Modern Automation Technologies Professional Magazine


НаименованиеUpgrading the automated process control systems for oil mains


This article discusses the development and implementation of an automatic process control system (APCS) for Sibnefteprovod's Urai Oil Pipeline Department.

Oil pipelines pass through remote areas with harsh climates, so the pipeline control systems must be highly reliable, require minimal staffing and allow for remote monitoring and operation. Urai's existing oil flow APCS did not meet current requirements.

Urai Oil Pipeline Department contracted with the Computer Design Institute of the Russian Academy of Science's Siberian branch to develop and implement a new APCS that would meet current requirements, the most important being reliability based on distributed control of the pipeline operations. The new system's architecture included intelligent controllers at local stations, providing for constant analysis of trends in line pressure and other factors, allowing for issues to resolved locally or, if necessary, for alerts to be sent to the local unit's processing station or to the regional dispatch station for further analysis and action.

The main objectives for the APCS included providing staff with real-time information on the oil-pumping stations and pipelines; accelerating the diagnosis of, and response to, accidents; and providing for central control, by regional dispatch stations, of the power supply and oil-pumping processes.

The new system consists of three subsystems: an APCS for the pumping equipment, another for the electric equipment and an automatic power control and monitoring system. Integrating these subsystems reduces communications costs and improves the survivability of the overall system since one subsystem can fulfill some of the functions of another in the event of a failure. Integration also increases the effectiveness of diagnostics algorithms by combining data from different systems.

Structurally, each subsystem consists of a higher level, comprising hardware and software at the regional dispatch station; a middle level at oil-pumping stations, with equipment based on the MicroPC line from Octagon Systems; and a lower level comprising the software controllers for subsystems to interface with units at the pumping stations and line stations. Because the lower level accounts for about 75 percent of all the equipment for the system and significantly affects the overall cost of the system, products from Octagon Systems (the MicroPC) and Grayhill (MPB-24 Opto racks) were chosen for this level based on their features, reliability and relatively low cost.

At the time of this writing, the higher-level equipment and software had been implemented, while the middle and lower levels were being piloted at three oil-pumping stations, with 11 stations being prepared for piloting. Trial runs confirmed the high reliability of the equipment.

So begins the life of an oil pipeline.

Monitoring unit for the remote control system
at local oil-pumping station.

By Yevgeniy Zolotukhin, Eduard Mikhaltsov, Aleksandr Starshinov,
Valeriy Stratula and Gennadiy Cheido

Yevgeniy Zolotukhin,  Eduard Mikhaltsov,  Aleksandr Starshinov,  Valeriy Stratula,  Gennadiy Cheydo