Petronas, Yokogawa to work on automation

Another significant step in Petronas’ pursuit to optimise resources and minimise workers’ exposure to hazard risks


PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has selected to collaborate with a leading global provider of industrial automation solutions, Yokogawa, to advance and make significant progress in autonomous operations.

The national oil company said in a statement yesterday that this marks another significant step in its pursuit of autonomous operations to optimise resources and minimise workers’ exposure to hazardous risks.

Under the process, Petronas will be establishing testbed and industrial field trial based on the emerging Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) technologies.

The test bed and field trial will take place at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas training plant in Batu Rakit, Terengganu.

Petronas senior VP of project delivery and technology Samsudin Miskon said the collaboration is a milestone recorded under a memorandum of understanding signed between the companies last year, in the areas of operational excellence, business arrangement, as well as education, talent and capability building.

“The collaboration is in line with an ongoing technology-digitalisation transformation undertaken to meet the group’s business targets and customers’ increasing energy needs.

“With the current challenges facing the energy ecosystem, and as the energy transition accelerates, Petronas constantly pushes the techno-digital frontiers to make step-change improvements in our operational efficiencies and reduce carbon footprint for a sustainable future,” he said.

According to Petronas, the O-PAS field trial will test systems’ multi-vendor interoperability, cybersecurity and advanced functionality in real-world applications.

This includes evaluation of the use of 5G technologies and its robustness in Open Process Automation (OPA), integration of Industrial Internet of Things into OPA as part of the data liberalisation initiatives, maintenance and integration of multiple remote autonomous operation sites, as well as Distributed Control System (DCS) as fiscal flow-computing platform.

The company added that the collaboration further strengthens its digital readiness for IR 4.0 operational models, supported by Yokogawa’s global expertise and network.

Meanwhile, Petronas group technical authority (instrument and control) Sharul A Rashid said emerging automation technologies based on O-PAS promise an open-sharing platform, thus adding agility for data liberalisation and enabling new operational models at a lower cost.

“Shared data and knowledge accelerate technology development to benefit all,” he said.

Petronas and Yokogawa are both members of the Open Group Open Process Automation Forum, an international forum of end-users, system integrators, suppliers, academia and standards organisations who are working together to develop the specifications for utilising OPA technology in next-generation process control systems — DCS of the future.

Once fully defined, O-PAS will allow for construction of safe, reliable, secure and scalable process automation systems with high adaptability for new and existing operations.

Separately, Petronas stated that it has made a gas discovery at Block SK410B Production Sharing Contract located in the Central Luconia Province, about 80km off Sarawak.

A well was drilled to a total depth of 4,320m in mid-January and the well was tested and flowed at 50 million cu ft of gas per day with a significant amount of gas in place.

PTTEP HK Offshore Ltd is the operator of the block in partnership with KUFPEC Malaysia (SK410B) Ltd and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.