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Well Pad Communications Hub

Oil and gas field well pads are often scattered across large geographic areas, many of which are in remote locations. With well pad automation applications increasingly being deployed to improve operational efficiencies, reduce on-site visits and increase safety, a reliable broadband wireless communications network connecting the well pads to a central location for monitoring and control is essential.

Well pad communications hubs require reliable and resilient wireless networks capable of operating over large areas and being easily expanded to add coverage and capacity as new well pads are built. Since wireless communications is a necessity at all four phases of a modern well pad lifecycle from drilling to production, deploying a cost effective broadband capacity network foundation that meets requirements for all well pad applications throughout its lifecycle is a cost effective approach.

Well pad automation life cycle

The four basic phases in the life cycle of oil or gas well pads includes: drilling, fracking, completion and production. Historically, VSAT was a common choice used in the first two phases with narrow band radio used in the final two. Deployment of an ABB Wireless network during the initial phase is less costly than VSAT and can be leveraged throughout the entire well pad life cycle providing not only significant cost savings but higher performance and reliability.

Drilling Phase  – Applications include geospatial reserve data access, MWD/LWD, remotely steerable down-hole tools and field worker applications.

Fracking Phase – Typical applications include well casing pressure measurements, measurement of injection materials, seismic monitoring, video monitoring and field worker applications.

Completion Phase – During this phase the well is awaiting entry into production; applications include well hole pressure measurement and SCADA.

Production Phase – This phase places the most strenuous demands upon the communications network, and includes applications such as high resolution data, video, SCADA, pump off control, flow computers, emissions monitoring, asset monitoring and field worker access.

Using an ABB Wireless network as a well pad communications hub is cost effective solution that meets the wireless communication needs throughout the life of a well pad and is also a cost effectively approach for upgrading communications of mature well pads in the production phase.

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