TOTAL UK is the world's fifth-largest integrated oil and gas company with operations in more than 130 countries. The company runs 12 refineries in the UK, one of which is Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) in North Lincolnshire. Currently Britain's third largest refinery, it has a processing capacity in excess of 10 million tonnes per annum (more than 200,000 barrels per day).
Situated to take advantage of North Sea oil, the refinery commenced production in 1968. Today, it incorporates the most advanced refining and conversion processes available, processing more than 40 different types of crude oil. Currently 35 finished product specifications are produced at LOR, which are distributed and marketed by TOTAL UK.
Through a process called fractional distillation, refining separates the compounds present in crude oil by boiling and then condensing gas back into a refined liquid form. Both the crude oil and the refined products are stored in large tanks. The refined products may then be further processed into speciality products by a process of blending. LOR operates 16 of these tanks, situated in remote locations around the refinery. The refinery needed a secure, reliable radio telemetry system which would link the tanks with a Central Office and Blending Control Room, to manage the valves on the tanks and control oil movements.
TOTAL UK employed a system based on Wood & Douglas’ OpenNet 3500 low power UHF radio for accurate, reliable and secure data transmission.
The storage tanks are organised into four groups of four. Each tank has a control valve and an actuator. The actuator consists of an electrical motor driven mechanism used for opening and closing a valve. The four actuators for each tank group are located in cubicles near the tanks, and are hardwired to, and managed by one OpenNet 3500 Outstation each to manage and control the flow of oil between the tanks.
An OpenNet 3500 Receiver Station, located in the Central Control Room (CCR) links with the OpenNet Outstations. The CCR uses a separate SCADA system to monitor general tank farm activity, and the OpenNet radio system to specifically monitor and control the 16 actuators to maintain controlled flow of oil from the various tanks across the site for refining, blending or storage.
Valve position feedback and regular checks on the actuators’ operational status are remotely performed by the OpenNET outstation to ensure valve open and close command operations remain available, reducing the need for manual intervention. The OpenNet 3500 Outstations also provide an immediate alert if valve or actuator maintenance is required, providing early warning of potential issues and enabling teams to respond quickly to any issues.
- Industrial remote monitoring and control
- Highly secure and reliable data communications