Imagine it. Every oil producing well able to operate itself autonomously and consistently run at peak performance through the power of intelligent data.
What would that mean for your bottom line?
Optimizing oil wells is not a new topic. It’s not a new vision and it’s not a new conversation. What is game-changing, however, is the technology that is now so far advanced that literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil production costs can be saved for the price of a smartphone – and it all happens from the palm of your hand.
In 2014, fascinated with the power and potential of unlocking industrial data, Nav Dhunay, President & CEO of ambyint, took the first steps towards creating a unique well-optimization device with the potential to change the way wells are operated forever.
With the launch of ambyint, the immense power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) was introduced to Western Canada’s oil patch and, as a result, every oil well in operation was given the compelling ability to benefit from intelligent optimization. Utilizing a mass pool of data gathered from monitoring and optimizing over 800 wells for a decade, ambyint set about taking optimization technology to an entirely new level through combining and leveraging “best of breed hardware and software” to deliver a data-powered reporting and recommendation engine. Now fully integrated into the oil sands market, ambyint’s technology is busy identifying the best route to industry prosperity, one optimized self-driving pump jack at a time. ambyint’s magic formula is the ability to “remotely” collect, monitor and analyze data to enable a level of intelligent automation that takes the density of human interaction out of the equation. Nav says, “Although our technology itself is complex and combines elements of IoT, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Machine Learning, what it achieves is not. ambyint simply builds technologies that help oil and gas producers make smarter decisions resulting in more efficient oil extraction.”
With the goal to ensure pumps are consistently running at optimal performance – meaning smoothly and efficiently and, importantly,without interruption – the ambyint technology has been designed to predict and alert operators of future issues within their wells, therefore, mitigating onsite risks, unscheduled costly maintenance and call outs. Preliminary data from the field suggests that implementation of the technology reduces operational costs of each well by up to 35%, increases production by up to 20% and delivers material reductions in maintenance costs.
The ambyint system allows for real-time status reports and full control of VFD. Well managers are able to remotely start and stop a well and remotely control its speed. Alerts provide real-time notification of scheduled and unscheduled interruptions. ambyint software also monitors the subtleties of torque violation and provides VFD fault alerts. Torque trends are followed and automatically monitored 24 hours a day.
Nav’s vision for the advancement of the industry is to “make dumb objects smart. The dumber the products, the greater the opportunity.” He says, “The desire within the industry to experience the benefits that smart machines can deliver, is on the rise. The ambyint platform has come to a changing market at a unique time and with a very compelling offering. The ability to provide well managers with access to real-time information and remote control over each of their well assets is, alone, a huge differentiator within the industry. We believe being able to autonomously maximize the efficiency of every well and immediately alert producers to potential on-site issues is a major disruption not seen before in the oil patch.”
“Monitoring and maintaining an oil well can cost upwards of $200 dollars for an average well visit. If we can shave off a single visit per week to half the oil wells in Alberta, that equates to literally millions of dollars in cost savings across the industry,” Nav says.
“ambyint connects machines,” Nav says, “and captures performance data through the use of lightweight sensor devices and a wireless communication network. By running that data through predictive and prescriptive analytics, our system can automatically initiate micro adjustments to optimize an oil well’s pump stroke and, at the same time, detect minor problems before they become major problems.” As an example, ambyint’s sophisticated algorithms might pick up a high level of debris in the pump. “In that situation, we can initiate a ‘tap’ to try and release the debris,” says Dhunay. “If that doesn’t solve the issue, the system will send an instant alert to the operator and let them know they need to intervene.”
Nav says, “Today everyone has a smartphone in their pocket so we’ve created an app which gives rich, real-time information on what’s happening at that well. You can actually stand in front of a pumpjack and adjust its speed using the app on your phone. The low cost of the technology (approximately $1,500) makes it affordable for all wells, even those nearing the end of their production cycle. One of our clients estimated that ambyint could save them up to $150,000 per year in a single field.” Given the undeniable cost-saving benefits, with the number of wells in Alberta alone, ambyint has the very real potential to become an industry standard. This low cost, high functioning Industrial IoT solution is unique in its ability to address the challenges of today’s oil fields and could credibly save multiple millions of dollars of production expenditures in Western Canada alone over the next three years.
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