Renowned Chinese petroleum and chemical corporation, Sinopec Shengli Oilfield (SINOPEC) is using Xerafy Xplorer RFID tags in field tests, to track the down-hole pipes on its onshore oil site, believed to be the first UHF RFID drill pipe tracking application in the oil and gas industry.

RFID traceable drill pipes

Leveraging RFID traceable drill pipes, the Shengli Oilfield can track 1,380 drill pipes at seven well sites using RFID hand-held readers and software, supplied by VictorySoft.

The pilot operation took around three months, with every well opening with a depth of approximately 2,500 meters. For the next stage, SINOPEC will put a well-centered antenna in place, to read the tag as the pipe moves through it while being tripped. With the pilot's success, the Shengli Oilfield expects to substantially expand the deployment of Xplorer tags, to additional drill strings and sites in 2016.

Xerafy Xplorer UHF RFID tag

Xerafy Xplorer is a patent-pending UHF RFID tag constructed with high-strength steel and polymer

Xerafy Xplorer is a patent-pending UHF RFID tag constructed with high-strength steel and polymer and is specially designed to be embedded in a hole milled into the drilling joint, in order to track each pipe. Using RFID is the key to improving the previously impossible task of tracking and capturing data on the individual pipes.

Shengli Oilfield did not have an efficient way of managing its drilling pipes. The pipes were counted manually before and after the drilling process, which resulted in inaccurate inventory management, inefficient asset utilization, and potential safety risks.

Tracking individual drill pipe joints

The ability to now track individual drill pipe joints has opened up new possibilities for improved documentation and process efficiency, resulting in cost savings and risk reduction.

Regulatory requirements, weather, and operating conditions make China’s oilfields, one of the most challenging asset management environments on Earth. The drill pipes are exposed to high temperatures, extreme pressure and vibrations, and chemical corrosion during tripping operations.

The Xplorer tag directly links to the ID number, steel number, size and weight, production information, last usage information, asset maintenance records, and other important information. The stored information is transmitted to VictorySoft’s tracking system.

Hand-held RFID reader

By using a hand-held RFID reader, the staff has been able to access key information

By using a hand-held RFID reader, the staff has been able to access key information, both before and after scanning all drill pipes, and will be able to get real-time visibility, when the assets need cleaning and maintenance, including when the drills need to be scrapped.

This greatly reduces the risk of leakage and rupture accidents, which can cause the expedition to fail. With the timely collection of raw data, management can use the data on-site, in order to make quick and accurate decisions.

Sinopec Shengli Oilfield

Sinopec Shengli Oilfield has been on the lookout for many years for the implementation of an intelligent solution to identify and manage drill pipes to improve performance and reduce costs,” said Xu Haiting, the General Manager (GM) of VictorySoft’s Technical Development Department.

Xu Haiting adds, “Xerafy’s Xplorer has opened up many important possibilities, by allowing the operator to have traceability and advanced information of their processes, throughout the tripping operation. The success of this RFID program validates the readiness and value of Xerafy Xplorer UHF RFID technology for drill pipe tracking.

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