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Reducing power consumption with a world’s first in automation technology


Team members working on developing a new APC application for the Khurais oil field - from left to right: Rohit Patwardhan, Hussain Salloum and Kalpesh Patel.


Southern Area Oil Operations has successfully completed the world’s first pilot project to implement Advanced Process Control (APC) technology in the Khurais oil field to reduce power consumption by efficiently managing electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) that are located inside the well. This cutting-edge technology positions Saudi Aramco as a leader of automation technology in conventional oil fields.

The technology leverages upon the intelligent field infrastructure setup at Khurais and data analytics to develop models that adjust the well flow variables. It consistently monitors all available measurements and remotely optimizes the ESP’s speed and frequency, and adjusts the motorized production choke valve, as necessary, to achieve the required production targets.

As part of the pilot implementation, the technology has been successfully implemented at 13 oil wells, with demonstrated tangible benefits of improved well flow compliance, and reduced ESP power consumption. Other benefits include improved run life of the ESPs, improved safety by reducing field trips of the field crew, and the ability to manage production target changes efficiently.

Building upon the success of the pilot implementation, the plan is to roll out the technology to the entire Khurais oil field, resulting in significant power savings. Installing and upgrading servers and configuring wells for the APC application are ongoing, and full implementation is expected on more than 500 wells by the end of 2018.

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