Automation and Security Systems for Pipelines
Proceedings Publication Date
Sanjeev Sinha
Sanjeev Sinha
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Pipelines are used throughout the world for various purposes, the primary aim of which is safe and economic transportation of energy products like hydrocarbons and water supplies. These are necessary since natural resources like crude oil, natural gas which are the raw material for energy of the world are found and processed in vastly different locations than where they are consumed. While there are many other forms of transport, pipelines remain the safest, most efficient and economical way to transport these resources.
Operational safety therefore is one of the greatest concerns of Oil and Gas Industry. Most installations are mission critical. Efficiency of operations poses a constant challenge for pipeline operators. Above all, the world is heading towards a cleaner transport of energy. Therefore technology that is flexible, takes into account safety of equipment and personnel, meets the highest level of integrity and constantly growing needs of Operators is the need of the hour.
Advancements in Automation technology have enabled pipeline operators monitor the rate, and movement of products at points along the system. Advanced telecommunications continue to improve the monitoring and remote control the pipeline. Pipeline controllers using advanced leak detection and location systems watch for inconsistencies, monitor instruments, and evaluate pressure and flow rates that may require additional investigation if evidence of a possible leak is detected. In addition Pipeline Information Management Systems provide a tool to run a pipeline efficiently thus securing the investment of pipeline operators. While every pipeline company is working to achieve incident-free operations, accidents do happen. In case of an accident, pipeline operators are trained to shutdown pipeline systems quickly and safely with the help of emergency shutdown systems.
Developments in technology continue to make pipeline construction less intrusive to communities as well as improve the safety and efficiency of pipeline operations. However security of Pipelines from external intrusions, pilferage, willful damage etc. continues to pose as a serious challenge for Pipeline Operators. A single incident can lead to huge losses of not only the product that is being transport but also can cause extensive damage to the Pipeline infrastructure leading to significant downtime during operations. This presentation focuses on issues related to Security of Pipelines and attempts to find cost effective solutions through the use of technology.