The oil industry is a mature user of SCADA systems, moving from basic monitoring and control into utilizing real time data to optimize the process. Optimization capabilities are improving the economics of oil and gas production operations facilitating production of low cost oil.

The paper outlines the components of "production system optimization" currently being implemented with special emphasis on real time capabilities. Specific examples from Oman are included to show how the technology is improving the life-cycle economics.


The oil company in Oman's on-line, real-time production automation and optimization system monitors real-time well data and provides optimal control of well processes through a comprehensive suite of optimization hardware and software applications. Monetary benefits are derived from accelerated oil production that has fewer associated costs and reduced manpower exposure, at oil fields that are gas-lifted, beam-pumped and/or electrical submersible-pumped (ESP).

So far, the company has installed electronic instrumentation and software on more than 1,200 individual wells and associated production facilities. Gas-lift operations are expected to yield up to 5% more oil production, with 10% less lift gas. Beam-pumped production has improved 5% because of faster response time, with a 35% increase in mean time between pump failures. ESP production is expected to increase 3%, with pump life improved.

Equally important has been the accompanying reduction in manpower needed for visiting remote desert wellhead sites and, with that, much less driving and exposure to hazards. Based on this success, the oil company is applying this technology throughout its Omani operations, Fig. 1. The major oil company that developed these applications is now installing on-line real time production automation and optimisation systems in key oil and gas producing areas around the world.

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