Oil Well Pump Control System

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"Using NI Single-Board RIO, LabVIEW, and other innovative technologies in the Naftamatika WellSim controller, we have significantly increased well production efficiency and reduced maintenance costs."

- , Ovak Technologies, Naftamatika

The Challenge:
Optimizing oil well operation using only sensors installed on surface equipment.

The Solution:
Developing the Naftamatika WellSim rod pump controller, which is a reliable, plug-and-play, high-performance solution for automating oil wells in the field, using NI Single-Board RIO devices, LabVIEW Developer Suite, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, the LabVIEW FPGA Module, and the Modbus Library for LabVIEW.

- Ovak Technologies, Naftamatika

Company and Project Background

Ovak Technologies is an NI Silver Alliance Partner that provides a wide range of engineering services, including software engineering, hardware design, algorithm engineering, algorithm implementation, LabVIEW consulting, and field test services. For this project, we implemented designs, prototypes, and deployments using the NI system-design platform.

The Naftamatika WellSim rod pump controller is highly effective, with hardware specifications far exceeding all modern analogue pump controllers. In addition to rod pump control functions, the Naftamatika WellSim controls and monitors the whole system. It provides a complete well simulation based on data obtained from the single universal integrated load and position sensors. This approach is very useful in monitoring well parameters and provides ample opportunities for real-time downhole equipment diagnostics. Such a system is necessary due to oil reserve exhaustion, high-cost electric power, and the desire for oil companies to lower the cost of well maintenance and increase labor efficiency.

Figure 1. The Naftamatika WellSim Rod Pump Controller

Using the controller, the user can manage the well in manual or automatic mode. Automatic control uses an improved algorithm based on this well model, which is how we achieve the highest accuracy, parameter calculation stability, and maximum pumping unit operating reliability. The controller supports the Modbus Remote Terminal Unit protocol and interacts with XSPOC and other supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Building a Complete Software and Hardware Solution   

The software is developed by “Ovak Technologies” upon technical specification of “Naftamatika” company. The Naftamatika WellSim controller, based on the NI Single-Board RIO platform, was programmed using the LabVIEW Real-Time Module and LabVIEW FPGA Module. We chose LabVIEW because it is easy to use and makes it significantly faster to develop a complicated application with a user-friendly GUI. LabVIEW provides a platform to easily develop and change algorithms.

Figure 2. GUI

The software offers remote control via wireless connection (FM, WiFi, general packet radio service, or WiMax) for manual control with the touch pad, computer, or tablet. Users can set up Naftamatika WellSim with the following control methods:

  • Automatic well operation by pump filling mode
  • Automatic well operation control by pump intake pressure
  • Automatic well operation control by a timer
  • Automatic well operation control by schedule
  • Host mode operator control or SCADA control
  • Surface dynamometer card control
  • Malfunction mode

Hardware Configuration Capabilities

The hardware is configured with the following capabilities:

  • Motherboard with 100 digital I/O at 3.3 V; 30 analogue inputs; 4 analogue outputs at 0 to 10 V; and 31 digital I/O at 24 V)
  • Adapter board
  • Power supply
  • Automatic switch
  • Motor starter control relay
  • Full integration with variable frequency drives (VFDs), such as Danfoss and SALT
  •  Load and position sensors combined on the polished rod as a single instrument


Figure 3. System Topology

Position and Load Sensors

An accelerometer in a weatherproof enclosure takes accurate position measurements on the polished rod (not the modeled position). Internal electronics provide signal conditioning necessary for accurate data acquisition.

The load cell sensor is mounted on polished rod. The sensor works on Wheatstone bridge principle with a temperature compensation. Load measurement accuracy is 0.25 percent, and load measurements range from 0 to 22,500 kg/50,000 lb.

Naftamatika WellSim Advantages

The many advantages of the Naftamatika WellSim controller include:

  • A user-friendly, readable, multilanguage, Web-based GUI with 3D simulation that supports virtually all browsers and operating systems (iOS, Android, Linux, Windows,  and Mac)
  • Safe and quick installation
  • Remote firmware upgrades
  • Secure log in and multilevel access rights
  • The ability to download reports from the controller
  • The capability to work in harsh climatic conditions, such as ambient temperature from - 40 to + 85° C, storage temperature from -40 to 85 ° C, and operating relative humidity from 10 to 90 percent
  • VFD control via 0 to 10 V output, RS485, and controller area network (CAN)

Using the Naftamatika WellSim controller, we have seen:

  • A 35 percent energy saving in comparison with a pump-off controller
  • Reduced equipment failure
  • An increase in production by maintaining optimal formation pressure
  • Continuous operation at minimal speeds (which is effective for wells that should not be shut down)
  • Dynamic speed tuning throughout the entire stroke with the capability to slow down at peak loads

Figure 4. Conventional Pumping Unit with Control Shelf

Increased Efficiency and Reduced Costs

With previous hardware, we could only periodically change the well control parameters using portable devices. Now, with permanent modern microprocessors on individual wells, we can continuously maintain automatic control. The Naftamatika WellSim controller can measure dynamometer card load and position, calculate pump intake pressure, measure electrical usage, and determine pump conditions and daily production. At the same time, Naftamatika WellSim is a full-fledged network device that offers remote software updates and remote controller access via a Web-based interface.

Using  NI Single-Board RIO, LabVIEW, and other innovative technologies in the Naftamatika WellSim controller, we have significantly increased well production efficiency and reduced maintenance costs, based on the feedback from the field.

Author Information:

Ovak Technologies, Naftamatika

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