There’s life in St Fergus with Citect

01 November 2007

Total E&P UK has installed a 10,000 point + CitectSCADA system to provide monitoring of the control and safety systems for the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland. The Terminal receives and processes up to 20% of the UK’s natural gas requirements.

“The Olympic Dam project in Australia was the major reason why we specified Citect SCADA for this project,” said Rob Sidebottom, senior systems engineer for Total. “I had visited the dam and seen the massive 40,000-point CitectSCADA system that it employs for monitoring and control. This scaleability was just what we were looking for to meet our objective of achieving 25-years more life from the St Fergus terminal. We also required in-built dual redundancy in the SCADA platform, and the flexibility to provide emulation of the trending and alarm functions of the previous SCADA system, to avoid problems of safety and retraining of our operators.”

Total E&P UK, headquartered in Aberdeen, is part of the company’s onshore operation. Recently, the terminal was upgraded, and as part of this project the SCADA system that had served the terminal since the 1980’s was replaced with CitectSCADA.

The CitectSCADA system sits above the Terminal’s safety and control systems, monitoring all pipeline telemetry from a dozen feeder platforms, the flow rate, pressure and composition of the gas, and also the control systems of the terminal as the gas is blended.

“We can adjust hydrocarbon levels for gas sales, monitor metering systems and perform data gathering, CitectSCADA puts it all together for us, providing all the required data in one place,” said Sidebottom.

“CitectSCADA is an engineer’s SCADA, which means that we were able to pull it apart and reconfigure it just how we wanted it. We configured the system to emulate the trending, alarm and reporting functions of the previous SCADA system. This avoided problems with safety and operator retraining, as the new SCADA system provides the same screens as before. As a result, the operators were comfortable with the new system from day one; they saw nothing different to what they had always seen.”

The constant operating regime of the St Fergus gas terminal means that the 10,000 + point CitectSCADA system provides the security of full redundancy. All telemetry links and clients, currently 10, switch automatically and seamlessly in the event of failure of the primary server. This safeguard is easy to achieve with CitectSCADA, the system is designed with DCS-style multi-level redundancy, which is easy to configure and can be incorporated at all levels. The significance of this for the user is the ability to tolerate hardware failure anywhere in a system, with no loss of functionality, performance, communication or system reliability.

“The success of this project has tremendous cost-saving implications for the oil and gas sector,” said Paul Hurst, managing director of Citect UK. “It means that production and receiving facilities, whose futures were questionable due to the looming obsolescence of their current SCADA and DCS systems, can remain productive for many more years to come.”


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