SCADA

Securing Open SCADA Systems for Pipeline Operations

Traditional SCADA systems used pipeline operational control are vulnerable in at least three main areas: operational information, production data and control logic. The more openly this data flows, the more cost-effectively the plant can be run, so there is much to be gained by securing the data exchange.

Expansion Proposed for Texas-Colorado NGL System

Enterprise Products Partners, Enbridge, Western Gas Partners and DCP Midstream have announced binding open seasons to expand capacity on a 1,018-mile system, which includes the Front Range and Texas Express pipelines and transports mixed NGLs from the DJ Basin in Weld County, Colo. to Enterprise's NGL fractionation and storage complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

Importance of Management of Change in Alarm Modifications

For process plants and gas pipeline networks, it is essential to manage change when making modifications to alarms and alarm systems. Management of change (MoC) should, therefore, be a fundamental process within the alarm management lifecycle. It is widely recognized throughout the process industri..

Mobile Inspection Forms Cut Time, Maximize Accuracy of Audits

Recordkeeping increasingly is the linchpin for the safe, reliable construction and operation of energy pipeline systems. In both the aftermath of natural gas pipeline incidents and in the attempts to develop a more sophisticated safety culture that employs technology advances to expand preventive ma..

Top 10 Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities for Oil and Gas

With the exploitation of new cost-effective operational concepts, use of digital technologies and increased dependence on cyber structures, the oil and gas industry is exposed to new sets of vulnerabilities and threats. Cyberattacks have grown in stature and sophistication, making them more difficul..

Does Aligning Cybersecurity, Process Safety Approaches Reduce Risk?

Cyber-attacks are more hostile and frequent than ever. We’ve all heard news stories about how intellectual property and private information have been stolen by hackers. When this happens, it can be costly in some cases and embarrassing in others. However, for industrial operations, the stakes are mu..

AP Investigation: US Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyber-attackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.

Retrofitting Customized Valves, Actuators for Pipeline Monitoring Stations

Oil and gas engineers face a major problem in accurately and reliably measuring and monitoring the various fluids that are introduced into oil pipelines from well site pumping stations. A thorough understanding of both the oil separation process and the properties of valves and actuators is required to correctly specify a system that will sufficiently measure and monitor these various types of fluids. Also, the conditions downstream from each well are different, requiring valves and actuators to be highly customized to their specific role in the process.

GPR, EM Technologies Offer Rewards in Environmental Assessments

Geophysical surveys can be the bedrock – pardon the pun – of environmental projects, from locating abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs) and utilities, to complex mapping of geology in remedial investigations and finding landfill boundaries and other buried unknown problems.

Appalachian Midstream Operators Face Myriad of Challenges

This has been a busy year of new challenges and issues facing the Appalachian oil and gas industry as rig count in the Appalachian Basin and elsewhere is down substantially compared to the previous two years. A significant challenge ahead for shale developers in a lower price environment is to continue to be active in finding land, drilling wells and getting the natural resource to market. This article concerns our most recent report, published in May, on the issues and challenges facing midstream operators in the Appalachian Basin.

ROSEN Rolls Out Mobile Pipeline Diagnostics Units

ROSEN rolled out its much-anticipated R3 Service – which stands for responsive, rapid and reliable – before a large gathering of inquisitive industry executives and operators Oct. 28 in Houston. At the center of the new service is a fleet of high-end mobile diagnostics units capable of carrying all the diagnostic equipment necessary to sites throughout the United States.

ILI Offers Technology that Will Continue to Advance

There are about 3.5 million kilometers of oil and gas pipelines worldwide needing regular cleaning, inspection and maintenance, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).

New Integrity Solutions Facing Many Same Old Problems

The protection of oil, gas and refined product pipelines against natural events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis, not to mention human actions including construction excavations, illegal tapping and terrorist sabotage, is an ongoing concern for operators around the world. However, in the United States, the top three causes of pipeline failure reported by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) are construction excavations, corrosion and equipment failure (Figure1).

Mastering Inspection of Challenging Pipelines

Pipelines are a valuable asset and need protection. In order to achieve this, a modern pipeline integrity management program usually includes regular inspections followed by integrity assessment, and if required, repair and rehabilitation measures.

Control Room Management Best Practices

The oil and gas industry is constantly changing, no more so than over the past several years with new technology, new production hot beds and new developing markets to deliver product to. These changes have set the stage for new opportunities and challenges for the midstream industry, particularly when it comes to the pressure of transporting commodities from the production fields to market. Pressure to do it faster but also safer.

Strategy Report Points to Improved Safety, Smart Pigs

With liquids pipeline incidents down by half since 1999, even as their use to transport crude oil pipeline has increased, there is little doubt among experts about what has led to this success on the safety front – preventive maintenance and integrity management programs.

Beyond Compliance: Reducing Major Incidents, Creating Business Value

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, operators have undergone progressively tighter regulatory restrictions in both offshore and onshore environments. Along with restructuring the Department of the Interior to include the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), more than seventeen reforms have been implemented since the 2010 accident, targeting everything from well-design to maintenance reviews to safety culture.

Buzz on Drones: Theyre Coming to the Energy Sector

Few trends have been bigger or more exciting to watch in the last decade than the rise of drones. From serious applications like warfare to more quirky ones like pizza delivery, the world is still clearly just starting to figure out how drones can profitably be used. That background makes the recent chatter about the opportunity for drone use in commercial oil and gas applications an extremely interesting trend to watch.

Survey: IT Experts Confident of Ability to Detect Critical Attacks

A new survey of over 400 energy executives and IT professionals in the energy, oil, gas and utility industries found that most energy security professionals were extremely confident in their ability to detect a cyber-attack on critical systems, with 86% stating they could detect a breach in less than one week.

Key Issues Taken on at Pipeline Conference

Pipeline & Gas Journal’s 11th annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference brought in 400 attendees from throughout North America, all focused on getting the most up-to-date information regarding the oil and natural gas industry. In addition to a full day’s worth of conference presentations and roundtables, guests had ample time to network during the even held March 24 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston’s Galleria district.

NACE President Seeks to Diversify Services for Rapidly Growing Membership

Raised in Pittsburgh, Jim Feather, NACE International’s 2015 president, says he grew up “not only with the steel metallurgy industry in my blood but also in my nostrils.” And while Feather did work directly in the steel industry as a sophomore through a co-op program at Carnegie-Mellon University, even then he could see “the writing on the wall” concerning steel’s long-term future in the United States.

STATS Group Completes Complex Isolation of North Sea Pipeline

Pipeline engineering specialist STATS Group was contracted by Apache North Sea Ltd. to isolate the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) so that subsea isolation valves (SSIV) and piping spools could be safely installed and leak tested, avoiding the need to depressurize the entire pipeline system. The 36-inch main crude oil line is a major pipeline network in the North Sea carrying 40% of the UK's oil, with over 50 offshore assets flowing into the 169-km FPS, which runs from Forties Charlie platform to Cruden Bay terminal, transporting 700,000 bpd.

ROSEN Sponsors Roundtable on Linear Threats

The ROSEN Group brought key industry stakeholders together for a roundtable on the topic of “Linear Threats in Pipelines” on May 28. The event attracted over 100 attendees from throughout North America and Europe who were hosted at the ROSEN facility in Gahanna, OH. The roundtable began with an official welcome by ROSEN Executive Vice President Chris F. Yoxall, who emphasized the importance of “why we are here.” He addressed the goal and set the tone for the day – bringing together all stakeholders to collectively work on common topics of interest.

Effectively Using New Data Technologies for Pipeline Routing

Oil and gas companies are using information technologies and resources now accessible on desktops for planning new pipeline routes. Technologies and resources include geographic information systems (GIS), mobile information technology, satellite imagery, topographic maps, environmental data and tax data.

Wireless Field Measurement Takes Next Step

For process monitoring applications, the wireless revolution has come of age. Particularly in the upstream sector, oil and gas operations have fully realized the value proposition advertised by manufacturers. Wireless transmitters are now very commonly applied to measurements of level, pressure and temperature at compressors, gathering lines, separators, rod pumps and well-head “trees.” Wireless instruments have proved to be cost-effective, reliable, safe, secure, simple and environmentally friendly.

Cyber-Threat Puts Oil and Gas Majors on Edge

The massive cyber-breach of the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) systems is the latest in a string of high-profile cyber-attacks in the last couple of years.

California Oil Spill Gushed Like Hose 'Without a Nozzle'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters investigating a reported petroleum stench at a California beach last month didn't take long to find a spill — oil was spreading across the sand and into the surf. Tracing the source, they found crude gushing from a bluff like a fire hose "without a nozzle," records show.

Major Pipeline Operators to Evaluate Aerial-based Safety Technologies

Three of North America’s largest pipeline operators - Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corporation, and Kinder Morgan Canada - have signed a Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety.

Quorum Enhances Capabilities with Acquisition of Fielding Systems

Quorum Business Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of business information technology solutions for the energy industry, announced completion of its acquisition of Fielding Systems, LLC. Fielding provides cloud-based applications for the oil and gas sector, including field data capture, production reporting and remote SCADA monitoring. The acquisition expands Quorum’s product suite and advances the company’s strategy to deliver industry-leading software and services which enable clients to better manage data across their organizations.

Control Room Management Best Practices

<em>(Editor’s note: This is the second article of two articles.)</em> Pipeline controllers work in an environment with continuous interruptions and distractions. With every new SCADA upgrade there is the potential to increase the amount of information presented on the displays, causing the amount of distraction to grow side by side with industry innovation. Such distractions can become “noise,” confusing or distracting a pipeline controller from making timely decisions that affect the safe operation of the pipeline.