How will the proposed technology significantly improve the production of a given well or region, significantly reduce operating costs, or improve environmental issues associated with stripper wells?
This technology will have broad industry applicability and fit across all geographic regions and types of production. Low cost, ease of installation and an easy-to-use human interface should make the use of the system compelling for the operator.
An example of improving production by minimizing downtime of wells would be through the operator obtaining timely information from the tank battery that the tank level was not where it should be at a given time. Since the data from the smartphone is communicated wirelessly from the well tender to the operator, it is received hours or days ahead of paper records, plus the digital data can be analyzed immediately. The data could determine field performance and project future problems. Timely and accurate data would be the first step in determining and correcting problems.
Incidentally, if there is no cell reception at a remote site, the data is stored on the smartphone until the user enters an area where reception is available. At that time the data is transmitted.
A second example of improving production would be in monitoring a water flood injection plant where the injection pump goes down and tank level increase and/or line pressure decreases. The pumper/well tender would immediately be made known of this fact from daily trend data and could take corrective actions to prevent the full field from shutting down or overflow tanks.
An example of reducing operating cost would be where a pumper/well tender could cover more wells as without such capability, since a project objective is to reduce the time needed for data entry and communication.
An environmental improvement would be in monitoring line (flow-line or injection) pressures and in timely indication to the pumper/well tender of a problem. Such notification and response would reduce/minimize or eliminate spills from such sources.
How will the applicant work with the U.S. stripper well industry to disseminate the program benefits (i.e. published papers, professional meetings, industrial trade shows, etc).
Connection with the U.S. stripper well industry is built into the project in the sense that Systems of Merritt, Inc. will be collaborating with the OMWC. As mentioned before, this gives us the benefit of their previous experience with this kind of project. As an organization, OMWC conducts seminars, trade shows, training sessions and other events for stripper well owners and operators. In the previous grant they organized training sessions for the pda project. OMWC also promoted the previous project via its newsletter.
OMWC also has contact with other national, regional and state organizations that work with stripper well owners and operators. OMWC should also be able to help with contacts at oil magazine and journal publications.
Describe the extent to which industry will invest in the proposed technology or participating in the proposed project (i.e. workforce/student education, providing access to wells and equipment, and/or financial partnership to commercialize technology).
The letters of support indicate good participation in the project from a variety of participants. RMOTC has indicated that access is available at their facility for testing the device in the field. Other operators have indicated a willingness to participate in testing through access to field personel.
The barrier to entry for testing and using the resulting software product is extremely low, since there is no large capital outlay for custom equipment. The iPhones are readily available and have value above and beyond this project. With easy installation of the software from the Apple iTunes Store the user is ready to test the software.
The distribution channel for the software is automatically handled by the Apple iTunes Store, so getting the product to the customer is already taken care of. Thus, nothing needs to be shipped to the customer in order for them to use or test the product.