Pipeliner's Resource Library
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Pipeliner's Resource Library
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Adequate Information: a section of the PHMSA CRM rule that addresses the need for a pipeline controller to be adequately knowledgeable about all aspects of the pipeline they are responsible for operating. This includes being informed about the changes and modifications to the pipeline or its operations. This can be challenging to accomplish in a control room because of the schedules and shift rotations.
Alarm: a visible and/or audible means of indicating to the pipeline controller that an abnormal operating condition exists, which requires the controller’s response, without which response a bad outcome will occur. It is important to note that most SCADA/HMI tools call all notifications “alarms.” The alarm management program definition of an alarm is “requires action.”
Alarm Management: the process of ensuring that the alarms are optimally selected, designed, prioritized, and documented. In practice, each operator should take a holistic approach to alarm management, including policy and procedure for alarm rationalization, alarm logging, alarm-related shift handover actions, alarm analysis, compliance, and continual improvement of the alarm management program. The PHMSA Control Room Management Rule (49 CFR Parts 192 and 195) and API 1167 provide guidance on implementing an alarm management program.
Alarm Rationalization: the process of documenting the alarm-specific process to verify, diagnose, determine causes, and take the appropriate course of action to respond to an alarm.
Alarm Response: a specified course of action for the pipeline controller when presented with an alarm through the SCADA system on their HMI display. Ideally, the controller will follow the rationalized procedure.
Alarm Response Sheet (ARS): a critical element of alarm response and indicates what the alarm is, the cause of the alarm, how to verify the cause, and what actions should be taken given the cause.
API 1113: assists SCADA system designers in identifying issues relevant to the development or redevelopment of a control center.
API 1130: a recommended practice published by the American Petroleum Institute and incorporated by reference into the U.S. pipeline regulations in 49 CFR 195.134 and 49 CFR 195.444 for how pipeline operators should design, operate, and maintain their computational pipeline monitoring (CPM) systems. This is a critical document for any pipeline operator with CPM-based pipeline leak detection.
API 1149: defines the requirements for using computational models to evaluate uncertainties in a pipeline that affect leak detectability.
API 1161: provides guidance for developing and maintaining an Operator Qualification (OQ) program compliant with OQ regulations.
API 1164: outlines SCADA cybersecurity processes that could take years to implement correctly depending on the complexity of the SCADA system.
API 1165: refers to the Recommended Practice for Pipeline SCADA Displays. This standard outlines the best practices for designing and implementing displays that are used by controllers to evaluate information available in all operating conditions.
API 1167: a recommendation from PHMSA for rationalizing alarms in the control room. Rationalizing alarms means reviewing each alarm in the SCADA system and capturing the cause of the alarm, bad instrumentation or bad actors, and the operating condition.
API 1168: a Control Room Management guideline that outlines shift handover (SHO) requirements and adequate information in the control room.
API RP 1167: provides pipeline operators with recommended industry practices in the development, implementation, and maintenance of an alarm management program. Pipeline SCADA Alarm Management provides guidance on elements that include, but are not limited to, alarm definition, philosophy, documentation, management of change, and auditing.
CatM: also known as LTE Cat-M1, is Category 1 of the LTE-M IoT network technology.
Computational Pipeline Modeling (CPM): a digital method of mapping out a pipeline’s operational conditions and processes to track the flow of a liquid or gas through the pipeline.
Control Room Management: the process of safely managing controllers, control rooms, and SCADA systems used to remotely monitor and control pipeline operations.
Control Room Management Rule (CRM Rule): introduced by PHMSA (49 CFR Parts 192 and 195) to provide regulations and guidelines for control room managers to safely operate a pipeline. PHMSA pipeline safety regulations prescribe safety requirements for controllers, control rooms, and SCADA systems used to remotely monitor and control pipeline operations.
Control Room Team Training: includes training exercises required by PHMSA to ensure inter-departmental communication and alignment with policies & procedures during normal and abnormal operating conditions.
Cybernetics: the use of technology to control a system and implement triggers that cause the system to take an appropriate action. The American Petroleum Institute (API) Cybernetics Committee addresses issues related to the control room and pipeline operations.
Cybersecurity: the collection of systems and processes designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from cyber attacks, damage, and unauthorized access.
Data Rate: data rate is the average number of bits (bitrate), characters or symbols (baudrate), referenced as bits per second (bit/s) and bytes per second (B/s).
Emergency Response: a specified course of action that takes place when an emergency is identified. In some cases, an alarm advances from alarm response to emergency response. The goal is to expedite mitigation and minimize consequence by following a clear path to address the emergency situation.
Fatigue Management: the process of managing controller workload and ensuring controller alertness through Hours of Service scheduling and other fatigue mitigation steps to comply with the CRM Rule.
Flow Computer: averages and records all digital signals received from various types of flow meters, as well as analog or digital signals from temperature, pressure, and density transmitters.
Flow Monitoring: an analysis tool that provides a detailed view of the data to and from machines. When flow monitoring is enabled, its output defines which machines are exchanging data and over which application.
FotA: Firmware over the Air is a method of sustaining a technology by being able to remotely manage its firmware during its life.
HART: Highway Addressable Remote Transducer is a protocol using 4-20ma for the process signal with digital protocol carrying configuration and diagnostic data.
HazLoc: Hazardous Locations, such as Class I Div. 2, and Zone 2.
Human-Machine Interface (HMI): the user interface that connects an operator to the controller in pipeline operations. High-performance HMI is the next level of taking available data and presenting it as information that is helpful to the controller to understand present and future activity in the pipeline.
- High-Performance HMI: an advanced level Human-Machine Interface system that feeds data from a computer to the operator to make informed decisions. High-Performance HMI extends the capabilities of SCADA in pipeline operations and complies with the ISA 101 requirement by providing an HMI philosophy, style guide, and design guide.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS): capture the control systems and instrumentation used for industrial process control in oil & gas and other key industries.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): the use of connected devices for industrial purposes, such as communication between network devices in the field and a pipeline system.
ISM band: Instrument, Scientific & Medical RF bands allocated by each country as being “License Free”. These utilize frequency hopping techniques to mitigate collisions.
LoRaWAN: a non-cellular LPWAN technology based on open design by Semtech.
LPWAN: Low Power Wide Area Networks (LoRaWAN, MIOTY, LTE-M, NB-IoT, others)
LTE (Long Term Evolution): the cellular wireless technology bridging todays 3G to 4G, to 5G.
LTE-M: a cellular LPWAN, Long Term Evolution for Machines, designed for IoT, but with data rates higher than NB-IoT.
Main Terminal Units (MTUs): used in a SCADA system to operate the Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and transmit their data back to the facility.
MIOTY: a non-cellular LPWAN like LoRa but utilizing packet splitting for signal immunity and reliability.
MQTT: Message Queuing Telemetry Transport is an open and freely available publish/subscribe protocol for efficiently moving data between devices. This protocol is extremely lightweight.
NB-IoT: a cellular LPWAN, is a single carrier, narrow band frequency, small data rate technology achieving superior range and indoor application performance.
NFC: Near field communications is an RF technology & protocol used within 4cm or less.
NIST Framework: consists of standards, guidelines, and practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure. The prioritized, flexible, repeatable, and cost-effective approach of the Framework helps owners and operators of critical infrastructure to manage cybersecurity-related risk.
Node: the term for an IoT device that consist of several parts and many functions around signal interface, processing, and transmitting data. It can be quite simple or very extensive.
OPC-UA: OPC Unified Architecture is an open and freely available protocol for communicating between industrial equipment and software systems for data collection and control. It is a service-oriented architecture (SOA) as opposed to a publish/subscribe.
Operating Condition: represents the state of a pipeline system as either “normal,” “abnormal” (AOCs), or “emergency.
- Normal: operation within the normal parameters of flow and pressure, plus normal access to timely information regarding the operating condition.
- Abnormal: a condition identified by the operator that may indicate a malfunction of a component or deviation from normal operations that may (a) indicate a condition exceeding design limits or (b) result in a hazard(s) to persons, property, or the environment.
- Emergency: a condition where action is required to mitigate potential injury to people, property, and/or the environment.
Operator Qualification Training (OQ Training): a process of training control room decision-makers who have the authority to act in normal, abnormal, and emergency situations.
Outside-the-Fence: refers to points not associated with the local process module.
Pipeline Safety Management Systems (PSMS): an industry-wide focus to improve pipeline safety, driving toward zero incidents.
Point to Point Verification (P2P): confirms that input or output from each field instrument is accurately and reliably reflected in the SCADA information presented to the controller.
Polling Rates: refer to the rate at which a station, unit, or communication device reports its location from the field.
Programmable Logic Controller (PLCs): a computerized system in operations that automates processes that require reliability within a given time period. PLCs are especially useful for pipeliners to automate difficult tasks in the field.
Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs): electronic devices placed in the field. RTUs enable remote automation by communicating data back to the facility and taking specific action after receiving input from the facility.
- EFM Flow Computer: a type of RTU that measures the flow of gas or fluid and reports the data back to the facility. It differs from an RTU in that it is designed to compute flow using standard flow equations with specific timing and reporting requirements.
SCADA: a system of software and technology that allows pipeliners to control processes locally or at remote location. SCADA breaks down into two key functions: supervisory control and data acquisition. Included is managing the field, communication, and control room technology components that send and receive valuable data, allowing users to respond to the data.
SCADA Communication: there are several types of communication methods that can be used in a SCADA system to transmit data.
- Satellite Communication: includes a natural delay from the time a data request is made and the time the data is sent.
- Poll Response: only sends data if requested by the host. This creates limitations because you may need to wait up to 15 minutes for the full data package to be received.
- Report by Exception: sends data to the host when there is a change to the data.
- MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport): a publish-subscribe protocol that allows data to move quickly and does not bog down the system with unnecessary requests.
Shift Handover (SHO): the process of controllers transferring their shift to the next controller in a methodical way that complies with the CRM Rule and API RP 1168 for shift handover procedures. The CRM regulations require an operator to define the information that will be transferred during shift handover and the process by which this information is exchanged.
Situation Awareness: the controller’s ability to perceive environmental elements and events, comprehend their meaning, and project their status after a variable has changed.
WiHART/WirelessHART: a wireless implementation of HART using 2.4GHz radio frequency.
WSN (Wireless Sensor Network): used to distinguish WiHART and other proprietary local area sensor networks from LPWAN technologies
Videos & Presentations
Whitepapers & eBooks
How to Implement High-Performance Pipeline Control
The world is constantly changing for pipeline operators. You need a complete software suite to operate a high-performance pipeline operation now and into the future. Download this eBook from Pipeliners Podcast host Russel Treat to understand how to address the top challenges facing pipeline operators.
- Enhance pipeline operations and effectiveness.
- Establish policies and procedures to operate safely.
- Comply with changing government regulations.
- Achieve ROI for your pipeline operation.
Whitepaper: Optimizing Emergency Response Through Alarm Management
Control room managers wrestle with a common question – how many alarms are too many? And, will controllers be able to retain situational awareness when supporting emergency response?
Here is a different way of thinking about this common issue: it’s about the quality of the alarm analysis and rationalization, not the number of logs generated in your system.
Pipeliners Podcast host Russel Treat establishes the difference between alarm response and emergency response, discusses optimizing your alarm management program to better support both alarm and emergency response, and identifies actions to take during emergency response.