The rich oil accumulations in the southern Tamaulipas area in Mexico have been discussed in the literature for over 100 years. The first productive well in this field located in north-east Mexico was drilled in 1910, and the field has been producing commercially since then. More than a 100 years later, in 2013, the field started a new chapter under a different operating company, which began a push for the implementation of an operations excellence initiative among the stakeholders for which the first goal is production maintenance through increased uptime of the wells.

A key to success in this new chapter for the exploitation of the field is the implementation of a digital oilfield focused in linking operational philosophy with available technologies and telemetry systems to integrate the operations excellence initiative with the field's operational requirements.

Five workflows are implemented and working for the field. Each workflow complies with a target:

  • Well monitoring for progressive cavity pumps (PCPs): This workflow tackles the early detection of anomalies in operational variables for well performance.

  • Well rate estimation for PCPs: This workflow calculates production rate estimates for PCP wells.

  • Well status: This workflow provides the live determination of the well operational status.

  • Production losses: This workflow provides the daily tracking of production performance.

  • Integrated reservoir and production tracking: This workflow enables field-level integrated analysis for reservoir and production data.

Incorporation of this solution generates a collaborative working environment between field operators, engineering departments and asset management, promoting synergy to strive for operation excellence in a challenging operating and economic environment.

The implementation of this digital solution enables a new era for the operations of a 100-year-old brownfield in Mexico. Changing operational conditions and low-productivity wells producing with artificial lift systems are the key challenges to maintaining production in the field. The system allows for timely acknowledgement of the field operating conditions to take proactive actions thus strengthening the operations and supporting to meet the steadily growing production targets.

The components of the system can be replicated and tailored to the challenges faced in different operating conditions. Field instrumentation, available technology, and engineering processes are combined to work toward the goal of excellence in operations and returns.

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