All individuals in a typical oil and gas company require some form of production and operational information to perform their jobs and make timely, effective decisions. Although this data is recognized as a corporate asset, making it available across the company is not a trivial task. Management of this asset has been defined as a significant operational advantage.

Wascana Energy has made optimizing data accessibility key element in the initiative to implement SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and production automation systems throughout it's operations. Real time data is captured at the well site and facility level via the SCADA system. To expedite data transfer from the field SCADA hosts to the rest of the corporation, the wide area network (WAN) has been extended to the central facilities in these major fields. Production related data is passed electronically to a field data capture system (FDC) and forwarded directly into the production accounting system. Real time data is continuously available to users through SCADA view nodes. Other selected data is moved from the real time world to static data tables in the operational data store, where it is universally available.


In December of 1995, Wascana Energy Inc..(WEI), as a part of its Re-engineering Process, initiated a corporate wide Automation Project The overall goal of the project was to bring WEI to a high level of automation on an accelerated time frame. The level ofautomation was to be driven by economics. In addition, the Re-engineering process had suggested that there were potential gains to be achieved through the effective management of the information collected by the SCADA system.


Prior to the kick-off of the corporate Automation Project, WEI had several SCADA applications running within the corporation; however, the Williston Basin Unit (WBU) application, located in Estevan, was the most sophisticated. The Re-engineering Team reviewed or benchmarked several companies, including the WBU application, and determined that several potential benefits could be derived by an aggressive implementation of the SCADA applications. These benefits were grouped into categories - measureable or "hard benfits" which include the following:

  • Production increases of 2% - 30%

  • Reduced power consumption by 11% - 20%

  • Reduced downhole failures by 17% - 44%

  • Reduced surface maintenance/repairs by 5% - 40%

  • Reduced driving/vehicle costs by 31% - 85%

  • Reduced overtime by <65%

  • Reduced contract labour by <36%

(as reported by industry).

The second category are more difficult to quantify and are referred to as "soft benefits" which can include the following items:

  • Increased field personnel productivity, less driving

  • Faster accessibility to problems (alarms/dispatch systems)

  • More accurate and reliable real-time data, production volumes

  • Faster reporting offield data for analysis/decisions/marketing

  • Increased safety/security/environmental performance

  • Flexibility to respond to time-of-day electricity pricing

  • Flexibility to consider interruptible power service

  • Integrated security/monitoring systems

  • Reduced manual data handling, field paper work

  • Lower stress in the workplace

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