In 1985, as part of a field-wide upgrade of surface facilities, Texaco's San Ardo field engineers began an extensive program to improve the quality of the field's production testing systems. Analysis of the existing systems showed that they were capable of delivering tests no more frequently than once per well per month, while the field's gauge factor ranged by ±40%. Moreover, component reliability, layout, and process control made hardware troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair difficult and slow.

The program that was completed nearly three years later created a production testing system, which while outfitted with 83% more testing equipment, delivered a fivefold improvement in testing frequency. Gauging variability was reduced to one eighth that of the replaced systems.

This paper discusses the project accomplishments in hardware design, process control, and the operator interface, which have significantly improved the quality of Texaco's San Ardo field production operation.

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