Case Study: Canlin Energy

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WellTrak™ boosts productivity and reduces costs with real-time operations data for Canlin Energy

Canadian gas producer experiences streamlined processes, fast audit preparation

Managing natural gas flow and accounting for a large number of wells, operational and non-operational, is no easy task. Watching data on current flow rates, equipment issues at well sites, and potential compliance concerns, is a time-consuming and expensive process. This case study describes how WellTrak Production Data Software helped major international energy company, Canlin Energy, improve Plant and Field operations management by an order of magnitude. They significantly lowered costs for noncompliance and transformed tasks that would historically take hours into single-click processes that take seconds. Canlin Energy produces over 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day. Four years ago they began using the innovative WellTrak solution, gaining tremendous efficiencies while cutting overall cost.



WellTrak™ Allocations Configuration Editor

The Challenges

Daily phone calls, paper-based systems

Prior to implementing WellTrak™, detailed, real-time operations information was hard to come by at Canlin Energy. Multiple daily phone calls were needed for head-office personnel to track
production numbers and plant balances. Allocations were done manually by entering numbers into a spreadsheet to perform individual calculations. To get information on wells, including their current flow rates and possible issues, field operators had to visit the control room for a paper printout.

Compliance headaches

Keeping the facility in compliance with Directive 17 was a time-consuming process. Old systems and paper-based processes meant that updating records and performing gas analysis, took days
and involved duplicate processes. In addition, without the ability to quickly supply accurate figures in the event of an audit, Canlin Energy was vulnerable to non-compliance exposure.

Struggles with third-party management

Ensuring that third-party suppliers to the Plant were adhering to their contracts was so difficult, that Canlin Energy was allowing companies the ability to flow their gas into the Plant (or Pipeline) at
times outside the sphere of their agreement. When the flow was at capacity due to improper activity from third parties, Canlin Energy might be asked to shut in their own wells to adhere to fixed
contracts; this was very costly.

Incorrect nominations

Managing Canlin Energy’s imbalances on a daily basis has helped to minimize volume variances and associated charges that could potentially run into millions of dollars. WellTrak™ helped  mitigate such risks including: unforeseen tolls, tariffs, and fees.

The Solution

WellTrak™ EPAP Reporting Tool

The solution involved implementing automation software to supply real-time production data to operations, production accounting, and gas marketing. A web-based system means any authorized Canlin Energy user can use a web browser to access the precise data they need; whether for allocation, plant balances, or production accounting. The ability to easily personalize this off-the shelf solution meant there was no need to build custom software, or worse, very complex spreadsheets in order to store their corporate data.

Today, WellTrak™ automatically aggregates metered data from hundreds of Canlin Energy wells in real-time. Production engineers can easily access well data, eliminating the need to contact the field for this information. New wells can be immediately added to the system.
Field operators automatically receive daily emails every morning and can now plan travel based on which wells are experiencing the most severe problems, allowing them to be more responsive to events that crop up during the day. All operators have the information they need to be as efficient as possible, and head-office-based changes to directives can be easily made and received. WellTrak™ supports multiple radio ports: compressor stations, wells, and critical data connect directly to WellTrak™ over Ethernet. There is also an Alarm Management System – daily and monthly analytics performed in WellTrak™ reporting on alarm metrics such as; the rate of new alarms per priority, how long each stay in alarm state, and the top repeat alarms per month.
Audits are no longer a concern because WellTrak™ quickly and efficiently generates accurate reports based on current data. Operators can see a complete well history to help them determine when the well was last calibrated, ensuring compliance. EPAP submissions are aided by exception reporting –
custom EPAP reports. Reports can be generated for specific well locations or groups of wells and users have an option to email the report to all relevant operators. In the event of a radio failure, WellTrak™ manages well shut-ins, communicating them to the SCADA system so that operators can be notified.

The Results

Replacing outdated and manual systems with an automated, highly integrated system resulted in a huge boost to productivity and significantly lowered costs.

  • Allocation is done quickly and easily. The process of obtaining the numbers needed to determine daily allocations used to take hours involving many staff; and now takes only seconds. With one button click, operators can see their allocations on display. They can quickly send the numbers into the TransCanada pipeline website for submission.
  • Firm contracts are no longer in danger of not being adhered to. WellTrak™ automatically calculates proper allocations from each company based on contracted commitments. This eliminates the need to buy gas on the spot market at a premium price to fulfill sales contracts, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Incorrect nominations were practically eliminated along with potential penalties and associated fees that could run into the thousands.
  • Phone calls from the head office to the field to determine accurate well production have been virtually eliminated.
  • Production accountants can perform reworks online from head office without involving field operations. Reworks can be created for a specified date range, making these reports more specific and useful.
  • Dashboards greatly increase field operator efficiency, showing units due for calibration, whether or not meter records are valid, and daily data at a glance.
  • Historical trend and real-time data can be accessed from any device with a web browser, eliminating the need to have a SCADA client in the Calgary facility.