New Technology Digitizes Existing Oilfields Into Modern And Efficient AI-Driven Operations
An engineer turned entrepreneur and inventor used Machine Learning data analytics to figure out why artificial lift is not working as designed or doesn’t work properly or efficiently. Learning this part of the equation and knowing how to fix it autonomously, or with human assistance, can increase oil producers’ production and significantly reduce operating costs.
Five years ago, Kris Palka’s former clients wouldn’t let him retire.
“After two restless attempts at retirement, and former clients who kept calling me and asking for help, I assembled a team of experts and together we developed Akinê Live, a cloud-based platform that can monitor, analyze and remotely control oilfield operations,” says Palka, CEO & Chief Innovator at Akinê Inc. (pronounced ‘akeeneh’)
Palka says that he realized what oil producers really needed to solve their underlying problems and be successful was the right tools and a more deterministic solution which is accurate, transparent and fosters collaboration.
“Producers need accurate and actionable data so they’re not wondering what happened, when, or why. Akinê Live takes the guesswork out of this and provides actionable solutions.”
Akinê Live’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) calculate real-time production and fluid level on every well. Whenever something is not working properly, Akinê Live determines the why of what happened and when, and communicates actionable items to all parties involved including well operators, production and reservoir engineers as well as corporate staff at a producer’s head office. When immediate attention is required, intelligent, interactive and informative Alerts are sent to those who are responsible.
Palka says: “Akinê Live is a cloud-based platform that monitors and interacts with operators and engineers. All clients have to do is text to Akinê Live and set themselves on call and the platform will alert them when something needs attention. Or clients can log into Akinê Live at any time, from anywhere to securely check the status of their wells, gathering systems, tank farms and pipelines.
If the platform reports any problems, clients will know exactly what happened, when it happened, where it happened and why it happened. If the autonomous system is unable to resolve the issue, then the client can immediately address what needs to be corrected to solve the problem. The client can also communicate this information with all parties involved so that everyone knows who did what, when they did it and why, and there is a log of their conversations.”
Akinê recently rolled out its newest hardware, Akinê RAVEN Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) controllers, which works with any type of artificial lift with or without Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), with injection wells, facilities and pipelines.
“RAVEN controllers gather high quality data for the Akinê Live cloud platform so our analytics can provide actionable insights used by our autonomous control to optimize artificial lift and the operation of the whole field,” says Palka.
RAVEN includes a wellhead camera to provide Virtual Site Inspections (VSIs) augmented by AI to automatically identify leaking wellhead components before any significant spill occurs.
“Akinê Live is where most of the magic happens. The cloud-based platform receives data from RAVEN controllers and commands them to operate wells in the most efficient way.”
The software has AI, ML and Direct Science Analytics and provides operators, managers and engineers with accurate real-time data about how much each well is producing, what the reservoir pressure is and how the downhole pumps are behaving. It’s the location where production engineers collaborate with operators and technical staff to optimize productivity of the whole oilfield and each individual well.
In late 2020, in a Product Demonstration Project with support from Alberta Innovates, Akinê deployed its technology on 24 existing well sites in southeast Saskatchewan. After 18 months of deployment, the Akinê Ecosystem lowered energy consumption by over 37 percent and generated a 14 percent improvement in cumulative oil production.
“These results demonstrated that total reduction in energy cost alone makes similar brownfield projects possible with around a one-year payback period on investment. We demonstrated that the Akinê Ecosystem — RAVEN controllers and Akinê Live cloud-based platform — is a very cost-effective technology to increase profitability for every well.”
Palka says that producers could save anywhere from five to 10 percent per well per day if they were made aware of the problems their wells have and if they fixed the problems or eliminated any inefficiencies.
“Eliminating avoidable downtime and extending the life of their equipment will result in increased cumulative production and will reduce their operating costs.”
Not only does Akinê Live help producers increase production and reduce operating costs, but the platform can provide a safer work environment for well operators. VSIs augmented by AI can automatically identify leaking wellhead components before any significant spill occurs. In addition, operators can quickly view every site from the comfort of their office or truck at least three times per day.
“Now, instead of driving to 50 wells every day, an operator drives only to the wells which Akinê Live or the operator has identified as experiencing a problem. This dramatically cuts down on the amount of driving, especially in harsh winter conditions, and frees up the operator’s time to do more important tasks such as regularly scheduled maintenance,” says Palka.
“People are an integral part of upstream operations who provide proactive and emergency maintenance. Our goal is to automate field operations that will enable operators to be a more educated, capable and technology-savvy part of the solution, while having safer and more rewarding careers.”
Akinê Live Advantages
Palka says that other cloud-based oilfield technology can provide some useful data to producers but Akinê Live, with integrated AI and ML, can actually tell producers accurate daily production and fluid level for each well, why their wells are not performing properly and how to fix that problem, which will restore production operation levels and save producers money.
Akinê designs, develops, manufactures and operates the hardware and software for Akinê Live. Akinê deploys the technology on each of its clients’ oilfields. Producers only pay a low monthly fee for using the Akinê Live platform and for perpetual worry-free warranty on the controllers and sensors.
“If there’s a problem with the hardware for any reason, or when some of the components become obsolete, our clients don’t have to pay for repairs or purchase new hardware or new software updates. Akinê takes care of it, making Akinê Live completely worry-free for our clients, ensuring that controller firmware is up-to-date and that our analytics are continuously improving, bringing more benefits to our clients every month.”
Palka says he’s excited for Akinê and for their clients about what’s coming up next.
Akinê recently released its latest RAVEN IIoT controllers. At the same time, its ML project is in the middle of its five-year development cycle, and in the next two years, the company plans to complete the release of all the development to Akinê Live.
When this happens, the Akinê Ecosystem will be capable of autonomously operating an entire oilfield and will provide very transparent information about the data collected, the insights generated by Akinê Live’s AI and active real-time control.
Palka says, “We believe this will make Akinê Live the most powerful, automated, integrated and inexpensive technology to automate and optimize upstream oilfield operations.”
Akinê assists conventional and tight oil producers to increase production and reduce operational costs through proactive identification of underperforming wells. Embedded with AI, ML and Direct Science, the Akinê Ecosystem, with RAVEN IIoT controllers and the Akinê Live cloud platform, is designed and developed by Akinê in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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