Complex SCADA Migration on a Huge Scale

7 min video  /  3 minute read

Project Scope

  • More than 525,000 tags
  • 41 screens (36 windows, 5 pop-ups)
  • Approx. 50 alarms per day
  • Approx. 7.5 million historical records per day
  • More than 60 clients
  • More than 1,600 devices
  • Ignition Standard Architecture (Distributed Gateway soon)
  • Microsoft SQL Server database, with many databases and tables

Project Overview

This project was done for Pioneer Natural Resources with CSE ICON. It involved the migration of a legacy SCADA system to the Pioneer Enterprise Ignition SCADA System, and integrating the asset with Pioneer Corporate Applications.



The legacy SCADA platform was outdated and developed in a proprietary implementation that required assistance from an external developer to add, edit, or delete any tags, screens, or reports from the system. The legacy system was difficult to integrate into Pioneer Enterprise applications and impossible to manage remotely from corporate headquarters. The system and functionality were unique to the South Texas asset and not standard across the enterprise. Some of the challenges with this project were extracting data from a legacy system that purposely obscured configuration data and sharing serial radio communications with the legacy system during system validation.



The Ignition solution included:

  • The conversion of the legacy SCADA system to Ignition, along with the seamless integration with the existing Pioneer Ignition System to continue Pioneer’s goal of integrating all asset SCADA systems into a single Ignition Enterprise SCADA Platform.
  • Tags converted to equipment-level Ignition UDTs, which focus on the standardization of tag names and logical grouping of data regardless of how data is collected. With this structure, data may come from different types of devices, multiple devices, or no device at all, but the usage of these tags functions the same.
  • A Metadata database schema to drive windows, templates, scripts, and reports. Pioneer collected and centralized data from multiple sources to use in windows and reports to filter, group, and roll up data.
  • Windows and pop-ups were converted to Ignition Windows and Templates, leveraging the database-driven design while maintaining legacy functionality, but matching the look, feel, and functionality of the existing Ignition development.
  • Tools were developed within the Ignition client to administer the database and tags in parallel to ensure consistency and assist in adding and managing equipment in the system. These tools also allow administration of alarm configuration.



The new Ignition system led to several benefits:

  • The South Texas asset was successfully integrated to Pioneer’s Enterprise SCADA system, allowing Pioneer to interface other corporate applications, to leverage external data, and to share SCADA data.
  • The legacy SCADA system and polling engine were decommissioned.
  • Better access to SCADA tools and data enabled new features and enhancements to begin development and integration immediately.
  • CSE ICON worked closely with Pioneer, allowing the two companies to develop a system that integrated well with the rest of the company using a design that both companies could work with.
  • A successful implementation of this size with this complexity helped both Pioneer Corporate SCADA and CSE ICON by building confidence in both groups’ abilities and the ability of the Ignition platform.
  • Ignition allowed Pioneer to expose and train the new system to more than 100 new SCADA users.


Future plans include new functionality and features within Ignition, such as plunger lift optimization, advanced alarming, and cathodic protection. Plans also include adding support to the administration tools to simplify the management of Kepware Channels, Devices, EFM Meters, and Schedules from an Ignition client using the Kepware Rest Configuration API.

Project Information

Created By:   Pioneer Natural Resources & CSE ICON

CSE ICON is an operations technology solutions company providing services to upstream and midstream oil & gas companies. CSE is focused on assisting clients with managing their critical infrastructure to maximize awareness of operations, maximize the efficiency of engineers and analysts, and to simplify the mechanics of data acquisition and data integration into the business.


Project For:   Pioneer Natural Resources

Pioneer Natural Resources is a large, Texas-based independent exploration and production company that is focused on helping to meet the world’s energy needs. Pioneer delivers industry-leading production and reserve growth through onshore, unconventional, oil and gas resource development in the United States, while providing opportunities for growth and enrichment for its business partners, employees, and the communities in which it operates.

Posted on September 1, 2017