Chapter 9
System Automation


The center of operation for any pipeline is a Control Center that enables monitoring and control of pipelines, pump or compressor stations and metering facilities. The system that accomplishes this monitoring and control is commonly referred to as the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. Continuing improvements in computing and telecommunications are expanding the functionality, scope and capabilities far beyond those of earlier systems. These enhancements are allowing sophisticated pipeline monitoring and control as well as more complete integration of the pipeline with its customers. The three major elements of pipeline automation and control now encompass operations, measurement and commercial processes in a seamless fashion.

In addition to basic monitoring and control of the pipeline system, the SCADA system has become the focal point for a number of other information systems. For liquid pipelines, these include pipeline simulation, tank management, leak detection, batch tracking and volumetric accounting, revenue accounting and billing and customer reporting. On gas pipelines, additional applications may consist of pipeline simulation, line-pack and fuel management, real-time custody transfer measurement, data validation, gas accounting, customer reporting and load prediction.

A considerable number of upgrades and retrofits of existing pipeline systems are being made. Many pipeline systems are far too complex to operate without automation (Jones and Holt, 2003). Others require increased automation when the pipeline network expands in scope (Anonymous 1, 2002). In some cases, the transition was from a completely manual to an automatic operation, which required total upgrades from unit control to SCADA (Blair, 1992).

  • 9.1 Introduction
  • 9.2 Automation and Control of Pipelines
  • 9.3 Automation and Control System Architecture
  • 9.4 SCADA System
  • 9.5 Advanced Applications
  • 9.6 Liquids Measurement and Accounting
  • References

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