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Operators of distributed infrastructure elements are changing the way these infrastructure elements are managed. One move that is happening is from de-central to more central management. Pipeline operators, especially those with distributed pipeline systems, are an example of this type of operators.
The drivers behind this development depend on the actual type of operator and the types of infrastructure that are managed. Operators of upstream oil and gas infrastructure increasingly face the issue that the product prices are lower and uncertain. Operators of midstream infrastructure increasingly face the issue that the ownership of the products in the pipeline is not within the same company anymore. These operators have become service providers to the owners of the product. The services are most often based on contracts with strict availability guarantees and related penalties for the operator if the infrastructure isn’t available as contracted.
Both types of operators have their own specific drivers but the common ones are typical for the industry and include process safety, (predictable) availability, cost reduction and process optimization.
A combination of different kinds of technology can provide the basis to be able to achieve the targets behind the drivers. A modern SCADA environment with the right capabilities can play a central role in this technological solution.
This paper provides an example of how a modern SCADA solution can fulfill such a central role. An actual implementation with a large oil & gas company will be used to explain how this works.