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Failsafe control system for oil pipeline

Replacement of control system of oil pipeline. Improvement of the stability of the communication system between the various sub-stations.

Our client is the fifth largest group, active in the extraction, refining and distribution of oil and gas products in the world. The group has a production capacity of 2,34 million barrels per day and has 16.425 filling stations worldwide.

The pipeline was controlled by Siemens Step5 PLCs; the availability of spare parts was however a critical factor. The communication between the substations through leased lines was expensive and not reliable. There was a crucial need for a changeover to a "state of the art" control system.
The pipeline is supervised and operated from one of the end points. Each communication problem results in a stoppage of the pipeline. The system must be capable of flexible extension, in order to evolve with the changing safety and environment standards.

A safety PLC of Siemens was selected to meet the need for safe and stable operations. All functions covered under the relevant safety standards were handled with failsafe I/O to SIL3 level (emergency stop pushbuttons, failsafe interlock of pumps). Other functions such as monitoring the mains voltage, UPS, etc. were handled with standard I/O. Both functions (failsafe and standard) will be implemented by the "Safety Integrated" concept of Siemens, with one and the same system.
The communication between the various sub-stations takes place via Industrial Ethernet, using the Belgacom Bilan SDSL network. Each substation also has another ISDN backup communication line.


  • De Roeve has been working for this customer since 1999, and the mutual relationship is a textbook example of a "sustainable partnership".
  • De Roeve has the capacity to execute the entire project with its own personnel, from analysis to implementation. 
  • De Roeve can offer 24 hours maintenance service.



  • PLC: 6 x Siemens STEP7 CPU 317-F
  • HMI: GE iFix SCADA
    (Master/Backup server with 4 clients)
  • I/O: 800