Australian oil and gas leader Santos uses process automation technology from Emerson Process Management, a global business of Emerson, to coordinate and enhance operations across its US$18.5bn Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas project in Queensland, Australia.

Emerson served as Main Automation Contractor for the project, providing technologies and expertise to help Santos gather and integrate real-time information from thousands of wells.

The pioneering project will convert coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to global markets. Gas from the Bowen and Surat Basins in eastern Queensland will be transported by a 420km underground pipeline to an LNG plant on Curtis Island, near Gladstone on the coast. Santos’ operations centre at Brisbane, approximately 500km south of Gladstone, integrates data from the gas fields, pipelines and plant for 24/7 real-time monitoring and collaboration with teams in the field. 

“We have developed a world-class remote operation centre,” said Santos general manager of operations Rob Simpson. “The centre has changed the way our gas fields in the Bowen and Surat Basins are operated. Emerson’s team brought the process automation expertise we needed to meet global standards, and their solutions have equipped us with the ability to centrally monitor the production and progress of our intelligent assets up to 1,000km apart.”

Santos and Emerson collaborated to plan and equip the Brisbane remote operations centre where management, engineers and planners can use real-time information from the intelligent fields to anticipate issues, collaborate, improve decisions, and take actions to maximise key performance indicators.  

Emerson technologies for the Gladstone LNG project include the DeltaV™ digital automation system using Electronic Marshalling with CHARMs technology, as well as Rosemount® measurement and analytical instruments, Fisher® valves, Bettis™ actuators, Roxar™ multiphase meters, ROC remote operations controllers, and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software.

“We are excited about our work with Santos on this world-class remote operations centre,” said Sabee Mitra, president of Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific. “It showcases the integration of control and asset information that helps make GLNG a reliable, safe and efficient operation.”

The GLNG project is on track to make its first LNG shipments in 2015. Initial capacity is planned to be three to four million tonnes annually.