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Master controller migration to Advant for offshore platforms in Denmark

Extending equipment life and support for additional 12 years

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In 2014, when a lifetime extension of SCADA controllers had to be performed on six North Sea platforms, thorough planning and close collaboration between ABB and Maersk Oil were the key ingredients in this extraordinary and challenging offshore upgrade project

An easy choice of upgrade path

The controllers have been doing their job flawlessly for many years in the field. The reason for the upgrade was simply the fact that the existing MasterPiece 200 controllers, used in the platforms’ SCADA systems, are being phased out, meaning that ABB can no longer guarantee spare parts.

Maersk Oil had the choice of buying a completely new system or migrating the existing systems and thus extend their lifetime. Jan Temberg, team leader at Maersk Oil’s Danish business unit, explains:

"A relatively cheap 12 years lifetime extension, in which we evolve to newer ABB hardware already familiar to us, was an easy choice compared to buying a completely new system."

Main facts

Industry Oil, gas and petrochemicals
Customer Maersk Oil
Country Denmark
Solutions

Addressing a massive logistical puzzle

Even though doing upgrades is the core DNA of ABB, it was nonetheless quite an extraordinary and challenging project.

“We haven’t done that many upgrades within such a short time span before. Besides the technical scope, it was a massive logistical puzzle for the customer, involving shipment of hardware, allocation of helicopter seatings, beds offshore for the engineers, work permits etc.”, says ABB Account Manager Lene Østerby. 

Besides, the project also involved the Gorm platform, from which the processed oil from Maersk Oil’s fields is sent ashore.

All offshore upgrade works took place within just ten days during planned maintenance shut-down in June 2014, an opportunity that only comes approximately once every four years.
Lene Østerby, ABB Account Manager
"It was a massive logistical puzzle involving shipment of hardware, allocation of helicopter seatings, beds offshore for the engineers, work permits etc."
Jan Temberg, team leader at Maersk Oil’s Denmark
"A relatively cheap 12 years lifetime extension of equipment, in which we evolved to newer ABB hardware already familiar to us, was an easy choice compared to buying a completely new system."
All offshore upgrade works took place within just ten days during planned maintenance shut-down in June 2014 - an opportunity that only comes approximately once every four years.

Saving installation hours

One important aspect of the business case was savings in installation hours through an upgrade compared to the time required to install a new system.

Buying new generation of hardware often entails reprogramming and testing of systems as well as replacing, testing and commissioning of new controllers and I/O signals.

All these activities are avoided with an Advant upgrade solution as the Advant Controller 450 comes with interfaces to existing I/O systems, with ABB’s systems being backwards-compatible. This means that the application can easily be transferred from MasterPiece 200 to Advant Controller 450 controllers without any code conversion.

Backward compatibility of new controllers with the existing I/O saved installation hours, as application could be transferred without code conversion and testing.

One project manager

The actual offshore upgrade activities took place within ten days in June 2014 and went smoothly according to both parties. Firstly, because it was possible to draw on the experiences from similar previous upgrade projects. And secondly, because planning from ABB’s side was handled by one project manager, who was responsible for all hardware purchases as well as coordinating all ABB engineers working on the project.

 “You definitely get a lot of synergy from having large group of engineers working that intensively on such an extensive upgrade project at the same time. If any technical challenges occurred, our engineers could consult with each other and share experiences and solutions,” says Lene Østerby.
A smooth ten day upgrade thanks to similar project experience and an overall project manager to coordinate hardware purchases and a large group of engineers on-site.

Facts about the upgrade works

Maersk Oil carried out the planned shutdown of their North Sea fields in June 2014. During the shutdown, ABB had 11 people offshore for the upgrade works. The tasks involved demounting existing equipment, mounting new controllers and loading new system software as well as application software. Additionally ABB’s engineers were present during the start-up of the platforms, ready to assist if necessary. 

  • 15 MasterPiece 200 controllers were replaced by 13 Advant Controller 450 controllers
  • 5 Advant Controller 450 were upgraded with newer more powerful processor modules and updated with latest system versions
  • 5 Advant Controller 450 were updated with the latest system versions

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