Gina Elesztos

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So far Gina Elesztos has created 47 blog entries.

Silixa to exhibit at EAGE 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11-14 June, 2018

Silixa will be exhibiting at the 80th EAGE Conference & Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 – 14 June, 2018.

The show is the world’s largest geoscience event that addresses key aspects of the oil & gas industry; the newest technologies, latest developments and innovative services.

To learn more about Silixa’s latest advances in distributed fibre optic technology please visit us at booth 1470 or email to arrange a meeting.

We will also be presenting at the Fibre Optic Sensors in Surface and Borehole Geophysics Workshop (WS08) on 11 June 2018 at 9.10 am. Our presentation is titled: “Seismic and microseismic detection using a wide dynamic-range distributed & engineered fiber optic ccoustic sensor“.

For more information please contact us.

Related links: EAGE 2018


2018-03-15T16:46:22+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Events, Front page|

The case for (lots of) new sensing technologies in mining plants

It takes a while to introduce new technologies in mining. Part of the challenge is budgetary; in 2015, EY, reported that the mining and metals sector spends 90% less on technology and innovation than the petroleum sector [1]. However, that stark contrast needs to be put into context. The market for major metals and minerals is something like US$660BN/yr, which is only about 1/3rd of the world wide oil market [2]. Further, the relative CAPEX spend in the two sectors is vastly different. Before the bubble burst, Wood Mackenzie reported that the 2012 capex in mining was around US$130BN [3]. By contrast, when Brent Oil was selling for $120/bbl before the price crash, McKinsey reports the combined spending on greenfield and brownfield projects in the petroleum industry reached US$520BN [4]. Therefore, in context, the 90% differential in innovation spending between these two markets is less “shocking” and more “rather startling”…but it still represents a problem.

Processing costs

The challenges for innovation in mining are not only a function of the overall spend on new technologies. Consider where the money is being spent. The mining of minerals requires as a minimum exploration, extraction, processing, and transport of materials (and the management of their residue, but that is a topic for next time). At the Tier 1 level, greenfield mining projects usually costs several billion dollars US to ramp-up. Large concentrators, like the sulphides unit at Kansanshi, cost around $500MN to put in place [5]. Some smelters have a similar cost. Further, once in operation, processing environments continue to be a significant focus for opex. Given the prominence of processing costs on the balance sheets of mining companies and their trading partners, one might expect to see benefits from the current wave of digital innovation impact both extraction and processing; but momentum on the ground suggest otherwise.

Diggers have all the fun

Mining Magazine has a Future of Mining focus which is dedicated to brilliant new technologies in the sector [6]. FoM brings attention to new systems that offer help to miners who wish to be safer and more sustainable in an economic fashion. The current edition of the site presents a range of interesting solutions to challenges in mining. Looking at the 18 technologies listed since the beginning of 2018, only 3 pertain to processing operations (including some amazing and impressive approaches to tailings). Recent reports (Q1 2018) on innovation by the most well-known management consultants are similar in tone; with lots of mentions concerning autonomous trucks and blockchain, but not much thought to the actual mine-to-mill nitty gritty.

Gritty innovation

Breaking through the current challenges facing the metals industry will require disruptions right through the entire extraction, processing, and supply chain. The number of large copper discoveries is at a local minimum just as the car companies are becoming Cu-Co -dependent; this suggests that a supply-side squeeze could impact metals markets, and that there won’t be any quick fixes enabled by new copper finds (“there is no shale oil for copper” [7]). When it comes to unlocking value from existing projects, one problem seems to be that different section withins the processing environment are often viewed and installed “as discrete projects. But they are most effective when seen holistically” [8]. Charles Andress of NALCO also articulated this point recently in Mining Magazine [9], when he observed that “[t]he flotation industry is still somewhat fragmented. Each of the equipment suppliers, customers and reagent suppliers are working on their own development programmes. Increasing partnerships between customer, equipment and chemical suppliers will be needed help solve the mining industries problems.”

Sense-able solutions

In fact, there are many folks out there with great ideas concerning plant efficiencies; though many of the ideas in circulation are in near-conflict with eachother. It is virtually unavoidable that different processing trends will come and go. Some approaches will focus on particle sizes, others will espouse the importance of reagent flow or air usage; but all will rely on *sensing*. Regardless of the outlook, the ability to pursue any processing philosophy comes down to the control team’s ability to measure what is happening in their plant. Silixa’s metering offering plays to that dynamic. By allowing our customers to measure every air, water, slurry, or concentrate flow in their plant non-intrusively using a single optic fibre, we think that fibre can enable debottlenecking by whatever method you choose. Click here [] to check out our sensing solutions for mining plants.

For more information please contact us.










2018-05-17T07:55:09+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Front page, News|

Silixa announces PRODML DAS 2.0 implementation


Silixa is pleased to announce the implementation of PRODML DAS 2.0 from Energistics¹ in its Carina® Sensing System.

PRODML is a set of standards for handling complex data types, ensuring efficient data management between service providers and operating companies. It provides a way to share standardised DAS and DTS data sets.

PRODML 2.0 has been defined, developed and maintained by an open consortium involving specialists from member companies and organisations that are part of the global upstream oil and gas industry.

Implementation of ProdML DAS 2.0 provides us with a significant improvement in data management,” says Garth Naldrett, Chief Products Officer for Silixa. “Prior to the PRODML DAS 2.0 standard implementation we had numerous requests from our clients for adoption of their own particular file format. This was costly to support and impacted negatively on our service quality, as it increased the time taken to deliver data. We now have a single data format allowing us to quickly deliver data to customers before we leave the wellsite.“

PRODML DAS is not the only Energistics standard Silixa conforms to, the DTS range of products including the ULTIMA™ DTS and XT-DTS™ follows the WITSML standard. As well as working towards PRODML 2.1, Silixa is also involved with Energistics’ Special Interest Group (SIG) in the early development stage of a streaming standard for DAS.




2018-05-14T08:00:50+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Front page, News|

Silixa to present at Water Congress 2018 in Santiago de Chile on 9-11 May 2018

Daniel Finfer, Silixa’s BDM – Process Metering, will be presenting a case study on “Continuous process water metering at Mogalakwena Platinum Mine using non-intrusive fibre optics” at Water Congress 2018 in Santiago de Chile on 10 May 2018.

Daniel’s presentation will address the use of Silixa’s Process metering product for process water management at water scarce mining operations.

Silixa’s process metering technology, the world’s first permanent, non-intrusive, multi-zone, flow metering system based on distributed acoustic sensing technology, was installed at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena Platinum Mine in 2017. The system covers over 16km, the circuit requires no power, has no expensive sensing parts, requires no alteration of the pipeline and hence no interruption to flow.

This work was executed in cooperation with Anglo American FutureSmart Mining™ .

Water Congress 2018, which is the 6th International Congress on Water Management in Mining and the 2nd International Congress of Water in Industrial Processes, provides a forum for industry professionals to learn about the recent innovations in water management for mining and other industries.

For more information please contact us.

Related Links: Water Congress 2018

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2018-01-26T12:12:38+00:00 January 26th, 2018|Events, Front page|

Silixa grows North American footprint with new appointment

19 April 2018

We are pleased to announce a further addition to our growing team. Keith Russell joins us in our Houston branch in the capacity of Business Development and Marketing Manager – Unconventional, effective immediately.

Keith has over 20 years’ experience in the oil & gas industry and holds a BASc in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming.

Prior to joining Silixa, Keith was Director Operations North America Wireline at Baker Hughes. Having held various operational and management positions in other major service companies in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, he brings extensive expertise in the field of downhole applications.

Keith’s new role will focus on further developing our activities in the North American market. As well as working on business development, Keith will concentrate on expanding our service offerings and other opportunities where he has been successful in prior roles.

Keith said: “I’ve been aware of Silixa for the past few years and have always valued how their distributed sensing technology has evolved and penetrated the market over the years. Knowing the value this powerful technology can bring our customers, it was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

“We’re pleased to welcome Keith with his knowledge and experience of the market and region. We are confident that he will prove a valuable asset to the company and a strong addition to our highly successful team, ensuring we continue to promote our brand and range of services.”, added Glynn Williams, Silixa’s CEO.

For more information please contact us.

Image courtesy of  Spacecaptain, CC BY-SA 3.0

2018-04-20T14:59:04+00:00 April 19th, 2018|Front page, front_page_slider_videos, News|

Silixa to present at the Fibre Optic Sensors in Surface and Borehole Geophysics Workshop at EAGE 2018

Join us for our presentation at the Fibre Optic Sensors in Surface and Borehole Geophysics Workshop (WS08) at EAGE 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark on 11 June 2018 at 9.00 am.

Our presentation, titled “Seismic and Microseismic Detection Using a Wide Dynamic-range Distributed and Engineered Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensor”, describes the rapid development of the fiber optic acoustic sensing technology that seeks to disrupt the conventional geophysical surveying methods and enables the realisation of new applications where the fibre optic cable can be easily utilised as a dense wide-aperture phase-array sensor.

In offshore applications the permanent installation of fiber optic cables along the production and injection wells enables more frequent and cost-effective distributed seismic data to be acquired on existing single mode and multimode fibers using our iDAS™.

In unconventional wells, in addition to seismic and microseismic measurements, the low frequency response of the DAS system down to milli-Hertz is used to monitor the hydraulically induced strain effect in offset wells that can provide valuable data for improving the understanding of the rock properties and determining the fracture heights.

Silixa has also recently developed the next generation Carina® Sensing System that combines the properties of engineered Constellation™ fiber with low-noise and wide dynamic-range opto-electronic interrogator to achieve significant improvements in signal-to-noise performance, beyond the performance of geophones.

We will also present some initial results demonstrating the feasibility of deploying the Carina Sensing System for long-offset subsea wells.

For more information please contact us.

Related links: EAGE Workshops 2018


2018-03-21T13:01:26+00:00 March 16th, 2018|Events, Front page|

The Silixa team is raising money to help fight cancer

The Silixa team is participating in the Prudential Ride London 100 event on 29 July 2018 in memory of our dear colleague Mick Longton, who we lost in October 2017.

Andy, Francesco, Garth, Tom and Vero will be taking on the 100-mile course through London and into the Surrey hills, following the 2012 Olympic road race route.

Following the wishes of Mick’s family, the money we raise will be donated to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity; a charity that funds state-of-the-art equipment and ground-breaking research to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Please help us raise as much as possible. Many thanks for your donations.

To donate please visit our fundraising page: Help Us Fight Cancer

For more information please Contact Us.

Related Links: Prudential Ride London 100

2018-03-01T11:25:25+00:00 March 1st, 2018|Front page, News|

Silixa to exhibit at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference in Houston, TX, USA on 23-25 July 2018

Silixa will be exhibiting at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTec) in Houston, TX, USA on 23-25 July 2018.

To see how we can expand your hydraulic fracture monitoring and seismic acquisition options please visit us at our stand #2033 or email to arrange a meeting.

Jointly organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), URTec has become the premier science-based marketplace for unconventional exploration, drilling and production ideas and technologies.

For more information please contact us.

Related Links: URTeC 2018

Image by user eflon on Flickr

2018-01-23T15:10:01+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|Events, Front page|

How to create the world’s largest flow measurement network in your plant

1 February 2018

How to…create the world’s largest flow measurement network in your plant (or how to embrace IoT without becoming beholden to an automation behemoth) by Daniel Finfer, Silixa’s BDM for Process Metering.

Process control and automation is the key to getting a difficult plant to run efficiently. Traditionally, plant operations rely on the experience and tacit knowledge of a few key personnel. As the shift changes, so too does the plant set point and the reaction plan for transients. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 promised to change all of those challenges. “Give us your plant!” cried the automation behemoths, “and we can automate away the shift effect, and predict your next pump failure!”.

The challenge is that Industry 4.0* relies on the installation and continuous operation of sensors throughout the plant, and electronic sensors are expensive to install and maintain. Electronic sensors need to communicate with a central computer, and who is going to look at all of those accelerometer plots and pressure traces? So, in a typical operation, the automator sells the system to management and then comes to execute the installation which includes many beautifully designed sensors. Usually, it is determined that many of the expensive sensors such as flow and density meters can be reduced in number, as machine learning will enable the key operating information to be derived from pressure transducers or esoteric arrangements of thermocouples. Then, at some point during the installation operation, a management cost review is executed, and the number of sensors to be installed is reduced by an order of magnitude. The automator then explains that the number of sensors in place is no longer sufficient to enable machine learning to be used. Alternatively, the plant is upgraded, and the sensors are no longer compatible with the new layout. In either case, the plant is left back where they started: total reliance on a few, key, experienced personnel who have developed a feel for the plant (minus the CapEx for a large sensor management system which will be outdated in 36 months).

This is where distributed fibre optic (DFO) sensing can help (full disclosure: I sell distributed sensing systems). Distributed fibre optic sensors such as DAS (distributed acoustic sensing) and DTS (distributed temperature sensing) make it possible to measure acoustics, flow, or temperature anywhere and everywhere in the plant using nothing more than telecoms-grade optical fibre. Since DFO senses with fibre and doesn’t rely on highly engineered sensing stations, the layout can be adapted as the plant adapts and grows (you want it to grow, right?). Also, DAS and DTS plant sensing installations don’t require the capital and operational expenses incurred through the installation of communications and power infrastructure. The opportunity to measure flow non-intrusively everywhere in the plant means that the process engineer doesn’t have to rely on inferential data to figure out how well that manifold is working, or whether that cyclone is running at its maximum rate.  And we don’t have to worry about being costed out…because the cost per measurement of our technology decreases as the number of plant processes monitored using fibre increases.

Silixa is excited to be introducing DFO into mining plants. As we will be showing in conference papers during the course of 2018, we are beginning to see how some traditionally challenging measurements can be addressed using intrinsically safe, optical layouts and reliable, non-intrusive adaptable installation procedures. We look forward to hearing from you.

Daniel Finfer  will be presenting case studies for our plant process monitoring products at GECAMIN WaterCongress2018 and SAIMM Copper Cobalt 2018.

*Industry 4.0 refers to de-centralised decision automation as enabled through massive sensor networks and big data connectivity. For more information on this area, see some recent thoughts from the Forbes Insights team here.

For more information please contact us.




2018-02-02T09:56:17+00:00 February 1st, 2018|News|

Silixa to present at AGU’s Fall Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana on 13 December 2017

Join the Fiber-Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) for Geophysical and Industrial Applications session to learn about the use of DAS for novel geophysical or industrial applications at AGU in New Orleans, Louisiana on 13 December 2017.

Distributed acoustic sensing provides a flexible and large sensing aperture for acquiring high resolution acoustic data in time and space. The use of DAS in the industry for flow profiling, high resolution borehole/surface seismic imaging, micro-seismic monitoring for fractures has been accelerated with the improvements in the sensitivity, the advances in real-time big data processing and flexible deployment of fibre optic sensing cables.

There is a growing interest in the use of DAS for critical geophysical infrastructure applications such as earthquake and near-surface passive seismic analysis including the development of tailored or new numerical techniques.

Silixa’s oral presentation is titled High Definition Seismic and Microseismic Data Acquisition Using Distributed and Engineered Fiber Optic Acoustic Sensors, and will be presented on 13 December 2017 at 15:12 pm.

Over the past few years Silixa has successfully used DAS to record microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing and re-fracking operations. Detection has been successful in a number of configurations, where the fibre has been in a horizontal treatment well, horizontal well adjacent to the treatment, or vertical observation well. We will discuss the sensitivity of the measurement, range of measurement, ability to localise the events and characteristics of the microseismic event. In addition to discussing the theory we will also present case studies showing the detection and localisation and how these compare to conventional microseismic detection techniques.

For the full list of oral presentations please click here.

For the full list of poster presentations please click here.

For more information please contact us.

Related links: 2017 AGU Fall Meeting


2017-12-13T11:53:52+00:00 December 13th, 2017|Events, Front page|