Proactive wellhead integrity monitoring means your engineers can build preventative maintenance plans and better P&A strategies. And that’s a good thing, because it can save your business a lot of money in the long run. Maintenance usually accounts for 10-15% of total production costs, but prescriptive maintenance plans could reduce this cost by as much as 10%.
Digital technology can have an enormous influence on optimising maintenance and well integrity monitoring. But, depending on where your wells are in the world, you have to find the right solution that matches your business needs. Right now, there are four ways to monitor your wells. But each leaves something to be desired.
Option one: Wired systems
Wired systems are a great, reliable way to monitor your wells, especially if your field is located somewhere with good infrastructure. When you install a wired system, you’ll lay down fibre optic cables. These cables will connect directly to the wellhead and deliver a near-constant stream of data to you.
Wired systems have flaws though. For one, they’re expensive to install. You have to stop production to get the system installed. As in, tens-of-thousands-of-dollars kind-of-expensive. And they’re an enormous pain. Setting up a wired system takes months. You need to halt production. Build out the necessary systems. Train your team. And do a lot of testing. Plus, your field needs to have access to infrastructure to make the system work.
In all, wired systems are an ideal solution for new, high-producing wells located in areas with good infrastructure. But for more remote wells, or late-life asset management? They’re not a great fit.