Summer 2018

Wireline goes wireless

A four year collaborative project has resulted in Strainstall's launch of a clever new wireless wellsite monitoring solution for the oil and gas industry.

Strainstall has been working in collaboration with major oilfield services provider, Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) to develop an innovative wireless monitoring solution for oil and gas wellsites, both on and offshore.

BHGE originally approached Strainstall four years ago to discuss the development of a wireless load-monitoring solution for well intervention and wireline operations. The team was keen for the system to help understand well condition and performance and to track the tools and measurement devices which are routinely inserted into the well.

Now a new wellsite monitoring solution (WMS) has been designed by Strainstall and validated by BHGE.

Jim Profit, business development manager at Strainstall says:

'Working in partnership like this has been a great way to develop new technologies for the oilfield. It has allowed us to not only design new equipment that is clearly needed but also to offer fully field-tested and validated solutions to the wider industry.

'As developers, this allows us to gather valuable insights into the technology’s performance and identify where improvements and efficiencies can be made, so turning them into tangible benefits in the field.’

WMS is able to wirelessly collate and log data from a wide range of different sensors (including tension and pressure sensors). This meets BHGE’s demand to be able to accurately assess the line tension during wireline logging operations because monitoring this load placed on the line by the downhole tools helps operators confirm they are being deployed safely, correctly and efficiently which minimises the use of expensive rig time.

Cabled sensors had previously been used to monitor real-time line tension, but cables present a trip hazard, and, in comparison with other rig hardware, are fragile and vulnerable to damage. In a 12-month period BHGE has previously spent $325,000 solely on cable replacements.

However, WMS not only removes the trip hazard, but it also improves measurement accuracy and system resilience. With fewer elements to go wrong clients can expect a reduction in the risk of non-productive time and the consequent costs and production delays that are inevitable while replacement cables are obtained and installed.

Adrian Coventry, engineering director at Strainstall explains:

‘WMS offers a relatively simple solution that can make a big difference in the field. By negating the need for wires it increases safety and saves the costs of cabling as well as maintenance across the life of the site. Because the system is digital, it offers improved accuracy, together with a data logging function that means information can be retrieved and analysed to gain insights into operational performance at any stage.'

Currently wellsite sensor information is only used for immediate monitoring and is not stored for subsequent analysis or shared, but when BHGE pointed out potential opportunities for efficiency improvement and consolidated learning if data could be collected and analysed, the Strainstall team factored this functionality into WMS.

Further advantages can be gained by the fact that WMS works equally efficiently on new AND existing installations with a ‘plug and play’ function which allows it to interface with any hard-wired systems and sensor types. This means operators can swiftly upgrade their existing monitoring equipment, without having to replace existing sensors.

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