Control Systems

Envision® Suite Brings Offshore Platform Data Onshore

With white sandy beaches set against the idyllic blue waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico, Paraiso is a paradise destination that not only draws thousands of tourists each year to Mexico, but it is also one of the central locations for managing Pemex offshore oil and gas production in the Bay of Campeche.

Within the modern Paraíso office facility are hundreds of Pemex engineers and support staff who manage the critical offshore platforms operating beyond Paraíso’s beautiful coastline. Meanwhile far offshore, in the remoteness of the clear Mexican waters, there is an array of oil and gas fields owned by Pemex, the Mexican state-owned petroleum company and largest corporation in Mexico and Latin America.

As one of the few oil companies in the world that develops the whole industry chain – from exploration to refining and distribution of final product – Pemex produces approximately 2.5 million barrels of oil each day. A large volume of that oil comes from the 233 offshore platforms the company owns, so Pemex operators on these platforms place especially high value on the predicable uptime and reliable operation of their critical rotating machinery. Moreover, they place additional value on the information systems that connect them to the supporting engineers and subject matter experts stationed onshore at the Paraíso office facility.

Onshore Personnel Sought Real-time Access to Offshore Activity
Until late in December 2010, the Paraíso-based engineers and machinery experts did not have the level of visibility or confidence they desired to properly support the rig personnel. To better ensure rig uptime, they needed to better monitor rotating equipment and obtain meaningful diagnostics in real time. Even though the heliport is nearby and platform visits are feasible, Pemex specifically wanted real-time access to the platform for rotor vibration plots, process operation parameters, infrared gas-turbine temperature profiles, and compressor train performance efficiencies in order to best maximize the productivity of the offshore equipment and personnel.

When the Pemex staff responsible for the Abkatún-A platform, one of the company’s many platforms in the Abkatún field, needed a compressor control upgrade, they turned to Dresser-Rand. Since Dresser-Rand Control Systems team has provided remote control capability for several unmanned Pemex platforms in the past, Pemex wondered about the possibility of finally combining control and monitoring visibility in a way that their Paraíso experts knew they wanted for rigs like the Abkatún-A platform.

“The engineers in Paraíso wished to perform compressor rotor diagnostics and assess compressor efficiency from their [onshore] offices,” said Ben Berwick, Product Development Manager for Dresser-Rand Control Systems. “We had solved similar needs for Pemex before; they knew we were advancing remote access technology, integrating control with diagnostics and that we could meet any specific needs they had.”

Intelligent Condition Monitoring with Envision® Suite
To meet Pemex’s needs, Dresser-Rand installed its Envision® Condition Monitoring software, a suite of machinery software that was developed by Dresser-Rand Control Systems engineers to enhance equipment control systems, provide intelligent condition monitoring and constantly measure the performance and efficiency of rotating machinery.

For the Abkatún A platform, the Envision program is monitoring four compression trains. Aspects of the Envision solution that were installed include vibration diagnostics, gas turbine performance measurement and compressor performance analysis.

The vibration analysis provides real-time vibration data acquisition for performing in-depth rotor dynamics assessment, including orbital plots and vibration spectrums. The Envision gas turbine performance module helps Pemex operators and service personnel in their day-to-day operation by providing real-time calculations of thermodynamic performance. And, the Envision compressor performance module, or CPM, is a comprehensive performance monitoring tool for centrifugal compressors. It uses the same algorithms as those used to design Dresser-Rand compressors and validate them on its test stands. The compressor performance module identifies current operation and performance conditions compared with Dresser-Rand factory baseline curves, which aid in detecting performance anomalies and optimize fuel consumption.

Most importantly to Pemex, they now have the ability to access both machinery performance and diagnostics, customized specifically for their equipment – from Paraíso or anywhere in the world through an Internet connection. Dresser-Rand Control Systems engineers worked closely with Pemex personnel to specify and configure the right remote monitoring solution before installing and commissioning the system. They then trained Pemex users on-site – both onshore and offshore – tailoring the training specifically to the system.

Using Envision software, Pemex engineers can now monitor the offshore fields from a control room onshore and identify any imbalance in the system through the data they receive, allowing them to act quickly to prevent mechanical failures before they occur. Communications between offshore and onshore personnel is improved and maximized using the customized suite of Envision tools.

Recognizing these benefits, and the fact that Dresser-Rand has the expertise and the right solution to meet their challenges and lower costs, Pemex has signed a long-term service agreement with Dresser-Rand on its Abkatún platform. Pemex also enlisted Dresser-Rand to install the Envision solution on one of its Cantarell platforms, one of the largest oil fields in the world also located in the Bay of Campeche. The Cantarell systems are slated for delivery and commissioning this summer.

Tags: Envision

other articles from insights issue Summer 2012