Natural Gas Fracking

Industry: | Solution:

Natural Gas Fracking 2Fracking Co owns and operates a natural gas company, involved primarily in remote fracking operations. Fracking Co currently has operations all over the world and provides safe and reliable supplies of natural gas to the open market. Oil and gas supply the world’s 6.9 billion people with 60 percent of their daily energy needs. The other 40 percent comes from coal, nuclear and hydroelectric power, along with renewables like wind, solar and tidal power, and biomass products such as firewood.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels and has become relatively cheap. Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, has gained popularity in the oil and gas industry as it helps to release natural resources from within shale oil and gas reserves all around the world.



Fracking Co has several operations all around the world and required localized data collection on several drilling wells and associated equipment for their remote sites. A solution was developed with a direct opportunity to address a much larger market.

Specifics included the capture of standard signals from sensors and instrumentation affixed to valves, storage tanks
and other process equipment. Sensors collected data on various characteristics of the operation including;
Natural Gas Fracking 1

• Operating Pressures
• Flow Rates
• Pump Performance
• Engine Monitoring
• Power Consumption
• Ground Subsidence
• Water Quality Monitoring
• Gas Monitoring
• Meteorological Data


The most systems rely on standard PLC controllers and standard engine ECUs. This enables data collection through a variety of sources including;

• RS232 / RS485
• TCP Modbus
• CANbus
• Analog 4-20 mA, 0-5 VDC and 0-10 VDC loops
• DNP3 based SCADA systems

After data is collected and stored, the data is to be used for system health monitoring, production data, key performance indicators, and historical reports and analysis.



The system is based off the use of Symboticware’s full suite of products including the SymBot, SymRTU, and SymView suite of

Symboticware Symbot


The SymBot is used in monitoring applications for Productivity Gains, Risk Mitigation, Energy Savings and as a platform for new development projects where real-time data collection is crucial for making better and informed decisions. The SymBot is a ruggedized hardware/software device that acts as a hub connected to various OEM equipment to, collect, format, store and forward from remote locations, such as underground mines or remote environmental stations. The Symboticware software suite receives the data feeds, standardizes, analyzes, reports and/or integrates the data with the customer’s existing IT environment. Fracking Co primarily uses the SymBot to collect CANbus data from engines and pumps in the field. Additionally, the SymBot functions as a TCP Modbus collection, store and forward node for remote PLCs.



The SymRTU is similar to any standard RTU whereby data is collected from several 4-20 mA, 0-5 VDC or 0-10 VDC analog channels; however, Symboticware’s units can “mesh” together essentially forming a widespread wireless network which takes very little time to install and provision. Each unit acts as a repeater, thereby extending network coverage. The units also support RS232, RS485 and other digital formats. In a typical well setup, a single RTU can be setup on surface with a directional antenna directed toward the nearest neighbouring unit or base hub station. Additional SymRTUs can be placed at intermediate locations to act as signal boosters or provide additional data collection on ground movement, temperatures, pressures, etc. Once the system is physically connected, and power supplied from local 12 or 24V, solar, wind, or even long life li-ion batteries, data is instantly streamed to a SymView server node on surface. From here displays are either provided by Symboticware’s graphical suite, or data can be pumped into pre-existing or new data historian packages such as OSI soft’s PI platform.

Fracking operation diagram


With ever changing oil and gas compliance regulations from all levels of government, it is becoming ever so more important for companies to monitor all activities and record those activities with a historian. Officials now have the ability to search through digital records and validate full compliancy by an organization. Real time monitoring also ensures that maintenance personnel keep the system operating within strict regulations. Safety is of utmost importance wherever hazardous conditions are present. Monitoring platforms can be employed throughout the operation from gas monitoring, to ground movement data to enable control room operators to recognize possible contingencies before they cause injury or death. Energy is an area investigated for large cost savings. With the rising costs of energy it is important to streamline processes and pick up on problems before they end up costing large amounts of money. For example, several KPIs can be setup to track units of gas produced in comparison to megawatt hours of electricity consumed. Being able to measure and rank such parameters enables your team to actively monitor and increase efficiency. Customers can also realize enormous returns from each saved piece of equipment. Truck engines with low oil levels can warn drivers and supervisors that the truck needs servicing immediately to avoid catastrophic engine loss. Valves, pipes and other process equipment can automatically be isolated as soon as abnormal operating pressures, flow rates or other conditions are detected. With equipment costing millions of dollars, it doesn’t take long for the savings to add up.