Digital remote monitoring of injection wells
Legal requirements for the handling of produced water and backflow according to Paragraph 22c of Germany’s federal mining legislation (ABBergV), as well as requirements from the catalogue of the State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG), presented Neptune Energy with the challenge of implementing these requirements with an economically justifiable investment against the background of limited running times.
This meant the search was on for an inexpensive and future-proof solution that could be implemented promptly and at little cost. Interventions in existing instrumentation and control systems should be kept as minimal as possible. In addition, interventions in the natural environment are to be avoided.
The wireless connectivity solution selected was MIOTY technology, developed at Fraunhofer IIS, which has already been successfully tested in an initial PoC with Neptune Energy. This technology enables the best possible transmission security and extremely high scalability. Together with one of the world’s leading measurement technology companies, WIKA Alexander Wiegand SE & Co KG, the innovation project was extended and transferred to the monitoring of injection wells.
With its digitalization strategy, WIKA is pursuing an approach that adds a connectivity layer to new products as well as to proven sensor technology that has been used successfully in many applications. This meant the measurement technology could be connected to a platform without changing the instrumentation concept, allowing data to be visualized and evaluated remotely at any location.
The Reitbrook West 17 injection well, which had only recently been put into operation, was selected as a reference object for the innovation project.
The initial aim was to demonstrate the practical suitability of the installation and the energy-efficient and robust wireless data transfer. For this purpose, process-relevant parameters such as annulus pressure, head pressure, filling level and temperature were wirelessly transmitted to various mobile devices such as smartphones.
This means that a whole number of LBEG requirements have already been implemented in an exemplary manner and the system’s flawless functionality has been reliably demonstrated in a pilot project.
Since the overall system installed can transmit an almost unlimited number of different kinds of sensor data and given the enormous demand for data acquisition in many other fields of application, further contacts have already been made with potential interested parties.