What the oil and gas industry needs from SCADA

Supervisory control systems aggregate data at key points in the supply chain. A list of industry suppliers is included.

By CFE Media February 11, 2017

The last two issues of Oil & Gas Engineering included feature stories on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in the oil and gas industry. That coverage culminates in this issue and with this listing of SCADA suppliers to the industry.

SCADA implies a highly configurable set of industrial software applications that can be used to support management of almost any form of process production. SCADA is widely applied in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas sectors. In the upstream sector, its role often is stereotyped as being largely in support of remote data transmission. There are reasons to believe this will change. One reason to believe so is the wide and varied use of SCADA in other industrial sectors. In addition, owners and operators are recognizing how IT-based automation can productively address even the unique challenges of the upstream oil and gas sector.

"SCADA’s ability to collect data at remote oil and gas sites reduces personnel visits and leads to route and dispatch optimization. But the profile of SCADA is changing in oil and gas. Today, as it is already seen in other process industries, SCADA is a platform technology used to control and supervise many types of industrial processes but also to optimize complex coordination of operations among multiple business partners," said Darren Schultz, director, SCADA, oil, gas, and chemical, ABB, Inc.

SCADA’s continuing role

Advances in the scope and scale of oil and gas SCADA implementations are seen in upstream environments, including fast-paced shale fields. These SCADA instances face industrial processes while also intersecting with business operations. In other words, besides being a medium for process control, SCADA supports the vital operations-coordination role. It does so by being a source of collected data.

"The investment climate in the oil and gas industry the last two years has been challenging. But a focus on integration and automation continues to be relevant," said Doug Rauenzahn, global product line director at Weatherford International. "A pause in rapid expansion has given engineers a chance to plan. In low-price markets, productivity gain from automation has greater impact on the bottom line."

Automation and service companies and small entrepreneurial suppliers are betting that SCADA will be a powerful platform solution for streamlined operations at many different points in the oil and gas supply chain. Better control and coordination of complex site operations means lower costs to produce oil or gas.

SCADA technology has been under constant development for about the last 30 years. During this time, the SCADA concept footprint grew from a boxed application for engineers fiddling with a PC, to become-when used in conjunction with programmable logic controllers (PLCs), devices and device drivers-a paradigm for distributed industrial control.

Cautious innovation

"While new automation technologies can enable quantum gains in upstream productivity, the industry has been conservative in their deployments, preferring what it considers time-tested production methods and technologies," said Michael Day, oil and gas market development manager at Siemens Industry Inc, in a posted industry whitepaper entitled "Drill Bit to Boardroom."

Oil and gas exploration and production companies must increase productivity via integrated operations. Going forward, rigorous management of new projects and day-to-day operations are likely to be critical components … development of infrastructure needed for a field or region will be streamlined and less bespoke. Lower returns in all sectors of the market will place a premium on integration, scale achieved by technology.

"SCADA effects a significant transformation in when, where, how and by whom work gets done," said DeVries, architecture solutions, Schneider Electric. "When workers are at a premium or are highly valued specialists, a SCADA solution is part of any reorganization meant to make them more productive."

SCADA Industry Suppliers



ABB oil and gas solutions include midstream offerings, rotating machinery, electrical systems and plant electrification. Purposely built for oil and gas, platform applications range from production and gathering to transmission and distribution.

Baker Hughes

InForce surface control system

Combines the hydraulic power to activate downhole tools and the control logic to govern an intelligent well system. Fully automated, PLC controls system functions for more complex completion configurations. Used where remote operations must be done through existing SCADA.

Bentek Systems

SCADAlink Systems

Includes enterprise software for documenting measurement schematics for upstream exploration and production. Specialized systems engineered to integrate into operations, including controllers, communications, remote power, and wireless.

Emerson Process Management

OpenEnterprise SCADA

Smart Process oil and gas application suite; gas applications include well optimizer manager and automated choke control; oil apps include injection controller and gas lift for oil; others include surface control, tank, and pipeline manager. Includes integrated historian with backfill, reporting and trending, and alarm and event management.


Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Automation Suite

For data connectivity, aggregation and visualization, software suite bridges sites and facilities to corporate business systems. To manage and control operations while meeting regulatory requirements. Production and transportation companies, equipment suppliers, and others can monitor and control from a single location.

Inductive Automation


An industrial application platform with fully integrated development tools for building SCADA and IIoT solutions. Scalable software can be employed in different architectures because it is modular; provides the benefits of server-based SCADA with web-launched clients.

Outlaw Automation


Application solutions include oil well, production pipeline leak detection, man-down and safety systems, well testing, tank monitoring, asset data management and maintenance management. Per site applications manage and maintain single well sites. Multiple sites managed from a centralized system, or from any web-enabled workstation.


Cloud oilfield monitoring platform

Oilfield monitoring, surveillance, methane detection, remote gate access control, SCADA as a service that supplies field devices, data telemetry and cloud-based automation under a subscription model. Fully integrates with existing SCADA systems and PLCs such that users need nothing more than a browser to control their automation system and oil devices.

Quorom Business Solutions

Quorom SCADA

Field operations suite includes water management field-data capture, production management, PGAS measurement and allocations; software platform includes solutions for upstream, midstream, and pipeline. Optimize oil and gas production with integrated data; manage production with role-based dashboards and gain insight with comprehensive reports.

Rockwell Automation

FactoryTalk production and performance suite

For offshore drilling and production platforms, subsea systems and FPSOs; onshore drilling, oil production, artificial lift, gas production and water treatment, pipeline and transportation. Remote operations solution monitor assets such as well heads, pipelines, ESPs, PCPs, rod pumps, well test equipment, and other systems.

Schneider Electric


Gas suite: gas day operations, real-time gas, gas measurement and analysis; liquids suite: liquids management systems; and pipeline energy management suite. Integrated platform within its own architecture, enabling operations form the field to the enterprise. Additional software for Smart O&G field, enterprise pipeline management, and LNG and natural gas.



Flexibly integrates remote terminal units into a central process visualization system via a WAN and supports the most important tele-control protocols. Just as multi-wellpads lead to economies of scale, automation helps gather, consolidate and analyze real-time data, combining electrification, automation, and digitization.


SkkyHub service, Data Hub

Data Hub OPC Tunneller is an easy and reliable way to securely communicate among networked computers. Middleware tools and C library tool kit combines with SkkyHub services for real-time data connectivity. Service makes it easy to connect to and network with industrial systems and data sources to visualize real-time data.

Technical Toolboxes

Petroleum, Pipeline & Process Toolbox

Petroleum, pipeline, and process tool kit embodies expertise in critical disciplines, including multi-phase flow hydraulics, flow assurance, artificial lift, internal corrosion, pipeline leak detection, and ac/dc migration. Partnered with SCADA vendor that offers subscription-based field monitoring services to independent oil and gas operating companies in Alberta and British Columbia.


CygNet Enterprise Operations Platform

Gas transmission SCADA, gas production SCADA, gas applications suite, gas measurement suite, and liquid transmissions suite. Integrates with field office software suite to help regulate production operations for any well type. Software modeling and planning engineering apps combine real-time and mathematical simulation models.

Wonderware Software by Schneider Electric

InTouch, System Platform

InTouch empowers operations to optimize their routine human interactions with industrial automation systems. System Platform is an integrated, unifying platform integral to business processes and systems. Maximizing hydrocarbon screens while minimizing capital costs requires three types of model-based tools: design, real-time optimization and training.


One i3

Reports on run hours, battery health, location, engine data, and fault coders are key to remote monitoring. Add sensors or integrate with the engine controller to monitor pumps, hydraulics, belts, leaks, pressures, temperatures, and more. Oilfield wellhead monitoring solution with telematics integrates real-time communications between well sites and business systems.

Original content can be found at Oil and Gas Engineering.

Author Bio: Since its founding in 2010, CFE Media and Technology has provided engineers in manufacturing, commercial and industrial buildings, and manufacturing control systems with the knowledge they need to improve their operational efficiency. CFE delivers the right information at the right time around the world through a variety of platforms.