OIL DRILLING : optimizing

Operating oil wells is not reserved to major names in the sector, such as Esso or Total Fina, but also less famed companies. When oil deposits are of poor quality, reaching profitability can be difficult; here supervision plays a major role, as it enables optimizing the process management, intervening remotely, and reducing stoppage times. The following example is a general illustration of this, as our customer required to remain anonymous. 


The processing center where TOPKAPI  is installed consolidates a dozen drilling operations located in the vicinity. Some have their own storage capacity; the oil extracted is then shipped by tanker truck to the processing centre. The other drilling operations are connected directly to the processing centre via pipeline. 

Managing all the facilities is ensured by a TOPKAPI supervision station, implemented in the processing centre. The process information is transmitted to TOPKAPI by PERAX  remote management controllers, using, except for local information, the public telephone network for transmitting data. Indeed, this solution is much more economical than implementing costly leased lines.


The TOPKAPI supervisor / RTU (Remote Terminal Unit) couple is perfectly suited to this situation: when an alarm is triggered, the controller connects to TOPKAPI, and also stores the history information which, upon each connection, is downloaded, decoded, and formatted by the SCADA Software.

In addition to the typical processes ensured by the software (monitoring motors, pumps, valves, tank levels, etc.), the system enables accurate control of certain aspects of the process.


For example, the pumping systems inside wells often fail without alarm devices being triggered: faulty pump, leak on a valve or shut-off valve for example. These anomalies are detected by means of visual analysis of the tank filling graphs; trend graphs have been configured in the application, matching the state of operation of the pumps and the level of the storage tanks. When the pumps are operating, the level of the tanks must increase linearly, with an invariable slope. Any anomaly in the profile of the curve indicates a potential malfunction.

Another example: an oil well operates as an artesian well; when the pumping flow rate is too high, the well ends up drying out, and oil requires a given time to flow through the geological layers up to the drilling point.


Pumping in vacuum generates no additional production, wears out the equipment, and consumes energy.

Monitoring the tank filling graphs enables adjusting the pumping rate timeouts with the highest possible effectiveness.

The supervision application was entirely created by the electric maintenance manager, after a three-day initial training session:


"Controlling the application enables us to adjust the configuration according to our actual needs, and upgrade it without calling upon providers from outside the company". Before, we used a well-known American supervision software,: "Compared with my former experience, TOPKAPI showed to be particularly easy to use. The synoptics are used very intuitively, and shifting from configuration to operation is easy, without fearing that mishandling may impact the application’s integrity ". 

After one year operation, during which improvements were easy to implement and most beneficial, there are still many deposits (the appropriate word here !) of productivity to explore, by refining the use of TOPKAPI : calculations for automatic triggering of alarms, summaries, etc...