Feasibility Study of Oilfield Automation
- Charles L. Million (Continental Oil Co.) | D.L. Bowler (Continental Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1969
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,455 - 1,460
- 1969. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 7.3.3 Project Management, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 4.3.4 Scale
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An optimum relationship between man and equipment - necessary to the economic success of any oilfield modernization project - can best be achieved by a study team. The system has been used successfully by a major oil company in its Midland division of West Texas.
The economic success of oilfield modernization and telemetry is closely allied to attaining an optimum relationship between man and equipment. To achieve this objective, it has been found useful to employ the "team" concept to prepare a feasibility study of oilfield automation. The study team, comprising management and administrative, operations, and engineering personnel, combine to prepare an integrated plan of modernizing, automating and operating each plan of modernizing, automating and operating each producing facility within a given management producing facility within a given management operating area. The approach used by Continental Oil Co. in evaluating the feasibility of individual lease modernization and large computer control projects has been used effectively for large-scale operating areas such as divisions. Fig. 1 illustrates this type of area.
Project Definition and Objectives Project Definition and Objectives The first steps in undertaking and effectively completing an automation feasibility study include defining the project, establishing ultimate objectives, and planning how the study requirements will be met. planning how the study requirements will be met. Project Definition Project Definition The project to be covered by the feasibility study should include all properties operated with a specified level of management authority. This definition of coverage, as opposed to one based on geographic or field limits, eliminates some problems that can arise concerning operating organization. When handled this way, the total "before and after" evaluations of the installations are generally more clear-cut.
The management level, which has proved efficient for defining the area coverage in Continental Oil Co., is the level with a full complement of staff capabilities, including engineering, administrative and operating. The field areas illustrated in Fig. 1 are an example of the coverage that can be considered effectively by this study approach.
Project Levels Project Levels There are several project levels of automation that may be considered for installation. It is helpful to define initially the different project levels and to determine what, if any, restrictions may dictate exclusion of a particular project level.
The project levels that may be considered are (1) optimization, (2) automation, (3) remote alarm systems, (4) data retrieval systems, and (5) computer control systems. Fig. 2 depicts each classification to illustrate the project level and path of progression required to get from the present operations to a proposed level. A feasibility study may be divided into proposed level. A feasibility study may be divided into two major phases. The first phase would include all the potential candidates for telemetry projects. Properties to be considered for only modernization would Properties to be considered for only modernization would be completed in the second phase.
Modernization of facilities includes optimization and automation. As illustrated in Fig. 2, optimization is usually required before a higher project level becomes feasible.
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