Spy tech­nol­ogy spawns oil & gas revo­lu­tion

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

The fu­ture of oil ex­plo­ration lies in new tech­nol­ogy such as air­borne spy tech­nol­ogy that can pin­point prospec­tive reser­voirs.

Oil and gas is get­ting big­ger, deeper, faster and more ef­fi­cient, with new tech­nol­ogy chip­ping away at “peak oil” con­cerns. Hy­draulic frac­tur­ing has caught main­stream at­ten­tion, other high-tech de­vel­op­ments in ex­plo­ration and dis­cov­ery have kept this ball rolling.

Oil ma­jors are sec­ond only to the US De­fence Depart­ment in terms of the use of su­per­com­put­ing sys­tems, which find sweet spots for drilling. These su­per­com­put­ing sys­tems an­a­lyze vast amounts of seis­mic imag­ing data col­lected by ge­ol­o­gists us­ing sound waves.

The next step in tech­nol­ogy takes us off the ground and air­borne – at a much cheaper cost – ac­cord­ing to Jen Alic, a global in­tel­li­gence and en­ergy ex­pert for OP Tac­ti­cal.

The new­est ad­vance­ment in oil ex­plo­ration is an early-phase aerial tech­nol­ogy that can see what no other tech­nol­ogy – in­clud­ing the lat­est 3D seis­mic im­agery – can see, al­low­ing ex­plor­ers to pin­point un­tapped reser­voirs and un­lock new prof­its, cheaper and faster.

“Our re­search into new air­borne reser­voir-pin­point­ing tech­nol­ogy tells us that this is the next step in im­prov­ing the bot­tom line in terms of ex­plo­ration,” Alic said.

“Com­pa­nies could save tens of mil­lions of dol­lars.”

The new tech­nol­ogy, de­vel­oped by Cal­gary's NXT En­ergy So­lu­tions, has the abil­ity to pin­point prospec­tive oil and gas reser­voirs and to de­ter­mine ex­actly what's still there from a plane mov­ing at 500k an hour at an al­ti­tude of 3000m.

The Stress Field De­tec­tion (SFD) tech­nol­ogy uses grav­ity to gather its oil and gas in­tel­li­gence – it can tell dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies in the grav­i­ta­tional field deep un­der­ground.

Just like a stream is de­flected by a big rock, SFD de­tects grav­ity dis­tur­bances due to sub­sur­face stress and den­sity vari­a­tions. Por­ous rock filled with f lu­ids has a very dif­fer­ent den­sity than sur­round­ing solid rocks.

Re­mem­ber, grav­ity mea­sure­ment is based on the den­sity of ma­te­ri­als. SFD de­tects sub­tle changes in earth's grav­i­ta­tional field.

Ac­cord­ing to its de­vel­op­ers, the SFD could save oil and gas com­pa­nies up to 90 per cent of their ex­plo­ration cost by re­duc­ing the time spent search­ing for a reser­voir and drilling into to it to de­ter­mine whether there's ac­tu­ally any oil and gas still there.

“Be­cause it's all done from the air, SFD

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