OMV deploys LabView well monitors

David Hsieh explains how Alcatel technology helps OMV monitor and control its Austrian production.

The 600 producers in OMV’s Eastern Austria region account for about 10 % Austria’s crude oil supply. OMV reconciles the need for stable production with HSE* constraints by continuously monitoring production, previously performed by a team of experienced technicians. OMV found this a costly solution and it proved hard to maintain a high standard of operator competency.

Real time

To improve on the manual data recording and at the same time optimize well production and reduce operating expenses, OMV contracted with Alcatel to develop a real-time monitoring and control solution for around half the wells in the region. OMV already had a fiber optic backbone, but access to individual wells was problematical in view of the hilly terrain. Alcatel designed a SCADA system and WLAN network to acquire the data which is transmitted to the backbone.


Each well is controlled by a Programmable Application Controller (PAC). Pressure and liquid level error states are signaled by digital switches and the power supply is managed by ripple control receivers, circuit breakers and phase failure relays – all processed in real time. Data from analogue sensors such as strain gauges and flow is pre-processed, logged and transmitted to a central SCADA server based on deadband** criteria. The SCADA server also enables remote control of operations such as starting and stopping individual wells, resetting operating hours counters and remote software configuration.


Under offline conditions (e.g. temporary loss of WLAN coverage) the PACs guarantee autonomous control including local buffering and delayed data transfer to the SCADA server. Each cluster of up to three wells has its own WLAN with line of sight to 7 WLAN pick-up points with access to the OMV fiber optical backbone.

Web access

The central SCADA server acts as a common framework for data logging, alarm handling, real-time monitoring and remote control. A web based client provides user management and integration with the existing IT platforms for alarm notifications etc. Users can browse a hierarchical set of animated geographical maps, filtered alarm lists, customizable process views and preset target values. A reporting gateway enables different kind of reports in Word or Excel format. All data exchange between the SCADA server and RTUs is fully event driven - only changes in measured values, remote control states or configuration parameters are transmitted, reducing network and improving scalability.


The control, SCADA and visualization layer were developed and customized in National Instruments’ LabView – particularly the Datalogging and Supervisory Control functions.

The turnkey system has reduced OMV’s operating costs, enhanced data quality and allows for instant verification of maintenance operations.

* Health Safety Environment.

** Actuator thresholds which trigger data transmission.

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