Over the past several years, the development of hand-held data terminal systems has improved the efficiency of production data collection. However, many of the early systems were designed for specific applications or areas and were not sufficiently generic to be used in all domestic operations without additional time and expense for code changes. Also, in some cases the early systems were not capable of collecting the full range of data necessary in all locations, i.e., data from different well types, different well testing methods, various types of compressors, various chemical injection procedures, etc. A system has been developed that provides the needed flexibility to handle the majority of data types required in any location without changes in the program code.

The system is a comprehensive production data acquisition and reporting system that provides a fast, accurate, and accessible information source. The production data is collected by the lease operator using a hand-held computer terminal, which has been customized for his route from menu screens on the personal computer. The hand-held terminal displays the previous day's data as it prompts the lease operator to enter the new data. After the lease operator completes his rounds, the hand-held terminal is connected to a personal computer in the field office, and the data is moved into a database system on the PC. The data in the database can be checked and edited if necessary, and daily, weekly, and monthly field reports can be generated as needed. The data is transferred to the area office overnight for managerial reports. It is then transferred to the mainframe for use in production allocation and reporting to state agencies.

Software development cost is a significant investment in a system of this type. However, the flexibility of this system has enabled it to be deployed throughout domestic operations and has significantly reduced the cost to each location.

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