Emerson Smart Wireless for Chevron’s San Ardo field

Twin wireless networks monitor steam injection and well test operations.

Chevron has deployed a ‘Smart Wireless’ network from Emerson Process Management at its San Ardo, California oilfield. Two separate networks were used to monitor steam injection and down-hole well pressures. In a test, wireless pressure transmitters on steam injectors identified an ‘over steaming’ situation in one well. This also created more wastewater, which had to be pumped from the well and treated before discharge. Over-steaming also meant higher natural gas used in steam production. The wireless network has improved operator safety by minimizing travel in the field. A Ethernet gateway connects the injectors to oil field’s control. Installation took only three hours.

The second Smart Wireless installation replaces a legacy remote telemetry unit (RTU) wireless system that collected downhole pressure data used in periodic well pressure testing. Chevron automation engineer Mohammad Heidari reported that the battery powered Emerson solution cost $30,000 as opposed to approx. $90,000 for a conventional RTU replacement. According to Heidari, ‘The new system is reliable and has passed our rigorous IT security review. Installation was easy and we haven’t had any problems.’

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