The UKOP system is an oil products pipeline system owned by a consortium of UK oil companies, it is one of the most highly used, complex and fully automated multi-product installations of its kind – and a key UK strategic supply asset. Since its opening in 1969, BPA has been responsible for management and development of the system. UKOP comprises of three integrated pipeline systems totalling 650km and transports around 5 million tonnes of mixed products each year from a refinery on the River Mersey and an Oil Storage Terminal on the Thames Estuary to inland distribution terminals. The pipeline systems are currently controlled by two SCADA systems that BPA have maintained and upgraded since the late 1980s. Product movements are managed through automated scheduling system, a separate stock accounting system keeps track of and records product volumes, up/downgrading, etc.
Although reliable and secure for the time being, the hardware required to run the current SCADA system and its OpenVMS operating system has become obsolete. It was recommended to replace the SCADA systems, end-of-life equipment and pipeline applications in their entirety. New systems use current, proven, “off-the shelf” technology with a robust roadmap for future-proofing and building longevity into the systems by allowing future upgrades to follow the same path rather than replacing the whole system.