Pemex deploys wireless sensor network

vMonitor has provided a tailored wireless SCADA solution for real time pipeline monitoring.

Pemex’ gas and petrochemicals unit (Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica—PGPB) has upgraded its pipeline SCADA control system with a wireless solution from vMonitor. The new system offers real time monitoring of product flow in PGPB’s 900 km pipeline network.


vMonitor provided low profile, explosion proof enclosures for its vMBusX real time units for measuring pipeline flow rates and pressures. vMBusX units are intelligent micro wireless sensors comprising micro-RTU, antenna, sensor and battery. They are capable of transmitting up to 10 miles with line of sight.


The small form factor and a camouflage paint job makes the units look like part of the piping; reducing the risk of unit theft and eliminating the need for wiring. vMonitor developed a bespoke software stack to embrace Pemex’ own Modbus flavour—Pemex Modbus is an extension of standard Modbus with support for historical and flow data.


vMonitor leveraged PGPB’s existing UHF/Microwave communications backbone linking the pipeline to the main control room in Mexico City. Wireless sensors push data every 30 seconds—a polling cycle that assures around a one year battery pack life. Gateways include software smarts that record time since last message for data transmission QA. Other diagnostics allow monitoring and network re-configuration without the need for a site visit.

Control room

The system allows control room operators to monitor status and operating conditions of the pipeline, tracking pressure trends that may foretell anomalies and possible compromise of the theft prone and highly sensitive pipeline network.


The network can also be used to direct commands to a particular remote station. A functionality which will be used in the second phase of the project, planned for 2007. Phase 2 will extend project scope to include remote control of the sectioning valves for security in the event of leaks or other anomalies. Such problems have caused HSE incidents in the past.


Last month, vMonitor also announced its first project win with Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, for the delivery of a gas injection metering and control system in Lake Maracaibo.

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