Canada is the arena’s fifth-largest oil manufacturer. That is due, largely, to the rustic’s huge reserves in and round Alberta, which comprises the third-largest identified oil reserves on the earth.
Calgary-based ARC Assets Ltd. has known as this oil-rich area house for greater than 20 years. The corporate has property dispensed throughout western Canada, and operations that come with the exploration, construction and manufacturing of typical oil and pure fuel.
Simply throughout Alberta’s western border in northeast British Columbia, ARC Assets is among the greatest operators within the Montney area, which is thought of as some of the best possible tight fuel performs in North The usa. And it was once right here that ARC Assets not too long ago determined to start out optimizing the keep an eye on programs it was once the use of for its massive, multi-well natural-gas manufacturing websites. The present programs in position at those websites didn’t beef up man made carry, which might quickly be had to deal with manufacturing ranges. The present programs additionally introduced each growth and protection demanding situations that the corporate sought after to deal with.
Operations at a Crossroads
ARC Assets already had optimization methods at its smaller pads that contained just one to 4 wells. Regulate programs in position at those pads supported the usage of artificial-lift programs to lend a hand deal with or build up manufacturing as those wells depleted.
Better pads of 5 or extra wells, then again, lacked keep an eye on programs to beef up artificial-lift programs. And as a few of these websites approached manufacturing milestones of 10 to 15 years, the corporate knew that it might want to make enhancements within the close to long term.
“We had been very a success with the use of assisted carry to stay manufacturing solid within the smaller fields,” stated Charlie Kettner, programming specialist for ARC Assets. “We didn’t have the similar optimization choice in our larger pads. So, our manufacturing engineers sought after to discover a keep an eye on resolution that might let us carry man made carry to those fields, as nicely.”
The present controllers weren’t in a position to dealing with the huge quantity of I/O required to run all the nicely pad. In consequence, the corporate had to make use of a couple of controllers, that have been hardwired in combination, along side far flung terminal devices (RTU). This manner now not simplest made the keep an eye on infrastructure extra complicated – and thus extra at risk of errors – but in addition restricted the volume of knowledge to be had for keep an eye on and tracking.
Using a couple of hardwired controllers additionally introduced protection demanding situations. ARC Assets will depend on its keep an eye on structure to watch poisonous and explosive gases, and to take movements corresponding to turning on an exhaust fan or blockading wells as stipulations dictate. However the controllers may lock up and freeze their outputs, and provides no indication that there was once a fault. This compelled the corporate so as to add “watch canine” timer to watch for such stipulations.
A ‘Canned Bundle’
Kettner reached out to Rockwell Automation to start out discussions about optimization choices that might beef up artificial-lift programs on the massive multi-well pads, in addition to simplify keep an eye on, and cope with protection issues.
Their talks led them to the ConnectedProduction™ well manager solution from Rockwell Automation, which contains an out-of-the-box Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® programmable automation controller (PAC) and FactoryTalk® View human-machine interface (HMI) that require no customized coding. The PAC provides ARC Assets single-platform keep an eye on for enormous websites with as much as 32 man made carry wells, and contextualized manufacturing data to lend a hand operators deal with optimum manufacturing ranges and troubleshoot problems.
“It’s a canned bundle,” Kettner stated. “You order it, set up it and plug to your knowledge to the issues it’s searching for, and away you cross.”
Kettner and his staff determined to pilot the brand new generation at an eight-well manufacturing web site named Dawn close to the city of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, sooner than putting in it at 4 different multi-well pad websites.
One of the vital advantages they first found out all the way through this trial run was once the add-on directions incorporated within the ConnectedProduction resolution, which helped them save about two days of programming all the way through the set up procedure. And as the resolution makes use of an open structure, integration with different seller on the web site was once simple.
Enhanced Visibility and Protection
The ConnectedProduction resolution has eradicated the desire for a couple of controllers and RTUs that had been up to now in position on the Dawn web site. Now, all nicely pad controls had been consolidated right into a single control platform. Along with simplifying the structure, this may lend a hand decrease and instrument prices for the web site.
The answer additionally allows the usage of artificial-lift programs, together with on/off timers and plunger-lift programs, and gives visibility into the ones programs.
“Operators can monitor occasions within the ConnectedProduction method to see what level we’re in of the optimization cycle and make higher choices about what to do subsequent,” Kettner stated. “Operators can see, as an example, timer nicely isn’t generating anymore, and transfer to the next move of striking a plunger within the hollow.”
The brand new machine additionally helps ARC Assets give a boost to protection by means of lowering the danger of faults going undetected on the Dawn web site.
“Now if one thing is going incorrect with the processor or if an I/O rack comes undone, the ControlLogix platform can fault to a protected state the place it shuts down all of the processes,” Kettner stated. “It takes all of the energy off the solenoids and necessarily ends up in an emergency shutdown.”
Some other advantage of the ConnectedProduction machine is it could possibly beef up a flow-measurement card inside the keep an eye on panel. This has allowed Kettner to do away with the usage of a separate flow-measurement pc, which is saving his corporate tens of 1000’s of bucks on the web site.
“We simply plug the cardboard into the rack, and it communicates at the backplane,” Kettner stated. “It’s given us massive price financial savings.”
Taking a look forward, Kettner already has orders in to carry the ConnectedProduction method to a minimum of 4 extra massive multi-well pads within the space.
“We’ve noticed worth of the Rockwell Automation resolution and wish to carry it to our different websites the place we want assisted carry,” he stated. “On new pads, we’ll enforce this proper from day one so it’s there and to be had when it’s wanted, and we will simply flip it on.”