A US Department of Energy funded test performed on Vaquero Energy’s Edison heavy oilfield in Kern County, California, has shown how ‘ultra-low cost’ well monitoring can be used to optimize stripper well production.
Contractor Petrolects installed its ‘marginal expense oil well wireless surveillance (MEOWS) system on three rod-pumped wells. Small, self-contained, wireless sensors on flow-line check valves monitor and analyze vibration to determine flow conditions. National Energy Technology Laboratory project manager Jim Barnes said, ‘This COTS-based system, costing a couple of hundred dollars per well will provide very significant value to a lot of independents.’ More than 75 percent of all oil wells in the US produce less than15 barrels/day—but totalize nearly one million barrels/day.
Petrolects now plans to use MEOWS output to drive an automated pump-off controller (POC) to control the beam pump. This would enable the use of SCADA-like automation of stripper wells whose economics have not justified such an investment hitherto.
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