The National Control and Operation Center (CNCO) of Petrobras Transporte S.A. — TRANSPETRO — is responsible for the remote and uninterrupted operation (24 hours a day and 7 days a week) of approximately 7,100 km of gas pipelines, including 11 compression stations and around 135 city-gates. Its Control Room, located in the Head Office of the company in Rio de Janeiro, is composed of a structure of five consoles, monitored by a team formed by four operators and one supervisor.
The purpose of this work is to present and discuss the implantation of a systemic tool that enables the decision-making of the CNCO operators in scenarios of high psychological pressure, so as to incorporate the values of the organization relative to the environment, safety, the assets of the company and society in general.
The first step was the development of the tool, a process achieved based on an algorithm that quantifies the degree of severity of a gas leak from a set of scores and weightings attributed to ten items in a standard questionnaire. This involves factors relative to: the source of information; the time of arrival of the local emergency group or third parties; location, intensity and categorization of the leak; impacts on the community, the environment and the gas transport customer, and the internal classification of critical facilities, among others.
The application of the algorithm questionnaire results in the Evaluation Index of Occurrence (EIO), whose maximum value, which reflects the worst scenario, is 1000. For values of EIO below 600, the emergency is considered to be under control. During the event, the algorithm should be calculated every 15 minutes, so that the rate of variation in the EIO is also monitored and utilized in a decision-making flowchart. Ultimately, based on a questionnaire and flowchart structure, the algorithm aims at rendering information in numbers and actions.
The second stage of the work is the training of the operators, where the program is composed of a theoretical part and a practical part. The theoretical part is based on services contracted from a consultancy with recognized expertise in the Brazilian market. The practical part is carried out in a simulation environment involving our own simulator software and emergency scenarios developed by CNCO together with the consultancy. The software reproduces in different degrees of difficulty, all the conditions of a real leak and the psychological pressure involved. This process will be evaluated by a qualified instructor who will assess the progress of the operator.
Finally, the work also shows how the tool is being incorporated into the operational processes of CNCO, aiming at taking action that is standardized, safe, fast and effective in the mitigation of leakage events.