Fertile Fiber: New Products, More Data more & Leaner Ways of Working
New products, more data and leaner ways of working can change the way the industry identifies, develops and produces reserves. AnTech’s Tim Mitchell outlines the role fiber optics have to play.
The economic environment our industry is currently operating within has dramatically changed. The oil price is recovering, but is unstable, preventing robust business planning and forecasting. While it is easy to see this as only a negative, there are a few positives to capitalize on, for example changing industry attitudes and perceptions towards new and existing technology.
This drive to improve efficiencies means that engineers are looking at the outputs of each product and technology. Consequently, engineers are more interested than ever before in monitoring and analyzing big data. As a direct result, the use of fiber optic and hybrid wellhead outlet technology (the ability to accommodate two different types of control lines) is becoming increasingly popular within in the oil and gas industry.
The oil and gas segment of the global fiber optics sensor market was valued at over US$661 million in 2015 (from under $200 million in 2006)*, and it is expected to dominate the fiber market until 2020, according to Technavio.
Indeed, major service companies have seen an ever-increasing demand for fiber optics, with one installing in excess of 17 million ft of fiber in over 1500 wells and another commenting on installations rising from one or two systems per field up until a few years ago, to tens per field today.
While a 2015 market forecast, conducted by the Photonic Sensor Consortium and published by Information Gatekeepers said their 2014 prediction of a $1.8 billion market by 2018 wouldn’t now be reached, due to the drop in oil prices, the segment was still expected to grow in the longer-term.
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