Share On:

How SCADA Systems Benefit Oil & Gas Organizations

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems enable industries to monitor and control equipment to improve operating efficiency.  Traditionally, SCADA systems are deployed on-premise at a plant control room or field office. Recently, cloud-hosted solutions are becoming popular. Cloud-hosted SCADA is accessible from any internet connected device, has low maintenance cost, and provides great flexibility.   

SCADA systems can be further divided into general-purpose and industry specific. Oil and gas operators utilizing SCADA have unique challenges not common to other industries.  Notable among these are communications across long distances, geographically remote locations and dealing with a myriad of device types produced by different manufacturers.  General-purpose SCADA solutions can be difficult to adapt, while oilfield-specific SCADA systems can offer easy integration.

The Meaning of SCADA for Oil & Gas

Oil and gas industry operations are complex and mistakes are expensive, so it is crucial that organizations operating in this sphere make smart and efficient decisions. SCADA systems are utilized by operators to perform three critical functions:

  1. Monitor physical conditions at oilfield sites and provide real-time data on devices like wellhead pressures, tank levels, and flow rate.
  2. Control processes like changing operating setpoints, adjusting valve controls, or even performing electronic shutdowns remotely.
  3. Report performance metrics, historical trends, and critical alarms.

Oilfield operations are typically spread over wide areas, sometimes across entire counties or states.  The required communications can involve a mix of wired connections, radio networks, cellular, and satellite.  The equipment being monitored can be highly varied, made by multiple manufacturers with differing communication protocols.  Older, legacy devices are frequently encountered, requiring a “deep bench” of experience for integration into the SCADA hosting system.  Adapting general-purpose solutions adds another lay of complexity for operators.  However, oilfield-specific SCADA solutions provide easier implementation.

Why SCADA Systems Are Implemented In The Oil & Gas Sector

SCADA is invaluable to both upstream and midstream.  Field personnel save countless hours of dangerous driving when the data they need is available with the click of a mouse.  Engineers have accurate, more frequent data, providing essential tools for increasing production and lowering costs. Decision making for managers is also improved, with a common “source of truth” for all employees. 

SCADA for Upstream

SCADA provides the upstream, or exploration & production sector, with the ability to improve production by alerting personnel to critical issues.  A cell phone alert when a pumpjack goes offline can result in a well being put back online hours or even days sooner.  Remote control of a pump-off controller or plunger controller give engineers the ability to fine tune the equipment to increase production.  Tank monitoring enables timely scheduling of truck hauls and aid in the prevention of costly spills.  

SCADA for Midstream

The midstream sector is the connection between the upstream sites and the refineries downstream. Pipeline pressures are monitored to detect and address anomalies in the pipeline. SCADA allows real time balancing of the inlets and outlets on a midstream system. With SCADA, problems are identified and resolved quickly.  Pipeline systems without SCADA can have balancing issues that persist for weeks before they are noticed by month end accounting.   

The Best SCADA Solution for Oil & Gas


zdSCADA® is the proven leader for oilfield SCADA hosting.  Designed specifically for the oil and gas industry, zdSCADA® offers a 100% web-hosted solution with a modern, intuitive interface that is painless to implement and accessible from any internet-connected device.  The features that come with the zdSCADA® system will empower you to experience a safer and more efficient way to operate. 

Automated Oilfield Reporting and Notifications

With a simple, clean interface zdSCADA® makes monitoring physical conditions and providing real-time data a seamless process that is efficient and easily manageable. Major features include:


Custom Dashboard – Build your own dashboard to view the data that is most important to you or choose from a selection of prebuilt dashboards.


At-a-Glance Summary – For a quick comparison you can easily group devices in multiple ways to get at-a-glance summaries.


Alarm Notifications – Featuring real-time monitoring and reaction to setpoints, you will be immediately notified to any changes with an advanced notification system featuring tiered escalation.

Maps Integration – Not only can you analyze your data spatially using maps, you can also upload your .kmz layers to overlay background features.

Oilfield Monitoring & Control 


zdSCADA makes work more efficient and keeps workers out of dangerous situations by providing seamless remote control for many processes. Features include:


Valve Control – Keep your team safe with remote valve operation capabilities and a built-in support for Electronic Shutdown (ESD) systems.


Setpoints – Easily and quickly change operating setpoints in field equipment without needing an onsite visit.


Configuration Changes – Make configuration changes process more efficient with features such as sending configuration changes in bulk, automatic gas analyses uploads, and automatic time synchronization.

Oilfield SCADA Reports


Being able to report accurately and efficiently on performance metrics is crucial for the oil & gas industry. zdSCADA reviews, analyzes, and exports your data so you can stay on top of any changes that may occur, keep a detailed history, and be alerted when critical situations arise. With zdSCADA reporting is made easier with features such as:


Report Builder – Build reports that are relevant to a specific audience and have them scheduled to be automatically sent to specified recipients.


Graphing – Easily analyze trends and scan for abnormalities with custom graphs that allow you to combine data from multiple devices.


System Balancing – Manage production meters and pipeline balancing with set inlet/outlet attributes.


Data Exchange – Make organizing and sharing data efficient with the ability to integrate data with other systems and multiple exporting/importing formats.