Six New Tech Companies That Can Shape The Future Of Oil And Gas
Ten exciting companies will graduate from the inaugural Oil & Gas Technology Centre TechX Pioneers Programme – a unique technology accelerator and incubator helping ambitious firms take their solutions to the oil and gas market – faster.
With expert support from experienced business mentors, co-working space, forward-thinking business partners, rapid prototyping and test facilities, large-scale field trials and showcase events, the Pioneers have enjoyed access to unrivaled support.
In just four months, they’ve had more than 150 meetings with industry leaders and several Pioneers have secured a total of seven field trials with major operating companies – an essential step towards fully commercializing their technology solutions. I look at six of these companies, in no particular order, that have the potential to have a significant impact on the future of the oil and gas sector.Today In: Business
1: Blue Gentoo – Intelligent Hydrate Platform
The product provides intelligent real-time management of gas hydrates and enables the digital transformation of the oilfield. Gas hydrates are a flow assurance issue that impacts safety, environmental, and operational costs of production of hydrocarbons, especially in deep and cold offshore environments.
The business is addressing the problem of gas hydrates (ice) which affects gas producers, particularly those operating in deep water and subsea environments. Gas hydrates can block well flow and damage infrastructure, resulting in lost production and high recovery costs. They form when gas meets water under high pressure and low temperature, and it costs gas producers millions of pounds every year to inject anti-freeze chemicals into their gas flows to prevent these hydrates from forming.
2: Immaterial – Metal-Organic Frameworks
Immaterial (IMM) is a spin-out from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 2015 to commercialize IP related to Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs). MOFs are a class of porous nanomaterials with exceptionally high internal surface areas (up to 10,000m2/g) and richly varied chemistries.
IMM aims to address two related problems caused by the difficulty of transporting natural gas (NG): monetizing small, isolated or associated gas assets (upstream), and the considerable cost, time and inflexibility of LNG (downstream).
At present, shipping NG requires either compression to 250 bar (CNG), or liquefaction below -162oC (LNG). Of these, LNG is by far the dominant technology. LNG is large-scale, long-term, and extremely expensive; the average expected cost is now at over $1.5bn/MTpa for liquefaction capacity alone (quadrupled from a decade ago, with projects taking ten years or more to complete.
3: Paragon Inspection – On-site Low Energy Gauging (OLEG)
OLEG consists of a fast simple to use inspection system which determines small bore tubing (SBT) assembly condition and risk rating in-service. The user is guided through the process with a database to allow upload of system information. Determining assembly condition will enable the user to repair or replace the assembly before a hydrocarbon leak occurs. Hydrocarbon leaks increase risk, exposure and cost millions of pounds every year in lost production.
SBT assemblies are the most significant single contributor to the incidence of loss of process containment in a potentially hazardous plant. A leak from a SBT assembly has the potential to rapidly escalate to a significant release particularly if operating in gas service. 20 per cent of hydrocarbon leaks offshore are related to SBT assemblies. In the UK North Sea alone there are 45 million SBT assemblies, 26 percent of which are installed incorrectly with the potential to allow a hydrocarbon leak. Due to their complexity and extensive use, SBT assemblies are vulnerable to failure due to poor installation practice, vibration fatigue or the lack of adequate inspection and maintenance programmes. This means if good practice is not being applied throughout the whole SBT assembly life-cycle there is a relatively high probability that an integrity failure event will occur at some time during service. The OLEG system will allow more effective management of SBT systems and help to reduce the risk of such incidents.
4: Sensalytx – Q-DOS
Q-DOS will analyze downhole distributed fiber optic data, process it with integration of other sensor data, provide insight through advanced visualization and output conclusions to easily understood, decision ready products.
Distributed optical sensing is under-utilized in many applications and undervalued due to slow processing and the difficulty in understanding the results. This software will address those issues and enable distributed optical sensing to provide a step change in downhole insights which will provide increased value in applications in production, late well optimization and abandonment operations.
This will be the first software available on the market for operators to integrate high-performance cloud services to utilize distributed optical sensing data in integration with other data streams. The visualizations will go beyond just playback of data, accentuating the relevant features to the application and make the results simple for the non-expert to understand the implications of the findings.
5: Specialist Safety Systems (SSS) – Lift-Scan
Innovative, game-changing crane instrumentation that has a crane block camera with deck scanning abilities to ensure efficient on/offloading. All of our intelligent work platforms will be delivered from with a high level of expertise, along with the highest level of customer service. The product will also offer two-way hands-free communication for the first time. Along with real-time visibility for the operator.
The product will offer more efficient crane operations where we hope to increase productivity by 30 percent. The products will also heighten safety as lifting is one of the most common accidents in the offshore sector. The knock-on effect from the products will be to increase productivity with every operation onboard as lifting is the heart of the supply chain process.
6: Test1 – Polyurethane Foam Flex (PUFF)
PUFF (Polyurethane Foam Flex) is the most practical, quick, and effective methods for adsorbing hydrocarbons. It is an oleophilic, hydrophobic open-cell flexible polyurethane foam. It can absorb about 30 times its weight of various kinds of hydrocarbons, including 10w40 oil, light, and heavy fuel oils, Kerosene and crude oils of different API gravities.
The material saturates at an extremely fast rate (from 38 seconds to two minutes). It can be wrung out, allowing the recovery of pure hydrocarbons without water, and reused over 100 times, which allows recovery of about three tonnes of oils using only about 1kg of product. The product is not harmful to the marine fauna or flora and is safe for human health.
The 2010 disaster of the Deepwater Horizon platform showed that there is no effective and efficient method for the remediation of hydrocarbons. Despite the $40 billion spent by BP for remediation, a report released by the University of Georgia concludes that up to 79 percent of the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico from the incident has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem. The recent disaster of the Iranian oil tanker in the Chinese sea has confirmed this thesis.