Remote operations, particularly when they are widely distributed, often increase the risk to site personnel and the cost of operation. As specialists in remote monitoring and control, we were engaged to implement a solution for several coal seam gas wellheads.
A complicating factor in this particular application was that the wellheads were located in Africa with no cellular coverage while the monitoring and high level control was to remain in Australia.
The supplied solution included a semi-autonomous wellhead control skid coupled with a SCADA configuration. The connection to the field was performed through a wireless communications network consisting of both 450MHz and a satellite link.
The wellhead control skid included all the equipment necessary to drive de-watering pumps, meter gas and water flows, store reports and communicate live wellhead operating data back to a SCADA system.
Intrinsic safety and flameproof (Ex d) protection techniques were used to maintain compliance and safety where instruments were located in a hazardous area.
Data security was also considered, with the system deployed using a combination of over the air encryption and a VPN connection back to a SCADA server located in Australia.
With this solution, our client was able to monitor wellhead performance, optimise wellhead flows and configure operating set points without needing to travel to site as frequently, creating a savings on operating expenditure.