Regional Fall Meeting of the Los Angeles Basin Section of SPE, 22–23 October, Pasadena, California


Honolulu Oil Corp., as operator for the Antelope Shale Zone Unit, Buena Vista Hills Field, has been testing 28 wells in a fully automatic system for the last three years.

The well gross volumes range from 25 to 500 BOPD. Cuts range from 0 to 95per cent; oil gravity is 30 API. Rapid oil-water separation makes the use of tank gauging practical. In conjunction with tank gauging, a simple device for the transmission and multiplication of the fluid data into daily rate has been found both reliable and accurate.

The well gas volumes range from 1 Mcf/D to 980 Mcf/D. Three positive displacement meters operate in parallel to measure the gas from dual stage gas-oil separation; a device for the transmission of the gas production flow and the multiplication of this flow into a daily gas production rate has been found satisfactory.

The operation of a satellite station in conjunction with the central station has been satisfactory; 10 wells are brought in sequence to the central station for test.

Short testing periods of 4, 6 or 12 hours are used; data on oil, water and gas is multiplied into daily rates and printed on a tape along with the direct four-digit well identification and the gauge period. Other test periods up to 24 hours can be incorporated; the multiplication system limits the selected test periods to multiples of 24 in order to print the final data as daily rate.

The present 28-well system control unit can be expanded to handle 22additional wells at minor additional cost.

The initial cost of the installation was $36,000; the operating cost averages $2.22 per day. The unit averages approximately four tests per 24hours.


The system was designed to use the field facilities then in place. Standard telephone-type stepping switches and conventional open relays are used.

The control panel is constructed in one plane to permit maximum ease in checking the operation of the unit. This type construction also facilitates visual inspection and preventive maintenance.

The system is safe in the event of power failures. The well on test is returned to the production facilities. After the power supply is restored the well test is resumed and completed.

This content is only available via PDF.