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How Hexagon Supported PDO's Journey to Improve Alarm Management and Cybersecurity

Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), a leading oil and gas exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman, faced challenges with its alarm management.    

During the release of the ISA/IEC standard in alarm management in 2009, official reports on several industrial incidents noted the lack of alarm management contributing to the incidents. The industry was gaining a greater appreciation of the necessity of alarm management solutions. With this emerging awareness and its alarm situation, PDO began its alarm management journey.  

Overcoming Challenges  

In the early 2010s, each console operator within PDO was inundated with alarm events (up to 4,000 alarms per hour). This is far too high for anyone to manage or respond to effectively. Therefore, PDO started to search for a solution provider who could provide the technology it needed and expertise and experience in implementing the best practices with the PDO team.   

Achieving Better Results Together  

The Hexagon team worked with PDO to help them host alarm rationalization workshops. Under the supervision of Hexagon, PDO was able to successfully implement alarm management best practices and decide which alarms should go to the operators and which should go to the operations journals. Hexagon also helped PDO establish targets for alarms per facility and shift. In 1998, all PDO group facilities achieved the targets set for alarms per facility and shift.  

Ten years later, PDO searched for a partner to help with operational cybersecurity and execute a complete asset inventory by 2021. In 2019, PDO signed a five-year partnership agreement with Hexagon to help PDO create a realistic project schedule and roadmap for what was needed for a total Operational Technology (OT) cybersecurity module to be implemented.   

The Hexagon team worked collaboratively and seamlessly with the PDO team to proactively identify and resolve issues. This collaborative approach increased the efficiency of the deployment activities and delivered the software ahead of an already aggressive timeline.  

Moving Forward  

The next phase of the five-year contract will be implementing the PAS ControlWizard™ and PAS IPL Assurance™ modules. PDO’s process optimization team will use ControlWizard™ to review and analyze the performance of control loops plantwide.   

The control discipline team will use IPL Assurance to manage Safety Integrity Functions (SIF) and Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) to ensure that these mission-critical safety systems are designed and functioning correctly. These technologies and associated processes will help continue success and improvement in PDO’s quest for operational excellence.   

You can read the complete case study here to learn more about what PDO achieved with Hexagon solutions. 


About the Author

Prerna Kaul is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Hexagon EMIA region. She has 7+ years of experience in writing content for diverse industry verticals. Prerna loves researching, strategizing, and writing engaging content with a knack of storytelling. When not working, you will find her cooking delicious meals and tapping feet on her favorite music.

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