HOUSTON and PLANO, TEXAS – Natural gas producer Vine Energy has signed a contract with global Baker Hughes Group to deploy its artificial lift solution, ProductionLink Edge, to 100 natural gas wells in Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale. The automation solution uses advanced analytics and state-of-the-art “smart” technology to increase production and reduce associated methane emissions from oil and gas wells.
Throughout typical well operations, water may periodically seep into the wellbore, preventing oil or gas from rising to the surface and preventing the well from producing. To restart production, a technician must remove the water, or “unload” the well, causing the methane to be vented. Reducing the requirement for water offloading events reduces the associated emissions.
During a three-month joint pilot project in the Haynesville Shale using the artificial lift solution on 10 wells, Vine gas production increased by 5% and well unloading events decreased by 94% .
ProductionLink Edge is an intelligent Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) controller device installed in production wells, providing a secure, flexible, cloud-based edge computing platform that continuously collects and analyzes data to automate artificial lift shaft site operations. The state-of-the-art solution is part of Baker Hughes’ larger ProductionLink remote production monitoring and optimization platform.
“This technology leverages existing field hardware to increase production and reduce unloading events,” said David Elkin, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vine Energy. “It analyzes well pressures and flows in real time, allowing us to open and close wells automatically and efficiently to optimize production. This alleviates the need for manual unloading, which is a source of methane emissions.
Dave Dillon, Vice President, Artificial Lift Systems at Baker Hughes, said: “The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that manual water dumping at oil and gas production wells is the seventh largest source of emissions. greenhouse gases generated in onshore oil and gas operations. Our ProductionLink Edge solution is another example of how we are using digital technologies to transform our core business to increase production and reduce emissions from customer operations.
The ProductionLink Edge solution was jointly developed by the Baker Hughes Artificial Lift Systems group and the company’s Global Innovation Centers, which are connected to 17 research and development centers dedicated to energy and industrial innovation. With more than 200 engineers and scientists, the Global Innovation Centers explore and develop technologies to accelerate Baker Hughes’ deployment of digital technologies to increase production and reduce emissions. Edge solutions are a notable area of research, including smart controls for artificial lift solutions and surface installations.