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.

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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: optasense.com
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