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The MQTT protocol will make data more accessible and accurate. (Image source: Intelligent Wellhead Systems)

Introducing a new, effective path to seamlessly attaining hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas digitalisation provider Intelligent Wellhead Systems and hydraulic fracturing services company ProFrac have announced the first successful field tests of the message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) protocol for the safe and efficient transfer and visualisation of wellsite data during the fracturing process 

Speaking of how this method replaces the complicated process of manual data entry, having to send it prior operations and set up the right channels, Bob Duncan, IWS vice president of product strategy, explained, "Currently, wellsite data is transmitted during fracturing operations by a standard communications cable using comma separated value (CSV) protocol. While this method is robust, it is quite limited in what it can do, particularly with changes in the data being transmitted. A better solution is MQTT, a modern communication protocol that allows more data information than standard CSV protocol. Metadata, including the channel name for each data curve, can now be sent. Instead of mapping just the serial order of data, the data channel name can now be mapped as well." 

Intelligent has been recognised for its novel solutions in the market such as Wellsite Watch that optimises management tasks for wellsite operations personnel

Accurate and reliable data transmission

MQTT not only makes the mapping process simpler, but has it all covered even before the fracturing process begins, bringing in a marked diiference with reduced time and cost of data manipulation.

When the limitations of manual data entering is removed, the quality of data gets enhanced and becomes reliable enough to produce strong analysis and reports, especially strengthening downstream operations. 

“The MQTT protocol will make our data more accessible and more accurate. The result will be a better job for the customer,” Chris Hall, director-IT application development for ProFrac Services said. This invention will add to the rising trend of predictive maintenance in the oil and gas sector, allowing prompt identification and resolution of industry challenges. 

To assess MQTT's wellsite connectivity and data transmission capabilities, ProFac and Intelligent collaborated with an operator in the Haynesville. The protocol has been deployed on two two-well pads in the Haynesville shale, and a three-well pad in West Texas. An additional three-well pad in the Haynesville is also ongoing. 

“Once the job commences, data is now easily transmitted accurately and reliably. We are no longer dependent on aligning channel order and are now mapping based on previously agreed channels. This negates the issues brought on by changing channel names or channel order during the job. From an operator perspective, it’s been refreshing to see the service provider and aggregator work together and collaborate to provide a solution,” said the completions engineer from the operating company.