Data & Analytics

Companies Test New Protocol for Completions Data Transfer

Intelligent Wellhead Systems and ProFrac Services say the new method simplifies and streamlines data transfer during hydraulic fracturing.

Data captured by wellsite sensors is fed into ProFrac’s message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) broker. A third-party interface, adapted to work with the MQTT broker, communicates using the MQTT protocol to the IWS inVision Wellsite system, which translates the data to the IWS standard data model. The data is then transferred to the inVision Live Cloud, where it is available to the operator both onsite and remote.
Source: IWS

Intelligent Wellhead Systems (IWS) and hydraulic fracturing company ProFrac Services announced the first successful field tests using the message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) protocol for the transfer and visualization of wellsite data during hydraulic fracturing.

Working with an operator in the Haynesville shale, IWS and ProFrac developed the protocol to enhance wellsite connectivity and improve data transmission.

“Currently, wellsite data is transmitted during fracturing operations by a standard communications cable using CSV [comma separated value] protocol. While this method is robust, it is quite limited in what it can do, particularly with changes in the data being transmitted,” said Bob Duncan, IWS vice president of product strategy. “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.”

The biggest drawbacks with the traditional method typically are the result of manual data entry. In addition, data is not sent at the start of the stage, and channels are not in the right order during set up. With the new protocol, these variables are taken out of the equation. Not only is the mapping process simpler, but it’s also completed before the start of the job. The burden of channel mapping and data manipulation during the job is removed from the data van operator, saving time and money.

“The MQTT protocol will make our data more accessible and more accurate,” said Chris Hall, ProFrac’s director of information technology application development. “The result will be a better job for the customer.”

The companies say the new protocol presents many advantages over the current method. The process of manually entering, changing, or quality-checking data is eliminated, significantly decreasing the time and cost of data manipulation. Enhanced data quality increases confidence in downstream operations, and reports, analysis, and planning are more reliable. Added trust between the operator, the service company, and the aggregator company also increases assurance and safety in wellsite operations.

The MQTT 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.