How do we help the front line operator identify, prioritise and remove constraints in the Origin gas gathering network?

The Australia Pacific LNG Project has 1500 wells spread across South West Queensland. These wells are connected to a 3000 KM gas gathering network that transports produced gas along the network to the gas production facilities.

When gas is extracted from the ground by the well, water is also extracted. Water and gas are separated at the well site by a separator but on occasions water can get into the gas gathering network which slows (constrains) the flow of gas – impacting production.

Currently operators receive excel spreadsheets which advise them when production is constrained and at which well. Operators use these spreadsheets to direct water truck drivers to the well to empty the water (or identify if it is another constraint) to allow gas to flow freely again.


Currently use an external software, Piper, to run the hydraulic model ad hoc, takes about 30 min process to model and identify constraints. The output is currently an excel visualisation.

Is a static model, run ad-hoc and doesn't pick up on trends of constraints over time.

Water is main operational constraint on the gas gathering network –There are other constraints such as solids accumulation which also exist.

Impact & Value

  • Increased production
  • Increased efficiency by operators
  • Improved safety with trucks off the road

Data Summary

  • Daily Gas pressure, flow readings and system capacity from 145 wells over a one year period
  • Corresponding water recovery data from nearby Low Point Drains (LPD) for same 145 wells
  • Access available to well gathering data pressures and operating parameters
  • GIS Data
  • Hydraulic Piping Model


OreFox created an integrated, multi-platform solution which leverages existing Origin systems to optimize gas production.

  • The data mapping interface has the capability of integrating the measured and theoretical gas pressures to generate ArcGIS files which feed into a weighted analysis tool.
  • The weighted analysis combines different variables which are given weights based on their magnitude of influence on water accumulation in the gas gathering network.
  • This analysis then generates a single output map which allows automatic selection of LPD's for draining.
  • Route optimization then uses the selected LPD's to plan efficient routes for the water extraction.
  • The weighted analysis and the route optimization is all performed within ArcGIS, part of Origin's existing software portfolio.
  • The optimized route is sent to the field operator via the ArcExplorer system daily.
  • The field operator uses the ArcCollector application to provide data about water extraction times and quantities which can then be used as a variable to improve the weighted analysis.
  • Over time the OreFox solution will progressively learn and adapt to new information, providing an additional predictive capability.

The OreFox solution

  • Reduces time on the road thus improving safety and $$$
  • Uses Origin’s existing applications in a newer, more efficient way
  • Easy to implement across the whole company
  • User friendly
  • No new technology or extensive employee training required

Other learnings

  • 60% of the current practice was wasted time.
  • Due to poor data collection, more time was spent cleaning & fixing data then working on the solution.
  • One well was found to be producing 20,000 litres of water a month, a problem Origins engineers were not aware of until OreFox analysed their data.

The Image below shows time spent by the operator, signified by blue circles, which are sized by time spent in that location.  Red areas show where the actual problems are in the gas system. 

60% of the current practice was wasted time.