An Automatic Gas-Flow Control System Adaptable to Gas Field Production
- J.C. Anderson (Pan American Petroleum Corp.) | L.M. McMillon (Pan American Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 1964
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 253 - 258
- 1964. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.3 Dehydration, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc)
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Pan American Petroleum Corp. has installed a fieldwide automatic gas-flow control system which automatically maintains and transfers to the pipeline a volume of gas equal to the purchaser's demand. The system controls production from 32 gas completions in the South and Little Pecan Lake fields in Cameron Parish of Southwest Louisiana. The system is sufficiently flexible so that total field flow-rate changes or individual well flow-rate changes can be made fro in the master control station by the operator. All communication for the system is over a buried electrical multi-conductor cable. Sufficient data feedback and printout are available so that the entire field operation can be policed from the master control station. As a result of the installation, field operational attendance has been reduced from 24 hours/day to 8 hours/day. Other expense-saving and income-generating advantages resulted from the installation.
The ever increasing operating costs necessary to produce liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas, and to deliver these commodities to pipelines have been a prime concern of producing companies in recent years. Much progress has been made in reducing operating expenses in the area of liquid hydrocarbon production and delivery. This has been accomplished by using new equipment and techniques and by installing automatic flow, test and delivery control systems. Progress made in the area of natural gas production and delivery has lagged behind the cost-reducing advances made in liquid production and delivery. New equipment and techniques have aided in the reduction of gas field producing expense. However, until recently few strides have been made in the design and installation of automatic flow control systems which will release operating personnel from time-consuming routine duties and thus enable them to perform more productive work. As another step in the necessary trend toward automation for operating cost production Pan American Petroleum Corp. recently installed an automatic gas-flow control system in the South and Little Pecan Lake fields of Southwest Louisiana. In these two natural gas fields, the production and delivery of gas have been made more dependable while operating expenses have been reduced as a result of this installation. The geographical location of the South and Little Pecan Lake fields is shown in Fig. 1. The location of the gas wells, canals and associated sites of importance within the field areas is illustrated in Fig. 2. These two fields are approximately 6 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and the terrain is low, water-covered marshland, except for occasional elevated areas.
Field Operation Before Automation
The base from which all field operations are conducted is Tank Battery Island. This point is shown on Fig. 2. This site is centrally located in the two-field area and is accessible by automobile over a 6-mile lease road. Except for the production equipment installed at Tank Battery Island, all facilities in the two fields including the gas wells, separation and metering equipment, tank batteries and a dehydration-hydrocarbon recovery unit are accessible only by boat via the canal network. This network, which is illustrated by Fig. 2, comprises over 20 miles of man-made waterways.
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