Strategic Integration in Oilfield Operations
SPOC Automation Blog

Strategic Integration in Oilfield Operations

Posted on July 25, 2016 by SPOC Automation

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It is a rare opportunity in the oilfield to be able to spec everything for a well site from scratch. Instead, there are almost always constraints on power, equipment availability, pre-approved vendors and of course cost.

This does not mean, however, that all decisions must be tactical. Whether you are specifying a new well, troubleshooting an existing well or overseeing a workover, there is always opportunity to optimize. Key to this is strategic integration of new technologies into your current configurations, which allows you to take advantage of new efficiencies without throwing away the investment you have already made.

Let’s say for example that you have a well with a POC. The well has highly variable flow and is not producing at an optimized rate. Everyone loves the pump card display, but there is only so much you can do to optimize production with that device and across the line starter.

Do you replace the POC? Probably not. Instead, integrate an IronHorse variable speed drive (VSD) with the POC. You decide whether to put that device in control or have it share control. In either case, you now have much greater control over pump speed and can decide how you want to optimize production throughout the day. You still have the pump card display, which local operators can use as a quick visual check on the relative effectiveness of each stroke. You also have much more extensive data on every stroke available for review.

This approach works because the IronHorse is designed for integration. It can connect with any SCADA system and even field devices that cannot communicate at all can be connected through a special intermediary. The IronHorse can be integrated with a POC with just 5 simple termination points.

Strategic integration happens at the intersection of strategic goals (e.g., higher production, lower lifting costs) and the technology to achieve them (e.g., POC, sensors, VSD, SCADA remote monitoring). For each technology available to you, make a list of the problems it solves and grade it on ease of integration. Having this integration strategy can make it simpler to solve specific problems as the opportunity arises.

If you are assigned a field, for example, that has high electricity costs, your strategic plan could identify IronHorse drives as a quick way to dramatically reduce those costs. If you have a high incidence of POC equipment failure forcing expensive emergency repairs, your plan could advocate failure protection by adding sensorless pump off control.

For more thoughts on the value of strategic integration, read “Drive Down Beam Pump Lifting Costs through Integration.”

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