Oil and Gas SCADA Basics

Learn how SCADA systems uniquely help oil and gas organizations with increasing production and reducing downtime. Oil and gas SCADA systems are specifically designed for operations in the oilfield.

How SCADA Systems Help Oil and Gas Companies

Several industries utilize supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to control and monitor assets to optimize operational efficiency. In general, SCADA providers will install a SCADA solution on-premises. Common locations include control rooms or field offices. With the recent development of cloud-based SCADA, these systems may be accessed and utilized from any device with internet access. Cloud-hosted solutions are gaining in popularity due to their low cost and versatility.

While many industries have a general use-case for SCADA services, the oil and gas industry has very specific needs for SCADA. One of the unique problems specific to oil and gas is their need to communicate in remote areas. As a result, SCADA solutions have adopted several communication methods that involve wired, radio, satellite, and cellular networks.

Another challenge unique to oil and gas concerns the numerous device-types used in field. Because of the nature of mergers and acquisitions within the industry, oil and gas operators often possess an array of assets with varying manufacturers. Oilfield SCADA systems have adapted to integrate easily with device-agnostic solutions, meaning communications can work with any device-type.

SCADA for Oil & Gas Organizations

Because oil and gas operations are complicated, it is essential that operators have access to the data needed to avoid costly mistakes. Organizations can make better-informed decisions efficiently with SCADA systems. Crucial SCADA functions for organizations in the oil and gas industry include:

1. Monitor: physical oilfield site conditions and access real-time data metrics such as pressures, flow rates, tank levels, etc.

2. Control Remotely: processes, such as modifying setpoints, adjust valves, perform electronic shutdowns, etc.

3. Report: performance metrics, trends, and alarms.

Oil and gas companies usually operate across multiple basins, which can be in different states across the country. Communication requirements may be a mixture of various networks, including cellular, satellite, wired, and radio. Monitored equipment also varies greatly, with a myriad of manufacturing companies with vastly different protocols for communication. SCADA solutions that are designed for oil and gas provide simple solutions to these challenges and make implementation less complicated.

SCADA Implementation in the Oil & Gas Industry

SCADA is beneficial to both upstream and midstream sectors. For example, field employees can avoid drive-time and save money on fuel when they can access the data needed remotely. SCADA provides engineers with precise data, more granular data, concise dashboards, and tools that directly aid in keeping costs low and increasing production. Having a reliable and singular data source provides managers and employees with improved decision-making capabilities.

What SCADA Means for Upstream

The exploration and production industry, or upstream sector, can increase production by utilizing SCADA’s alarm management functionality to get promptly notified of critical problems. For example, engineers can set alarms that will alert them when a pumpjack is not communicating. Monitoring tank levels helps operators schedule efficient hauls. This also helps prevent oilfield spills. The ability to control plungers or pump-off controllers remotely helps aid in the pursuit of increasing overall production.

What SCADA Means for Midstream

Midstream or pipeline companies connect the upstream and downstream sectors. These operators monitor pressures of their pipelines to identify anomalies and remedy issues. Without SCADA, midstream companies will not notice an imbalance of inlet and outlet quantities until month-end accounting processes. With SCADA, pipeline companies can track and balance inlets and outlets in real time.

What is the Best SCADA System for Oil & Gas Organizations?

eLynx Technologies® has been the leading, modern oil and gas SCADA solution for over 20 years. eLynx Technologies® is uniquely designed for operators in the oil and gas industry. eLynx Technologies® provides automated SCADA data, field data capture, and third-party data all in one place. The eLynx SCADA system is fast to implement, and granular security permissions make it easy for operators to access field data. The eLynx SCADA system is robust with functionality that empowers users to operate more efficiently.

Oil & Gas Automated Alarming & Reporting

The eLynx interface allows users to monitor assets in the oilfield and provides data in real time. With intuitive dashboards and simple summaries, eLynx SCADA makes it easy to manage and operate efficiently. Some key features are listed below.

Production Dashboard: View actual production versus target production over time across an entire field or a single lease route. Learn More.

The Production dashboard gives oil and gas operators an overview of their production values for an entire field or a single lease route. SCADA systems with intuitive dashboards help SCADA analysts with real-time data initiatives.

Well Review: Organize wells by status, prioritizing which wells need your attention most. Sort target and variance data further within each status group, and quickly see which wells are the furthest off from their expected production.

Alarm Dashboard: The Alarm Dashboard gives operators an overview of everything they need to know about their alarms. Quickly see the number of alarms each employee receives daily. View what types of alerts or assets alarm the most often and more. Learn More.

The eLynx alarm dashboard gives oil and gas operators an overview of every alarm being sent to their operational employees. SCADA systems with intuitive dashboards help SCADA analysts with real-time data initiatives. This SCADA dashboard breaks down recipients, set points, and devices.

Scheduled Reports: Schedule and receive automated reports monthly, weekly, or daily about the analytics that matter most to you. Operators may utilize canned reports or create custom reports. From the user-friendly HMI, users may display, download, and schedule report distribution.

Alarm Escalations: Utilize alarm escalations, or tiers, to determine who receives an alarm and when. Easily notify different subgroups when alarms remain unacknowledged for a specific duration of time.

Alarm Schedules: Alarm schedules prevent personnel from being disturbed by alarms on their days off. Operators can help decrease alarm fatigue and increase employee satisfaction with Alarm Schedules.

Image View: Easily add graphical context to your data to help surface and analyze operational issues. Image View allows all users to create and customize their own screens with support for demand scan requests, edit capabilities, and interactive alarm banners at either a group or device level. Learn More.

Image View is a custom dashboard that oil and gas operators can build to mirror their operations and quickly assess when problems arise. The Image View tool is another SCADA dashboard that allow SCADA engineers and analysts to design custom dashboards specific to their operations. This will allow oil and gas industry players to increase production and reduce downtime.

Monitor & Control

The eLynx SCADA system promotes efficient systems and processes that avoid hazardous environments. Oil and gas operators can deploy remote control for many processes, such as:

Modify Controller Settings: Tune artificial lift parameters and setpoints remotely. Control plungers, ESPs, rod pumps, gas lift injection, and valve settings in the application.

Demand Scan Capability: Initiate an instantaneous poll when you need current data.

Change Registers: Easily view and change registers for tags in the field on Total Flow or Fisher devices from your mobile device or laptop. Other protocols coming soon.

Commands/Write Down Capability: Start/stop pumps, open/close valves, initiate ESD, etc. All commands are subject to user security permissions and logged in the asset control history.

Change Plate Size: Update plate sizes remotely via the application.

Update Gas Composition: Update meter gas composition data by writing down gas analysis results to the meter remotely.

Sync Timeclocks: Keep your meter and RTU timeclocks sync'd to the same time for contract hour rollover and for daylight savings time.

Oil & Gas SCADA Reports

To meet regulatory compliance obligations, oil and gas operators must adhere to strict and accurate reporting capabilities on key performance indicators. eLynx SCADA is a crucial part of the reporting process. Major reporting features include:

Control History: Keep track of remote settings changes and control write-downs. The system logs user commands noting who changed what when, and what they changed it from and to.

Daily Liquid Production Calculations: Calculate daily liquid production based on tank volumes and allocate based on your allocation method, such as meter readings, well tests, etc. Expedite daily liquid production volume calculations with run tickets being immediately loaded to the application.

Morning Report: View non-critical alarms that occurred overnight in a morning report custom to operations.

Archive File Collection: Remotely collect hourly and daily archive files for measurement and custody transfer records.

Archive File Distribution: Distribute hourly and daily archive files directly to the in-house measurement group or third-party measurement company.

Batch Gas Analysis Updates: Update multiple meter gas compositions at one time using csv files directly from the lab.

Automated Trend Reports: Schedule imports to receive data from a secure FTP or via email. Graph data from a single asset or multiple assets. Graphs can be saved and shared amongst users.


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