Smart solutions for pipeline infrastructure

Global Automation and Energy Management company, Schneider Electric, has called for a widespread adoption of smart technology for resilient pipeline infrastructure to guarantee energy security for Nigeria 

Scnider electric pipelinesWidespread adoption of smart technology can ensure energy security. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Speaking at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS), Damiete Thomas, process automation specialist at Schneider Electric, said, “There is an imperative need to incorporate proven and reliable smart solutions on our critical pipeline infrastructure transporting hydrocarbons and petroleum products … These technologies should be evaluated and made the basis upon which pipelines are conceptualised, designed, constructed, and managed to prevent frequent intrusion, leading to operational failures as we are currently experiencing. Artificial Intelligent technologies will enable accurate real-time monitoring of the pipeline infrastructure, predict scenarios, forecast challenges, and prevent a digital breach cybercrime. 

“Schneider Electric is at the centre of implementing artificial intelligence-enabled cybersecurity solutions for accurate, real-time, and secure monitoring that predict scenarios and forecast challenges on the pipeline infrastructures for effective and efficient operational gains. Either deployed independently or as a combined solution, the AVEVA and Prisma Photonics solutions are designed to effectively monitor these infrastructures, with its integrated cybersecurity features that will ensure greater efficiency and reliable security solutions.” 

As part of their commitment to energy security and sustainability, Schneider Electric focuses on early engagement in discussions on pipeline security technologies in the conceptualisation of pipeline projects. Damiete mentioned involving key stakeholders like NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) Limited, upstream operators, regulatory authorities, and pipeline companies like WAPCo (West African Gas Pipeline Company), Umugini Pipeline Infrastructure (UPI) and Oilserv Limited, among others, in the design and construction phases, laying a proper foundation for a Unified Pipeline Operation Centre. 

Further highlighting the significance of AI in predicting potential threats, Damiete said, “The growing concern of digital breaches and cybercrimes poses an even more dangerous threat than the physical incursion we see on our pipelines.” He opined that the next phase of attacks on the pipeline infrastructure can be cyber-oriented. “That is why Schneider Electric is engaging stakeholders to implement advanced cyber-secure solutions alongside the sensing and monitoring solutions on the pipeline.” 

Damiete also pointed to successful implementations outside Nigeria, citing the example of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi. In response to these developments, country president, Schneider Electric, Ajibola Akindele said, “The integration of advanced monitoring and cybersecurity solutions in pipeline infrastructure is crucial for our nation’s sustainable energy future. Schneider Electric’s commitment to securing our pipelines ensures not only operational efficiency but also the protection of our economic strength.” 


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