PC-based scada installed on Russian crude-oil system

Jan. 11, 1999
This active screen provides the top level view and navigation to deeper levels of detail. Four levels are shown: map, pipeline (by region), pumping station down to the individual device (pump, valve, pressure or flow sensor; Fig. 1 [42,955 bytes]; photograph from Iconics Inc., Foxborough, Mass.). The automated leak-detection system enables identification of the problem location and dispatch of repair resources. The benefits of the system are realized through reduced waste, lower costs, and
One of the world's longest crude-oil transmission systems completed installation early last year of the world's largest PC-based supervisory control and data acquisition (scada) system, according to scada vendor Iconics, Foxborough, Mass.

AK Transneft, Moscow, the joint stock Russian oil-transportation company, used ordinary PCs that run Windows along with Iconics' Genesis HMI (human-machine interface)/

scada products to provide a savings of more than three times that of traditional Unix and proprietary distributed-control systems (DCS), says the vendor.

Additionally, the off-the-shelf system provides early warning pipeline leak detection.

The company

AK Transneft was established in August 1993 by the Russian Federation Council of ministers. A large holding company, it has revenues of more than 15 trillion rubles (1998) for oil transportation and related services. Oil revenues represent a substantial source of hard currency to the Russia economy.

The Transneft system consists of 30,000 miles of pipe transporting 300 million tons of oil a year, 99.5% of the annual Russian crude-oil production, through some severe environments (Fig. 1 [42,955 bytes]).

The company's activities include the following:

  • Oil transportation, shipment coordination, and control of both the Russian pipeline and export routes
  • Coordination of comprehensive repairs, diagnostics, and further development of the oil transportation systems
  • Coordination and introduction of science and technology advancements and the supervision of emergency systems, risk management, occupational safety, training, and environmental impact analysis, control, and management.
The project for which Iconics was primary supplier encompassed more than 400 pumping stations and 1,000 holding tanks supplying 25 refineries from Siberia to the Baltic. The dispatch and control application provides access and operational control from 20 district, 10 regional dispatch offices, and the central dispatch office in Moscow.

Preliminary analysis of the pipeline system revealed that an advanced early warning pipeline leak-detection system was needed to address product losses and the adverse impact to the environment.


A major objective was to design and implement a modular software solution that used standard software products to accommodate the large crude-oil quantities shipped, long distances covered, the extensive use of varying technologies, and burgeoning regulatory requirements. A large and growing database of regulations, operating procedures, specifications, technical documents, and reports had to be managed.

Independent modules allow for improvements and enhancements without the need for disruptive replacement, as is the case with many of the popular monolithic alternatives, says Iconics. A modular design also provides for changing environments as a foundation for future expansion and upgrades.

The supervisory control and management system monitors data used to support decisions to control and alter flows, identify problems, and dispatch repair resources. The data acquisition and processing facilities serve all levels of management, says Iconics, providing the basis for cost management and identifying opportunities.

Technology evaluation focused on whether the PC-based technology was best for this application.

Extensive vendor evaluation and analysis led to the following:

  • Placement of an order for 300 networked PCs (P200s) running the application and monitoring of more than 187,000 digital and analog I/O tags from 2,000 programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
  • A total of 1,500 operator graphics screens with an average response time from any point in the system of 5-15 sec (Fig. 2 [40,428 bytes])
  • Data communication with standard intranet technology via microwave, land, and 22 satellite-to-earth stations using standard TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol).
The communication network provides the links to all the key elements of the oil-transmission system.

A digital satellite-communication system based on the Gorizont satellite is used along with 22 earth stations. An automated message-routing system integrates all local PBX stations within a single telephone grid that uses voice and data switching capability, including X.25 and frame-relay protocols.

A unified trunk radio/telephone digital network provides communication with mobile stations. The data link utilizes a TCP/IP intranet network with an FTP data file transfer from the file-based I/O servers throughout the system.

Iconics' Genesis 32 Enterprise Edition is a suite of HMI/scada and control client/server applications for Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Designed with a 32-bit modular multithreading, multiplatform technology, the Genesis 32 modules include GraphWorX32, an HMI ActiveX container; TrendWorX32, an SQL (structured query language) data logging and trending ActiveX container; AlarmWorX+5.0 multimedia alarming; and ControlWorX32, an IEC1131 control.

All modules are OPC compliant, says Iconics, with OPC technology at the core of the distributed client/server architecture. (OPC = Ol? for process control.)

They use such open standards as Microsoft's component object module (COM)/distributed COM and web-enabling ActiveX technology, OPC "plug and play" automation technology, and incorporate Microsoft's Visual Basic for applications, says Iconics.

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