Oil & gas explorer switches to in-house process control, data acquisition in 1,800-site project

Aug. 1, 2011
Modern, Web-enabled application uses Kepware’s OPC UA solution for data collection, resulting in cost savings versus previous outsourced application, more efficient deployment of manpower, and better and faster information to manage 1,800 oil and gas fields.
Prior to Failsafe's application implementation, the Oil and Gas Company was managing operations using an outsourced, fee-based service but determined through their own internal analysis that it would be more cost effective and efficient if they could manage these process control and monitoring operations themselves using their own people. Failsafe guided and helped them develop a fully web-enabled application to monitor 1,800 well sites and about 120,000 I/O points across their principal reserves and producing properties in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, and in Canada.

Looking for a Next Generation Solution
Failsafe Controls' customer generated an RFP with very specific requirements for the envisioned system. They wanted an integrated SCADA system that would continuously collect data from each well, create timely and accurate electronic reports and store current and historical data that could be accessed from the field or anywhere via a standard web browser. The system would monitor flow for all 1,800 well sites and seamlessly integrate into the existing communications infrastructure. The company, with the help of Failsafe, estimated that even if they purchased the devices and equipment that was originally supplied by the outsourced service company, they would still realize significant savings and a relatively quick ROI. The customer was able to calculate that their field supervisors and engineers would be able to more efficiently coordinate field activities and determine where manpower would be best allocated. Additionally, management would gain better and faster information to manage oil and gas fields as well as track aggregate production over time and to be better guided when making any major investment decisions.

Failsafe Controls Brings Structure and Web Access
Failsafe developed the web-based application in which data within the customers Ignition SCADA system from Inductive Automation could be bi-directionally accessed and shared via OPC UA, OPC Foundation's newest protocol.

OPC UA is cross-platform service oriented architecture for process control that enhances security and interoperability. Failsafe also integrated Kepware Technologies' OPC Connectivity Suite as an OPC UA wrapper for the OPC-DA based polling servers. Failsafe uses the Kepware ODBC server to communicate to the OPC-DA Client to manage and report alarms.

Ignition SCADA's unlimited tags, screens, and no-install clients deployed using web technology made it easy for Failsafe to manage the project. Ignition can connect to any number of databases and has the ability to open multiple web-launched design clients with its cross-platform commercial OPC UA server.

According to Albert Lambert, Web Automation Architect at Failsafe Controls, "The ease of collecting the data through Kepware, as well as their excellent support and pricing, was a key factor in our ability to win this bid. In fact, Kepware provided us with temporary licenses to get the project going and has gone way beyond expectations in terms of support and working with us."