The Wellsite of the Future, Today: Compliance Solutions for an Evolving Industry

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Measurement Instrumentation, Oil & Gas

Brandon Bromberek

Vice President Oil & Gas, Measurement Solutions

Rules and regulations in the oil and gas industry constantly change and evolve while technology advances over time. As innovators in the space, it is part of our job to ensure agencies and governmental bodies are aware of and fully comprehend the engineering and science behind technological advancements as we move through this age of digital transformation.

Contractual compliance issues can crop up when legacy solutions fail to provide adequate records or require time-consuming diagnostic tests to prove their accuracy. Additionally, the industry is continually modifying what is and isn’t allowed at the wellsite. Measured forward progress is inevitable.

So, what are some of the latest developments that will enable operators to streamline monitoring and data reporting at the wellsite? How is digital transformation making operators’ lives more manageable from a compliance perspective?

Diminish Wasteful “Proving the Meter” Trips with Cutting-Edge Diagnostics

To ensure customers are getting what they pay for, oil and gas producers are sometimes under contract to regularly prove their meters are accurate and not drifting. On the other side of the coin, operators need to be sure they are charging the right amount to their customers when they transfer custody. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get these measurements right. Legacy flow meters without advanced diagnostics and historian data require constant meter testing to verify accuracy. In some cases, this process could shut down production if the meter needs to be fixed or recalibrated off-site and a replacement can’t be found.

Digitalization of the wellsite reduces the need for these costly proving exercises, sometimes even eliminating them altogether. Diagnostic software like Smart Meter Verification automatically performs diagnostic checks on the meter and monitors its performance without requiring any process interruptions or manual rounds. Operators can now check on the health of their meters without making a trip out to the field, and they receive daily or weekly reports that track the history of the meter, giving them constant confidence in the meter’s performance.

A Powerhouse of Record Tracking Capability: Historian Data

Legacy instrumentation devices do not have the best ability to capture and store data. However, today’s advanced wireless transmitters can automatically collect and log all of the process and diagnostic variables your cutting-edge measurement technology has to offer. Not only that, but now we have data visualization software that can take all of this information and break it down in an easy-to-use format that enables real-time process optimization and troubleshooting.

Emerson’s Micro Motion 4200 2-Wire and 5700 Transmitters both come with Data Historian and a real-time clock on board which streamline compliance reporting and provide extensive records for all process measurements and meter diagnostics available in our Micro Motion Coriolis Flow Meters. Paired with Micro Motion ProcessViz, a data visualization software platform, operators gain a clear window into systems at the wellsite that can be used for reporting, audits, contractual disputes, and everything in between.

Because this high-resolution data paints a precise picture of every moment in your process, it’s easy to see how much simpler and straightforward compliance reporting can be.

Keeping Up with Regulations

Staying ahead of the curve as rules and regulations change and expand will be on the minds of all oil and gas operators as industry standards continue to evolve. Environmental concerns are expected to escalate, and enhancements to equipment and instrumentation at the wellsite will help keep producers in line with shifting requirements. Digitalization of your wellsite means being a leader who sets the standards for any safety and compliance issues the industry faces.

Sophisticated technologies that can monitor corrosion and erosion to prevent leaks and spills will be at the forefront of tackling these safety and regulatory concerns. Connected, real-time auges to monitor casing annulus pressure and allow for quick remediation, and tank gauging solutions that can prevent overfills and ensure safety and regulatory compliance are all part of an extensive portfolio of products that are integral to the wellsite of the future. Solutions to monitor emissions in line with our goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also play a part. The producers who embrace the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and begin to make these incremental changes to their wellsites today will emerge as pioneers of digital transformation and set the stage for the evolution of the entire industry—and will be leaders amongst their peers.

In our final installment on the wellsite of the future, we’ve gone over a few of the ways cutting-edge, digital solutions can alleviate the burdens of compliance. If you’re interested in learning more about these solutions or any of the other ways to modernize your wellsite we’ve discussed in previous installments, contact us. We aim to be your partner as we build out the wellsite of the future, today.

As we’ve demonstrated throughout this series, there is no reason to wait for the wellsite of the future. It’s already here. Don’t get left behind. To learn how your operations can benefit from some of the solutions presented in this series, please visit us at www.emerson.com/oilandgas.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.