Oilfield production chemicals are critical to keep production going and address the immediate threats posed by hydrates, corrosion, scale, wax, and emulsions. But for years it’s been common practice for operators to over-inject chemicals.
While the risks of under-injecting are hefty – including safety, environmental incidents and downtime, over-dosing chemicals lead to excessive operational costs and potentially damage or weaken your assets.
Chemical management programs are typically one of the top three operating expenses for producers. If your operations teams are not tracking chemical levels and injecting them at their optimal rate, producers could be pumping away millions of dollars.
How much does over-injecting chemicals cost producers?
It’s easy for chemical management program costs to pile up because it’s more than just the price of the chemicals you’re using.
The hidden costs of over-injecting chemicals include:
- Increased trucking vendor contracts needed to haul chemicals to your site
- Additional time and labour to manually monitor and control the injections
- Additional wear and tear on roads from increased hauling and monitoring
- Reduced asset integrity and increased likelihood of downtime
When chemical management programs can increase your OPEX, how can producers make it easy to use optimal chemical injection rates to keep costs down?
Most operators don’t have the tools to know optimal chemical injection rates
Producers often run costly chemical programs because field operations teams don’t have the right tools or guidance to calculate the optimal rates. This is for two reasons:
- Inadequate tank monitoring. Most operations teams do not monitor their chemical tanks and pumps and therefore have little to no visibility into what is happening at the well. For example, you don’t know where, when or how much of each chemical is being injected.
- Inadequate consideration of variables like weather. The average operator struggles to keep up with their chemical injection program because they don’t have the tools to know the exact rate or know how to best manage tasks related to chemical management. For example, during cycles of freeze-thaw such as in March and April, operators are not well equipped to know how much to turn up or turn down methanol injections to reflect what’s historically required for that specific location.
The end result: your frontline operators have difficulty containing their chemical-related costs because they tend to over-inject.
How chemical management should work: right data for field operators
To get the most from your assets, reduce downtime and minimize unnecessary trips and chemical vendors costs, you need to accurately track production volumes and chemical consumption.
Ideally, you need a chemical management system that:
- Tracks chemical and production volumes at the field and plant
- Provides production and fluids management data in real-time, accessible by field operations teams all the way up to head office
- Automates tasks for operators such as chemical injection schedules and fluid tracking so they are better equipped to manage consumption
- Detect anomalies in production levels and send alerts when chemical levels are low
With EZ Ops software, oil and gas operations teams are equipped to better manage chemical consumption, optimize production and prevent tank leads.
Rather than relying on chemical vendors to supply samples and target rates, EZ Ops get everyone on the same page. It provides full transparency on what chemicals are needed and when – and chemical levels are well documented for both operator and vendor.
Using simple digital forms, field teams can check pump rates every time they are on-site, getting the best trend data to get the best chemical rates and what each well specifically needs.
See how chemicals fluids and production rates are optimized and the capabilities of EZ Ops chemical management system in our fact sheet.
What’s the ROI of EZ Ops chemical management system?
By knowing the chemical volumes in the field and thus estimating the right size of the truck to make efficient trips, EZ Ops provides significant value to our customers, especially for those producers with large chemical management programs in place.
One customer saved enough money on chemicals in one month to pay for EZ Ops for a year.
Where do the savings come from? Less management of third-party trucking companies, trucking efficiencies, reduction of road maintenance and road use.
“With EZ Ops tank level inventory I know exactly how much chemical to bring to each location and allows me to double haul knowing how much water is in the field as well.” – Ryan, TMK Trucking
Artificial Intelligence, the Future of optimized chemical management programs
While we continue to help clients save thousands on their chemical injection programs, EZ Ops is also investigating the future of chemical management with data-driven insights from machine learning.
By using historical data, we created a predictive model to calculate the best performance standard to achieve top production for each individual well, including the chemical consumption rate and temperature. The data could also be used to predict anomalies based on outliers and suggest corrective measures.
Ingest SCADA, IoT, or manual inputs of tank levels along with location, transportation cost, and commodity cost to plan the most effective route to deliver or pick up loads from sites.
For example, to make sure methanol tanks do not drop below a certain threshold, the system will determine the tanks in most need of filling, how much to fill them with,
and what size truck needs to be used to fill ones in in relatively close proximity (a “field run”)
This new BETA planner currently can plan up to 1.5 years out, with the most accurate load information being in the first few weeks and decreasing from there. It is updated daily with new tank level and flow rate information to ensure the plan is updated as new information comes in.
Stop pumping money down the well and get your chemical management program on track
Knowing the optimal chemical consumption rate can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars and is one of the biggest cost drivers EZ Ops can solve for producers. See how much you could be saving with EZ Ops today including costs for chemical tanks, hauling and road maintenance. Take the first step: book a demo to see how you can track chemical fluids and optimize your production levels.
Ready to join the next phase of oil and gas 4.0? Contact us today to learn more about our innovative projects and data-driven insights that are advancing the future of oil and gas.
About Patrick Herren, Director of Customer Experience
Pat’s been operating numerous assets around Alberta for the past decade and knows firsthand the demands of the job working in the oil patch as a former production operator.
Pat leads our on-boarding and training team, providing responsive helpful service that has earned EZ Ops a 100% adoption track record in the field.