The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) has contracted the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) to equip two hydrocarbon product distribution terminals with the “Sisog TMS” terminal management system. It is the first time that this solution, which has been specially developed for liquid-fuel tank farms and distribution terminals, comprises a simulation system which enables optimum training of the plant personnel as well as simulation of unusual operating scenarios and fault situations, thus preparing operators for handling such situations correctly and appropriately. System changes and upgrades can also be tested in advance using the virtual plant simulator. With the two new installations, the number of Saudi Aramco's terminals equipped with Siemens Terminal Management Systems will increase to 19.
The state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), with headquarters in Dharan, is the world's leading oil producer and the largest exporter of crude oil and natural gas liquids. The company also has the world's largest oil reserves, i.e. about 259 billion barrels. Saudi Aramco controls the complete fossil fuels production chain – from exploration and production to refining and shipping the raw materials worldwide.
Since 1999, Siemens has equipped 17 Saudi Aramco distribution terminals and tank farms with Terminal Management Systems. At the present time, the Sisog TMS terminal management solution is being implemented for the Qatif diesel tank farm and the Madinah terminal. In addition, Saudi Aramco is being supplied with a virtual plant simulator for technical support purposes. The simulator can rapidly load the TMS of any plant and includes simulation of field-device and interface behavior. As a result, even plant-specific functions can easily be simulated, and the operating personnel can be trained efficiently.
Sisog TMS enables the comprehensive management of liquid fuels in the tank farms and terminals of refineries and airports. The all-round management and automation solution from Siemens controls and monitors all incoming and outgoing flows of materials to and from pipelines, ships, railways and road tankers. Sisog TMS also includes all the automation and safety systems needed for this, such as emergency shutdown, fire and gas alarm functions.
With the help of an automated road-tanker and driver idenfication procedure, traffic at the terminals can be handled safely and efficiently. In the tank farm, Sisog TMS is responsible for management, administration and balancing of stocks as well as tank-to-tank transfers and batch management of all pipeline transports. All transactions are booked automatically so that the associated information is available in real time. This makes it possible for the system to determine the currently available quantities and grades in the tank farm at any particular time. Sisog TMS can be implemented as a standalone solution for a single location or can be integrated in a company-wide ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system such as SAP. The latter variation is especially suitable for companies such as Saudi Aramco, which require up-to-date information on stocks and on incoming and outgoing quantities in a large number of tank farms at all times. At Saudi Aramco, a comprehensive network encompassing the various locations has been created for this purpose. Today, Saudi Aramco therefore has a continuous overview of all the processes at all the connected locations. Moreover, it is possible to link Sisog TMS to the Siemens XHQ real-time information portal which is presently being installed throughout Saudi Aramco in order to enable a link up between production data and business data.
With Sisog TMS, Saudi Aramco can optimize their deployment of personnel and resources, while increasing productivity and improving process quality at the same time. The system's modular design enables problem-free integration of new parts of installations and additional distribution terminals or tank farms. The new simulator not only enables realistic training of the operating personnel but also provides another important advantage: the possibility of verifying system changes and upgrades in advance to reduce the risk of plant shutdowns.