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Silixa expands capabilities for the North American unconventional oil and gas market

Silixa announced today that they are expanding their capabilities in North America to better serve the unconventional oil and gas market. This expansion is primarily driven by increased demand for Silixa’s ArrayFrac™ and ArrayXwell™ fracture and cross-well monitoring services.

“We have significantly improved our capabilities for our customers in North America and our solutions empower customers to make informed decisions on the fly to manage their assets effectively. We do this by providing valuable data with never-before-seen clarity,” said Glynn Williams, Silixa’s Chief Executive Officer.

Silixa, established in 2007, improves the performance, reduces operational costs and extends the lifespan of any asset by delivering data driven solutions from distributed fibre optic monitoring arrays.

For more information please contact us

 

 

 

2018-10-12T10:28:11+00:00October 12th, 2018|Front page, News|

Silixa Limited announces launch of Carina® Seismic, game-changing high-resolution, fibre optic-based on-demand seismic service

Copenhagen, Denmark – June 12th 2018

Silixa Ltd announces the launch of Carina® Seismic, a high-resolution, distributed fibre optic sensing-based seismic acquisition platform that delivers high-accuracy, repeat seismic on demand without interrupting production or risking infrastructure, for the fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.

Carina Seismic capitalises on the breakthrough performance of the Carina® Sensing System, the engineered fibre optic sensing system, that utilises Silixa’s new family of Constellation™ fibres, achieving up to 20dB (100x) improvement in signal to noise ratio compared to standard fibres.

Carina Seismic can eliminate the need for costly and high-risk well-interventions or ocean bottom seismic and offers continuous data availability along the entire wellbore for every seismic shot, throughout the life of the well. High signal to noise ratio gives data quality comparable to that of a conventional geophone array and enables seismic surveys with nominal source effort, hence lowering the operation time and cost.

Permanent installations enable 4D seismic on demand as well as surveys in flowing wells, without the need for intervention.

Glynn Williams, Silixa’s CEO, said: “We are proud to launch our Carina Seismic service that represents the most significant step forward in seismic technology to date and is expected to disrupt conventional geophysical surveying methods. Until now, accurate in-well seismic data from the most valuable assets was rarely acquired because of the cost and risks associated with well-intervention wireline or seabed seismic. Carina Seismic not only expands the seismic acquisition options but does that with substantial cost savings, without having to compromise on data quality. The service is immediately available with the potential of delivering additional benefits, such as continuous well diagnostics throughout the life of well.”

About Silixa

Silixa (www.silixa.com) improves the performance, reduces operational costs and extends the lifespan of any asset by delivering the world’s highest quality data driven solutions from distributed fibre optic monitoring arrays.

Media contact: Gina Elesztos, Marketing Manager
gina.elesztos@silixa.com

2018-09-19T08:19:21+00:00June 12th, 2018|Front page, News|

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.

 [1] http://www.ey.com/au/en/industries/mining—metals/ey-september-2015-mining-uncovered-the-role-of-innovation-in-mining

[2] http://www.visualcapitalist.com/size-oil-market/

[3] https://www.woodmac.com/reports/metals-global-mining-capex-spend-winners-and-losers-41516609

[4] https://www.mckinseyenergyinsights.com/insights/oil-production-capex-is-a-rebound-in-sight/

[5] http://www.mmg.com/en/Investors-and-Media/Reports-and-Presentations/~/media/Reports%20and%20Presentations/Presentations/2017/170405_Las_Bambas_Site_Visit

[6] http://www.miningmagazine.com/future-of-mining/

[7] https://www.ft.com/content/ab449d00-2c34-11e8-9b4b-bc4b9f08f381

[8] http://magazine.cim.org/en/technology/the-future-of-flotation/

[9] http://www.miningmagazine.com/equipment/mineral-processing/par-for-the-coarse/

 

2018-06-03T08:58:59+00:00May 25th, 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.

¹ https://www.energistics.org/

2018-06-03T08:57:37+00:00May 25th, 2018|Front page, News|

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

 

2018-04-20T12:38:27+00:00April 20th, 2018|Front page, News|

Craig Woerpel joins Silixa’s Houston Branch

Silixa announces that Craig Woerpel has joined the organization’s Houston branch in the capacity of  Microseismic/Seismic Advisor with effect from 1 March 2018.

Craig joins Silixa with 30+ years of experience in seismic and microseismic processing, his career covering the full range of borehole seismic.

Prior to joining Silixa, he was the recognized HFM expert at Schlumberger, processing live downhole jobs as Principal Microseismic Geophysicist. His innovations included interactive anisotropy calibration, dipping layer velocity models, off-site live processing by satellite and various data format conversion applications. He solved the problems encountered by other geophysicists on a daily basis.

Craig also has 3 years of experience processing large 3D VSPs and 7 years mapping a CO2 flood with time-lapse cross-well tomography.

 

“We are absolutely thrilled that Craig has chosen to join Silixa. Advancements in unconventional oil and gas production play a major role in the current economic environment and our distributed sensing-based solutions that ensure safe, reliable and cost-effective production, are significant in unlocking unconventional resources. Craig is an integral piece to our existing talented and experienced team as we are poised to grow our service offerings in the North American hydraulic fracturing market,” said Glynn Williams, Silixa’s CEO.

 

 

 

2018-04-18T16:36:35+00:00March 30th, 2018|Front page, 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

2018-03-20T09:47:42+00:00March 20th, 2018|News|

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.

 

 

 


2018-02-01T16:23:20+00:00February 1st, 2018|News|

Silixa shortlisted for the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2018

London, 16 January 2018

Silixa is delighted to learn it has been shortlisted for the Innovator Award in the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards 2018 for developing and commercializing the Carina® Sensing System. 

This exciting announcement celebrates the company’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions and remaining at the forefront of technology, both in terms of the core interrogator units and the applications that consume the data.

Silixa’s Carina Sensing System, born out of the company’s most complex and ambitious development project since the release of the original iDAS™ in 2009, represents a step change in performance and is expected to transform the way distributed sensing is used in the energy sector. The system can optimise asset life span, improve safety and maximise resource production by offering real-time permanent in well surveillance, on-demand seismic profiling as well as continuous well diagnostics throughout the life of the well.

In the offshore arena, the new system can enable long offset measurements as an alternative to subsea interrogator deployments for downhole DAS surveys in remote subsea wells.

“The Innovator Award shortlisting is a validation of the hard work of our extraordinary team as well as a recognition of our successful journey. Silixa was founded in a garage in London in 2007 to develop and commercialise the highest performing distributed optical fibre sensors. In 10 years we have grown to become a specialist service company operating in the global O&G market. We hope to win, but most certainly being nominated for the award is already a big honour. I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate all finalists.”- said Glynn Williams, Silixa’s Chief Executive Officer.

The very best of the industry will be celebrated, and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 22 March 2018 at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.

For more information please contact us.

 

 


2018-01-16T12:22:47+00:00January 16th, 2018|Front page, News|

Anglo American leverages Silixa’s process metering technology to win smart technology sustainability prize

Anglo American FutureSmart MiningTM wins “Best Use of Smart Technology for Sustainability” award at Mines and Technology 2017

London, 5 December 2017

Anglo American (LSE:AAL) has been awarded the prize for best use of smart technologies in sustainability at the 2017 edition of Mines and Technology. The prize, which was accepted for Anglo American by Donovan Waller (Group Head of Technology Development), was presented last week at a Gala dinner in London. This award was presented in recognition of the company’s innovative efforts to deploy and integrate Silixa’s non-intrusive optical process metering flow measurement technology at Mogalakwena Platinum Mine.

Mogalakwena Platinum Mine is located in a water stressed region with complex water management requirements.  Working with Silixa, Anglo American’s FutureSmart MiningTM program installed the world’s first permanent, non-intrusive, multi-zone, flow metering system based on distributed acoustic sensing technology.  Covering over 16km, the circuit requires no power, has no expensive sensing parts, requires no alteration of the pipeline and hence no interruption to flow.  The system delivers robust flow measurements for automatic incorporation into water balance calculations. Borne from the Pervasive Sensing project theme arising from the 2015 FutureSmart MiningTM Open Forum on water, the technology is now being expanded into the process realm where the value addition is likely to be significant.

“This honour represents an important validation of the hard work of our extraordinary team at Silixa. Our corporate vision is to apply our distributed fibre optic sensing technology in creative ways to develop applications that help deal with the world’s greatest industrial challenges, whether that is safely optimising production, or providing effective flow metering. Our ultimate goal is to change how distributed sensing is used in industry,“ said Glynn Williams, Silixa’s CEO.

Mines and Technology’s Outstanding Achievement Awards and Gala Dinner attracted hundreds of senior representatives from all tiers of mining companies, investment institutions, government delegations as well as a range of technology providers. The night was an opportunity to honour the companies and individuals who exhibited outstanding achievement in 5 distinct technology achievement categories.

About Silixa

Silixa Ltd, based in London UK and the US, was established in 2007 and is supported by investors Lime Rock Partners, Chevron Technology Ventures and Statoil Technology Invest.  Silixa is transforming how distributed sensing is used in the energy sector by applying the power of the world’s highest performing distributed acoustic (iDAS™ and Carina® Sensing System) and temperature sensing (ULTIMA™ DTS, XT-DTS) technologies. Silixa delivers distributed fibre optic monitoring solutions on both new and existing fibre cable installations with the highest levels of accuracy in the industry to improve performance, reduce operational costs and extend the lifespan of any asset.

About Anglo American

Anglo American is a globally diversified mining business. Our portfolio of world-class competitive mining operations and undeveloped resources provides the raw materials to meet the growing consumer-driven demands of the world’s developed and maturing economies. Our people are at the heart of our business. It is our people who use the latest technologies to find new resources, plan and build our mines and who mine, process and move and market our products to our customers around the world.

As a responsible miner – of diamonds (through De Beers), copper, platinum and other precious metals, iron ore, coal and nickel – we are the custodians of what are precious natural resources. We work together with our key partners and stakeholders to unlock the long-term value that those resources represent for our shareholders and for the communities and countries in which we operate – creating sustainable value and making a real difference.

For more information please Contact Us.

Related links:

Mines and Technology 2017

Anglo American

 

2018-02-26T12:27:11+00:00December 5th, 2017|Front page, News|