IoT Well Surveillance Helps Operators, E&Ps Optimize Production

Author photo: Tim Shea
ByTim Shea
Technology Trends

ARC has been blogging about the ever increasing number of IIoT-enabled collaborations and partnerships that are designed to help the owner-operators and independent E&P firms optimize their operations, increase their production and, most importantly, lower their cost per boe. We are seeing an increasing number of major automation companies looking to broaden and strengthen their portfolios of solutions some of which include IoT well surveillance to help their customers thrive in this “lower for longer” hydrocarbon price environment.

Siemens has announced a scalable, end-to-end IoT solution, designed to help oil and gas companies optimize production and reduce costs through connected systems, automation, and analytics at the edge. Developed in collaboration with Intel’s Industrial IoT Group, Siemens IoT Well Surveillance was showcased at ADIPEC.

Benefits of IoT Well Surveillance

This innovative solution offers companies across the oil and gas industry a cost-efficient solution to link distributed assets into an integrated network with minimal effort, while simultaneously providing a high level of automation. In a sector beleaguered by falling prices, Siemens IoT Well Surveillance will allow energy companies to acquire the cost benefits of digitization. Oil and gas prices have dropped by 50 per cent since 2014 and companies are looking to technology for the business transformation that will increase efficiency and optimize operations.

Oil field facilities and assets are typically a significant distance apart and often only partially integrated into automation systems. This makes data capture for central storage and analysis difficult and limits operational visibility. Siemens IoT Well Surveillance lets companies connect and integrate data from previously unconnected assets in a cost-efficient manner — enabling comprehensive condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and reduced facility downtime. Siemens IoT Well Surveillance addresses field operation and oilfield artificial lift control. The solution uses existing sensors and Siemens’ Simocode motor management system as key inputs for edge data analytics.

The edge computing device, an Intel-powered Siemens Nanobox, performs advanced analytics and soft sensing on this data, calculating pump conditions from it, triggering alerts, and optimizing the production. Performing these calculations at the pump enables independent operation on the well. For further processing and field analytics the information is sent to a central system such as SCADA or an IoT platform. Dynagraph and alert functions with video integration are available for well site personnel via a fully interactive web portal.

IoT Platform Increases Asset Awareness, Operational Efficiency and Revenues

The solution is tightly integrated with the Siemens MindSphere IoT platform, with a seamless connection between the production facility and applications for advanced analytics of multiple wells.  Overall benefits of Siemens IoT Well Surveillance include increased asset awareness, operational efficiency, and increased revenue from production optimization.

Intel collaborated with Siemens in the development of Siemens IoT Well Surveillance. Both Intel technologies and hardware are featured in the solution, including an Intel Atom processor-powered Siemens Nanobox gateway and an Intel-based wireless access point. The Intel Core i5 processor-powered ruggedized tablet is used for onsite visualization of up to six months of data and for data capture at the well. Intel also collaborated on the edge software.

“Siemens’ innovative IoT solution for artificial lift monitoring, analytics, and control, based on scalable Intel IoT technology, demonstrates the value of edge analytics and soft sensing for well optimization and control, while appreciably lowering the total cost of ownership,” says Christine Boles, General Manager of the Industrial & Energy Solutions Division in Intel’s Internet of Things Group. “Together, Intel and Siemens are helping transform the world of oil field automation and enabling companies to succeed in a challenging market.”

OMV, a Vienna-based integrated oil and gas company, has been piloting the Siemens IoT Well Surveillance solution at an OMV oil field since April 2017. An operator of several thousand beam pump stripper wells, OMV is highly encouraged by the early pilot results which have enabled production optimization, early production loss identification and deferment, maintenance optimization, and field personnel relief. “The Siemens solution enables complete asset awareness at reasonable cost for wells with low production, such as stripper wells,” says OMV Saša Blažeković, Team Leader Production Support.

ARC is encouraged to see the growing number of operators and independents embracing IIoT-enabled solutions as they journey towards their own digital transformations. As a consumer of hydrocarbons used for gasoline, heat, products derived from chemicals, and much more, I am excited by the prospect of lower costs and am also aware that the producers will still be able to realize a decent return on their investments as long as they are embracing, and benefitting from, the digital revolution.

For those readers in the US, may you and yours enjoy a safe and fun Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

IoT Well Surveillance


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