due for completion in about two years.

Gore says that the most difficult part will be the translation of the existing Argus flat file database into a format suitable for the structured RTAP database. Scomagg will be using in-house automated string matching tools to do this. At the end of the day, each computer will contain the database for either two CAPO systems or a single PLIS system.

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