Delta’s Partner Trihedral Boosts Scalability of the Largest Oil & Gas Producer with VTScada

Supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) are widely applied in industries including electricity, metallurgy, oil, gas, and railway transport. A SCADA system monitors and controls on-site equipment to facilitate data collection, measurement, parameter adjustment, alarm management and more, which enhances the efficiency of managerial operations.

For a SCADA system that controls facilities across different areas and even continents, ensuring reliability to maintain continual operation is no doubt the priority. Usually, such a need is met by a redundant system. When anomalies occur, the primary system is automatically transferred to a redundancy via failover of servers, decentralized applications or multiple communication protocols. With this mechanism, a malfunctioning server can be fixed or replaced without interrupting factory operation.

This is particularly critical for oil and gas companies, whose pipelines and operation span across different states. The cost of building redundancy, however, is often a financial burden for an enterprise. Having a back-up system also means higher operation complexity and costs in maintaining the physical servers. With limited data storage space—as is the case for many SCADA products—generating data-driven insight is not possible.

Delta’s partner Trihedral is undoubtedly one of the most established brands in the field of SCADA with its well-known product VTScada. Its customers include Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), the largest independent oil and gas company in the world. CNRL, which owns more than 200 workstations spanning over 2.25 million km2, was looking for a SCADA that could provide smooth communication between these workstations with efficiency and stability.

VTScada features an integrated architecture and synchronized historian, and perfectly fulfills the need for robust redundancy and data analytics. It enables CNRL to build different modes of redundancy apart from the traditional paired back-up of physical servers. Its integrated architecture also provides core SCADA components in one single license and installation. Below is an extract from the explanation of Sam Lau, a SCADA specialist with CNRL, on the features of VTScada that maintain their smooth operation and data safety.

Bi-directional Synchronization
Timestamps are matched for each data-point to the millisecond (ms). Should the primary server fail, associated workstations and internet clients switch to the next designated database. When it is restored, historical data automatically synchronizes across a wide area network at up to 160,000 values per second. In addition, change records are automatically synchronized at every server to enhance application management.

Centralized Application Backup
Different from most SCADA solutions, in which one server hosts only one instance of the application, VTScada allows multiple applications. For an oil and gas company like CNRL, whose servers are located out in the field and often in the middle of nowhere, such a feature considerably lowers hardware maintenance costs and increases scalability.

Local Monitoring with Local Data
A company may apply smaller I/O licenses to some locations to economize hardware costs and license fees. However, when a partial network outage occurs, facilities are disconnected and the whole system is interrupted. To solve this problem, VTScada’s every application historian includes historical and real-time data, and users can still check on the I/O, even when the network breaks down, to maintain local operation.

Putting Historical Data to Use
As technology advances for collecting more and more data, it is more important than ever to generate useful insights from the overwhelming amount of information. VTScada allows users to leverage collected data with customized trending and generate intuitive reports. Its enterprise architecture supports fast data processing and sharing that can easily bridge with third-party applications for real-time data exchange to maximize the benefits of data insight.

VTScada also provides customized tools for data processing, allowing CNRL to exclude standard data and find out exceptions or anomalies for reports. Through analytics that turn data into meaningful information, VTScada considerably reinforces CNRL’s operation efficiency and competitiveness.

For more information, please refer to the Enterprise Architecture Whitepaper of VTScada: https://www.vtscada.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Whitepaper-CNRL-VTScadaEnterpriseArchitecture.pdf

News Source:IABG MKT Dept.