Denver Unit Well Surveillance and Pump-Off Control System
- J.C. Hunter (Shell Oil Co.) | R.S. Hubbell (Shell Oil Co.) | C.R. Reiter (Shell Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1978
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,319 - 1,326
- 1978. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 3.1 Artificial Lift Systems, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.3.4 Scale, 3.1.1 Beam and related pumping techniques, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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This paper describes a prototype system that demonstrates the technical feasibility of installing and operating an on-line, computer-based well surveillance and control system. This system provides a much higher level of surveillance and control than possible with conventional equipment. Expansion of the system will include all wells and facilities in the Denver Unit of Wasson Field.
Approval was obtained in Oct. 1974 to install a pilot computer production control (CPC) system to serve a battery (Battery 3) of the Denver Unit, Wasson Field. The test battery area contained 76 beam pumped wells, four satellite separation and test facilities, and treating and storage facilities in the battery.
The pump-off control portion of the system, which monitors and controls the individual wells, became operational in June 1976. Automatic well testing became operational in Feb. 1977. The system basically consists of a small wellhead remote unit at each well, a larger remote unit at each satellite, and the battery. The wellhead remote units take signals from the load and position transducers on the pumping units and transmit position transducers on the pumping units and transmit the data to the pump-off control (POC) computer located in the production office at Denver City, TX. The larger battery and satellite remote units communicate with a disc-based field computer located in the production office (see Fig.1).
About 94,000 ft of six-pair cable was installed to connect the wells, satellites, battery, and production office. Microwave communication links the production office with Shell computers located in Houston. Few problems have been encountered with this field communications network. Supervisory hardware, which includes all remote and computer interface units, also has performed satisfactorily. The first line amplifiers (repeaters) furnished by the hardware manufacturer were unsatisfactory and had to be redesigned. The POC computer, which is a new model, had many problems earlier; however, recent changes seem to have improved its reliability, Early problems also were experienced with load cell transducers. The cables were constructed so that a small strain on the cable caused it to tear out of the load cell. This problem has been reduced substantially by using a better method for connecting the cable to the load cell. Thus, the cable fails instead of damaging the load cell.
The pump-off control technique has proven a reliable method for determining when a well is pumped off. The computer uses data from a well to calculate energy input to the rod string during a certain portion of the stroke. When the energy drops below a specified limit, the well is considered pumped off. A limit can be set so that the well shuts down for any degree of pump-off. The POC program also checks for abnormal load conditions and either shuts the well down or alerts the operator. To enhance well surveillance, a sucker-rod diagnostic program was implemented in the field computer. Data can be transferred on request from the POC computer to the field computer for analysis. Results normally are returned to the operator in a few seconds. From the results, the operator can determine how the pump is performing and also detect any abnorma l conditions that might be occurring in the well. The "on-line" combination of POC, automatic well testing, and sucker-rod diagnostics gives the field a powerful surveillance tool.
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