Control Room HMI Monitors

SCADA: Ensure Alignment with API 1165 for New Operations

Advances in technology have reduced costs associated with the remote management of pipelines. Now, new operators or operators adding facilities can take advantage of this opportunity by introducing or updating SCADA systems.

– The challenge for new operators is understanding what is required for full control room stand-up of SCADA systems.

– The challenge for existing operators adding facilities or growing their pipeline network is embracing a new approach to modern SCADA that focuses on utilizing pipeline SCADA toolkits.

– The challenge for both categories of operators is ensuring alignment with API 1165 (Recommended Practice for Pipeline SCADA Displays) for PHMSA-regulated pipeline assets.

The Importance of Alignment with API 1165

API 1165 focuses on the design and implementation of displays used for the display, monitoring, and control of information in pipeline SCADA.

When API 1165 was published in January 2007, the available technology was much different than in today’s modern pipeline operations.

Now in 2020, this recommended practice is due for an update that will modernize the standard for pipeline SCADA displays to reflect current technology.

New operators or operators that are adding facilities should take steps to prepare for the modernization of API 1165. Some of the expected updates include:

  • Advancing HMI displays to better equip pipeline controllers to perform their work while maintaining situation awareness.
  • Providing more contextualized information that creates a deeper level of understanding of what’s presented on HMI displays.
  • Introducing advanced graphical displays that present a more accurate picture of activity, not just a representation.

While the details of displays are unique to each pipeline operator, the graphics and animation should meet the baseline standard for graphical requirements outlined in API 1165.

The need to achieve alignment with the modernized API 1165 leads into the importance of next steps to prepare your SCADA system.

How to Achieve Alignment with Updated API 1165

Historically, pipeline operators have relied on SCADA managers to select and acquire a SCADA platform, build a SCADA system, and then execute implementation, including the pipeline HMI.

This historical approach may have worked in the past, but advances in technology have made it easier and more cost-efficient for operators to utilize a pipeline SCADA toolkit.

In the case of regulated pipelines, this includes the creation of features and graphics to conform to the regulatory requirements of control room management. Specifically, the implementation of API 1165.

Then, when the update to API 1165 is released, pipeline operators can quickly and efficiently make updates to pipeline SCADA applications to align with specific guidelines in the revised RP.

In this environment, we recommend focusing on these three areas as the most important next steps to prepare for alignment with API 1165:

  • Integration
  • Policies & Procedures
  • SCADA Team Training

1. Integration is Key

Pipeline operators need to make important decisions when setting up the pipeline SCADA system. When embracing a modern approach to pipeline SCADA set-up through toolkits, operators need to focus on integrating the toolkits with other functions in the system.

For example, the HMI Philosophy and Style Guide should be integrated with the pipeline SCADA toolkits. Then, this set of tools in the HMI plan should integrate with the design of the system, user requirements, navigation menus to align with API 1165.

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There is a high level of risk attempting integration without expertise in this area. Therefore, the temptation is to build a team or hire a consultant to ensure complete integration. However, our company is capable of working with your operation to achieve integration quicker, easier, and simpler than the alternative.

We have the toolkit and expertise, and we can show your operation how to use the toolkit to achieve integration in alignment with API 1165.

2. Review Policies & Procedures

In addition to achieving integration, operators should review policies and procedures that outline how to use HMI displays.

– For new operators, this represents an opportunity to introduce modernized policies and procedures that reference new technology and prepare for the anticipated update to API 1165.

– For existing operators, we recommend reviewing policies and procedures, performing gap analysis of where policies and procedures need to be updated to reflect available new technology, and then take steps to prepare for an update that incorporates the forthcoming revised standards.

3. Prepare the SCADA Team

A third recommendation to prepare your operation for the API 1165 update is working with the SCADA team to help them understand their role in supporting the pipeline control room.

Remember that the goal of the API 1165 revision is to update the guidelines for acquiring data, contextualizing the data, and delivering enhanced visual information to the control room. This will support the overall objective of controllers and support personnel more rapidly understanding the operating condition.

The SCADA team may need to receive training or a refresher on the expectations of the control room to receive data when it’s needed and in a contextualized manner to support decision-making.

Pipeline operators should communicate to the SCADA team the specific needs of the control room. These needs typically include:

  • Performing normal operations (start-ups, shutdowns, and alarm response).
  • Understanding the operating condition (normal, abnormal, and emergency).
  • Having access to real-time data (maintain situational awareness, identify abnormal operations, and respond effectively).

Work with EnerSys to Support Alignment with API 1165

EnerSys Corporation offers off-the-shelf pipeline SCADA toolkits that support integration, align with policies and procedures, and support the SCADA team.

Additionally, by utilizing off-the-shelf standardized graphical elements, animations, and pipeline-specific system behaviors, operators can streamline their ability to implement high-performance HMI at the lowest possible cost.

Our company simplifies this process of using tools to support the SCADA requirements for new or expanded pipeline operations. We’ll also help you prepare for the revisions to API 1165.

To schedule an educational call with our team to discuss pipeline SCADA toolkits for your operation, contact us directly on our website, via email at, or by phone at 281-598-7100.