For the last decade, securing energy infrastructure has been a priority for governments that see their resources as potential targets for terrorist activity. Indeed, following the creation of the US Department of Homeland Security in 2002, among the first Presidential Directives issued was for the creation of a national policy to protect critical infrastructure.
Aside from its automation and engineering solutions, Schneider Electric offers through its Pelco brand the security and surveillance systems for oil companies to ensure the safety of their assets and employees. These cameras and monitoring systems not only have security and safety applications, but also can have an impact on well productivity, according to Enrique González Haas, President of Schneider Electric Mexico.
González Haas points to a recent example of Pelco and Schneider Electric’s work with Petrobras in Brazil. “Our client requested a video security presence specifically for Platform 25, which is located in the Albacora Field and produces upwards of 115,000 bbl/day. With such a system in place, security personnel can remotely view this critical area, monitor and control unauthorized access, enhance operational safety and improve response time during emergency situations. Moreover, review of video can assist the company as it continuously looks to optimize its operational performance.” The current security system at Platform 25 consists of nine Pelco ExSite positioning systems and five CC3770 digital Ultra-High Resolution Day/ Night cameras. They are distributed at strategic platform locations, including the pump room, powerhouse, flare, sump caisson, and other locations. Video is transmitted to the security control centre through unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables, utilizing Pelco converters. At the control centre, the signals are recorded on a 16-channel DX8100 Series digital video recorder with a mass storage device for storing recorded images.
“Other companies in Latin America, including Pemex and PDVSA, also use these systems. Pelco is often favoured as the brand because they can supply explosion-proof video surveillance systems,” González Haas says. These explosion- proof cameras are housed in hardened stainless steel casings, which protect against the extremely bad weather often encountered at offshore platforms, as well as the more extreme situations that can occasionally occur at oil and gas production sites, such as explosions and fires.
Security is not the only area of the oil and gas industry where Schneider is involved. Around the world, the company has participated in diverse projects in cooperation with oil and gas companies, including the improvement of mechanical resonance, poor power factors, high harmonic currents, excessive voltage distortion, reduced production capacity at offshore platforms, pipeline boosting station control systems, power supplies for remote pipeline compression substations, power supply and electrical management for entire production sites, and electrical renovations and retrofits of oil handling terminals and refineries.
In Mexico particularly, González Haas sees the possibility to introduce Schneider’s proprietary EcoStruxure system architecture, a system which enables the convergence of the five areas that Schneider considers itself specialized in: management of power, process & machine, IT room, building, and security. Because the system utilizes open standards, compatibility with other systems and devices is guaranteed. The aim of the architecture is to take multiple, siloed systems and adapt them to an integrated solution, reducing redundancy in equipment, software, and personnel. “EcoStruxure can achieve enterprise-wide energy savings of up to 30%. It is the only comprehensive, integrated approach designed for the reality of the digital economy,” González Haas says. “Without being too specific, I can say we are seeing lots of synergies in Mexico in the oil and gas sector, particularly in refineries, gas and exploration pipelines where Schneider Electric has a huge installed base of electrical distribution equipment. Telvent (another Schneider company) also controls around 20,000km of Pemex pipelines though the Oasis SCADA System.”