The oil and gas industry is applying smart techniques to monitor, manage, and optimize the assets in a safe manner. Real-time surveillance for 450 instrumented sucker rod pumps allowed instant detection of problematic wells and provided data for smart analysis. This manuscript focuses on enhancing production in sucker rod wells by improving the surface pumping unit and downhole efficiency to decrease operating cost, minimize deferred oil, and run at optimum condition.

The intelligent field enabled teams to collaboratively make decisions that maximize profit and to understand their short- and long-term impact. The availability of historical and the real-time data for 450 instrumented sucker rod systems provided the opportunity to identify abnormal well performance in many terms, such as high gearbox, structural load, and overloaded motors. Having a database with analysis workbench capabilities helped in further investigating well potential versus current load capacity. For wells with high loads and high well potential, it was a challenge to make the best production optimization decision for each well based on their current running conditions.

To identify candidates for production optimization, the surface pumping unit, the downhole equipment, and the performance of each well were evaluated. Of 450 wells, 57 wells were classified as:

  • High-potential wells running at high sucker rod pumping unit load and requiring upgrade

  • High-potential wells running within limitations of the sucker rod pumping unit and running parameters need modification

  • Wells running at optimum conditions

  • Wells pumping at optimum well productivity using a bigger sucker rod pumping unit than required

For production optimization and cost saving, it was decided to use the available sucker rod pumping units to swap the overloaded units with the low-load units. It was recommended to keep continuous optimization for automated wells (wells running with variable speed drive). The remote control availability helps in applying changes of the running parameters in a safe manner. The estimated oil gain for the 57 wells is 1,500 barrels of oil per day according to the simulation executed.

Smart sucker rod pump optimization in the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for the first time enabled real-time surveillance, data storage, instant analysis, and diagnostics reporting in which problematic wells were identified, solutions were recommended, and necessary actions were applied.

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