Wellhead Operators in Texas Trim Operating Expenses with Automation Technology

headshot_jim_wiles_smallBy Jim Wiles, Software Toolbox

The Texas reputation for size comes with some mighty metrics to back it up. As the largest oil producer in the Union, the state’s wellheads are spread over 268,000 square miles. If you are in the oil and gas industry, on-site management and monitoring of land-based wells can be a logistical challenge as well as a considerable expense. The state boasts nearly one working oil or gas well for every square mile, each requiring stringent monitoring and reporting by the Railroad Commission of Texas, the governmental regulatory agency that oversees the state’s oil and gas industry.

Not surprisingly, automation technology continues to make a significant impact on the upstream and midstream oil and gas business, especially in the areas of remote production site and distribution monitoring and management. Five Star Measurement of Weatherford, Tex., a comprehensive field service provider to natural gas and oil producers, focuses on measurement, calibration, and flow meter installation as well as communications and network connectivity. The company, which works with large global producers as well as independent owners and operators, has been spearheading the industry transition from traditional wellhead operations inspections to more cost-effective remote monitoring technology solutions. As a result, customers are seeing reductions in operating costs associated with field technician time and travel expenses.

Soon after Software Toolbox introduced its new Electronic Flow Measurement (EFM) Suite plug-in for its flagship product, TOP Server, Five Star integrated the solution into more than 700 wellheads as an initial stage that may eventually expand to 6,000 sites. TOP Server is Software Toolbox’s OPC-certified and native HMI device connectivity software application, offering more than 130 different device drivers and plug-ins. As an add-on to Top Server, the EFM Suite is used on remote well sites to collect historic data from flow meters. The data is transmitted via radio, cellular, or WAN/LAN to a central location for review and reporting. The TOP Server product enables access to more than 100 different drivers for other industry applications, including facilities management, power distribution, and real-time device information. Wide driver availability offers additional flexibility to oil and gas industry users.

Read the entire case study here.