The strategic importance of the oil & gas market in the global economy is well-known, especially to those interested in taking advantage of the vulnerabilities derived from delicate production processes, and the criticalities of that specific environment. In terms of security there is a strong need of protection from external factors such as terrorist attacks, sabotage, theft, and from internal factors such as accidents and malfunctions that could compromise the health of personnel and the continuity of the plant.
In addition to rigorous security needs, this market is unique for its particularly hostile environments. This situation imposes the use of equipment that satisfies precise operational requirements in terms of a range of temperatures but also of resistance to bad weather and to an environment in which natural elements – like sand and salt – mingle with chemical substances of different sorts. The choice has to fall on IP 65-, IP67- or IP68-compliant equipment, but also on pressurized devices resistant to fungi and moulds typical for the most humid environments. IP65 specification can be enough to guarantee resistance to sand for a plant in a desert area. In the presence of salt, the selection of materials needs to favour those that are highly resistant to corrosion, such as steel or GRP. The requirements for cabling in terms of mechanical, chemical and fire resistance to guarantee emergency systems function in case of fire can be very restrictive.
To the oil & gas market, ADT Fire & Security/Tyco International offers a solution for the management and supervision of the entire security network in which different subsystems (CCTV, access control, anti-intrusion, telecommunications and networking) are integrated to satisfy plant requirements and to guarantee that reactions are always coherent with the context.
The real added value of the ADT solution is its interoperability with other systems guaranteed through the integration of security and telecommunications systems. In the case of a breakthrough signalled by the anti-intrusion system, the operator can use CCTV cameras to monitor both manually and automatically. In case of fire, the access control configuration is modified to favour the rapid exit of personnel on site. Telecommunications systems are interoperable to guarantee information exchange also among operators that use different technologies (radio, phone, intercom, etc..).
In terms of security, the ADT solution encompasses integration of the following systems:
Each system has a dedicated console and reports into a supervision system that includes all communications from the field.
To ensure robustness and service continuity, management is redundant for disaster recovery needs. For security and resource optimization, LANs dedicated to security are separate from the rest of the network. Where possible, there are 2 separate LANs: one for security and one for telecommunications. As these are generally new plants, all systems are cabled. Wireless technology is also available.
The CCTV system is used to identify intrusions, to control alerts of other plants and to control the process. The system is managed on IP and can use IP or analogue cameras associated to a video encoder, depending on the operating features of the equipment.
IP technology can in fact ensure advantages in terms of client resource distribution and recording that, in disaster recovery mode, can be distributed.
In process control applications control room operators of the production plant use cameras – generally PTZ – to check integrity and correct functioning of the entire plant or parts of it remotely. In some cases thermal cameras are used to monitor superficial temperature of some parts of the plant to identify immediately potentially dangerous overheating.
Access control is also totally IP-based to ensure monitoring of people and vehicle access to the plant and to maximum security areas. Readers are connected via IP to a server, whereas the different ports have an RS485 interface. The options include the use of readers and badges to monitor presence.
With the most advanced access control technologies, it is possible to set different levels of authorization especially for specific areas that need to have controlled access. Integration between access control and CCTV systems is constant and enables the operator to acquire complete information before activating safety procedures. Access control is also connected to the fire extinguisher system to favour optimal management of emergency evacuations. If there is an alarm, it is necessary to identify where people are located. In this case you can put in place a procedure where everybody needs to confirm the presence with their own badge at a meeting point with a reader . It is thus possible to establish with certainty if all personnel are safe.