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For the oil and gas industry, pipeline leaks pose significant legal, financial, and environmental risks. Alarm management is a crucial component of mitigating those risks. Government and regulatory agencies implement policies and guidelines to ensure oil and gas companies implement proper alarm management practices.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) sets the standards in methods used for monitoring and controlling pipeline operations, and include directives for employing alarm management. These methods enforce alarm monitoring, response, reporting, process documentation, and more.

A brief overview of AVEVA Enterprise SCADA

AVEVA Enterprise SCADA is a highly distributed, high availability pipeline management SCADA solution, and is widely used in midstream operations. It is utilized in other process control segments such as power generation, utilities, and water/wastewater as well.

It features real time pipeline operations capability for improved situation awareness, redundancy and failover, open architecture for integration with enterprise-wide applications, and support for regulatory compliance.

Originally known as OASyS (Open Architecture SyStem) over the past few decades, the platform continues to be the preferred solution in this industry, touting over one million miles of pipelines are monitored and controlled. During this time, it has been managed by Valmet, then Telvent, then Schneider Electric, and presently AVEVA.

integration with LogMate

Integration with LogMate

TiPS has successfully implemented LogMate as an alarm management solution for Enterprise SCADA going back to Valmet’s version 5.22 on Sun Microsystems SPARC servers with UNIX.

The suite features modules for processing alarms and events into standard databases, sending email notifications for predefined alarm scenarios, and providing web browser-based visualization and analytics tools for alarms.

Additional capabilities include an online master alarm database (the Alarm Knowledge Base), complete with importing/exporting the alarm configuration, submitting changes for review, and approving/rejecting changes through a built-in management of change process for audit purposes. TiPS developed many of these SCADA integration features around Enterprise SCADA specifically to adhere to PHMSA CRM guidelines.

Meeting PHMSA requirements with Enterprise SCADA and LogMate

PHMSA requirement 49 CFR 192.631(e) regarding alarm management unambiguously states an operator must have a written alarm management plan that includes the following:

(1) A review of safety-related alarms to verify accuracy and safe operation.

(2) Identify points taken off scan, are inhibited, generated false alarms, or have manual values.

(3) Verify correct point values and descriptions.

(4) Review alarm management plan.

(5) Monitor volume of controller activity

(6) Address inefficiencies identified in the previous points.

Though all six are addressed with Enterprise SCADA and LogMate, here’s an example focusing on (2). The guideline states: “Identify at least once each calendar month points affecting safety that have been taken off scan in the SCADA host, have had alarms inhibited, generated false alarms, or that have had forced or manual values for periods of time exceeding that required for associated maintenance or operating activities.”

To satisfy this requirement, Enterprise SCADA pushes out alarm and event data using AVEVA’s Datapump application, making data available to LogMate immediately. LogMate then processes the data, identifies trigger events and sends out notifications if applicable, and separates events, manuals, inhibits, and off scans into separate databases. This primes the data for generating the user-defined views, creating analyses, and providing overall up-to-date information about the equipment’s current operating status.

PHMSA guidelines call out the requirement for reviews of data throughout. It may be a review of safety-related alarms at least once per calendar year, or maybe monthly reports on operator activity. Even periodic reporting is simplified with this joint approach and can be automated entirely with LogMate’s reporting functions.

Improve compliance for your alarm management system today

Process control teams using Enterprise SCADA should consider employing LogMate to improve regulatory compliance and operational effectiveness. Even if older versions of OASyS are scheduled to be in place for the next five years, consider LogMate now as part of your organization’s alarm management plan. It is backward compatible so there is no need to make significant changes as the system evolves.

TiPS and AVEVA have partnered for years to combine their expertise in the field of SCADA and alarm management to deliver stable and reliable solutions for the oil and gas industry. And by using LogMate and Enterprise SCADA together, midstream operations are addressing risks and meeting PHMSA CRM requirements.

Contact TiPS to learn more about the LogMate product suite and integration with Enterprise SCADA.