A 1,200 mile Texas pipeline automation project uses the expertise of both Flow Data and division partner Longhorn Automation and Electrical.


1,200 Mile Pipeline Automation Project Takes the Team to Deliver the Right Solution

Flow Data and Longhorn Electrical & Automation combined operations and proved their valued-added partnership is capable of solving automation and communication complexities for a new pipeline project.

Flow Data and division partner Longhorn Automation & Electrical frequently work together to efficiently deliver projects for a variety of Oil & Gas clients throughout Texas. The team recently assisted a Midstream client with an automation project involving two crude and natural gas liquid pipelines covering over 1,200 miles, running from New Mexico to the Texas coast. Construction of the pipeline will take a couple of years to complete and involve several phases of work. Phase one and two have been completed in 2018.

Centralized Control Room Data

Our client needed an automation solution that would allow them to oversee operation of its multiple pipeline assets from a central control room, covering compiling data for a range of midstream processes, including:

  • Receipt metering LACTs
  • Delivery metering LACTs
  • Block valves
  • Truck stations
  • Pump stations
  • Terminals

The Flow Data team stepped in quickly by first outlining a program to collectively capture data for control, measurement, information, communication, and leak detection systems, then the team spent time focused on communication and power solutions for the widely variable installations.

The design and engineering work began on the control panels, containing I/O’s ranging from <50 to 1000+ in Flow Data’s UL Certified panel shop. These custom panels would control and operate the pipeline’s LACT units, block valves, pump stations, and terminals. Given the range and remoteness of large portions of the pipeline, solar-powered system skids were sized for this application. Longhorn A&E stepped in to complete both the panel and solar equipment field installations.

Running parallel with the panel build, Flow Data’s SCADA programmers set up pipeline assets for the Control Room. This process involved establishing screens and alarms in compliance with regulatory PHMSA code, creating a series of standard operational reports, and integrating scheduled measurement data transfers to the client’s accounting system.

At the same time, the team worked on developing the Cause and Effect and Control narrative between the client’s operations team and their contracted engineering firms. Flow Data is responsible for PLC and HMI programming for all field sites, configuring measurement systems, setting up batching sequences, and establishing printer utilities for the truck and pump stations, and terminals when completed. Together, Flow Data and Longhorn will finalize all instrument programming, commissioning, and initialize start-up.

Pipeline Automation Project Partnership Drives Value

This project was a significant undertaking for both the Flow Data and Longhorn team, and wouldn’t have been possible in such a brief timeframe were it not for the partnership between them. To date, the client’s systems are running optimally, and centralized office operations are capturing real-time data from all installed systems.

We deliver value to our clients because we can do more than standard system integrators:

  • We are control systems consultants, helping to define the scope and provide engineering support
  • We are involved in the design process at all phases of the project
  • We provide dedicated program management
  • We invest more in engineering to design the right solution for the client
  • We examine possible issues, identify efficiencies, and provide cost/value comparisons