How can upgrading your control systems improve pipeline safety and efficiency?

September 30, 2020 | Written by: Sensia

With high-profile incidents shining the spotlight on pipeline safety in recent times, many people are asking themselves the question: is this really the safest way to be transporting hydrocarbons?

Here at Sensia, we pride ourselves at solving challenges from reservoir to refinery. We do that by using our industry leading oil & gas domain expertise to step back and drill down to the root cause. In this case – aging control systems.

Risks never stop building
Our engineers in the field often come across pipeline control systems that are aging or obsolete . The kind that have been in place for 20, 25, 30 years. Or more. Meaning they are operating without all the benefits of a modernized control system – from the earlier identification of issues to the automation of certain safety activities and the latest cyber security.

The older the control system, the bigger the risk. Unlike their modern equivalents, aging control systems lack some of the newer technologies that help operators make better and quicker decisions – more efficient alarm management systems, better security and compliance with current industry standards.

As systems obsolete, it becomes more difficult to get spare parts which makes maintenance challenging and forces operators sometimes to source parts from vendors other than the original manufacturers or they authorized representative. An extremely high-risk approach when you consider many sellers are unverified and untrustworthy – selling defective or unreliable parts that bring their own safety and security risks.

Time for a fresh look
For many businesses, fresh hazardous operation (HAZOP) and layer of protection analysis (LOPA) are well overdue. New regulations. Corporate risk tolerance. The age and condition of plan systems. Even our understanding of how risks are assessed and mitigated. All of these factors continually change and develop over time.

By engaging the experts here at Sensia, you can ensure the very best levels of safety – from assessment to integration and beyond. Our modern, data-enabled control systems can help to identify imminent failures. While advanced modelling enables you to identify failure days, weeks or even months in advance. A dramatic improvement on many legacy systems.

To discover more about how we can help you upgrade your safety control systems for a smarter, safer, future – simply get in touch today.

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