25. April 2012 11:47
Technology advances are helping producers of coal bed methane (CBM) and shale oil and gas increase production and improve safety while decreasing costs
The implementation of directional and horizontal wells has been a boon to the unconventional upstream sector. This arrangement offers a significant number of benefits, including:
- Fewer wells per section
- Larger reservoir exposure per well
- Higher production per well
- Simpler logistics (one pad controller for up to 20 wells)
- Fewer gathering systems
- Lower environmental impact
- Reduced CAPEX and OPEX costs
- Reduced safety hazards
These wellheads can be grouped together, taking up less land area and requiring less equipment. In addition to the reduced CAPEX and OPEX costs, these wells can access difficult-to-reach reservoirs.
Directional drilling exposes more of the producing zone, and hydraulic fracturing allows trapped oil and gas to migrate to the wellbore. Production rates in these types of wells are typically 10 to 20 percent higher than in traditional vertical wells.
The most recent production technology is the "pad" concept, in which multiple directional wells produce from one location. All measurement and control functions are done through one RTU. This arrangement provides better security, increased safety, and lower CAPEX/OPEX. And because the pad uses common separators and gas treatment for all the wells, it reduces cost and environmental footprint.
SCADAvantage™ from ABB works extremely well for this scenario. The system provides data gathering and interfacing to production and accounting software. In addition, it is scalable, with the ability to easily add new wells to the SCADA system without having to rely on vendor support.
Pumpers can log on to the system in the morning from their homes and plan their day based on real-time data. Managers and engineers can log on to analyze data and troubleshoot. SCADAvantage integrates with other applications using open, real-time, international standards of connectivity, such as ODBC, OLEDB and OPC.
These and other features make SCADAvantage an efficient and cost-effective choice to make the most of the latest technology for the onshore production of unconventional oil and gas.