American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 41

SpecialReport: Reservoir Optimization & Modeling
ly make their own applications for a variety of upstream production needs and
each vendor typically uses a different type
of RTU, PLC vendor support on multiwell
pad designs is growing daily. This includes
support for equipment control, and artificial lift and flow-measurement applications. Equipment automation is handled
easily through rich programming environments, and a wide variety of I/O and communication modules.
Flow measurement also is supported
with American Gas Association- and
American Petroleum Institute-compliant
flow measurement, calibration support, and
custody transfer reporting to SCADA
systems. While artificial lift applications
are not as prevalent in PLCs, they are being developed rapidly to support all types
of artificial lift equipment.
A PLC-based system can be modified
in the field with common industrial tools
(IEC-61131), delivering much greater
flexibility and efficiency. This eliminates

the "black box" limitations to RTU applications, where an individual system is designed with specific inputs that are meant
to control specific outputs only. PLC architectures allow oil and gas producers to
change the way a system functions without having to change equipment vendors
to support their operational needs.
The PLC long has been viewed as a solution more suited for manufacturing facilities than for well pad control. But today's modern well pads do, in fact, mirror the control conditions of small factories. They have environmentally controlled buildings, utility or generator power, and much greater data and control requirements.
This "new normal" in field development strategies makes pads an ideal fit for
PLCs. A multiwell pad control system that
utilizes the modular and scalable capabilities of a PLC can reduce costs and installation times, improve production uptime,
and ease life cycle management.
❒

ZACK
MUNK

Zack Munk is onshore upstream oil
and gas business development manager at Rockwell Automation. He is responsible for providing solutions for artificial
lift, upstream process control and flow
measurement, including PLCs, RTUs,
flow measurement, wireless instruments
and I/O, SCADA solutions, and process
optimization. Munk began his career in
2006 as a Rockwell field services engineer, and also has served the company
as an applications engineer. He holds a
B.S. in computer engineering technologies from DeVry University.

SEPTEMBER 2016 41


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Contents
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover3
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