Intrinsic Safety Supports North Sea Retrofit

Efficient use of intrinsic safety enables quick retrofit.

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Crucially, the new control system would be required to seamlessly integrate with the existing SNS supervisory and automation system. The MOST system was able to meet that requirement because its open-systems architecture allows easy implementation of network communications.


Small Footprint
Cabinet space was at a premium, so BP needed to combine IS and non-IS I/O on a single rail, as shown in this picture.

The controller also provides a tight control loop response, generating a control output in response to input data within 100 ms. The controller’s rigorous redundancy model and fault-tolerant Ethernet implementation deliver reliable system operation for both the terminal and the platform.

Smooth Implementation

Using the MOST solution with its integrated approach to I/O, MTL and SIA personnel were able to reduce the system shutdown from a potential 14 days to 11 days for complete replacement. In addition, we were able to reduce the interfaces required by wiring directly to the integrated MOST interfaces.

We were also able to reduce the number and size of delivered components so that parts were assembled on site – eliminating a boat delivery to the platform and thereby reducing the cost and complexity of implementation.

Finally, the robust redundancy of the MOST system allowed us to efficiently swap the controller without a shutdown.

More Reliable Operation Plus Cost Savings

MTL MOST, SIA and our BP team worked together to successfully achieve system implementation well within our timeline – our number one goal. Support and service from SIA and MTL also allowed us to install the system smoothly and quickly.

Since the system installation, the platform’s operational reliability has significantly improved, and we have experienced better control of our process.

We have seen overall cost savings of approximately $150,000 by reducing the timeline for installation and by preventing shutdowns due to dropped communications. These savings allowed us to pay for the new system in less than six months.

Our field management team has been so impressed with the system performance that it approved several more platform control system upgrade projects with MOST and has made it the standard system for all control upgrades anywhere within the SNS. The low cost and ease of installation as seen on the Hyde platform provided us with an opportunity to standardize many systems, thus enabling our offshore instrument technicians to provide a highly competent line of support.

Ian Pinkney is Technical Authority for BP Southern North Sea, Aberdeen, Scotland



Keys To Successful Implementation

  1. An integrated approach to intrinsic safety  I/O and standard I/O;
  2. The ability to get the functionality of a DCS at the cost of a PLC;
  3. The ability to install and switchover swiftly and seamlessly with redundant operation;
  4. Reliability and durability to eliminate costly shutdowns;
  5. Support, service and willingness of the vendor and the system integrator to listen to us, understand our key goals and work closely with our people to achieve a successful conclusion.
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