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How To Optimize Oil & Gas Downstream and Workover with SCADA

By Ziad Alezabi

February 28, 2024


In the Oil & Gas industry, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems ensure real-time monitoring and control.

oil and gas monitoring

SCADA allows you to remotely monitor, control, and collect data, making it easier to repeat processes efficiently, such as:

  1. Management and Refinement
  2. Storage
  3. Transportation
  4. Maintenance
  5. Data Acquisition & Trend Recognition
  6. Damage Prevention

You also become safety code compliant with your regional standards.

SCADA can directly help you with:

  • Downstream: The refining, processing, and distribution process in oil and gas production.
  • Workover: The maintenance and failure prevention process in oil and gas production.

SCADA systems are as good as the manufacturer that provides you with them.

How To Refine Oil and Gas Downstream Operations

The downstream process in oil and natural gas production refers to refining, processing, and distributing.

This means that it is a process that goes from the field all the way to the supply chain.

The universal remote control and monitoring that you get with SCADA ensures streamlining, safety, and efficiency.

Real-Time Data Acquisition

In SCADA, there are multiple products including the RTU (Remote Telemetry Unit), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Master Stations.

Other detection equipment that includes:

  • Temperature Sensors: This includes Thermocouples, RTDs (Resistance Temperature Detectors), Infrared Sensors, and Thermistors.
  • Pressure Sensors: This includes Pressure Transmitters and Pressure Gauges
  • Flow Rate Sensors: This includes Flowmeters, Orifice Plates, and Venturi Tubes
  • Level Sensors: This includes Level Transmitters and Level Switches (think float switches)
  • Composition Sensors: This includes GCs (Gas Chromatographs), multiple types of Spectrometers, and NIRs(Near-Infrared Analyzers).

RTUs can monitor your sensors if they output discrete and analog signals.

You can install your RTU in remote locations to remotely monitor data, sending it back to your master station.

You can establish remote control functions to save you and your employees time and money to go press a button or flip a switch.

In the crude oil and natural gas industry, industrial automation leads to you having multiple remote terminal units (RTUs). Centralizing your monitoring equipment at your remote sites helps you to:

  1. Generate a bigger pool of data collected.
  2. Recognize short term and long term trends across all your sites.
  3. Make more informed decisions about your industrial processes and cost effectiveness.

Polling Master Stations are crucial in the oil and gas industry. They immediately alert you if a monitoring device at a remote site has malfunctioned.

How To Maintain A Healthy Workover

Oil & gas workover is maintenance to restore, repair, and upgrade both your production capabilities and controlling equipment.

Real-time monitoring sends you data that allows you to evaluate your well's performance and maintenance status.

Monitoring achieves the following:

  • Analyzing production data and well logs
  • Gathering key parameters (pressure, temperature, etc.)

By monitoring this data, you can promptly notice issues that require maintenance. This includes production rates declining or downhole equipment failures.

Downhole equipment failures are the malfunctions that happen in equipment installed down a well hole.

Common downhole failures are the following:

  1. Pump Failures: Downhole pumps (rod pumps, electric submersible pumps, and progressive cavity pumps) can fail. This results in mechanical, electrical, and production issues.
  2. Valve Failures: Downhole valves (safety and gas lift valves) can fail because of mechanical issues, corrosion, or unwanted debris.
  3. Sensor Failures: Downhole sensors monitoring different parameters can fail because of electric issues, or signal degradation.
  4. Tubing Failures: Your tubing can malfunction because of corrosion, wear and tear, and leaks.
  5. Casing Failures: The steel pipe lining your well (casing) can become deformed, collapse, or corrode. This can contaminate your Wellbore's environment.

These equipment failures are easily preventable with equipment from a SCADA system manufacturer that has experience in the industry.

Manufacturers that offer integration and customization ensure future expansion and backwards integration.

DPS Monitors Oil & Gas Operations In Real-Time. At One Place.

DPS manufactures SCADA systems for multiple industries. This includes the oil & gas production industry.

One of our most notable clients are Kuwait national petroleum Company (KNPC), one of the biggest refineries world-wide.

They distribute petroleum products all over the world, so a properly functioning communication system is crucial for them.

KNPC sought us out after a rectifier failed at one of their remote sites.

"Normally the power doesn't fail here. It was an unmanned station, the power failed and all the batteries were drained completely. We didn't know that." - Ravipati Seetaramaiah
Mr. Ravipati Seetaramaiah - KNPC Engineer
Ravipati Seetaramaiah
KNPC Engineer

They had 9 remote sites that needed monitoring. DPS helped KNPC deploy a dual-redundant system configuration.

It consisted of redundant T/MON Slim Master Stations incase a hardware failure occurs on the main master station.

We also helped KNPC deploy nine NetGuardian 832A RTUs at each remote monitoring site. This came equipped with 16 analog inputs per RTU and 48 digital expansion units.

What DPS Can Help You Solve

DPS Telecom can help you achieve real-time monitoring and control. Without a SCADA system, you may face challenges in monitoring and controlling your oil and gas wells.

You don't have to put up with inefficiencies. At DPS we equip you with customized monitoring configurations that make sure you have supervision and control over process.

Manual data analysis is a thing of the past. DPS Telecom's SCADA system and upcoming AI integrations equip you with data and presentations. This will help you predict maintenance schedules, and prevent malfunctions before they happen.

When you become a client with DPS, safety and compliance won't even be on your mind. Our monitoring equipment comes with in-depth documentation that helps you stay within your national and regional compliance standards.

Integrate forwards and backwards with DPS Telecom. We offer you customized monitoring on all 3 levels including:

  1. Customizable Software
  2. Customizable Form Factors
  3. Customizable Networks

If you have have similar applications or unanswered questions please contact me and I will be happy to help.

Even if we can't find a solution together, I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

Call at 1-800-693-0351 or E-mail at sales@dpstele.com

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi is a Application Documentarian at DPS Telecom. He reviews successful DPS client projects and reports on the best practices that you can use to successfully reach your own project goals.