Russian oil and gas giant adopts mixed LTE-TETRA solution

Thursday, 26 March, 2020 | Supplied by: Hytera Communications Co. Ltd

Tatneft is a large Russian oil and gas group. The group has nine crude oil and gas production facilities, seven oilfields and 23,000 production wells, which are spread over a huge area, so providing reliable voice and data transmissions between all the sites was difficult.

At the beginning of 2017, Tatneft decided to overcome the communications problem by investing in new technology. However, there were disagreements on whether to buy TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked Radio) two-way radio terminals or to use cellular smartphones.

However, Hytera's Russian office was able to solve the problem and keep both departments happy by suggesting Tatneft use the Hytera PTC760 multi-mode advanced terminal, which supports both TETRA and LTE, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

A key part of Tatneft's digitalisation strategy was to develop a closer integration of its planning and management processes. One of the most important management processes the company wanted to digitise was the workflow management process plan to enable it to monitor employee progress in real time and improve productivity. It also wanted to implement remote monitoring and automatic control of its oil production equipment.

The existing application for monitoring the implementation of the work plan was carried out using LTE and Wi-Fi data networks, but these were unsatisfactory as they had very limited coverage. At the same time, the company did have an existing TETRA PMR network in operation covering more than 90% of the entire territory. However, this network was not being used to transmit data information or messaging from the work plan monitoring application, so this required a separate portable terminal.

Tatneft therefore had two main requirements from its potential radiocommunications provider. The first was to provide a better solution for its mobile workflow management plan application across all its production facilities. The second was to provide a solution for remote asset monitoring and control automation of its equipment.

Hytera provided a Control Center Automated System to install different applications on Hytera smart radios. The workflow management application assigns tasks for each employee. Employees send back a message acknowledging receipt of the task and send another one on completion of the job.

The application enabled remote monitoring of every type of worker including operators, supervisors, dispatchers and executives with the current status of their tasks. This continuous monitoring of the employees enables managers to keep track of all the tasks in the daily work plan. For example, an operator workstation supports multiple features such as automating the operator's job flow with status updates, job time calculations and sampling the latest well measurements. The TETRA network also provides two-way group communications and receives alarms should a booster pump station, group measuring station or drilling well fail.

The Hytera PTC760 smart radio allows users to make and receive calls and data from broadband LTE and Wi-Fi networks and the narrowband TETRA network. It also supports the data application for monitoring the implementation of the work plan. Usually the application exchanges data with the control centre via LTE and Wi-Fi as the primary networks, but if these are not available the data can still be transmitted via the IP-based TETRA network backbone.

Hytera also supplied PT580H Plus — which are tough, rugged radios with MIL-STD810G certification for shock and vibration resistance and are IP68 rated for dust and moisture protection — as well as its BT500 radio data modems, which are used to transmit data for industrial control systems, including telemetry transmission, remote control equipment and positioning systems, allowing the user to solve a wide range of tasks.

Due to the implementation of Hytera's converged broadband LTE and narrowband TETRA solution and multi-mode radio terminals, Tatneft has been able to advance the digitalisation of its workflow management processes with the new work plan monitoring application. Hytera's BT500 TETRA radio data modems have enabled the remote monitoring and control automation of oil and gas equipment via LTE, Wi-Fi or TETRA networks to improve productivity, efficiency and safety.

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