Monitoring gas production with mechanical chart recorders and the associated business practices results in significant loss of earnings due to data inaccuracies, late identification of well shutdown, and operational inefficiencies.

The purpose of this paper is to show that several current technologies can be integrated in a low cost endto-end system to solve all aspects of the problem presented. The technologies employed are public wireless communications and database and interface tools. Also key to this remote performance monitoring are recent developments in micro-power electronics, digital sensor cores, full-duplex asynchronous communications, and high performance embedded processors. The goal is accurate production data delivered in a timely fashion. In this paper, we have adopted the acronym FINE for (FI)eld Intelligence, (N)etwork, and (E)nd-user interface to describe the end-to-end approach. The FINE approach is supported with field data results showing substantial reduction of down time, elimination of inaccurate data, increased efficiency of field operations and maintenance activities, optimization of field production, and elimination of manual accounting and regulatory data entry.


Integrated technologies now permit practical acquisition of electronic gas flow measurement from every well, and dissemination for use by everyone within an organization. This change provides a significant tool for reservoir management and production optimization (T. Ito abbreviates as "RMPO" 1) to gas producers.

Gas flow measurement has been dominated by 100- year-old circular chart technology. "Charts" record differential pressures generated across an orifice plate (and the static pressures and in-flow temperatures) at a gas meter. These differential pressures are converted into flow rates by standardized AGA flow calculations2,3. The process of chart measurement involves a laborious cycle of collecting charts, chart integration and data entry, which often takes weeks to return information to the decision makers. This mechanical measurement necessarily involves lost earnings due to data inaccuracies, late identification of well shutdown, and operational inefficiencies.

Electronic flow measurement (EFM) has been an alternative to charts for many years. It is based upon electronic gas measurement standards established by the American Petroleum Institute4. The base equation for volumetric rate of gas at standard conditions is

Equation (1) (Available in full paper)

where EFM practically integrates this by integral values

Equation (2) (Available in full paper)


Equation (3) (Available in full paper)

This integral is approximated with a summation where the ivp (integral value period) is one second. EFM is ideally suited to handle this kind of calculation. However, the cost and construct of acquisition and dissemination with engineered SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) solutions have prevented widespread acceptance or use by a large number of stakeholders within an organization who could add value. New technologies are now available that change this situation. These technologies all adhere to a basic system structure T. Ito calls "FINE" 5.


FINE stands for Field Intelligence (FI), Nervous system (N) and End-user interface (E). Figure 1 shows the application of FINE to gas flow measurement, borrowing the acronym similarly: Field Instrument (FI), Network (N) and End user (E).

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