Humble's Production Department has implemented Computer Production Control (CPC) in 20 major fields where daily production is more than 200,000 barrels of oil and 850 million cubic feet of gas. This CPC program is part of a continuing automation effort that also includes field modernization (Intermediate Level Automation).This Paper will describe results of the automation program to date with special emphasis on methods used to develop new skills required in the Production organization.



The CPC operating concept must be considered in its special environment where measurement has been automated and preventive maintenance is practiced. These two requirements?automated measurement and preventive maintenance--must precede or occur concurrent with implementation of CPC.

During recent years, Humble has modernized field equipment by installing Intermediate Level Automation (ILA) equipment in long-life fields. Treaters and stock tanks that served individual leases have been replaced by metering sites with three-phase separators and electronic net-oil computer equipment.' Central treating facilities have been installed in each field to receive oil and emulsion from lease metering sites. Intermediate Level Automation eliminates redundant multiple storage tanks and increases the efficiency of liquid handling through use of these large-volume central treating stations.

Early experience with ILA equipment demonstrated that a special personnel-development effort would be required to assure adequate performance of the metering site. Net-oil computers, gas-flow computers, and time-share panels were new to the maintenance organization. Consequently, schools were organized and maintenance manuals were prepared to support the planned ILA program.


Computer Production Control is a concept which improves the effectiveness of operations surveillance by providing exception analysis of rapidly available, high-quality information. Other computer programs and systems have been devised to handle required processing of field data; however, the differentiating feature of CFC is its capability to acquire data at the time of occurrence and exercise immediate influence. The basic functions of CPC are to

  • accumulate volume and status information,

  • exercise limited control,

  • prepare output that satisfies operating surveillance needs, and

  • establish general database 2 for operations, accounting, engineering, and management.

To work effectively, the system must generate data of adequate quality for regulatory reporting and for payment of a taxes and royalty.

Data flow in the CFC concept that satisfies the above requirements is described on Figure 1. Volume and status information from metering sites is accumulated electronically in Remote Terminal Units and scanned at 5- to 30-minute intervals by a computer. The computer is programmed to subject incoming data to rate analysis, prepare output that satisfies volume-surveillance needs, and report exceptional performance through the Input/Output device. The Input/Output device provides the operating organization with its link to the computer.

System output to lease operators and Field Superintendents is shown on Figure 2. The Well Test Summary lists tests which are outside of expected limits.

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