March 2022, Vol. 249, No. 3

Tech Notes

Pipeline Solutions to Withstand Harsh Temperatures

Special to P&GJ  

Since beginning commercial operation in January 2018, the second line of the China-Russia crude oil pipeline has doubled the yearly annual imports of crude oil from Russia to China from 15 million to 30 million tons.   

The pipeline, which measures over 528 miles (800 km) and was constructed in a record 180 days, is exposed to extreme conditions. To ensure accurate pipeline monitoring and control even in severe environments, remote telemetry specialist Ovarro provided 22 TBox-MS Modular remote telemetry units (RTUs).   

The pipeline transports millions of tons of Russian crude oil into China annually, and construction of the second line of the China-Russia crude oil pipeline by PetroChina Pipeline Co. was to follow. The pipeline starts in the Mohe region of Heilongjiang province in northern China, bordering Russia, before running south for over 584-mile (940-km) to Daqing, Heilongjiang Province.   

In collaboration with Channel Partner ZKCiT, Ovarro provided 22 TBox-MS Modular RTUs to the project for remote monitoring and control of the pipeline. RTUs are devices which can monitor events and parameters at remote locations and collect, process and transmit data. They periodically report this information and the status of the communication equipment to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.  

The project specification stated that the control systems would be installed in a region that experiences extreme temperatures. As the northernmost city in China, Mohe is a remote location subjected to severe weather conditions. The region has seen record temperatures of 39.8° C in Summer and -52.3° C in winter. This is more than 528 miles (850 km) inland from the Sea of Okhotsk and around 53 degrees above the equator, and these environmental conditions are caused by the buffering effect of seawater.  

The modular RTUs do not have heat-tracing in the valve chamber, and the control system relies entirely on heating from the process and from other equipment. They are designed to work effectively at temperatures ranging between -40° C and +70° C, but during type testing can be exposed to temperatures beyond these limits.   

To facilitate communication between the on-site equipment and the SCADA control room, ethernet communications and multiple serial ports were used.   


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