Remote surveillance centers and intelligent production systems need data that often originates from wellsites located in extremely remote locations. Economical solutions are now available that provide consolidation of data at the wellsite, highly secure encryption, data compression, and data communications from most locations.

Traditionally, off-the-shelf supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, fast computers, routers, virtual private network (VPN) appliances, and very small aperture terminal equipment have been employed for these purposes. Until now, the expense and complexity of these solutions have limited their use to only the most critical wells.

A new system has been developed that provides a low-cost and simple data consolidation/data transmission solution. What used to require several computers and associated networking and security hardware can now be accomplished in one low-cost, single board or rack-mounted computer.

Data can be acquired from a variety of wellsite end devices, such as pressure and temperature transmitters, chemical automation controllers, tank monitoring systems, down-hole electronic gauges, electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), and intelligent well systems. Also, numerous fiber-based sensors, such as distributed temperature sensors, real-time casing monitoring systems, and fiber-based down-hole pressure and temperature gauges can provide data to this system. This solution is intended for use in unattended remote locations, operable from solar power, and will function in extreme environments.

Acquired data can be provided locally via Modbus protocol or OLE for Process Control (OPC). Data can also be economically encrypted, compressed, and transmitted off the wellsite to remote surveillance centers in near real time. Data communication is performed via low-cost data communication systems such as cellular or Inmarsat's new Broadband Global Area Network satellite system.

Real-time production data, diagnostic data, and log data can also be transmitted off the remote wellsite, either automatically or upon demand.

Additionally, the system supports remote administration. Some measurement devices can be remotely reconfigured and remotely controlled. Examples of this include rescaling, recalibration, rebooting, restarting, and time synchronization of the end devices or of the data collection application.

This paper describes the system, how it has been deployed, and the proven benefits of the system.

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