Customer Story
Plunger Lift Optimization

See how Escondido Resources used WellAware Remote Oilfield Monitoring to optimize plunger lift and reduce labor costs associated with manually managing legacy assets.

About the Operator

Escondido Resources is a private independent exploration, production and development company focused on developing unconventional gas reserves from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.

wellaware customer escondido resources

The Challenge

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Legacy Assets Were Expensive to Maintain

Escondido manages a number of older wells in the Eagle Ford Shale, many of them on plunger lift. Despite the fact that these wells produce relatively little value to Escondido compared to newer wells, they required constant oversight from field staff and production engineers to maintain.

The cost of maintenance destroyed profit margins on these wells, and kept essential staff from being able to focus on higher-value assets.

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When I first joined Escondido, what I noticed was the physical technology was good, but the data acquisition was lacking.

– Christian Carrol, Senior Production Engineer

Old monitoring technology didn’t deliver

Escondido’s legacy SCADA infrastructure, a kludgy system involving multiple vendors, was not sufficient to provide the necessary data to optimize plunger lift systems. In particular, the system relied on solar power to stay online, so nighttime resulted in a complete loss of visibility.

Furthermore, Escondido’s field staff spent much of their time troubleshooting SCADA equipment and manually collecting missing data. This delayed production engineers’ response times and resulted in unoptimized plunger lift systems. 

The Solution

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A single solution with high-quality data

Escondido turned to WellAware to provide a single, unified solution to monitor well production, diagnose plunger lift issues, and remotely control and implement plunger lift optimization.

Armed with reliable, 5-minute resolution plunger data, Escondido engineers were able to manage plunger control boxes, see when the plungers arrived, change after-flow time, and remotely optimize the lift from the safety of their offices.

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I love that I can chart data and see if the plunger is coming up all the way. I can determine if I need to change the after-flow time and remotely optimize the lift. I can also tell if the wellhead is too big. This platform allows me to access data for all the wells, new and old.

– Christian Carroll, Senior Production Engineer

On-time, reliable data acquisition

WellAware’s monitoring infrastructure solved key problems for Escondido engineers and field staff. In particular, getting high-resolution, real-time data allowed Escondido’s engineers to identify failing valves and spot deteriorating arrival sensors. Prior to WellAware, engineers would get field-collected plunger data a day late and try to make adjustments on old data – adjustments that were often too late. With WellAware, Escondido could optimize plunger lift in real-time without relying on site visits by field staff.

Data for every production team member

WellAware isn’t just for Production Engineers. The Marketing and Sales team use WellAware to track spot values and sales volume numbers. The lease operators are able to use the WellAware Mobile App to track and diagnose production issues and avoid safety risk exposure. Even the Escondido COO uses WellAware to identify data misinformation, especially on newer, high-value wells. 

The Result

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Avoiding downhole failures without added cost

With WellAware, Escondido has been able to avoid failures that they didn’t catch before, including tubing leaks, casing failures, and plunger issues. Avoiding these failures has saved Escondido up to $3,000 per day per issue.

What’s more, Escondido has been able to increase production and reduce failure rates without adding an additional lease operator to manage legacy wells. By doing more with less, Escondido avoided the additional $100,000 a year in FTE costs just to manage older, less-valuable assets. Now Escondido can focus their attention on new wells that produce more value for the company.

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I’m getting data faster and I’m getting more data. Having more data helps my job every single day.

– Christian Carroll, Senior Production Engineer

$100K

LABOR AVOIDANCE

$3,000

PER DAY SAVINGS – FAILURE AVOIDANCE

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We chose WellAware based on proven results. There are multiple solutions out there, but what I’ve seen is that when I get better data, faster data, I can make quicker decisions – my field guys can make quicker decisions – and we can focus our time where it is actually needed.

– Christian Carroll, Senior Production Engineer

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