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Oil export terminal expands to increase exports

12 November 2010

The Varandey terminal handles export of commercial crude oil produced in the Timano-Pechora oil province of the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district in the north of Russia's European Region.

Oil export terminal expands to increase exports
Oil export terminal expands to increase exports

To increase exports to Western Europe and North America, LUKOIL expanded the terminal's onshore tank farm to a capacity of 325,000 cubic metres and added two 25 km underwater pipelines, as well as an ice-resistant fixed offshore terminal where the oil is loaded onto tanker ships.

Throughput capacity of the new terminal is 12 million metric tons per year, and it is able to operate at full capacity all year round, even under extreme weather conditions.

The automation solution designed and supplied by Emerson is based on PlantWeb digital plant architecture. In this project Emerson supplied the control system, software, and vibration monitoring instrumentation, as well as system design and start-up services. The integrated solution enables control of terminal operations at each stage of the process, from oil receipt at the tank farm to managing pumping through the underwater pipeline, and includes the systems for monitoring and detecting leaks in the pipeline. The architecture's openness also enables it to control other subsystems supplied by other companies.

The architecture includes DeltaV digital automation system, AMS Suite software, Rosemount smart measurement instrumentation, and Fisher control valves and other control equipment. HART, Modbus and Foundation fieldbus communication protocols enable the DeltaV system to combine more than 6000 signals from more than 700 measurement instruments, including temperature, pressure, and level transmitters, flowmeters and vibration sensors. The system also manages final control elements such as control valves, as well as information from external control subsystems.

The far-northern location of the terminal requires that the oil transfer system operates in extreme weather conditions – including air temperatures down to -44°С, storm winds, waves up to 5 metres high, and ice build-up that can reach 170 cm thick.

"That is why the high reliability and broad functionality of Emerson's control system and field devices were crucial factors in LUKOIL's choice of a supplier," said Johan Vanderplaetse, Emerson Process Management's vice president for CIS and Turkey. "The PlantWeb architecture also enables terminal operators to detect errors and predict failures without having to go to a potentially unsafe area of the site. Diagnostic information from the measurement instrumentation and control valves helps ensure efficient processes and problem-free operation."

It is of no small significance that the two companies also co-operated successfully on the Vysotsk oil export terminal near Leningrad. In addition, it is convenient when the customer has one supplier for both measurement instrumentation and control systems.

Implementation of these modern automation technologies for the Varandey terminal has helped LUKOIL improve environmental safety and working conditions and optimise workloads for operating personnel. The project also will allow LUKOIL to reduce operating costs, energy use, and process losses of material and equipment.

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