Yokogawa UK has successfully completed a full replacement of the control and safety systems for BP’s Wytch Farm oilfield project in Dorset. Developed by BP, Wytch Farm is Western Europe’s largest onshore oil field, and is located in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the UK. The total estimated recoverable reserves are 480 million barrels, of which over 90% lie in the Sherwood reservoir, making it the sixth largest in the UK.

The oil gathering operation comprises a central gathering station and a number of remote well sites to the west and south of Poole. The site was established in the early 1980s, and this project is part of a development plan that will enable its operational life to be extended.

Well fluids are recovered to the gathering station for processing and separation. Gas is used to fuel on-site generation and is exported via a 45km pipeline to a local NGC site. Oil products are exported via a 90km pipeline to Hamble tank farm and directly from site by road tanker. Recovered water is used for injection at some well sites.

Wytch Farm is located in Dorset, approximately 28km from Poole and 10km from Wareham. The Wytch Farm oilfield comprises three separate oil reservoirs that lie under Poole Harbour and Poole Bay in Dorset.

Yokogawa was selected by BP as the main automation contractor (MAC) for the project, and the Yokogawa project team worked closely with the BP team during the project implementation. As a project within an operating site, the major challenges were the initial definition of the project scope and requirements in a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study, which included a site survey, document verification, changeover planning and interface with existing infrastructure.

This was followed by the implementation of a smooth hot cutover to the new integrated control and safety system during the commissioning phase.

The integrated control and safety system is based on the Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000-Vnet/IP distributed control system, the ProSafe-RS safety system for emergency shutdown and burner management, and STARDOM network-based controllers for use as remote terminal units.

This project replaced the existing Emerson Provox control system, Servelec GEM80-based safety system, Honeywell FSC dual redundant PLC system, Eurotherm process automation controllers, and Transmitton SCADA/RTU, previously used to monitor and control the gathering and processing operations.

During the FEED phase, the Yokogawa FEED team was resident at the Wytch Farm site for site survey work, liaising with the BP engineers and collecting the engineering data necessary to complete the FEED before commencement of the detailed design. A one-team approach by BP and Yokogawa was achieved by managing the business relationship in an open, performance-focused and collaborative manner, with a shared desire to deliver superior long-term value. In addition, a number of lessons were learned during the various phases of the project, which were made available to the wider BP community via the global agreement between BP and Yokogawa.

Ian Bennett, project manager of automation excellence at BP Wytch Farm, says: “Yokogawa worked collaboratively with the on-site BP team through the many challenges of the FEED phase and subsequent design, build and test phases, delivering the system on time. Lessons have been learned – especially those associated with the preparation of the loop diagrams and subsequent commissioning phase – which will benefit the management and planning of future retrofit projects.”

“We commend Yokogawa for the open and honest way they have accepted responsibility in taking the lessons process forward,” he added.

BP confirms its satisfaction in the way Yokogawa has completed the Wytch Farm distributed control system (DCS) and safety instrumented system (SIS) upgrade project.

Key project performance achievements include 100% health, safety, security, and environment performance; no plant shutdown as a result of the project; on-time delivery; a smooth and safe changeover to the new system; a ‘one-team’ approach with the client project team; and a high level of customer satisfaction.