TotalEnergies Upgrades to Allied Telesis OT Network Increasing Safety, Performance and Cybersecurity

TotalEnergies colored logoLondon, UK – 20 March, 2024 - TotalEnergies, a global multi-energy company, has upgraded the OT network on its North Sea oil and gas platforms with next-generation infrastructure from Allied Telesis, a global leader in connectivity solutions and intelligent networking tools, working with its channel partner, Process Safety Solutions (PSS), a control and safety systems specialist.

The new network comprises multiple dual redundant networks, interconnected among three oil and gas platforms. They serve over 400 nodes and the platforms’ Distributed Control System, Emergency Shutdown Safety Instrumented System, Fire and Gas Safety Instrumented System, Electrical Control System, Multi Phase Pump Control System, and Alarm Management System. The upgrade project included more than 200 items of Allied Telesis hardware installed in 18 equipment rooms across three platforms located approximately 500 kilometres north of Aberdeen off the Scottish coast. With the legacy network experiencing component failures and concerns over availability of spares as well as concerns over support for the aging infrastructure, Allied Telesis has provided TotalEnergies with a reliable, supportable, and secure network for the remaining asset life.

The upgrade was completed on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption. “The customer is extremely happy,” says Myles Gowen, Systems Manager at PSS. “We did a post-project review with them, and they were just full of praise.”

Chris Dyke, Sales Director UK & Ireland at Allied Telesis explains that “The TotalEnergies upgrade was a complex project, secured following a competitive evaluation thanks to the technical strength and cost-effectiveness of our Allied Telesis solution along with the quality of our pre-sales engineering support team”.

Two-week window
Because PSS had produced a detailed Obsolescence Study of the entire legacy Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) OT network and outlined requirements for a new network, Allied Telesis knew that the upgrade would need to operate with many legacy systems while offering the advantages of current technologies in terms of ease of configuration and strong security. The upgraded network would touch most parts of the platforms with multiple head end systems and 18 remote cabinets. Therefore, enterprise grade equipment with high levels of fault tolerance and resilience was a requirement along with backward compatibility, so that as new networking components went in, they could interoperate with legacy pieces that had not been replaced yet.

“A complicating factor for this upgrade is that we couldn’t turn all the old equipment off at once to install the new network in a ‘rip and fit’ upgrade, as this would black out the rigs, which was not an option,” says Gowen. “We had to work in stages, one piece at a time, one switch, one bit of equipment at a time and incorporate backward compatibility in the design so that the new kit could speak to the old kit, and the old to the new. This meant supporting some unusual protocols.”

Cybersecurity baked-in
The new network vastly improves cybersecurity for the oil platforms. The Allied Telesis equipment allows for system hardening in-line with IEC 62443, providing enhanced security including VLAN segregation, port blocking, and dedicated management ports. There is physical access control as well. Media converters and racks are utilised to extend the Emergency Shutdown Safety Instrumented System and Fire and Gas Safety Instrumented System peer to peer communication networks between the various offshore modules.

Positive partnership
PSS is delighted with its experience of working with Allied Telesis. “Their team was great to work with,” says Andrew Thompson, Technical Director at PSS. “When the project went live, they were very good at responding when we needed them, and we will certainly work with them again.”

Full case study available here.

Process Safety Soloutions (PSS) logoAbout Process Safety Solutions
Headquartered in Aberdeen, PSS are a dedicated team of highly experienced and professional engineers form the local centre of excellence for system development, support and maintenance for our product partners technologies. Being product independent allows us to offer the best fit solution to our customers problems. Through, continual improvement, our bespoke management systems and a focus on the development of the next generation of systems engineers, PSS delivers the highest standard of systems engineering.