PEMEX Uses NI LabVIEW to Implement a Crude Oil Distribution System
After evaluating available software options on the market, we chose NI LabVIEW and the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module.
"The ease of use and connectivity of LabVIEW made it possible to integrate all the field measurement devices and design the monitoring system quickly and cost-efficiently. "
- Martin Fernandez Corzo,
PEMEX Exploración y Producción
Designing an oil distribution SCADA system that integrates and centralizes the supervision of crude oil production and distribution.
Using the graphical development environment of National Instruments LabVIEW to create a real-time monitoring system.
Martin Fernandez Corzo - PEMEX Exploración y Producción
PEMEX oversees the exploration, production, transportation, and commercialization of oil extracted in Mexico. PEP’s Southern Region Transportation and Distribution Management is responsible for transporting and distributing Olmeca, Istmo, and Maya crude oil. PEP transports and distributes approximately 1.52 million barrels of this oil daily, which represents 43 percent of national production. This volume is equivalent to 3 billion dollars in crude oil. To determine precisely the oil volume PEP transports and distributes, we rely on electronic measurement systems installed in the field. Previously, coordination between the different management teams and separate measurement systems was done by phone and e-mail. We needed an integrated and low-cost monitoring system that would enhance coordination between these teams and take advantage of existing measurement systems for the transportation and distribution of crude oil.
The crude oil monitoring and management system, known as Sistema de Monitoreo de Variables Operativas (SIMVO), had to meet the following requirements:
- Easy communication - The system had to link the different communication networks through industrial protocols and standards. For this application, we chose OLE for Process Control (OPC) to communicate with different stations.
- Low cost - To reduce the total cost of the project, our internal engineering team needed to be able to develop the application.
- Reuse of existing infrastructure - Because measurement and control systems and an Intranet were already installed, SIMVO had to be able to use the existing field equipment.
- Network security - We needed an additional industrial network to protect the system from virus attacks, unauthorized personnel access, and version incompatibility.
After evaluating available software options on the market, we chose NI LabVIEW and the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module. The LabVIEW development environment includes several features that met our project needs. LabVIEW is compatible with the OPC specification, which means it works both as a client and as a server, making it possible to communicate with the different measurement instruments in the field and between the different monitoring stations. Additionally, the graphical programming environment made it easy for the PEP engineering group to develop the entire application in-house, from communication between measurement systems to the user interface to the report generation.
To develop SIMVO, we started by programming the different remote workstations connected to the measurement devices. Each of the 12 workstations is running a different OPC server depending on the device connected. Some of the connected devices include the U.T.R. ROC 364, Omni 600 and Daniel 2500 flow computers, Bristol DPC 3330 controllers, and a Foxboro I/A Series distributed control system. We developed a LabVIEW DSC application for each of the stations that displays the variables’ real-time values and historical trends. This data is then connected to PEP’s Intranet, so the variables can be published on the network through the LabVIEW DSC Tag Engine.
We developed the main SIMVO station to monitor all the operating variables from the 12 local stations (the system had 3,000 tags). Additionally, the main station has functionality not built into the local stations, including data logging and visualization of historical values through graphs, disk streaming to the National Instruments Citadel database, integration with enterprise databases, and the ability to send automatic alarms and events via e-mail.
The ease of use and connectivity of LabVIEW made it possible to integrate all the field measurement devices and design the monitoring system quickly and cost-efficiently. One of main advantages of using this software was the reduced learning curve required to start developing an application. Unlike other programming environments, we needed only LabVIEW and the LabVIEW DSC Module to integrate the existing measurement systems and communicate with our own enterprise network.
Since finalizing the first phase of this project, which included the installation of the first 12 stations, we have seen several benefits. First, management can make decisions quicker because we have real-time data from all points in the process. Additionally, the communication between the different supply and distribution centers has improved by having all the information centralized in a computerized format and by generating daily reports. This has been key, as a measurement error as low as 1 percent represents a daily potential loss approximately of 1 million dollars.
Because we have seen such benefits with LabVIEW, we are evaluating adding more stations to the monitoring network, as well as extending this platform to other areas in PEP, such as gas distribution.
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