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Badger Explorer technology in development

Written by  OE Staff Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:16

Badger Explorer and the University of Glasgow, supported by the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), will collaborate on the development of the Badger Explorer technology, a rig-less formation and reservoir evaluation tool.

The device drills down to the target reservoir, compacting and ejecting the drill cuttings at the back end of the device using an ultrasonic compactor. The sensors continuously record data and provide long-term monitoring of the formation. Once the required reservoir target has been evaluated, the Badger Explorer is left permanently underground.

The University of Glasgow will assist Badger Explorer in carrying out research into ensuring the drill cuttings are effectively and reliably compacted for subsurface penetration to continue.   Researchers within the university will develop and test the high pressure high temperature (HPHT) ultrasonic transducer component which will be utilized within the Badger Explorer.

The ultrasonic development program initially began in Q1 2014 following a US$2.1 million award to develop and qualify HPHT ultrasonic methods and solutions to be implemented in future versions of the Badger tool.

“The Badger Explorer technology has been developed with the backing of a number of major operating companies including Chevron, CNPC, ExxonMobil, Shell, Statoil and Wintershall,” said Ian Phillips, chief executive officer of OGIC. “A key component of the technology will now be developed and tested in conjunction with researchers at the University of Glasgow.”

“We have recently made significant investments in new staff and equipment to strengthen our ultrasonics research team and diversify our range of applications,” said professor Margaret Lucas, who leads the ultrasonics group in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow. “The Badger Explorer project requires us to design a compactor and the high power ultrasonic transducer driving it. The harsh operating conditions of high pressure and temperature will be a real challenge for us.”

The Badger Explorer technology is currently in the development program, which aims to further develop, design and qualify technologies and solutions for a commercial Badger Explorer tool based on lessons learned in previous programs. Phase one of the development program is sponsored by Statoil and Research Council of Norway for $900,000 (NOK 7.5 million) and $1.7 million (NOK 13.2 million), respectively.

The development program follows the success the prototype program, completed in August 2012, and the demonstration program, which, among other milestones, involved a full system test, evaluation, and definition of the scope of work for the 2015-2017 development program.

Image: Ian Phillips of OGIC.

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