Peregrino turnaround:upgrading an oilfield in 15 days

Automation system upgrade for Statoil’s Peregrino (Brazil) offshore platforms

The complexity and size of oil & gas production platforms, process plants, and large manufacturing facilities are staggering. Without sophisticated process control systems it would be impossible to operate and maintain these types of operations. That puts a lot of pressure on maintenance teams to ensure the reliability of critical control systems.

Two of Statoil’s fixed offshore production platforms and the supporting floating production storage and offloading vessel in Brazil’s Peregrino field were in serious need of system updates. Problems in these systems at Peregrino, the company’s largest international operation outside NCS – Statoil (60%, operator) and Sinochem (40%), became apparent in early 2014. Considering the potential cost of system failure, correcting these problems was a top priority.


Photo credit: Statoil ASA

"Microsoft ended support for WindowsXP and Windows Server 2013," recalled Sandro Moret, an ABB oil & gas service manager. “Besides unavailability of replacement hardware, one of the greatest risks was control system integrity since we could no longer get security patches. To ensure reliable operation, Statoil needed to update their 800xA distributed control system to version 5.1."

The ABB team in Brazil worked in partnership with Statoil’s Plant Integrity Team on the update. Preparation began in September 2014, with the work planned for completion during the scheduled April 2015 shutdown. That put real pressure on ABB, since a project of this scale typically requires twice that lead time.


To complete the project on time, the update team developed several initiatives, including:

  • Created a detailed map of potential risks divided into five categories:
    1. Servers: Risks related to virtualization, third-party software installed, and hardware performance
    2. Switches: Risk related to out-of-date documentation, possibly resulting in improper configuration
    3. Libraries: Risks related to version control of changed blocks and the impact on control logic
    4. Display: Risks related to the large number of displays to be converted and customized display logic
    5. System: Risks related to keeping the production and lab system up to date, and keeping all current integrated systems running after the upgrade
  • Implemented a full factory acceptance test: All new control system screens were factory-tested prior to installation, reducing the number of issues once installed offshore

Both hardware and software were updated during the scheduled shutdown, including:
  • Reduced original 32 servers to six, requiring less space, simplifying maintenance, and increasing reliability
  • Replaced existing servers with more efficient technology, including machine virtualization
  • Two processors per server, each with 12 cores, 64 GB of RAM and ESXi 5.1
  • 16 solid state drive (SSD) per server and two per operation station
  • Windows 2008 on each virtual server and Windows 7 on the operation station
“The hardware selected for the update greatly improved system reliability,” explained Moret. “Still, every piece of electronic and mechanical equipment needs appropriate maintenance to maintain reliability. ABB met that need with our preventive maintenance services.”

The update was a massive undertaking, requiring 17,000 man-hours of effort, all completed without incident. The result, according to one of the control system operators, was a much faster and more reliable system that will enable greater productivity in the future.

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    For more information
    • Anne Roberts-Kraska
      ABB Inc.
      3700 W Sam Houston Pkwy South
      Houston, TX 77042
      Tel: +001 713 587 8035
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