Co-ordinate control of multiple offshore platforms

Paul Boughton

Changing market conditions require more flexibility and efficiency in the offshore production of natural gas and oil.

As part of an innovative technology project and with the help of Honeywell, Wintershall built a central control room (CCR)  to help co-ordinate control of multiple offshore platforms in the North Sea, and improve operations and efficiency.

With the new CCR Wintershall has centralised operations at 18 of its 26 offshore platforms.

All operating and production procedures are fully automated and synchronised, creating increased flexibility and competitive advantage. At the heart of Wintershall’s CCR is Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) that enables operators to monitor and control production at various platforms. Project benefits recognized by Wintershall include:

* Faster, more effective decision making by operations staff.
* Greater production flexibility.
* Significant increase in efficiency through reduced helicopter flights, ship movements and supply of material to platforms.
* Increased uptime and higher levels of productivity and throughput.
* Improved safety through full redundancy and built-in failover support.

At the heart of Wintershall’s CCR is Honeywell’s Experion PKS. With Experion, operators can quickly monitor and easily control the production at various platforms. Experion’s advanced human machine interface allows operators to get a fast picture of the situation to avoid any process upsets before they occur.

Powered by a Distributed System Architecture (DSA), Experion enables operators to gain confidence in remotely controlling platforms in a more efficient manner. DSA allows multiple Experion systems to operate as one within a single unit, site or enterprise. Integrated with Experion are Fail Safe Controllers and Safety Manager, Honeywell’s advanced safety systems, as well as fire and gas detection systems. The result is a CCR that provides more operating flexibility with greater safety.

The Honeywell control and safety solution has been running with no interruption to Wintershall’s business and no loss of productivity. With the entire production process controlled from a centralized point, only a few employees are required on the platforms, a significant increase in safety and efficiency.

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