Category: News

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 facilty 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

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.

19 Oct 2016

OptaSense Collaborates with Leading Research Institution to Install Fiber Optic Seismic Array

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, announces a collaborative research agreement with the Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences that includes the installation of an on-campus fiber optic seismic array.

Using OptaSense distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology to sense ambient noise and seismic energy, the seismic array will enable scientists to conduct research in passive seismology. Located adjacent to a major geologic fault zone, the San Andreas Fault, the seismic array will be used to image subsurface properties that provide scientists a better understanding of the complex geology in the Bay Area.

The seismic array will leverage a two kilometer long, standard telecommunications fiber optic cable. The OptaSense DAS system will transform this fiber into thousands of distributed sensors capable of detecting changes in pressure, temperature and strain. A single fiber can create a seismic array with thousands of channels, allowing for dense sampling of seismic wavefields and the ability to detect weak signals.

Utilizing a Coherent Optical Time Domain Reflectometer, or Interrogator Unit (IU), the OptaSense system sends laser pulses down the length of the fiber to measure and observe changes in the backscattered light, indicating movement in the earth adjacent to the fiber.

In addition to enabling research in seismology, the OptaSense DAS system will support potential studies in fields such as structural engineering, communications, infrastructure monitoring, and security.

“Collaborating with one of the world’s foremost academic institutions is particularly exciting for OptaSense. For the first time, we are putting our DAS technology into the hands of the academic community and working with them to explore new applications and techniques. Through this collaboration we will be able to mature the understanding and expand the capabilities of DAS for the benefit of the wider seismic community,” commented David Hill, Chief Technology Officer at OptaSense.

28 Apr 2015

OptaSense and Weatherford partner to deliver integrated well surveillance solutions

Farnborough, 28 April, 2015: OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, and Weatherford International plc have partnered in a strategic alliance to deliver integrated optical sensing solutions designed to optimize well planning, construction and production across the asset lifecycle.

The partnership combines OmniWell™ in-well optical production and reservoir monitoring systems from Weatherford with optical Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology from OptaSense, including DAS-VSP™ vertical seismic profiling (VSP), DAS-HFP™ hydraulic fracture monitoring and DAS-Flow™ production flow monitoring.  These capabilities will provide customers with robust and actionable information that improves reservoir management and ultimate recovery.

Weatherford’s sensing technology includes pressure and temperature gauges, distributed temperature sensing, array temperature sensing, flow measurement, and seismic sensors.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense, said “When Weatherford sensing technology is combined with DAS technology from OptaSense, the solution will deliver enhanced data acquisition and monitoring of seismic activity, well construction, completion and fracture operations, and production flow. In addition to acquiring accurate data in real time, OptaSense DAS technology can also reduce data acquisition costs by eliminating the need for well intervention.”

OptaSense’s innovative DAS technology offering complements Weatherford’s proven high reliability in-well technology. Together, these technologies provide a more complete, integrated, well surveillance solution. It will include multi-point and distributed VSP acquisition, production flow monitoring and hydraulic fracture monitoring, enhanced with microseismic imaging—which are critical in optimizing well performance.  The solution will also add value to customers with existing optical systems who are interested in DAS acoustic monitoring.

Weatherford and OptaSense have established a leading position in providing optical reservoir monitoring systems around the globe, installing and/or monitoring optical sensing solutions for more than 1,000 wells.

Both companies will continue to offer their respective products and services independently but together they will bring forward an integrated solution that delivers long term value to the customer.

19 Feb 2015

Fourth generation OptaSense Distributed Acoustic Sensing system provides the highest data quality for borehole imaging

Farnborough, 19 February 2015: OptaSense, a QinetiQ company and global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), has successfully demonstrated improved sensitivity of its DAS Interrogator Unit (IU).

As part of its ongoing product development, a pre-production version of the 4th generation of the OptaSense DAS IU was used to acquire a Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) on a Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) well during customer trials this month in North America. In these tests the new 4th generation IU achieved the targeted 6dB increase, a four times increase in sensitivity over the previous 3rd generation system.

The next generation ODH4 Interrogator Unit will also have a wider receive bandwidth, finer spatial resolution and greater programmable flexibility so it can be operated simultaneously in one or more acquisition modes. These features will be implemented in the commercial release of the 4th generation IU due in Summer 2015.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense said, “The development of this 4th generation system once again pushes the boundaries of known performance. Our DAS-VSP™ service is already reducing the cost of data acquisition. Our 5th generation system, which is in development with Shell, is also showing great gains that will see OptaSense DAS capability deliver on an extremely ambitious technical target.”

The 4th generation IU will acquire higher quality DAS-VSP™ measurements, enabling geophysicists to see clearer images of the subsurface with the unique flexibility afforded by acquiring seismic measurement on an optical fibre deployed downhole.

The 4th generation IU is also expected to improve microseismic monitoring with smaller events now detectable, and flow monitoring where the simultaneous use of more than one acquisition mode will extend the ability of DAS to accurately measure inflow and axial flow rates across the length of the well.

22 Nov 2014

QINETIQ ACQUIRES SEISMIC PROCESSING AND IMAGING CAPABILITY FROM SR2020

November 21st, 2014

Transaction Helps Accelerate OptaSense Growth In VSP Services

Farnborough, 21 November 2014: QinetiQ has acquired the seismic processing and imaging capability of SR2020 Inc for a purchase price of up to $1.7m. The transaction, completed yesterday, accelerating the development of QinetiQ subsidiary OptaSense by providing it with state of the art VSP and microseismic imaging services to complement its proprietary DAS-VSP™ acquisition capability.

The transaction will allow OptaSense to provide customers with not only the subsurface seismic data but also analysis, advice and interpretation of the seismic data using world class geophysicists to produce a subsurface image, in an end-to-end service.

Magnus McEwen-King, Managing Director of OptaSense, said: “We have worked with SR2020 to use their ProVSP tool to process our unique DAS-VSP™ data for our customers with excellent results. We are pleased to add their patented capability in high definition borehole seismic imaging to our service offerings. ProVSP is ideally suited to imaging long array data like that of OptaSense DAS-VSP™ and this acquisition adds a team of world class borehole geophysicists to OptaSense that will help deliver an enhanced understanding to our customers ”

Borehole seismic surveys, commonly known as Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP), have been an industry standard technique for several decades but traditionally require well intervention to insert geophone strings into the well bore. OptaSense DAS-VSP™, which was awarded the Special Meritorious Award for Engineering Excellence in the geosciences category at the E&P Awards 2013, provides operators with the opportunity to obtain high definition borehole seismic images without well intervention which reduces the costs and risk associated well intervention.

The products and service capability acquired from SR2020 will enable OptaSense to offer the full range of Seismic services including VSP and Microseismic acquisition, processing, modelling and interpretation.

For further information please contact:

02 Oct 2014

OptaSense recognised for improving the safety of hydraulic fracturing

October 2nd, 2014

Selected as finalist for World Oil Award in HSE / sustainable development category

Farnborough, 2 October 2014: OptaSense, a QinetiQ company and global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), has been recognised for its contribution to improving the safety of hydraulic fracturing. OptaSense’s DAS Hydraulic Fracture Profiling (DAS-HFP) service has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious World Oil Award in the Best Health, Safety & Environment / Sustainable Development Onshore, category.

The DAS-HFP service is used within hydraulic fracture operations where OptaSense technology is not only used to improve the operational efficiency of hydraulic fracture stimulation but also provides a real-time monitoring capability to verify well integrity.

OptaSense helps operators manage unplanned events such as flow behind casing, casing leaks and ruptures, casing collapse and isolation failures between stimulation stages. This not only has economic value for optimising a hydraulic fracturing program but also delivers significant value for environmental monitoring of fracture fluid break-through into other subsurface formations and freshwater aquifers due to wellbore barrier failure.

Currently the American Petroleum Institute (API) regulatory guidelines state that the internal conduit of the well must be isolated from the surface and subsurface environments. However, conventional technologies are typically limited to pressure measurements at the wellhead and are inadequate for real-time detection and characterisation of most failures other than catastrophic ones.

By contrast, the OptaSense DAS system provides a means to directly measure and monitor the performance of these barriers from wellhead to toe continuously and in real-time. The system is used to detect, localise and characterise barrier failure. It also detects fluid communication behind casing, casing collapse, and leaks through or between casing strings, many of which are unnoticed by conventional monitoring methods.

The World Oil Award nomination recognises that the real-time data OptaSense delivers provides invaluable information to operators, greatly minimising the environmental cost of a leak, due to early detection.

Magnus McEwen-King, OptaSense Managing Director, said: “It is an honour to be recognised alongside the major service companies in one of the industry’s most prestigious awards. Our DAS-HFP service is just one of several services provided over fibre-optics that improve the efficiency and safety of hydraulic fracture operations. Distributed fibre-optic sensing has the potential to provide monitoring throughout the life of the well. The ability to monitor the whole wellbore continuously enables operators to confirm wellbore integrity and better understand, diagnose and correct sources of failure to improve operational effectiveness.”

In this year alone, OptaSense has won two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Innovation and Export and was a finalist for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert award, the UK’s longest running national prize for engineering.

The winners of the World Oil Awards will be announced at the ceremony held at the Houstonian Hotel in Houston, Texas, on Thursday 16 October.

For further information please contact:

About OptaSense

  • OptaSense is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the QinetiQ Group.
  • OptaSense is a platform technology which has applications in a number of markets, including infrastructure security where the technology is already in use to monitor 13,000kms 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.
  • Website: www.optasense.com
05 Sep 2014

OptaSense and Shell install world’s first permanent DAS production flow monitoring system

September 5th, 2014

DAS-Flow system provides real time flow measurements on-demand

Farnborough, 5, September 2014: OptaSense, part of the QinetiQ Group, is pleased to announce that its on-going relationship with Shell International Exploration & Production B.V. has resulted in delivery of the world’s first permanent fibre-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) in-well production flow monitoring system, in North America

The production flow monitoring system continuously monitors a well through on-demand measurements of flow along the entire well bore.  The DAS-Flow™ project marks the latest milestone in a product development agreement signed between the companies in 2009.

The DAS-Flow™ system has now been in service for three months after being developed by the OptaSense and Shell teams. Flow reports are sent through a secure network system allowing the asset team to gain a better understanding of well flow performance with no requirement for potentially costly well intervention activity.

Magnus McEwen-King, managing director of OptaSense, commented: “We have enjoyed a successful working relationship with Shell over several years; the creation and now installation of the world’s first permanent fibre-optic DAS production flow monitoring system is a significant step forward for the industry. The DAS-Flow™ system provides our customers with on demand well bore flow measurements which provide operators a real time view that can be used to optimise oil & gas production. There is a high potential optimization value to be realized within the industry with the advent of more detailed flow information across individual well production and injection zones.

“OptaSense is the global leader in DAS technology including hardware performance, software and data interpretation. With commercial services available in hydraulic fracture profiling, production flow monitoring and vertical seismic profiling (VSP), OptaSense is transforming the ability to understand in real-time what is happening along the well bore.”

For further information please contact:

13 Feb 2014

OptaSense Wins Industry First Contract for Multi-Well 4D Distributed Vertical Seismic Profile

February 13th, 2014

First multi-well simultaneous vertical seismic profiling project to assist in monitoring enhanced oil recovery

OptaSense, the global leader in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), has contracted with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to provide the industry’s first multi-well 4D DAS vertical seismic profiling (VSP) system.

OptaSense will deploy its industry proven DAS fibre-optic technology to monitor and map the performance of up to 12 steam-injected oil wells in a brownfield development at South Oman Salt Basin. The service contract for time-lapse measurements is for three years, with a further two optional years and scalable scope of work, for deployment in multiple production settings.

Salim Rawahi, PDO GeoSolutions Manager said: “We see this as a start of deployment of DAS technology in different reservoir monitoring programmes in PDO ranging from 4D, micro seismic to fluid flow measurements.  The versatility of the fibre-optic technology will not only provide us with potentially more accurate data in different hostile subsurface environment, but will also provide us with a means of measuring different reservoir and fluid properties simultaneously”.

OptaSense will record seismic signals from fibre-optic cables attached to each well’s production tubing, permanently installed and linked to a surface data gathering centre. The final processed data set will be integrated into PDOs reservoir models, and assist in the determination of fluid substitution through production and hence contribute towards the positioning of infill wells.

Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) in 3D is a recognised alternative to surface seismic data acquisition in  challenging environments of accurate subsurface imaging.  Weighed against the use of geophones, OptaSense’s DAS technology provides benefits in 3D VSP which include:

  • Low-cost on-demand acquisition: permanent cable installation allows VSP delivery at any time significantly simplifying time-lapse measurements
  • Non intrusive: slim line cables can be deployed in wells inaccessible to geophones, with no well intervention required once the fibre-optic cable is installed
  • Synergies with other systems and retrofitting capabilities: existing fibre-optic cabling can be used for VSP
  • Full vertical coverage: the DAS cable extends over the entire length of a well, allowing for increased lateral imaging
  • Simultaneous VSP acquisition of multiple contiguous wells, without the need to repeat surface source effort.

OptaSense Managing Director Magnus McEwen-King said: “This contract is a key milestone for OptaSense and for the acceptance of DAS as a highly accurate, cost effective solution in seismic monitoring. Above all it represents a breakthrough to enhanced oil recovery, where well infrastructure can create significant challenges to surface seismic data capture and geophones provide only limited well cover. In this situation, only DAS-VSP is capable of delivering a field-scale commercial application by providing accurate coverage of multiple wells.”

OptaSense’s DAS technology is deployed in a wide range of applications in the oil and gas industry including hydraulic fracture profiling, production flow monitoring and VSP. The company’s business focus is on delivering innovation in hardware performance, software and data interpretation and it is transforming the industry’s ability to understand, in real-time, activity along the well bore and beyond.

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