Author: marketing

03 Feb 2020

OptaSense opens new offices to meet growing Canadian market

OptaSense Calgary Office

Calgary – OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, a world leader in fiber-optic-based acoustic sensing, recently announced that it has expanded its Canadian presence in order to better serve its growing business in the country.

The company, which provides industry leading monitoring services in the upstream and midstream oil and gas businesses, recently moved its location in Calgary, Alberta.  The new facility is located at 999 57th Ave NE, next to Calgary International Airport and AB Highway 2. The increase in office, lab and shop space supports OptaSense’s growth of its engineering, field and service teams to support the expanding Canadian market.

Additionally, a satellite sales and support office has been opened in the heart of downtown Calgary to better serve OptaSense’ s expanding customer base in that area.  The new downtown office, located at 350 7th Ave SW, Suite 2900, provides ready access to support our customers.

Tony Meszaros, Managing Director for Oilfield Services, believes the two new locations demonstrate OptaSense’ commitment to its customers and the Canadian market, “Both new facilities provide expansion for not only our oil and gas services, but for the entire OptaSense fiber-optic sensing portfolio. Canada represents a tremendous opportunity and with these new locations, we are better positioned to meet the needs of the market.”

About OptaSense

OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.

It is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 25,000 km of assets, principally providing leak detection and third-party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.

OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operates in 40 countries globally across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defense & Security, Transport and Utilities.

22 Jan 2020

OptaSense to Present at Oil & Gas Pipeline Leak Detection Congress USA 2020

January 29-30, 2020 | The Houstonian Hotel | Houston, TX

Oil & Gas Pipeline Leak Detection Congress

Dr. Chris Minto, Engineering Director for OptaSense will be presenting “Challenges In Performance Validation Of Fiber Optic Leak Detection” at the Pipeline Leak Detection Congress USA 2020 on Wednesday, January 29 at The Houstonian Hotel, Houston, TX. 

Dr. Minto will be discussing how External Leak Detection systems based on distributed fiber optic sensors (DFOS) offer the exciting potential to significantly reduce the overall amount of spilled product before a leak is detected. As an external system, the validation of system performance and equally the verification of an operational installed system is a known challenge since, unlike in a conventional system, leaks cannot easily be simulated.

  • Discussions of the need for large-scale validation approaches to performance bound acoustic-based leak detection systems.
  • What are the typical challenges in validating system performance data?
  • Presenting established options for in-field verification on customer owned systems.

Register for the conference HERE

18 Nov 2019

OptaSense Demonstrates Ability to Detect Pipeline Leaks Using Fiber Optic Sensing in Unique Testing Environment

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, a world leader in fiber-optic-based acoustic sensing, recently invited several key customers and interested parties to witness a one-of-a-kind demonstration of its fiber-optic-based pipeline leak detection technology.

Even the smallest leak in a pipeline carrying oil, gas, or water, if not detected quickly, can result in significant financial loss and potential environmental damage. Identifying and locating these leaks quickly allows Operators to take immediate steps to address the issue and mitigate any potential negative impact.

Not only do pipeline operators need a system that detects leaks, it’s critical that they have confidence that their system of choice can effectively detect leaks under different flow conditions and in varying environmental conditions. Traditional testing methods typically fall short because of their inability to replicate “real-world” conditions.

To prove the effectiveness of the leak detection system delivered by OptaSense, guests were invited to view a unique demonstration at the Centro de Tecnologia em Dutos, or CTDUT, pipeline testing facility in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The unique facility features a closed-loop pipeline run that allows engineers to test leak detection systems in an actual pipeline flow situation. By creating a leak in a targeted section of the pipe, OptaSense was able to validate that their system was able to immediately identify a leak and accurately pinpoint its location along the pipeline.

During the demonstration, the test pipeline, carrying water and inert gas, was pressurized to the point that a burst disc installed on a section of the pipe was triggered. The OptaSense system was able to identify a leak, down to 15 lpm, within seconds of its occurrence and provide critical geolocation information to 10m, back to the control room onsite, validating that the system works exactly as intended.

“OptaSense has participated in many industry sponsored tests over the years but these have fallen short of replicating the behavior of leaks in real life conditions, leaving operators short of full performance validation,” said Dr. Chris Minto, Engineering Director for OptaSense. “To close this gap, OptaSense has funded the most comprehensive and valid set of tests to date, providing a full set of performance, accuracy and reliability data to validate our unique four-mode leak detection specification.

In conjunction with the demonstration, Minto also delivered a presentation at the Rio Pipeline 2019 conference in Brazil, “Challenges in Validation and Verification of External Fiber Optic Leak Detection Systems,”  which focused on the need pipeline leak detection providers to demonstrate the efficacy of their system in a controlled manner and the need for customers to gain assurance their system is truly meeting their operational and safety objectives.

With this real-world testing approach taken by OptaSense, pipeline operators can have confidence that the system they select for leak detection will work and provide the level of protection they expect.

About OptaSense

OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.

It is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 25,000 km of assets, principally providing leak detection and third-party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines. OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operates in 40 countries globally across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defense & Security, Transport and Utilities.

18 Nov 2019

OptaSense Earns Acclaim from Frost & Sullivan for Its World-class Engineered Fibre Solutions Suite

LONDON, U.K. — 30 October, 2019 — Based on its recent analysis of the European distributed fibre-optic sensing market, Frost & Sullivan recognises OptaSense with the 2019 Europe Product Leadership Award for its highly effective fibre-optic sensing solution. The company’s field-proven distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology enables customers to achieve superior reliability, reduced costs, and round-the-clock monitoring. In addition to the superior measurement components and the engineered design aspects of its technology, OptaSense’s unparalleled customer service helps customers achieve best-in-class operations.

“At the core of its DAS technology is the ODH4 DAS interrogator unit, which offers real-time delivery of the quantitative phase of intensity measurements, global positioning system time synchronization, and single or multi-mode fibre interrogation,” said Krishna Raman, Industry Manager at Frost & Sullivan. “This solution features easily adjustable gauge length settings and can reach flat frequency response down to 0 hertz while mitigating vibrational noise and processing wavelength diversity. Compared to its previous solutions, the ODH4 interrogation unit increases sensitivity by 6 decibels, ensuring higher production rates for vertical seismic profile (VSP) surveys.”

The company leverages its cutting-edge sensing solutions to provide distributed fibre-optic monitoring solutions for several market sectors such as oil and gas (O&G), security, and transportation. It has a strong presence in Europe, North America, as well as the Middle East and has participated in several successful large-scale projects. OptaSense’s hands-on experience and deep insights into distributed fibre-optic sensor technologies help it to offer customers real-time situational awareness.

The company’s DAS solution is well suited for seismic and hydraulic fracture profiling along with production flow and pipeline monitoring. Its evaluation services support enhanced VSP and microseismic monitoring by delivering high-resolution subsurface images that are crucial for optimizing reservoir management in the O&G industry. Specifically, the company’s DAS technology allows seismic data collection of VSP and microseismic activities on any wellbore, even in wells with high pressure, temperature, and deviation. Additionally, OptaSense’s evaluation services facilitate the monitoring of carbon dioxide injection and enhanced oil recovery methods.

“OptaSense’s DAS technology equips operators with the tools needed to gain control of the completion process and mitigate any potential operational issues and losses associated with mechanical failures,” noted Raman. “Overall, its strong commitment to technological innovation, remarkable DAS solution, and customer-centric approach position OptaSense for further growth in the distributed fibre-optic sensing market.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that develops a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid market acceptance. The award recognizes the solution quality and the customer value enhancements it enables.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About OptaSense
OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, provides leading edge Distributed Fibre-Optic Sensing (DFOS) solutions that reduce the cost of asset ownership by optimizing operational efficiency, performance and safety. We deliver real-time, actionable data, dedicated expertise and global experience to multiple industries, including oil and gas, pipeline, security, transport and utilities. Operating in over 50 countries with more than 25,000km of assets under contract, we monitor and protect some of the world’s most valuable assets.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works collaboratively with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. 

19 Jun 2019

OptaSense Awarded Key Pakistan Pipeline and Producing Facility Perimeter Intrusion Detection Project

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, a world leader in fiber-optic-based acoustic sensing, was recently awarded a key pipeline and gas producing facility /central producing facility perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) project by the pipeline and facility operator.

Having successfully installed the first pipeline protection system of its kind in Pakistan on a pipeline network in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Northwest Pakistan, the operator selected OptaSense to follow up the initial procurement with another project that covers the Mardankhel west pipeline and wells, also located in the same province.

Building on the success of the Makori East pipeline network protection project, and utilising the existing fiber-optic infrastructure already in place, OptaSense will install a second intrusion detection system to protect the pipeline right-of-way from third party intrusion (TPI), covering the entire Mardankhel Pipeline network, as well as providing perimeter intrusion detection on the producing facility perimeter. This project included upgrading the existing system to the latest software version and integrating a new CCTV system covering the producing facility perimeter, enabling cross-cueing of the CCTV system to the respective alerts.

Jeff Williamson, Managing Director of OptaSense’s Infrastructure Security Monitoring (ISM) division stated “Not only is this the first project with our regional partner, but this is the first of its type in Pakistan. It will provide the customer with a secure pipeline and ensures a safe corridor to operate in. We hope that this provides a benchmark in countries where pipeline hot taps are wide spread.”

About OptaSense

OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group

It is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 30,000 km of assets, principally providing leak detection and third-party intrusion detection for oil and gas pipelines.

OptaSense is the world leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing and operating in 40 countries globally with operations across multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Defence & Security, Transport and Utilities.


17 Aug 2018

OptaSense earns “Qualified Supplier” certification for North Sea oil and gas market

OptaSense recently earned the designation “Qualified Supplier” by Achilles JQS, the leading industry initiative for pre-qualifying suppliers in the Nordic market. This prestigious designation ensures that buyers in the North Sea oil and gas market can trust OptaSense to provide reliable service that meets all Nordic environmental and regulatory requirements.

14 Jun 2018

The Future Starts Here

cityscape graphic

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, is featured in a new exhibition, The Future Starts Here, which opened last month at London’s prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition focuses on technologies that are shaping the way in which we live and interact as a society.

A featured project within the V&A exhibition is San Francisco-based Stamen Design’s Big Glass Microphone, which is an interactive visualization of OptaSense’s Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) data from a system installation at Stanford University, California. OptaSense’s fiber optic sensing system is installed on five kilometers of fiber optic cable in the ducting below Stanford’s campus, as part of a research and development project for using DAS to detect seismic activity and potentially provide early warning of earthquakes.

Stamen Design’s project looks at how fiber optic infrastructure all around us can be leveraged as a sensor array. OptaSense converts fiber optic cables along pipelines, railways, roads and other assets into an array of ‘microphones’ by converting light into sound. On Stanford’s campus, the primary sensing goal is to detect seismic activity, but incidental day-to-day activity is also detected around the campus, like vehicles, students walking and cycling around, and even a fountain water feature. Big Glass Microphone is a data visualization of the distinct shapes that different kinds of surface events have on the sensing fiber optic cable. Using this information, an interactive visualization of the movements of people and vehicles within the campus was created.

The project is an offshoot of a collaborative research effort between OptaSense and the Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences for an on-campus fiber optic seismic observatory, designed to sense ambient noise and seismic energy, enabling scientists to conduct research in passive seismology. Located adjacent to a major geologic fault zone, the San Andreas Fault, the seismic array is used to image subsurface properties that provide scientists a better understanding of the complex geology in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Big Glass Microphone gives a glimpse at how this unique “listening” device can also be used to provide ‘smart’ monitoring of infrastructure assets over long distance in real time, using ubiquitous sensors that are all around us, like fiber optic cables. OptaSense provide this monitoring technology already on around 20,000 miles of pipelines, railways, roads and other infrastructure around the world. Fiber optic sensing is a technology that is revolutionizing critical infrastructure monitoring, providing many applications from a single sensing platform.

“We’re proud to have OptaSense exhibited at one of the world’s leading museums for design and innovation,” said Jamie Pollard, CEO of OptaSense. “Technology can have a massive impact on people’s quality of life, and fiber optic sensing is a prime example. This exhibit demonstrates our earthquake detection potential but we’re also monitoring infrastructure assets all around the world, making people’s drive to work, or their energy consumption safer and more efficient. This exciting technology will become more and more widely known in the coming years.”

The Future Starts Here runs until November 4, 2018, then will continue at other locations around the world. For more information in the exhibition, visit www.vam.ac.uk. To learn more about OptaSense, visit www.optasense.com.

04 Jan 2018

Identifying Pipeline Leaks Quickly is Key to Minimising Risk

When it comes to today’s vast and complex oil pipeline systems, even the smallest leak can lead to extensive financial loss and lasting reputation damage.

The recent rare unplanned shutdown of the Forties pipeline in the North Sea, which supplies 450,000 barrels per day of crude to Britain, along with a third of the UK’s total offshore natural gas output, was caused by a crack found in the pipeline. The nearly month-long shutdown resulted in major refinery capacity shutdown, force majeure being declared and oil and gas prices reaching their highest points in years. Additionally, the owner of the pipeline has faced harsh criticism for its handling of the situation.

Internal pipeline leak detection systems are commonly used to detect a leak. These systems use point sensors to track flow rates, as well as apply mathematical and statistical computations to monitor flow rates, pressures, temperatures and product characteristics. Although these systems are useful in identifying leaks, they lack in sensitivity. Leaks take longer to detect, and small leaks may go completely undetected.

Instead of relying on computational assumptions, the OptaSense pipeline leak detection system uses distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology to transform a standard telecommunication fiber optic cable into a fully distributed sensor capable of detecting the physical characteristics of a leak, including changes in noise, temperature, pressure and ground strain—simultaneously and in real time. The integration of these four modes into a single leak detection system not only provides improved sensitivity, it delivers the reliability required to identify and validate leaks faster and with more confidence so minor issues can be addressed before they become major incidents. The OptaSense system can detect small leaks 10 times faster than internal systems—allowing you to detect a 0.1% leak size within a matter of minutes.

Today’s complex pipeline networks require robust systems that perform under changing fluid compositions, temperatures and pressures, which for many internal systems often result in computational errors and false alarms. The OptaSense pipeline monitoring solution eliminates these issues by delivering a system that performs under transient, slack-line, and multi-phase flow conditions. Even when critical pipeline infrastructure goes offline, this fiber-based system ensures continuous and reliable real-time event detection, classification and location.

To validate the performance of it’s pipeline monitoring system, OptaSense recently performed a series of tests at the CTDUT Pipeline Testing Facility in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The facilty houses a unique closed-loop system that simulates a real-world pipeline environment. The OptaSense monitoring system was able to quickly identify and locate even the smallest leaks along the pipeline. Read more about the testing here.

13 Jul 2017

Real-time Cluster Efficiency

Distributed fiber optic sensing for uniform fracture stimulation

Evaluating stimulation performance and well spacing early in development can increase a projects Net Present Value. This is especially true when developing stacked intervals.  For example, studies have shown that plug-and-perf completions often produce under-performing perforation clusters and undesired inter-well communication.

To address under-performing perforation clusters, operators are combining Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS)measurements to calculate the amount of fluid and proppant placed in each cluster on the fly to enable optimized decision-making throughout a project ensure more effective fracturing on current and future wells.

Recent observations from fiber optic DAS and DTS indicate that a majority of treatment volume is limited to only one or two dominate clusters near the heel-side of a treatment stage—leaving the remaining stage clusters under stimulated.

With a large majority of perforation clusters failing to contribute to production, you can’t help but ask: Where’s my proppant going and why?

Assessing cluster efficiency, fluid distribution and diverter effectiveness

There are many possible reasons for uneven reservoir stimulation, such as stress shadowing interference between fractures, local heterogeneity, the effectiveness of zonal isolation between stages, stimulation design (pumping schedules and fluid/proppant selection), and the variation in natural fracture systems surrounding the well.

Fiber optic monitoring, such as DAS and DTS can be used to assess cluster efficiency, fluid and sand distribution and diverter effectiveness.

On a recent spacing pilot in the Anadarko Basin, home to several stacked interval reservoirs, a five-well project equipped with OptaSense Distributed Fiber Optic Sensing offered another explanation for the heel-side bias. For this project fiber optic derived DAS and DTS measurements provided the operator an opportunity to monitor fluid movement during fracture stimulation and warm-back before the well was produced.

Monitoring distribution

During treatment, acoustic and temperature data confirmed inadvertent diversion away from toe-side clusters, and acceleration of the already-dominant heel-side clusters. Using algorithms applied to DAS data, proppant volumes per cluster were calculated revealing highly uneven proppant distribution among multiple clusters even when fluid is uniformly distributed

The DAS measurements captured in this pilot project suggested a strong heel bias was present in a majority of stages. The uneven distribution, caused by interference between adjacent fractures within a given stage and from preceding fracture stages, resulted in a consistent geometric predominance for fracture growth toward the most heel-ward perforation cluster.

A variety of completion variables, such as perforation designs, fluid systems, diverter and proppant size, were tested to identify the optimal treatment for improved fluid distribution.

Simulating distribution

Using these measurements, the operator used calculated proppant placement to monitor diversion efficiency in real-time during the fracture and took action to modify the treatment, which resulted in more even fluid and treatment distribution. After modeling the improved distributions derived from fiber optic monitoring, a new well completion and stimulation design resulted in more equal fracture heights and half lengths, as well as increased the overall effective fractures in the wellbore.

Multiple optimizations in pressure pumping strategy were discovered during the variable testing using real-time DAS and DTS. The pumping schedule was altered to test different rations of slick water and high viscous fluids, ratios in proppant sizes and concentrations of proppant within the various fluids.

Optimizing distribution

Using DAS and DTS to estimate fluid and proppant placement enabled the operator to identify the root problem and implement an effective proppant and fluid treatment (aligned with an optimized pressure pump schedule) that mitigated the uneven stimulation. The result, improved cluster efficiency and more uniform proppant/fluid distribution on current and future stages and wells.