Many oilfield service companies as well as oil producers have manually tracked assets over the years for a variety of reasons. The service companies have tracked assets such as pumps, packers, or other products to assist in R&D efforts. Being able to collect the data and compile statistics on run times and component failures enables the service companies to evolve and improve current products as well as design new products. From a producers perspective, compiling the same or similar data allows for the development of "best practices" in operating procedures and processes. Software products developed to address these needs have evolved with time to provide more functionality. However, many systems implemented to handle the total process of data acquisition, warehousing, querying, and reporting to achieve improved operating results have become more difficult and expensive to support than the value added.

The value of the information has not diminished, but increased due to the fluctuations in oil prices and the continuing efforts to reduce lifting costs through design and process enhancements. The recent development of a web based tracking system incorporates workover management, downhole equipment, and chemical usage while enabling the operator and service provider the ability to easily enter and access the data. The system reduces the problems of database synchronization, multiple entries of the same data, and provides a common means through the Internet to interface with the information. The system links the operator in the field, the service company providing equipment or chemicals, and the district office together through a common database that each has access to.

The system allows a technician in a pump shop, workover foreman in the field, or chemical sales person to easily enter data into the system using a laptop computer or touch screen technology. The data is brought back to the service provider's local office and is accessible to the operator through the Internet. Wells, well equipment, and equipment components can be tracked for run life and root cause of failure. The operation becomes an information network that uses the same data to accomplish different tasks but with a common objective of reduced costs and improved profitability.


Service Providers.

In the oilfield service sector, the larger service companies began internally tracking their own equipment failures many years ago. Until recently, the service industry's perspective on failure analysis has been much different than that of the producer. By evaluating and categorizing failures, new products can be designed to fill niches or actions can be taken to improve the product over the competition. If a service provider did not have a process improvement cycle in place or a way to continuously improve the current line of products offered, they could fail both competitively and financially.

Over the years, manual tracking and reporting systems were put in place that involved the field service technician, equipment maintenance personnel at the warehouse, warehouse clerk, and local technical engineer or manager (Figure 1). Because of all the "handling" of data from the time a failure occurs until the root cause is determined, the probability of incorrect data resulting from human error becomes extremely high. Each person in the process could potentially enter bad or erroneous data into the system, thereby nullifying or reducing the value in the desired result. In addition, the lag time between the failure occurrence and the reporting cycle producing client reports is generally a month or more. If mistakes are made during this process and are discovered in the reports a month later, some data may be lost forever. Only by acquiring large amounts of data, and having a conscientious attention to detail by all persons involved in the process, can the statistical probability for correct interpretation of the data become more accurate.

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