Petrobras evaluates FF technology

for use in ambitious hydrocarbon industry projects

  • July 5, 2013
  • Petrobras evaluates FF technology
    Petrobras evaluates FF technology

The Fieldbus Foundation conducted the first live demonstration of its FOUNDATION™ for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Held on April 30, 2013, the demonstration was attended by Petrobras company executives and automation industry media from around the world.

The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART®, wired HART, and FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 protocols into a single, standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world’s harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids.

Petrobras is interested in specifying FOUNDATION for ROM technology for the ambitious projects it is undertaking in the upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industry. The company has a record-setting $224 billion capital spending plan through 2015, with most of the investments targeted at the upstream sector on the highly publicised Pre-Salt area of the Santos Basin.

Reliance Industries (India) has also agreed to host FOUNDATION for ROM field demonstrations, and additional end user demonstrations in Japan, the Middle East and Europe are being planned.

The Petrobras Centro de Pesquisas Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello, also known as Cenpes, is the largest oil and gas research center in the Southern Hemisphere. During the field demonstration and press day event—the first step to show the capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM before it is specified for commercial projects—a series of tests were performed on a distillation process pilot plant to evaluate the use of fieldbus-based ROM devices with wireless protocols for remote applications.

Miguel Borges, who is employed at the Cenpes facility, believes FOUNDATION for ROM can be an enabling technology for remote applications on Petrobras’ offshore platforms. “The Fieldbus Foundation’s ROM solution is attractive to us, since we want to gain access to diagnostic information from devices installed at our remote sites,” said Borges. “Petrobras is committed to investing in this type of technology, and is seeking the most effective solutions available in the marketplace.”

Borges added, “For Petrobras, the primary objective of this live demonstration was to verify that we could access and use remotely, with FOUNDATION for ROM, all the operational functionalities available locally. Another objective was to check the interoperability of ROM devices of different manufacturers over the backhaul. We found this technology provides very easy and quick integration, and is transparent to the user.”

The live FOUNDATION for ROM technology demonstration took place inside the Center for Collaborative Visualisation (NVC), also known as “The Egg,” a spherically-shaped building that houses a center for high-fidelity 3-D training simulation. Because of the remote capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM, participants were able to use the meeting room as a virtual control room, showing live video feed from multiple locations in the pilot plant and wireless device diagnostic information all within the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure. Information from the pilot plant in another part of the Cenpes compound was communicated across the High Speed Ethernet (HSE) wireless backhaul network to the virtual control room in the meeting room over standard Ethernet hardware and wireless equipment, as well as standard cyber security appliances.

During the functional testing, Petrobras technicians accessed device diagnostics in wireless devices, including device status. Integration of video was demonstrated through observation of a control valve to determine if the valve was open or closed. A temperature sensor for a HART temperature transmitter was also pulled to show how the diagnostic alert would be visible in the same context as a FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 device.

Whether operating on a wired or wireless HSE backhaul network, the FOUNDATION for ROM solution enables automation end users to bring device data into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

Fieldbus Foundation supplier members sponsoring the FOUNDATION for ROM demonstrations included: APATechnologies, AUMA, Azbil, Beka Associates Ltd., Belden, Biffi, Buerkert Werke, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Festo Brazil, Fuji Electric, Honeywell, Invensys Operations Management, Leoni-Kerpen, Magnetrol, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. STAHL, Rotork, Smar, Softing, StoneL, Turck, Westlock, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.