ProtoLink was chosen by a major oil production company to deliver an automatic well test system based on Wonderware Factory Suite. The client’s decision to use Wonderware’s PC-based control package, InControl, represented a first for the oil and gas industry.
The system is comprised of a single host and twenty-seven remote sites in a forty square mile region. Each remote site is equipped with a Xycom panel-mount industrial PC, GE Genius I/O modules, and a wireless ethernet LAN adapter. ProtoLink developed a self-configuring InControl application to coordinate automatic well tests, perform system safety checks, and facilitate manual operations when necessary. This application also communicates with flow meters using Modbus and with variable speed drives via Profibus.
All sites share a common InTouch application for viewing and controlling well test operations. This ProtoLink application enables operators at any location to easily view and control operations at all remote sites. It also provides system-wide reporting, alarming, trending, and well test scheduling capabilities. The latter is accomplished through incorporation of a custom ProtoLink ActiveX control. This sophisticated InTouch application automatically alters its graphics based on the types and quantities of equipment present at the monitored site.
Test data collected at each site is buffered locally before being inserted into a central database located at the host site. This guarantees that results will not be lost if the central database is unavailable. A custom ProtoLink-developed Windows service inserts buffered records into the central database and monitors the database for system configuration updates. When such updates are discovered, the service notifies the InControl application, which in turn causes the InTouch application to automatically alter its graphics as described above.
The host site supports validation, modification, and reporting of test and production data through a custom, ProtoLink-developed, web application named Well Test Manager. ProtoLink also configured an alarm notification system to alert operators of upset conditions via telephone and pager.