The emergence of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and its promise of leveraging smart sensors to create smart machines, or assets, that can be monitored, measured, and controlled more efficiently, more timely, and in such a manner as to increase ROA and/or reduce costs will no doubt play a material role in increasing the adoption of intelligent pumps. The era of “easy oil” is now over, with unconventional sources such as tight oil and shale gas, ultra-deepwater, and subsea energy sources becoming the new normal of “lower for longer” price ranges. In this environment, owner-operators and independent E&P companies realize the value of investing in modern technology solutions such as intelligent oilfield pumps to help drive down costs, enhance production, improve and/or enhance recovery, and ensure more efficient operations with reduced labor time.
New research and developments in smarter sensors, improved connectivity including wireless, more advanced analytics and software capabilities, and a general urgency to cut costs while maintaining or increasing production in the face of low oil prices are all factors driving a convergence in growing need for intelligent oilfield pumps. Innovative data-gathering devices and instrumentation upon intelligent pumps and hardware deliver real-time, system-wide visibility from the surface to downhole for better understanding of operations. IIoT-aided solutions enable intelligent pumps to support disparate and distributed projects, such as multi-well pad sites, through shared operational data across the field or larger reservoir.
Intelligent pumps are being, or at least should be, updated regularly with new features to fulfill many market demands and increase their value proposition. The intelligence of an oilfield pump can be enhanced not just through the use of a variable frequency drive but also through the integration of IIoT-enabled solutions that will help improve machine uptime and availability as well as production and operational efficiencies, from the wellhead through the entire supply chain by optimizing data, information, and analytics.
Intelligent pumps have been proven effective in artificial lift, chemical injection, CO2 injection/EOR, crude oil transfer, downhole pumping/fracturing, multiphase pumping, subsea boosting, water injection, and other upstream applications. A small but growing number of intelligent pumps available today are being designed with the ability to integrate production data with drilling and reservoir data thereby providing greater visibility into the reservoir’s performance. Such information can aid in well spacing/down spacing decisions, which can have a material impact on the individual well’s (or field’s) overall production performance brought about by the pump system being optimized. Given the potential benefits that could be realized, operators would want to consider leveraging the IIoT-enabled intelligent pumps, where and when appropriate, to harness the power of connectivity to support real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance.
The deployment of intelligent pumps is greatest in North America and EMEA due to the preponderance of offshore and subsea activity in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and off the coasts of East and West Africa. Onshore activity is greatest in the US and Canada with the resurging shale operations for oil and gas as well as oil tar sands in Western Canada. In the future, we are likely to see an increased onshore activity in China, as that country begins to develop its vast shale opportunities and the recent economic turmoil stabilizes.
The new ARC report “Intelligent Pumps for the Digital Oilfields” reveals which intelligent pump systems represent the largest share of the market, provides a detailed forecast on which regions will see the fastest growth, and explains how embracing IIoT-enabled intelligent pumps help enhance the operational efficiency of oilfields.
About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.
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About the Author:
Jyoti’s research primarily focuses on oil & gas industry analysis, upstream oil & gas automation, and digital oilfield technologies.
Jyoti's focus areas include upstream oil and gas operational activities in support of the digital oilfield including multiphase flow metering, oilfield operations management systems, artificial lift optimization, leak detection systems, drilling optimization, and general field devices such as radar and ultrasonic level measurement devices and pressure transmitters. He evaluates technical and market trends for cross domain businesses across the globe.