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Build Reliable Oil and Gas Infrastructure with Future-proof Networking Solutions

Rugged networking devices combined with simplified management software are indispensable in strengthening competitiveness.

Build Reliable Oil and Gas Infrastructure with Future-proof Networking Solutions
Moxa EDS-G4012 managed Ethernet switches are certified for use in C1D2 hazardous environments and compliant with IEC 62443-4-2 industrial cybersecurity standards

Article by Alvis Chen, Integrated Marketing Manager, Moxa

To survive its challenging working conditions, the oil and gas sector needs network infrastructures that satisfy the highest reliability standards. In this industry, network failures can have costly repercussions, such as decreased operational efficiency, jeopardized on-site safety, and diminished organizational competitiveness.

Companies in the oil and gas industry understand that to guarantee precise process automation and real-time monitoring for operations that run around the clock, they need robust, effective, and future-proof network solutions. Two real-world examples that demonstrate network reliability to these operations are provided below.

Application 1: Reliability on the Seas—Offshore Oil Drilling
The hostile atmosphere of offshore oil fields presents serious risks and difficulties for network devices. To successfully monitor a drilling platform remotely, the entire network infrastructure needs to be extremely reliable and available. In addition to redundant wired or wireless network systems with failover capability, the network equipment must comply with industrial standards that certify its ability to operate in an environment with varying temperatures, corrosion, and vibration.

A robust network architecture incorporating redundancy will prevent disruptions that create downtime and reduce operational effectiveness. Moreover, devices that meet rigorous DNV GL maritime certification are required to ensure reliability in the face of marine hazards while Class I Division 2 (CID2), IECEx or ATEX Zone 2 hazardous area certifications must be installed in explosive gas environments. Implementing these measures enables offshore oil-drilling operations to function effectively despite rapid temperature changes, harsh corrosive conditions, and continuous vibrations.

An example of this type of industrial device is the Moxa EDS-G4012 managed Ethernet switch. Certified for use in C1D2 environments and compliant with IEC 62443-4-2 industrial cybersecurity standards, the switches come equipped with 12 Gigabit Ethernet ports with PoE and up to four 1 Gbps or 2.5 Gbps fiber-optic ports, making EDS-G4012 switches ideal for upgrading an existing network to Gigabit speed or building a new full Gigabit backbone. Redundant Ethernet technologies such as Turbo Ring, Turbo Chain, and RSTP/STP increase the reliability and availability of the offshore network backbone.

Application 2: Monitoring the Lifeblood—Oil Pipelines
The role of oil pipelines is to distribute crude oil from drilling rigs to oil storage tanks and then to refineries. Typically, pipelines span several thousand miles over harsh terrain and require a central SCADA system based on Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) and microwave architecture to measure, monitor, and control the status of field instruments across the entire oil flow. Multiple pumping stations, such as block valve stations and compressor stations, keep the pressure in the pipeline constant.

Pipeline operators can quickly detect, locate, and prevent or resolve leaks, damages, and breaks by deploying a rugged, extendable fiber-optic Ethernet network. Fiber networks are robust, highly available, and extremely fast. This network will include an integrated remote monitoring and surveillance service for pipeline operations to improve safety and reduce the total cost of pipeline maintenance.

Overseeing a pipeline network requires a responsive visualization tool. Moxa MXview network management software is optimized for networking device configuration, monitoring, and diagnosis in pipeline applications. It is an integrated management platform that can discover up to 2,000 Moxa networking devices and SNMP/IP devices installed on subnets. Selected network components can be managed via a web browser from local and remote sites—anytime, anywhere. Visualization is possible of redundant link status and device roles, security status of network devices, third-party device icons, network traffic loading, and power consumption of managed PoE devices.

Rugged networking devices combined with simplified management software are indispensable in strengthening the competitiveness of companies in the oil and gas industry. If you would like to learn more, you can visit the Moxa contact page.


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