StatoilHydro Plant is HART Plant of the Year

Orman Lange Natural Gas Facility in Norway Leverages HART Technology for Remote Valve Monitoring and Maintenance

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The StatoilHydro Ormen Lange natural gas processing plant in Aukra, Norway, has been named  2007 HART Plant of the Year by the HART Communication Foundation (HCF). The award goes  annually people, companies and plant sites using the advanced capabilities of HART Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability.

The StatoilHydro facility produces natural gas that will provide up to 20% of the natural gas for the United Kingdom. The natural gas is shipped via the Langled Pipeline—one of the world’s longest subsea gas pipelines—1,200 km from the coast of Norway to the U.K. The Ormen Lange project consists of 24 subsea wells in four seabed templates, with an onshore processing facility to clean up the gas before pushing it into the pipeline to Easington, Yorkshire,  U.K.

StatoilHydro designed the Ormen Lange automation systems to take full advantage of HART communication and HART-enabled intelligent instrumentation. The instrumentation and automation infrastructure at Ormen Lange includes 1400-plus intelligent process measurement devices and modulating control valve actuators, connected through HART-enabled remote I/O systems to HART-enabled process automation and asset management systems.

The instrumentation and infrastructure is a key part of the predictive and condition-based maintenance strategy at Ormen Lange. The goal is to use the predictive diagnostic  capability in the HART data to operate in a more predictive maintenance mode. “The objective is to spend 70% of maintenance man-hours as a result of condition-based, rather than preventive maintenance,” says Graham Baird, condition monitoring engineer for Shell, a partner in the project.

The main issue at Ormen Lange is control valve diagnostics. Long-distance access is crucial because of the remote location of the facility. The Ormen Lange facility is designed so experts as far away as Houston in the U.S. can analyze the data without visiting the site. The idea is to move the data to where the smart people are, rather than moving the people to the data, says Baird.

The system consists of an ABB control system—either S900 remote I/O or S800 local I/O—which communicates with Profibus DPV1, Fisher/Emerson control valves with intelligent positioners, Emerson’s AMS Device Manager and transmitters, and equipment from Endress + Hauser, Vega, Siemens and others. Some 320 Fisher DVC6000 valve positionsers  are connect online with the AMS Device Manager.

The key benefit on the maintenance side will be the reduction of manpower needed to maintain the control valves and increase the reliability of the plant.

The project was completed in October of 2007. The cost of the project, including the undersea pipeline, is estimated at $12 billion USD (66 billion NOK). The automation alone is estimated at $184 million USD or 1 billion NOK.

The HART Plant of the Year is the only public award presented to end-user companies to recognize ingenuity in the application of HART Communication technology. It showcases companies and their suppliers who have demonstrated creativity in using the full capabilities of HART Communication technology.

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