Analysis of an Operating Telemetering System at Elk Basin Field
- Roy L. Chapin (Pan American Petroleum Corp.) | Robert J. Woodhall (Pan American Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1970
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 397 - 402
- 1970. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3.1.3 Hydraulic and Jet Pumps, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
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Data from three years of operating a computer-controlled telemetering system verify that the predicted production increase was obtained and that operating efficiency was improved. The system has also made available more reliable data on which effective decisions can be based.
Pan American Petroleum Corp. operates the Elk Pan American Petroleum Corp. operates the Elk Basin unit for itself, Humble, Marathon, Phillips, Continental, Atlantic Richfield, and other, minor interests. The unit, located in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana, is one of the largest producing fields in the Rocky Mountain region. In 1964, the working interest owners authorized a computer-controlled telemetering system to increase production through more effective field supervision and through monitoring of production equipment. The information included here is based on records kept before and after installation, and represents 3 years of computer-controlled operation. Some post-installation evaluation that cannot be assigned a finite monetary value has also been added. Although several companies have installed computer-controlled telemetering systems, few papers have included a post-installation review. Armstrong reports of the Poso Creek installation that "(although) the computer operation has paid off handsomely by optimizing production, there have been too many variables to pinpoint the economics". Pan American personnel anticipated the problems of proof and prepared an economic evaluation scheme. Despite this procedure it was still necessary to revamp the economic evaluation. Only documented data are included here. Because interpretation is subjective, however, the reader must pick and choose for his own application.
Design and Installation
Pan American used a design and installation scheme Pan American used a design and installation scheme similar to one recently described by Pearson and Troiani. A project engineer coordinated the preliminary design, specifications, and selection of a vendor. Since installation required a wider base, the project engineer coordinated the vendor's activity and the selection of equipment while the field staff handled installation, including necessary field revisions and drawings. As is common with most automation projects, the field problems were sometimes more projects, the field problems were sometimes more difficult than the basic project of adding automation. (This should make obvious the need for new methods and equipment even before the first well is drilled, especially items such as header design, and equipment choice for future automation.) Full field control began April 1, 1966, following 6 months spent in installing and checking out the telemetery equipment. To allow time to gain system knowhow and confidence, personnel reorganization was delayed until Sept., 1966.
Pre-Installation Predictions Pre-Installation Predictions As reported during installation, the Elk Basin Unit owners expected an acceptable payout of the $750,000 investment from a 7,500 BOPM (or 0.35 percent) increase in production. This increase would come through reduced down-time resulting from more up-to-date knowledge of over-all operations.
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