Wireless network upgrades for PDVSA and BP

Emerson deploys ‘self organizing’ wireless networks on oilfields and refineries of the future.

Emerson Process Management (EPM) reports growing take-up of its ‘Smart Wireless’ mesh network to PDVSA and BP. In a multimillion dollar automation upgrade, PDVSA is to deploy the ‘self-organizing’ wireless network in the Morichal district oil fields to monitor 180 wells. 600 networked devices will provide pressure and temperature data to predict well performance and report on the health of wellhead drives, mitigating well shutdown.

EPM VP wireless, Bob Karschnia said, ‘Operators are using more and more measurement to improve operations. Cost benefit analysis demonstrates that wireless is often preferable to traditional wired systems.’

In a separate announcement, BP is to deploy a Smart Wireless mesh at it’s R&D unit in Naperville, Illinois and at its Cherry Point, Washington refinery. Smart Wireless will be used at Cherry Point to mitigate fan and conveyor failure in the calciner unit. BP’s Mark Howard said, ‘Wireless is an important enabler for our refinery of the future program. It helps us deploy the instrumentation, sensors, and analytical devices that we need for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.’ Emerson has also announced new open standard WirelessHART devices. Karschnia told Oil IT Journal that he expects to see take up of WirelessHART to be as successful as the previous HART bus devices that now dominate the wired sensor marketplace.

This article originally appeared in Oil IT Journal 2008 Issue # 10.

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