Digital and wireless solutions dominate market

Paul Boughton
Digital and wireless monitoring solutions are dominating today's oil and gas industry, driven by rapid advances in speed and durability. Sean Ottewell reports.

Specialist in completions and reservoir monitoring products and services, Tendeka has successfully installed its innovative harsh environment Oryx-XR distributed temperature sensing (DTS) monitoring system on a horizontal power water injection well in the United Arab Emirates for ADCO (Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations).

Horizontal injector

The project is the first high profile extreme reach horizontal injector DTS installation by Tendeka in the Middle East. The horizontal open section of the well was 10 000ft long.

Designed to overcome the toughest monitoring challenges, the Oryx-XR has a sensing range to 12km, and can provide a temperature resolution as fine as 0.010°C.

The autonomous, low powered device provides temperature samples every metre along a fibre, with a wide operating temperature window of between -5°C to 65°C, and can operate by solar or wind power.

The permanent, standalone unit contains the sensing optoelectronics and operates remotely with an intuitive, user-friendly software interface, making it a simple-to-use and easily transportable system.[Page Break]

Multiplexing module

The Oryx-XR features an inbuilt multiplexing module with either two or four channels, enabling up to four single ended measurements or two double-ended measurements.

Completion tubing of 3.5-in and 4.5-in with a DTS cable was successfully run to total depth in the 10 000ft 6 1/8-in horizontal hole, the hanger was landed and the packer installed. The project was completed successfully.

The system will provide ADCO with dynamic injection profile data to effectively monitor the injectivity performance of the well and enable optimisation of the injection process.

Challenging project

Tendeka vice president-MENA region Mark Watson said: "What could have been a challenging project actually turned out to be a very straightforward one, thanks to the skill and experience of those people involved. The completion tubing with the DTS cable attached ran smoothly with very low friction and the installed hanger and packer tested with no problems. The Oryx-XR was designed to deal with some of the toughest monitoring situations, such as horizontal well activity and increasingly complex wells, and it has proven its ability to meet those challenges."

Digital telemetry

Mantracourt's T24 digital telemetry system has been chosen by Technip Umbilical Systems (DUCO), a company that manufactures a range of bespoke umbilical systems for offshore applications.

DUCO umbilicals form the critical link between a subsea production arrangement and a remote facility providing control, power, and communications and chemical services.

Applications now include production control, chemical injection, subsea pumping and processing, gas lift and underground gas storage among others.

Using the T24 telemetry measurement technology, DUCO performs steel tube fatigue tests and remotely monitors strain throughout. This testing is essential as umbilical structures can undergo dynamic stresses throughout service life, which can impact on lifespan and performance. Accurate fatigue data is therefore essential.

"Mantracourt's T24 wireless strain measurement system is ideal for our application," said Robert Nesbitt, principal engineer at DUCO.

"The tubes rotate during component testing, so 'wired' systems have proven impractical. Moving to the robust, wireless telemetry approach of the T24 is enabling us to reliably collect critical data."[Page Break]

Battery life

Tom Crawford, test technician at DUCO, added, "With the sleep and wake feature, the requirement for personnel intervention can be reduced and battery life increased.

"Features such as the very small size of the device and Mantracourt's excellent technical support have also contributed to the success of this project."

Mantracourt is a specialist in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies including strain gauge, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.

Strain gauge acquistion device

The DUCO system operates with a Mantracourt T24-ACMm, a mini IP54 enclosure which houses the strain gauge acquisition device, converting the analogue signal (mV) to a digital format which is then transmitted via 2.4 Ghz frequency to a PC.

The internal antenna provides range of up to 100metres. The T24-ACMm also has options for a voltage or current input.

A small battery pack with 2 x AAA cells is used to provide 3V DC power and has been fixed to the rotating tubes. Duco has used Mantracourt's toolkit software to receive and log data to a.csv file.

"This is an ideal example of how Mantracourt works with our customers to overcome measurement and instrumentation challenges," said Kelly Voysey, marketing manager at Mantracourt. "With all of the design and manufacturing of our products taking place at our UK factory, we are able not only to maintain absolute quality, but also to provide bespoke systems and the highest level of technical support."

Communications solution

For its part, Harris CapRock Communications has announced the further development of its FieldAccess communications solution with the opening of two service centres in Odessa and San Antonio, Texas, to enhance rapid, local service and support to clients' land drilling operations.

FieldAccess, Harris CapRock's communication solution designed specifically to meet the needs of land drilling operations, meets customers' requirements for quick VSAT orders, installations and rig moves by leveraging in-region field technicians.

The service also enables predictable budgeting through flat-rate service plans and unlimited, contiguous US long distance.[Page Break]

Land drilling market

Since the launch of the solution in 2010, the company has identified significant needs of the land drilling market, including local manpower, readily available inventory and quick access to critical spares.

It is to address these needs and better serve its clients that Harris CapRock has established two service centres in the most prominent land drilling areas in Texas - Odessa and San Antonio.

The service centres will provide value and benefit for customers through quick installations and response times to service calls, rapid deployment of turnkey solutions upon order, expedited service restoration and reduced downtime.

"The west Texas Permian Basin and south Texas Eagle Ford regions represent strong areas of growth and opportunity for our land drilling clients," said Rohit Chhabra, Harris CapRock business development, land drilling. Just in the last few years alone, the land rig count in west and south Texas has significantly increased.

"Having a stronger local presence in these key regions gives our clients peace of mind knowing that we are ready to support them with whatever they need - whether it be critical equipment spares, quick service deployment or local manpower."[Page Break]

Critical spares

Capabilities of the service centres include local inventory of critical spares and the ability to restore service in a more timely manner, with the assistance of local field technicians.

In many cases, service restoration can be accomplished remotely by Harris CapRock's network operations centre (NOC), further minimising downtime.

"The establishment of the new service centres serves as a natural extension of the FieldAccess solution and the land drilling operations it supports," said Tom Eaton, Harris CapRock president. "It is also a testament to Harris CapRock's commitment to increasing service capabilities to the industry as it continues to experience substantial growth."

While Odessa and San Antonio are the first two service centres to launch, the company expects to open others as needed to meet the demands and growth of the industry.

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