As anyone in the oil and gas industry can tell you, it is far too common to hear of workers experiencing incidents or near misses due to trapped pressure and hydrates. Due to the design of non-bypass, conventional lubricators, there is a large risk of a plugged upper section from well contaminants such as hydrates, sand, wax, asphaltenes, and scale. In these situations, the well can experience failure, spill/release, and create dangerous conditions for workers.
Over the last year, PIT has been hard at work designing and testing lubricators with special new bypass features to reduce these risks.
The Risks of Cutting Out A Bypass
Due to the recurring issue of well contaminants, a number of issues can arise from your wellhead lubricator becoming plugged due to the contaminants having nowhere to go. As sand, wax, or hydrates build up, the lubricator has more force transmitted to its body and the absorption power of the cap spring is reduced. Every time the plunger arrives, the lubricator is further stressed. This constant and increased force can cause your wellhead or lubricator to fail and cause danger for anyone on site.
Hydrates and trapped pressure are the most prominent risk faced by well operators. Due to differential pressure, any released hydrates can move upwards at speeds approaching the speed of sound and create excessive force. These hydrates can cause serious mechanical damage, severe bodily harm, and, in some cases, even death. Bypass lubricators can greatly reduce this hazard with two flow paths, better enabling efficient flow throughout the wellhead down the line, reducing the risk of trapped or accumulated solids, hydrates, or pressure.
Wells without bypass lubricators can also have efficiency issues due to how high the plunger is capable of traveling. If a blockage occurs and the plunger does not reach the proper height within the lubricator, it is possible that the arrival sensor will not be tripped and the plunger will not be caught. In cases where the plunger still trips the arrival sensor and is caught, it may still restrict flow due to a partial or full blocking of the outlet.
The PIT Solution
Premier Integrated Technologies offers several safe, reliable, bypass lubricator designs to address the numerous concerns that can be found when utilizing other lubricators lacking a bypass flow port. Our design features a built-in, 2 port flow, with multiple injection ports capable of adding any desired methanol or chemical.
We have seen our bypass lubricator used on numerous types of wells. High flow rates with sand, wax, asphaltene, extreme sour, and water wells have all benefitted from the FlowFit lubricator in cost and operational efficiency. Our customers have provided us with feedback they feel more at ease using our bypass lubricators as they add increased safety, security and operational advantages for their operators for any well type.
All PIT bypass lubricators and other equipment are designed, manufactured, and tested in-house by Premier Integrated Technologies sister company, MVM Machining, an API6A/Q1/ISO 9001 shop.
PIT’s answer to simple, smart, optimized fluid level reading is brought forward with the FL3. The FL3 is a simple, easy to use tool used to gather downhole fluid levels and pressure measurements. Users can quickly optimize pump speeds to get the most from their well and protect the pump in the process. Functional as a portable or permanent fixture on your well, the FL3 utilizes 2-way remote control features to increase value and safety.
We have mastered cloud computing to achieve a user-friendly experience where anyone can find more oil and bring more life to their pump. While the FL3 gathers data, it provides analytics detailing the well’s needs, allowing operators to make more informed decisions and find more profit in every well.
A Case Study Success Story
In working with a prominent oil company that wishes to remain anonymous, PIT conducted a 12-week trial on two wells in a Polymer Flood Heavy Oil Field. The results were overwhelmingly successful. Thanks to the FL3’s reliable fluid level measurement and the pump’s available pressure calculations, the two wells were safely optimized and achieved maximum production rates.
As a result, the pump was protected during inflow fluctuations in this polymer flooded, mature, oilfield and production was fully augmented.
Using Smart Technology to Capture Fluid Levels Without Noise
Using PIT’s special wellhead attachment, the fluid level determining sound waves were sent down the well. The wellhead attachment makes use of a small bottle of Nitrogen to generate these sound waves. Each bottle of Nitrogen lasted the company 12 weeks and created over 300 separate measurements of current fluid levels. Due to the high quality of the FL3’s data capturing system, fewer shots were required to obtain the inflow data when compared to other fluid level devices.
These wells are considered “noisy” due to their PCP Rotary Pumps. Traditionally, accurate and reliable fluid levels on these types of wells are extremely difficult to obtain. Additionally, these case study wells were producing 1500-1900 barrels of fluid per day and possessed a horizontal leg. These elements made the wells an excellent candidate to test PIT’s new Smart Fluid Level technology.
The FL3 was used daily via remote from the Oil Battery office by the client’s operators, engineering staff, and PIT staff. Previously, these systems had experienced premature pump burnouts due to the difficulty of gathering accurate fluid levels using conventional fluid level machines.
The data gathered from Oil PCP typically wells looks noisy and imprecise.
By making use of the FL3, the system uses its smart technology to process and automatically clean the data and identify the correct fluid level.
Additionally, the FL3 can deliver added collar data.
*see the bottom of the post for sale details
Condensates are a group of hydrocarbons that don’t easily fit into the common product categories of oil and gas. A carbon number scale is used to measure these hydrocarbons, reflecting the number of carbon atoms found within each molecule. The lower the number the lighter, gassier, and more volatile the molecule. A condensate usually falls somewhere between C4 and C12. For comparison, Bitumen has an average carbon number of 35 and above.
Condensate is typically obtained after the transition of a gaseous substance into a liquid state due to a drop in pressure and/or temperature. When a well is drilled, the drop in pressure and temperature forms a gas condensate. These fluids are transparent, with colour ranging from eggshell to cocoa due to oil mixture and depth.
A Profitable Condensation
Because condensate is both a heavy Natural Gas Liquid and a super light oil it’s incredibly versatile and therefore very profitable. Compared to regular crude oil, condensate requires less refining processes to reach a desired point. This makes it a very economical option from the start.
In Canada it’s used in a little-processed form to dilute heavy oil from the oil sands, driving condensate demand and increasing prices. Once further processed, condensate can be used to produce petrol, diesel, jet fuel, and kerosene as well as used as a resource to produce synthetic materials.
Due to its versatility, the demand for condensate is immense, making it a lucrative option for you and your business.
Incentivizing and Monetizing
PIT understands that with gas prices as low as they currently are, it can be difficult to justify the cost of operating and maintaining your well. But, while the cost of gas has dropped, the price of condensate remains strong.
If you operate shale wells, gassy oil wells, gas-locking pumpjacks, etc, it is very likely that you are operating a well literally dripping with condensate.
To encourage our customers to branch out and reap the rewards of condensate, PIT is proud to announce a sale to help you increase your fluid lifting at a reduced cost! We’ve put together some of our best selling and most positively received lubricators, plungers, and bottom hole tools into packages to maximize your well’s liquid recovery.
Both our Econo Line and Services Line are available at a reduced cost to allow our customers to optimize their wells at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing any of PIT’s expected quality.
Stop worrying about the price of gas, start producing condensate!
Oil and gas operations within Canada are strictly regulated due to their scale and prominence. Exploration, production, and expansion of oil and gas must adhere to the regulations set in place by Federal and Provincial governments. The federal government regulates offshore areas, lands set aside for Indigenous populations, and international/interprovincial aspects, while provincial government is typically responsible for their own resources and regulatory compliance.
Each province (and most territories) has their own regulator responsible for monitoring and developing guidelines for the oil and gas industry. Alberta has the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), Ontario has the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and so on. Regulators communicate with oil and gas companies to ensure that the put in place regulations are being adhered to and regulatory compliance has been met.
Why Should I Try To Meet Regulatory Compliance?
With the ever-increasing number of laws, regulatory compliance can be harder and harder to meet as it touches every part of the oil and gas industry. But, the cost of noncompliance can be momentous.
Companies that are found to be non-compliant face production delays, cost overruns, and complete shutdown and business owners can be met with heavy fines and court hearings. Last year, the Alberta Energy Regulator announced that they are going to be more discerning in who is eligible for licenses in the oil and gas industry, and a history of non-compliance can prevent an oil and gas company from getting future projects done.
How Do I Achieve Regulatory Compliance?
It’s a lot of work to be regulatory compliant. You could hire your own in-house team to handle it. But, that requires employee training, equipment purchasing, and resource dedication. Often, the better route is to partner up with a company with a dedicated and experienced regulatory compliance team that can offer a vast array of services.
PIT has over 15 years of experience in oil and gas regulatory compliance that can be used to serve your company better. No one wants to be slapped with fees due to inexperience in-house staff, or see their production come to a standstill due to the insufficient dedication of resources. We offer knowledgeable staff to complete thorough testing such as Frac Monitoring, Annual Pressure Surveys, Surface Casing Vent Tests, Gas Migration Testing, Spot Gas Flow testing, Gas-to-Oil Ratio testing, Segregation between Zones testing, Packer Isolation (IPT) Testing, D13 Suspended well tests, AND MORE.
Become regulatory compliant at a competitive price with the help of the PIT Crew.
Premier Integrated Technologies offers a practical, cost-effective alternative to a standard pumpjack or plunger system with the Dual Stage Plunger System. Our Dual Stage System can save you thousands of dollars per year and can increase production up to 80% over a pumpjack system. Additionally, the Dual Stage increases the scope of traditional plunger lifts to overcome challenges that may be faced.
How Does A Dual Stage System Work?
Installation of a Dual Stage System begins once the well is shut in. The bottom hole assembly is lowered down the wellbore and installed. Once the bottom hole assembly is installed, the bottom plunger is dropped into the well. Next, the Dual Stage Center Stage BHSA tool is lowered by wireline to approximately 60% of the depth of the well, depending on the well’s production.
The bottom plunger moves fluid from the bottom of the well to the Center Stage BHSA tool, where a one-way Pressure relief Check Valve & Packoff holds the liquid above. Once the top plunger is installed, it will move that fluid held from the Center Stage tool to the surface.
The two plungers then travel simultaneously, with the bottom plunger travelling in the bottom section and the top plunger travelling in the upper stage, hence the name Dual Stage Plunger System. This system allows the plungers to move smaller loads more frequently.
The Dual Stage System has the same functions as a conventional single plunger, making it capable of lifting liquids where one plunger would struggle to do so. Two plungers are more efficient than one due to having effectively almost halved the travel depth and liquid load to lift while having the same gas volume and pressure differential to lift it.
A Dual Stage Plunger System can be a viable alternative to most pumpjack systems. But, it can fulfill a variety of other roles as well. Such as:
- Deep, low-pressure wells
- Wells with higher casing pressure than tubing pressure
- Gassy oil wells (wells with a high gas to liquid ratio)
- Older plunger lift systems that have historically produced condensate or oil
- Plunger wells with increased off-times that take multiple hours to build up pressure
- Low rate oil wells
PIT offers well evaluations using available data to determine if your well is a feasible candidate for a Dual Stage System.
Dual Stage Plunger System Study
PIT conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of our Dual Stage System. Utilizing our portable Cloud Controller with built-in production measurement system we were able to conduct a study on over 200 wells that were installed with the Dual Stage. We discovered the following:
- Wells saw an increase in oil production of an average of 50% increase in the oil per day. Reports measured in at up to an 80% increase.
- Decreased lift costs due to reduced well workovers and fewer funds being spent on maintenance and repair, resulting in up to $60,000 in savings per well per year.
- When converting from pumpjack to Dual Stage, wells saw three times as much oil per day.
- The average year one savings per well was $22,500 per well, with an increase in netback of $100,000 per well.
PIT was approached in 2017 to take part in a field test to determine our capabilities in retrieving an accurate mud level on a noisy, off-shore drilling platform. Within the first few sets of tests, we quickly realized that our existing equipment would not be successful without further development.
We developed an AI-based fluid level detection system capable of learning how to detect fluid levels in noisy and ever-changing environments.
Did you know that PIT offers world leading technology services to keep your oil production in tip-top shape? We get so excited about our gas products that people don’t always know the wide variety of Oil Optimization and Regulatory Services we offer. Since it’s regulation season, we thought we’d bring some attention to the services we offer to help producers with Regulatory Compliance! We make it as painless as possible and can handle your entire Annual Regulatory Project(s) and Manage it for you start to finish. We can even submit the test results for you!
Gas Migration Tests
Using our world leading, 1 part per million (ppm) sensitivity portable gas detectors, PIT is capable of testing right from the wellhead to the lease edge for methane gas and LELs (lower explosive limit). By utilizing our portable gas detectors, there is no need to drill deep holes to test for gas migration. No ground disturbance occurs, saving you money and time. If you prefer/require Test Holes, we can do that too but require the Ground Disturbance and Line Locating to be done prior to our arrival. If you have a need for Gas Migration testing, post drill or pre-abandonment, we can help! Alberta AER categories for reference are ID 2003-01, D-20, D-79, parts of D-83.
Utilizing our real-time monitor equipped with highly proficient monitoring capabilities, PIT is able to monitor the wells surrounding a frac area for any anomalies, allowing you to follow Alberta AER Directive 83. A professional, designated representative within our company will keep you up to speed on your wells and be able to assist you with any questions you may have anywhere in the province. We are experts, here to help make your Frac go smoothly.
Surface Casing Vent Testing
With over 40 years experience, PIT has developed efficient methods to save you time and money while doing Surface Vent Testing. We have over 80 test kits that are capable of measuring leaks on Surface Casing Vents. We measure and analyze your Vent using a 10-minute bubble test. If it is leaking, we immediately collect more data over a few days that can quantify and classify the leak type. We then distribute an official report back to you. Our engineering reports are all done in house so there is no third-party data exchange done. Using our many stations, our staff and kits can be optimally deployed to save you money.
Suspended Well Inspections: aka D-I3 Tests
Following D13 Directives, PIT can conduct low and medium risk inspections to be sure your lease is up to snuff. Suspended Well Inspection Tests can include: pressure tests on wellhead Seals or Downhole Plugs, ensuring that valves are locked and removed, and onsite environmental checks to locate seepage if it exists. Weed control options and more can be customized to find the best solution for your suspended wells while ensuring compliance.
Reservoir Pressure: Build Ups and Statics
Since Reservoir Pressure tests are required annually by the AER for most pools, it’s important for your well to have as little downtime as possible. Why not do this test from surface and eliminate cost, risk, and large trucks? PIT has special proprietary equipment and techniques to reduce shut in time and save you money. We can provide daily updates to you without the need to drive to site, minimizing the amount of time spent checking wells. Acoustic pressure surveys cut down on your well downtime as there is no need to shut your well in for 14 days. We are experts at this service and have been industry leaders and inventors of AWS Reservoir Tests since the 1970’s!
Options include Static Reservoir test that is done on existing pool wells that are shut in using AWS from surface to gather accurate reservoir pressures.
Packer Isolation Tests: aka IPT tests
Injection or Disposal wells all should have a downhole packer to keep the fluids going where they are intended to go. The packer Isolates the tubing from the casing, so we test this downhole packer to ensure it is not leaking. We use our own portable trailers on site to conduct our tests quickly and efficiently. We perform the field work and supply an approved report for the regulatory body (Alberta, BC and Sask).
PIT is firmly dedicated to meeting all your oil regulatory needs for this season and many more to come. When you look at your annual regulatory requirements, think of PIT because we can offer a ONE-STOP solution and handle it all for you, from the planning to the field work and even submission of the results. Full Project Management is available here.
You know what they say; students get Spring Break and roughnecks get Spring Break-Up.
It might feel like winter just won’t leave, but those of us in the oil and gas field know that spring is just around the corner. And that means its nearly Breakup. Those of you that are new to the industry or our harsh, winter climates, might not be familiar with Break-Up. But for the seasoned worker, they can tell you that Break-Up is an inevitability every spring.
What is Break-Up?
Break-Up is an industry term. It’s the time of year, typically in early spring, when the snow begins to melt and the frost begins to come out of the ground and causes mud and soft spots. The municipal and provincial governments ban heavy loads from traversing roads to prevent any damage. Hyrdovacs, Water trucks, and Rig Movers are stationary until the ground begins to harden back up.
This causes a slow period for many in the industry. So what can you do to pass the time during Break-Up?
Things To Do During Break-Up
1. Use this time for maintenance.
Bring your things into the shop, replace old and outdated tools and equipment, do that oil change you have been putting off. It’s a slow time for many in the industry, so why not make use of it to accomplish some of the things you’re too busy to deal with during the year?
2. Look for seasonal work.
If you find yourself in a very slow patch or out of work until Break-Up ends, it might be time to look into other seasonal work. Servicing companies may have more opportunities than pipeline work. You don’t even have to stick within the industry. Many seasonal roughnecks spend their springs and summers doing landscaping, farming, or working with construction and road crews.
3. Renew your certificates!
You need First Aid, H2S, and eGSO certificates to do work in the oil industry so make use of this time to get them done. This way you’re not scrambling to get them done the day before they expire and potentially missing out on work. Book them early! Our slow season is the course givers busy season.
4. Take that vacation.
You’ve earned it! It’s easy to lose sight of things when you’re constantly busy in the on season. But during Break-Up it’s time to set some time aside for yourself. Spend some time with the kids, go for a drink with friends, just get on a plane and go somewhere. You can’t work all the time. You need some time to enjoy your life.
Break-Up can be a tough time in the industry. But there’s plenty of things you can do to make the time go by quickly. June will be here soon and then it’s back to the grindstone.
Thanks for taking some time to talk with me Ainslie.
Oh, it’s no problem.
So, how long have you been doing safety with us?
Have you enjoyed doing safety with us?
Yeah, I do enjoy it. You’re actually one of my favourites to work with.
I feel I have family relationships here. You know, lots of close relationships. It’s more like “Oh we’re having the Christmas party” and I love going to them.
We consider you family too.
Good! It’s great working with you guys.
Greatness aside, what’s one of the biggest challenges of the job?
I’d say one of the biggest challenges, or one of my most focused areas is making safety practical and realistic. Because if you’re just throwing forms at people, always making a new form or a policy, that’s not the solution all the time. We have to comply with legislation, but it has to be right sized for what we’re doing.
I know talking to other people I know in fields like oil patch and construction, they say things about how their safety meetings are terrible and so long and boring.
Well, often it’s just a preach. The safety person does the meeting. And I like to facilitate and provide an agenda but it’s our safety meeting. It’s not my safety meeting.
We talk a lot and it’s actually enjoyable.
What about the industry itself? What do you personally feel like some of the biggest safety issues that are encountered?
I know. There’s a lot. It’s probably going to be hard to pick one or two.
Well, driving of course I think would be number one because we do that the most frequently and that’s one of the most dangerous things we do. There’s always driving. Then there’s always H2S, and hydrates and chemicals on site. High pressure is another big one for us. Working alone is a big one.
Many of the hazards our employees encounter, like driving, can’t be avoided. Any sort of general advice on how to reduce risks and potential injury?
That’s why we have our Safe Operating Procedures for people to follow specifically for each individual task. Within those procedures are listed “task steps” as well as hazards and hazard controls. If we are doing a new task, a changed/altered task, or as conditions (including the environment) changes, we need to be doing field level hazard assessments.
Hazard assessments are something that should be done regularly. I don’t mean always filling out a form but taking the time to stop and think. Even at home, before I do something, I’ve neglected to stop and think, and then hurt myself, and thought “You’re an idiot. You’re the safety person. Why didn’t you stop and think?” You don’t always have to write it down but you should always take the time to stop and look at the situation.
It’s a good point. Sometimes we just rush in.
We’re all guilty of that once in a while.
We mentioned the work alone thing. Can you explain our policy for that? What sort of measures we take to keep people safe.
Well, our work alone system has just greatly improved with the new four-head monitors/BlackLine Safety GPS system. That is our new big system.
We’ve always had tracking on the trucks but not on the people. Now we have tracking on the trucks and the people. So that’s a huge improvement. It’s nothing extra our field workers have to wear because it’s their four-head monitor too.
If they have a fall, if they’re knocked down, if they’re exposed to something, it goes off. There are so many benefits to those monitors. We’re way ahead of the game on those. They work as our four head monitor, as our work alone protection, as our call and response, and our emergency device.
PIT is adding yet another incredible product to their lineup. Our engineers drew their inspiration from a wireline broach to bring you the latest in our line of Wax Cutters, the WaxBroach. With its unique honeycomb pattern, the WaxBroach cuts through your well contaminants with ease.
Sand, wax, and asphaltenes can make their way into your well over time, drastically reducing the performance and efficiency. In these cases, a wax cutting plunger must be used in order to keep the well in tip-top shape and to prevent blockages from forming. For the new WaxBroach, cutting through these obstructions is a breeze.
The Honeycomb Pattern
Our previous models of Wax Cutters contained a spiral pattern while the new WaxBroach has a honeycomb type pattern. If you think of the plunger like a knife, then the spiral pattern is equivalent to a flat edge knife used for slicing. The WaxBroach is closer to a serrated knife. The new pattern increases the surface area of the “blade” and gouges as well as slices, increasing the amount of contaminant it dislodges on every pass.
This honeycomb pattern can be found both on the top and the bottom of the plunger, allowing it to slice and gouge while moving up as well as down and doubling its effectiveness!
These new plungers are also made of solid 4140 steel. The solid steel helps to prevent breaks, cracks, and warps that may occur while traveling through the well. This means that on top of the increased efficiency, you also gain increased durability!