Flowing at Full CapacityYPFB Transporte Taps the iDirect Platform to ImproveBolivia’s Pipeline OperationsBolivia has more than 4,700 miles of gas and liquid pipelinescoursing through the nation’s countryside. These natural resourcesare a vital part of Bolivia’s infrastructure and critical to its economyand security.One company manages more than 80% of Bolivia’s pipeline Measurable Resultsoperations: YPFB Transporte. Given the magnitude of the job, it’s Since implementing an iDirectcrucial for YPFB Transporte to know exactly what’s happening at network, YPFB Transporte is seeing major benefits:each of its 60 remote monitoring, pump and compressor stationsalong its pipeline infrastructure. ♦♦ 35% bandwidth efficiency gains ♦♦ 50% reduction in remote onsiteToday, thanks to a shared satellite network built on the iDirect personnel visitsIntelligent Platform™, YPFB Transporte has real-time remote ♦♦ Over 60% reduction in fieldaccess to every pipeline station. The company is able to control support staffall aspects of its business from a centralized operations center—ensuring that a top Bolivian export is always flowing at fullcapacity.
New Connectivity OptionsAutomating remote management The company’s point-to-point SCPC satelliteOver the past decade, YPFB Transporte links, while a viable alternative to microwave forcompleted a major overhaul of its remote high-traffic remote sites, came with their ownstation management. To transition from set of challenges. SCPC links require dedicatedmanually monitoring and operating its remote satellite capacity for each remote site that muststations, which resulted in significant labor be sized to accommodate peak traffic demands.costs, the company developed a SCADA Bandwidth cannot be shared across multiplecommunications network based on microwave sites as traffic distribution patterns change. Asradio and Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) a result, unused capacity is wasted, creating ansatellite links. By 2006, YPFB Transporte had unnecessary operating expense.successfully automated basic data gathering While YPFB Transporte had made progress onat 80% of its remote sites. automating key remote operations, it realized itThe microwave radio network, however, proved needed a more cost-effective communicationsto have significant limitations. Due to inherently network. The company completed a five-yearlow data transmission speeds, YPFB Transporte analysis of ongoing cost requirements to keepcould only transmit small volumes of data, and its existing system of microwave and C-bandvoice communications were often unreliable. satellite links in place. The study confirmedFurther, the extreme Bolivian terrain made it the need for an alternative solution to lowervery difficult and cost prohibitive to deploy recurring costs and improve network quality formicrowave at some sites. site data transmission, voice communications and Internet access.YPFB Transporte uses an iDirect network to access remote operated valve stations along its pipelines
Extending Network FunctionalityCost-effective communicationsIn 2007, YPFB Transporte opened a publictender and invited several companies todevelop a 25-site satellite network that wouldreplace the microwave system. In addition,it planned to replace C-band satellite linkswith a Ku-band system to lower equipmentcosts. Based on a comprehensive technicaland economic evaluation, the company choseiDirect to provide a solution.YPFB Transporte selected iDirect because of More than 4,700 miles of pipeline course throughthe economies of its Time Division Multiple Boliva’s countrysideAccess (TDMA) shared bandwidth platform.TDMA satellite systems can significantly “Our prior system over microwave radioreduce the required space segment by required us to have three local specialists in thedynamically allocating bandwidth from a field at all times responding to network issues,”centralized pool across remote stations. This said Roberto Antezana, YPFB Transporte´sprovides a more efficient option compared to SCADA and communications manager.dedicated SCPC satellite links. “Currently, we only need one contractor, thanks to the ease of network configuration andThe iDirect platform also enables YPFB change management that iDirect’s platformTransporte to prioritize bandwidth according provides.”to each location’s specific applicationrequirements through a feature called Group YPFB Transporte can now extend networkQuality of Service (GQoS). YPFB Transporte can functionality for many applications beyondestablish minimum Committed Information traditional narrowband SCADA dataRate and Quality of Service settings for high- transmission. From larger stations, the companypriority SCADA applications, while allowing not only gathers data on pressure, temperaturespare capacity to be utilized for applications and flow, but also uses the network for voice,such as Voice over IP and corporate data Internet and corporate intranet access for on-network access. site personnel.Productivity gains For those issues that still require on-site support, technicians can use the network toSince initiating the new iDirect-based satellite instantly transmit work orders and maintenancenetwork in early 2008, YPFB Transporte has reports back to the control center. Additionally,experienced an average bandwidth efficiency control center personnel have the ability toimprovement of more than 35% for larger hold on-site conference calls with technicianscompression station sites. The company has and receive live video for diagnostic andalso increased its ability to control pipeline security purposes.operations remotely and has been ableto reduce on-site personnel visits by 50%,lessening the risk of accidents and improvingtechnician productivity.
Greater Control and VisibilityNew levels of automationWith the iDirect platform enabling increasedremote access to YPFB Transporte’s pipelinesites, the company’s engineering department iscurrently equipping sites with new technologyto further enhance automation. These includeremote operated valves and leak detectionsystems.YPFB Transporte’s engineers now includethe iDirect platform as part of their scope fordeveloping new projects. They have seen the value YPFB Transporte now benefits from real-time remoteof transmitting critical data over the network as access to pipeline pump stationswell as running advanced applications to improveproductivity.“Implementing the iDirect network took us half A Strategic Movethe time that we planned,” added Antezana. YPFB Transporte redesigned its SCADA network“Not only is it easy to implement, but the flexible with the iDirect platform:software features of the iDirect platform enable us ♦♦ Upgraded SCPC and microwave links toto meet a variety of different client requirements.” TDMA-based VSAT for 75% of remote sitesToday, YPFB Transporte benefits from improved ♦♦ Extended onsite applications from basiccontrol and functionality at all of its remote sites, SCADA data transmission to include voice,with less labor and expense. With the iDirect Internet, video and intranet accessplatform providing real-time remote access to its ♦♦ Leveraged network to support newexpansive SCADA infrastructure, YPFB Transporte technology such as remote operated valvesis able to monitor and control pipeline operations and leak detection systemsacross all locations no matter how far they extend. iDirect 13865 Sunrise Valley Drive Herndon, VA 20171 +1 703.648.8000 +1 866.345.0983 www.idirect.net Advancing a Connected World