The Wellsite of the Future, Today: The Personnel Perspective

by | Sep 24, 2021 | Measurement Instrumentation, Oil & Gas

Brandon Bromberek

Vice President Oil & Gas, Measurement Solutions

There are many ways to tap into the advantages of digital transformation at the wellsite, and there is no reason to wait for some speculative future in order to reap the benefits of advanced technology today. In this series, we’re tackling the topic of the wellsite of the future, investigating all the advantages for oil and gas operators who embrace automation and wireless technologies available in the here and now. In this article, we’re going to focus on how making incremental investments in scalable technology at the wellsite can create solutions to ease personnel demands and reduce the impact of skilled labor shortages while also providing opportunities for optimizing production.

Availability: Access to Labor in the Oilfield

In a strong market, ramping up your labor force can be challenging. In a weaker market, downsizing can be just as stressful and difficult. Skilled labor is often in short supply. What can producers do to build and sustain a steady, dependable workforce, no matter how turbulent the market conditions? The answer lies in remote connectivity and advanced instrumentation that can help optimize your production capabilities while significantly reducing the hours of skilled labor required for maintaining and troubleshooting the wellsite.

Wireless and remote connectivity compounds the value precision measurement devices like Coriolis Flow Meters and pressure and temperature transmitters deliver by decreasing the man-hours wasted driving to and from the well pad for manual equipment checks. From the safety of the operations center, workers can analyze the health of equipment and allocate their time to situations that require manual intervention. By leaning on diagnostics and analytics to execute lower-level tasks, operators are able to plan ahead, maintaining a workforce built on a deeper understanding of their needs. When producers can strategize like this at the micro-level, they are free to develop a stable workforce less vulnerable to dynamic market forces.

Pairing the Right Expertise with the Right Challenge

In an ideal world, everyone on your staff is an expert in every situation, be it unconventional oil wells, tight gas wells, or even tank batteries. In the real world, this is rarely, if ever, the case. You’ll have experts in one domain and others with a completely different skill set. So, how do you ensure that you are pairing the right person with the right challenge, thereby sharpening labor efficiency across your field?

When troubleshooting and diagnostic tasks can be completed with integrated asset management capabilities like the scalable SCADA System, operators can utilize machine learning to free up an expert’s time for more specialized tasks. As these technologies evolve, we’ll be able to predict outcomes based on a database of past occurrences and update models based on real-time inputs from the field. Expertise that previously would have been tied up with less essential tasks would be free to tackle big picture strategy and any process upsets that demand higher levels of insight.

Amplify Training Your Workforce

In the past, training a newcomer required hundreds of hours in the field to expose them to the scenarios necessary for gaining the right experiences. Today, trainees can acquire all of that exposure from learning and troubleshooting behind a computer screen that shows them everything happening across an entire field in real-time. Remote access allows senior personnel to teach apprentices without the hassle of driving back and forth from the wellsite for every single issue and equipment check, ramping up and streamlining the education of your workforce exponentially.

Additionally, cloud-based environments that gather all your wellsite information into one system also amplifies training efforts by providing end-to-end production data in easy-to-understand data visualization and reporting functions. Secure platforms like our Zedi Cloud SCADA Solutions aggregate your data and present production challenges for training purposes in a user-friendly way.

Modernization for a Labor Force of the Future

The more we can train and retain top talent at the wellsite, the more efficient our operations will be. By modernizing wellsite technology, producers can reap the benefits of a skilled and reliable labor force, insulating the organization from the ups and downs of the industry.

At Emerson, we’ve built solutions that will not only help you on your journey towards the wellsite of the future but also bind these advanced solutions together into one simple, easy-to-implement platform. Look for our next installment exploring how these technologies can limit costs and complexities across the oilfield.

To learn more about our oil and gas solutions, 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.