Oilfield Automation with MRD-310
Lufkin Automation was formed by the merger of two companies, the Delta X and Nabla Corporations, pioneers in the market for rod pump controls. Delta-X was an established leader in test and analysis systems for pumping processes using new innovative and user friendly methods. Nabla was also an established company in this field, and the developer of groundbreaking software solutions that in many ways has simplified the analysis and control of the pumping process.
Today these two companies are a part of Lufkin Automation oil field division and offer analysis, security and control solutions for rod pumping wells.
Oil fields are often situated in remote and demanding environments where extreme variations in temperature, moisture and other environmental variables can be an issue. To install the control and monitoring systems in these environments can be difficult as oil fields can consist of hundreds of pumps spread over large geographic areas.
The Lufkin-developed SAM Well Manager is the oil industry’s most advanced technological solution for high-precision monitoring and control of rod-pumping wells. The SAM Well Manager allows the operator to optimise pump performance and reliability in a number of ways. Pump flow can be analysed, service and maintenance requirements can be calculated before the event of mechanical failure and energy consumption can be optimised.
The SAM Well Manager can be configured to stop the pumping process at low oil levels and when maintenance or service are required. The system also creates a complete action history that can be used for further optimisation.
The SAM Well Manager is connected to the pump’s SCADA system. To remotely control the system a variety of technologies such as copper, fibre and radio links have previously been used. Although Lufkin’s European division has further enhanced the system and new solutions using mobile networks have been developed. Lufkin have decided to use the Westermo MRD-310 3G router in a series of pilot projects, mainly for the European and Asian markets.
The MRD-310 is perfectly suited for this type of application in many ways. Its support for the wide variety of mobile standards used globally allows installations in practically the whole world. It also supports IPSec encrypted VPN tunnels which is a requirement for safety critical applications that use unsecure public networks (The Internet). Furthermore, the MRD-310 provides a serial interface and serial to IP conversion, which is necessary to connect to the controller. The routers are also developed for extreme environments and can operate in temperatures from -40C to +60C.
Today, this application is installed in a number of pilot projects to demonstrate the potential for significant cost savings.