А.S. Malyshev, A.A. Pashali, (NK Rosneft OJSC),
С.Е. Zdolnik (RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP),
М.G. Volkov (RN-UfaNIPIneft LLP)
Many oil companies around the whole world have the same problems in common – declining oil production, cost escalation, complications of the geographical conditions for oil production, deterioration of hydrocarbon reserves and quality, shortage of experienced personnel and a high level of ambiguity in the data used for decision making.
One of the ways for solving these issues is the introduction of new engineering techniques and technologies, including computerisation and electronic communication development of the production process. At Rosneft, we place high emphasis on this line of development. This article deals with the remote monitoring of production wells – an approach developed within the framework of a Remote Monitoring Centre on the Rosneft-WellView Platform project and New Technologies Systems (NTS) of Rosneft. The perspective of the remote monitoring system in the structure of oil producing companies is described in this article, with a method for the classification of these systems proposed. Current achievements and future development perspectives for remote monitoring systems in Rosneft are also discussed.
Comparison of Monitoring Systems Worldwide
The review of world-wide experience in the development of remote monitoring systems (Table 1) shows that it is possible to distinguish five levels of “ideal” monitoring systems, beginning from the acquisition and transfer of data on the operation of equipment and finishing field development optimisation. The ideal monitoring system, consisting of five levels, is presented in the form of a pyramid in Fig 1. We shall examine monitoring systems for wells equipped with Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) in detail.
Level 1 provides for the acquisition of on-line data from the operation station of ESP’s and other sources and the transfer of these data via a communication channel to a reference station. Telemetry systems executing level functionality have been used by the company for a number of years and proved their efficiency for the operational management of the deposit fields. Often however, only 20% of data is used for decision making.
Level 2 provides for data consolidation from various sources (Database (DB), software systems (SS) used in the affiliated companies), preparation of reports based on the data and their visual presentation, for example oil production profile development. Reporting development systems have been also acquired with wide recognition. Often, for the solution of specific tasks, a new system for reporting development is created resulting in a large number of such systems and, consequently, the problems with their replication and standardisation.
Level 3 provides for data processing designed for detecting extraordinary situations and abnormalities in the work of the equipment and the well. Means of this level allow for detection and localisation of problem wells and for the consolidation of the data required for their analysis. These systems are less known. Usually, such analysis is carried out manually using Excel. This is due to the fact that an expert is required to identify a problem, to collect data from various sources and to confirm the existence of a problem, its importance and the need for response. The best monitoring systems contain elements on which experts are able to identify problem wells.
Level 4 provides not only for the equipment operation analysis, but also for the well including the mine, to be used for the optimisation of the well operation; for example, reaching full production potential. This level requires a wide set of data not only on the operation of the equipment, but also on the well surveys. This level is executed by experts and multidisciplinary groups (Center of Excellence, and others) and is not significantly computerized (special software, not connected with lower level systems are used for the analysis of well and equipment operations).
Level 5 provides for due diligence of all factors influencing the operation of the oil field. Optimisation of an oil field in real time, even with the application of monitoring systems, is a complicated engineering task. A solution for this type of work is only at the development stage in most companies. In the majority of cases, the due diligence is carried out at the design stage, requiring a significant amount of time and recourses.
The most efficient systems, such as LOWIS , ESPWatcher  in the computer-based mode provide for the solution of tasks of first, second and, partially, of third levels. For the solution of higher level task design groups are required.
Rosneft have several software systems for data collection and data analysis with their areas of application, often overlapping. For example, the analysis of data on oil production is carried out at the production enterprise RN-Dobycha, which allows data to be accumulated on the operation of a well required for the preparation of monthly reports on oil production. The system is used for planning maintenance on the wells. Production enterprise CDS, which has a large number of modules for the solution of various tasks on oil production monitoring, has a role within the monitoring system. On-line data on equipment operation (currents, pressure from the telemetering sensors) are stored in archived files. Production enterprise EPOS has the role of a record keeping system for the well equipment and to store the results of the analysis of the equipment which failed during operation.
To carry out due diligence analysis of the operation of a well equipped with Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) the data from all the above mentioned sources is required. This makes monitoring the ESP very complicated and requires considerable expertise. As a result, on frequent occasions, it never comes to the solution of the issue of the optimisation of the development on the basis of the data on the work of the equipment.
In connection with the above, within the framework of the New Technologies System (NTS) project, Rosneft assigned a task to create a comprehensive approach for the development of the ideal monitoring system for well operations. To date, a system has been created which covers the first three levels. During the course of project implementation it was confirmed that the system
Well Operation Monitoring in Rosneft-WellView
In 2007, the Remote Monitoring System project, Rosneft-WellView Software System (SS) was developed (Pic. 2). This System pallows for data acquisition from various sources, including on-line data from the ESP Control Station, both in automatic (provided relevant equipment is available) and in manual mode (with the application of the archived files) .
The system performs the following functions:
» data collection from the wells from their initial processing, structuring and entering into the database;
» data aggregation from various DB;
» identification of wells with deviations from the normal operating conditions;
» approximate analysis of the well operation with allowances for the complicating factors and history of work;
» development of analytical reporting.
Further, we shall examine the specifics for implementing tools of various levels, included in the Rosneft-WellView Software System, in detail. Specifics of the Data Collection System (First Level Functions). To monitor and analyse the mechanised well stock it is necessary to provide the required data. For this purpose the visualisation of data dynamics archives from the frequency-regulated drives and the submersible pumps control station were made available.
For example, currently RN-Yuganskneftegas uses a multitude of various ESP control station models of various generations from six different manufacturers. For the on-line and effective use of the information it is necessary to have the individual software for each model of the control station, which considerably complicates the acquisition and the analysis of the important information for the identification of well problems and the equipment. Ways of viewing the archived data from the control station, which are assembled by the service companies providing maintenance for the submersible and surface equipment, has been implemented in the Rosneft-WellView Software System and is now being refined. Data is consolidated on the corporate servers on the basis of the approved schedule and viewed in the Rosneft-WellView Software System without any additional software, which allows for unit analysis operation and planning of effective maintenance to minimize any loss of oil production. At present, Rosneft-WellView Software System allows data to be analysed from the control stations and frequency-regulated drives of 17% and 41% of the mechanised well stock of RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP and RN-Purneftegas LLP, respectively.
Computer-Aided Manufacturing for Report Preparation
(Second Level Functions)
Engineers, in collaboration with the specialists at RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP, carried out expert analysis of the labour required for the provision of the oil production processes at service department level. The results of the analysis are shown in Table 2 below.
It was established that an average of 900 man hours per month are used for report preparation and analysis of the existing decline in production at RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP. The colossal amounts of man-hours accelerated the process for the development of the computerised reporting system for the determination of well production rate decrease on the basis of the Standard Production Factor Analysis (SPFA) algorithms, developed by the corporate Scientific Research Technical Centre Rosneft. High repeatability of the computerised and the traditional manual reporting was confirmed by the geological and technological departments of RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP (Table 3).
At the following technical meeting of one of the affiliated companies a decision was taken, on the basis of the project results, to continue the works on this project in order to find the solution of the current tasks, release of the additional time to be used for the qualitative decision making on the complicated issues and self-improvement of the geologists and production engineers.
Monitoring System Analytical Unit (Third Level Functions)
During the development process of the top level analytical software, specifial attention was paid to the application of the high-performance algorithms for data visualisation. TreeMap  (Pic. 3), which allows for the simultaneous presentation of a large number of the prioritised objects on one screen, is used to display data on a many different wells. According to the feedback from the users, this algorithm has been successfully implemented in the software and provides an increase in its efficiency.
Effective visualisation software represents the third level tool, designed for the solution of the monitoring tasks (identification of wells operating outside the range and requiring close attention) and diagnostics. The monitoring window is broken down into objects depending on selected parameters (oil production rate, type of liquid, oil losses during repair, water cutting, etc). Box sizes corresponding to the individual wells are proportional to the liquid rate. The colour of the box represents the achievement of the oil production potential. The boxes are grouped per oil deposits fields. Pic 3 shows information on over 500 wells.
For the visual display of detailed information on individual wells, a mapping method called “a rose of problems” is used – a third level tool showing the status of the total object. A simultaneous display of the dynamics of the technological and electrical parameters allows for the simultaneous analysis of data (the second level reports on the acquired information). All diagrams are scalable for convenience.
The software allows the current operating point to be assessed with reference to the nominal use-flow characteristics with the allowance for gas degradation, wear and properties of well fluid, which is realised as monitoring criteria, and also for the analysis of the group of wells selected by the user.
In the window specifying the well a “rose of problems” on the well is displayed, which shows the level of various well issues, the position of the current operating point on the electric centrifugal pump performance diagram, dynamics of the main performance data of the electric centrifugal pump (three groups of diagrams: dynamics of well performance data, technological and electrical data) and a no-failure operation time of the electric centrifugal pump unit.
The signal in the software provides the user with the instant information on the changes and deviations of the selected parameters.
During the development, the Rosneft-WellView ESP monitoring system was introduced into the following affiliated companies of Rosneft: RN-Yuganskneftegas LLP, RN-Purneftegas LLP, RN-Sakhalinmorneftegas LLP and RN-Stavropolneftegas LLP.
Administration – Remote Monitoring Room
(Fourth Level System)
It is not yet possible to optimise oil production without the participation of experts. The Remote Monitoring Centre (RMC) was proposed as a solution in conjunction with the remote monitoring systems of NK Rosneft. The RMC allows for on-line collection of all data required for analysis, tools for engineering analysis and the presence of experts, able to make a decision using the system. Currently, this Centre may be a long-distance from the wells, and may be a short-distance to the centre where there are experts and available capacity to analyse thousands of wells at the same time.
When analysing world-wide experience during the development of the RMC, the following key factors for their successful introduction are the following:
» ability of the RMC to make decisions on well operation, which requires experts and company management support;
» on-line access to the consolidated information on the well operation, where it is preferable to have a computerised data collection system.
Therefore, in order to facilitate the integration of the oil production affiliates of the company into the existing structure, an approach was proposed for the organisation of a decentralised RMC (Pic. 4). The following tasks had to be solved:
Visual display of losses (in interactive mode):
» identification of fluid and oil production decline;
» notification of oil and gas production departments (OGPD) on the deviation of the performance benchmark for the real-time response (according to the individual settings of the user);
» proximate analysis of the well, diagnostics of the current status, identification of reasons for failures;
» management of priorities (higher flow-rate wells must be put into operation first).
Search for reserves:
» visual display of the reserve source failed to achieve a potential;
» auto-summaries – templates for the preparation of procedures (initial data processing for analysis). Optimisation of response procedures:
» analysis of well and well equipment operation mode;
» forecast for ESP work on the basis of monitoring of its parameters;
» support for decision making while working with the mechanised well;
» automatic mode selection for automatic re-closing (ARC).
Pic 4 shows the interaction of RMC with the Central Engineering Board (CEB), Main Board for Oil & Gas Production (MBOGP) and Board for Production Improvement of Reservoirs and Work-Over Programs (BPIR & WOP).
The following are the advantages of the decentralised system of interaction:
» non-existence of additional personnel in the affiliated company;
» individual work of the technical support specialists in each centre with the accent on their key tasks;
» automatic summaries (elimination of non productive time) and recommendations on key categories (gold fund, automatic re-closing, etc.)
In this interaction pattern, the rating of influence to the decisions is average, at the level of recommendations, which assumes the interaction under the conditions of the organisation with properly adjusted and smoothly running business procedures and with a high number of qualified specialists.
Development of the monitoring system for ESP is a complicated multidisciplinary and comprehensive task. Its multilevel representation allowed us to identify several stages of work and to demonstrate the effect on each of the individual levels.
RMC is a large integration project of the New Technologies Systems of Rosneft, covering such areas of activities as the remote control of ESP, analysis business procedures, optimisation of oil & gas production processes, development and introduction of competitive equipment for monitoring and optimisation. The results of the pilot project implementation are as follows:
» reduction by 10% in failure to achieve the potential oil production rate (based on the results of Rosneft-WellView project tests);
» downtime reduction by 50 %;
» man-hour reduction due to the introduction of auto-reporting on the decline in production (97% precision) and auto-reporting on the definition of well-candidates for stimulation of oil production (99 % precision).
In the future, the project is planned to develop in the following directions:
» field equipment performance efficiency monitoring;
» consideration of restrictions on the surface equipment;
» analysis and optimisation of bottom hole oil pumps;
» optimisation of the system for maintenance of reservoir pressure.
Existing software, planned developments, scientific research and the accumulated experience of the project working group shall be integrated into the oil production process of the main affiliated partnerships of the company in the future.
To achieve maximum efficiency of RMC is the connection of the controlled well stock to the monitoring system. This will allow for the immediate acquisition of the complete data set on the operation of the equipment in real time enabling fast and qualitative decision making and to remotely assign the required mode of operation.
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