Monitoring and controlling the traditional pump jacks you see bowing and rising along oilfield roads has some limitations. But today, through digital transformation, we’re using data to improve management of all wells, including the rod-pumped variety.
A flowing well with a low gas-to-oil ratio needs little hands-on management, but you still need to track production and watch for pump failures or rod parts. Remote monitoring removes the need for a pumper to visually inspect the site daily—and it removes the chances that the well could break down right after he drives away, leaving it unproductive for a day or so.For decades, stripper wells were managed by pump off controllers (POCs) that controlled a pumped-off condition by one of two ways: a preset timer that paused production at fixed intervals to allow the formation to refill the pump barrel, or POCs that used fluid pound or something else to detect the pumped-off condition and pause the pumpjack. These were primitive, but they did reduce rod parts and other damage from low-producing wells.
Visibility in the Cloud
Today, with remote monitoring and control, we can do much more. We can adjust the stroke rate to account for changes in flow rates or to deal with gas locking. For either of these conditions, changes must be made quickly to avoid rod buckling, which can lead to rod parting and expensive workovers.
We are also using artificial intelligence (AI) to provide more complete data through analytics. Soon AI will ‘learn’ to make adjustments automatically. AI can also look for parted rods, worn pumps—finding them in time to send a repair alarm to limit downtime and to improve production.
Detailed data for effective solutions
Even recently, it was standard procedure to pull data hourly. With better communication systems and more AI systems to evaluate data, we’re polling these systems every five to fifteen minutes (depends on the exact data) now—allowing our Customers to react ever quicker to changes in field condition.
Prices for sensors and monitoring have come down in recent years—a welcome situation for operators hesitant to spend money on wells that produce only a few barrels a day. But even these wells can give us good information.
And for these wells, it is even more important to use remote monitoring to eliminate pumper trips to check operations or to record a few barrels added to a tank. Why do that when sensors can tell you everything you need to know, in real time, at your desk or on your smartphone?
And in the near future AI will give us even more data we can use to schedule preventative maintenance and to anticipate other changes that can improve your bottom line at help you attain longer-term, stronger return.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you with every well, from your top producer to your smallest stripper well.