Santos Operational Technology Transformation Program, Australia

Applying knowledge and innovative thinking, Aurecon and Santos harnessed ICT to create advanced digital infrastructure

This sophisticated information and communication technology solution is reducing Santos’ operational expenditure, including travel costs and time, increasing access to technical expertise and improving efficiency.

The Santos-led GLNG project is a pioneering venture that produces natural gas from Queensland’s coal seams and converts it into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to world markets. The development involves upstream gas fields in the Surat and Bowen basins, a 420-kilometre gas transmission pipeline to Gladstone, and a 2-train LNG facility on Curtis Island. The upstream facilities include three new gas compression hubs in the Fairview and Roma regions.

ICT infrastructure

ICT infrastructure is key to facilitating the remote control of assets, a significant contributor to achieving a low-cost operation. Santos is able to monitor and control the GLNG assets 24/7 via the world-class Brisbane Operations Centre (BOC) in Santos Place in the Brisbane CBD.

Spanning from mid-2014 through to the end of 2015, the Operational Technology (OT) Transformation Program has delivered significant benefits which have improved the overall total cost of ownership of Santos’ upstream assets. These include an improved control system and operational technology infrastructure, reduced operational expenditure, and productivity improvements.

Remote engineering capability improvements

The improvements in the remote engineering capability in particular, have contributed to reduced production losses, increased access to technical expertise and reduced travel for engineering personnel. The project improvements included the engineering of control systems, information systems and network systems:

  • Integrating and rationalising software systems between the major facilities
  • Creating a dedicated inter-facility communications network for control system and OT traffic
  • Enhancing the cyber security posture with additional layers of protection, focusing on a defence-in-depth architecture
  • Replacing the physical server infrastructure with virtualised environments to accommodate new services and increase flexibility and maintainability
  • Increasing the capability for remote engineering of control system devices and assets
  • Introducing condition monitoring solutions for the OT infrastructure such as network switches, firewalls, uninterruptible power supplies
  • Introducing a big-data software application for information processing including storing, retrieving and analysing the large amounts of data generated from the control system and OT infrastructure

Award winning

The project has won the following awards:

  • High Commendation (with Santos) (Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications): Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence Awards, Queensland Division (2016)

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