Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

CNRL cuts oil field visits with IoT

William Payne
December 6, 2016
Using IoT remote monitoring, a Canadian oil field has reduced inspection visits to its wells by over 85 per cent. The CNRL Sturgeon Field is the first field to report results from an on-site trial of remote oil well monitoring in Canada.
Part of Canadian Natural Resources, the CNRL Sturgeon Field has installed technology from Calgary IoT remote monitoring specialist Ambyint.
Before installing Ambyint’s technology, CNRL Sturgeon crews carried out daily well site visits. Across 12 well sites, 372 monthly visits were conducted, each taking a minimum of 15 minutes, which equated to 93 hours per month.
After installing Ambyint’s AmbyControl devices on the 12 test wells, CNRL Sturgeon began remotely monitoring operational data from each well. Data are transmitted wirelessly from the site in real time. CNRL staff can access the data through personalised dashboards via the Ambyint mobile and web app.
“Once we installed the Ambyint devices and started remote monitoring, we were almost immediately able to reduce our site visits to only four per well, per month,” said CNRL Sturgeon production foreman Soukseum Rathamone. “Those four were undertaken to maintain regulatory commitment to check our chemical rates once per week. We reduced 81 hours per month of having our crews in trucks driving to remote sites. For us, this is very significant in terms of cost reductions and also has major positive implications for our crew’s safety.”
Due to the success of the initial installation, CNRL Sturgeon is expanding the use of Ambyint technology within its Canadian operations.
“CNRL is a particularly forward-looking firm and it’s been a great experience working with its Sturgeon Field team to prove-out the significant benefits of this technology in the field,” said Nav Dhunay, Ambyint president and CEO. “Ultimately, we are working towards creating intelligent, self-driving wells, able to effectively run autonomously, monitoring their operations, optimising their performance and pre-emptively alerting well managers before an impending fault occurs.”
The proprietary Ambyint technology uses pump-mounted, wireless sensors and machine intelligence to monitor and optimise oil well performance. Operational data are transmitted in real time to well managers via their mobile device and alerts sent in the event of any onsite abnormalities being detected.