[Editor's note: This story originally appeared in the January 2020 edition of E&P. Subscribe to the magazine here.] 

New technology to cut carbon emissions
BP has announced that it will deploy continuous measurement of methane emissions in its future BP-operated oil and gas processing projects as part of its program to detect, measure and reduce methane emissions, a press release stated. Continuous measurement, including instruments such as gas cloud imaging, will be rolled out to all new major projects worldwide. The technology has been tested and installed in existing facilities such as at BP’s Khazzan Field in Oman. It is a key part of BP’s wider and longer-term strategy to deploy a suite of complementary methane-detecting techniques across new and existing facilities. The data generated will help BP identify the largest opportunities to tackle methane emissions, drive efficiency and develop best practice, and it is ultimately aimed at delivering and improving BP’s methane intensity target of 0.2% from its upstream operations. bp.com

Superhydrophobic coating for offshore drilling pipes
Southwest Research Institute has developed Lotus- Flo, a superhydrophobic coating designed to keep offshore drilling pipes from being clogged by various substances, a press release stated. Pipes are frequently clogged by substances like asphaltenes, paraffins and inorganic scales, which can slow or even halt the flow of oil. Current options involve pouring costly chemicals, which pollute the surrounding ocean, down pipes to unclog them. LotusFlo can repel the liquids and materials that often clog drilling pipes. The coating, which is applied to the pipes under vacuum conditions, contains silicon, oxygen, carbon and fluorine. Despite the harsh conditions of the drilling environment, the coating can last for years and is not harmful to the surrounding environment.

The LotusFlo coating process involves linking several 40-ft sections of pipe together in very low atmospheric pressures. The interiors essentially act as a vacuum chamber, with an end unit on either side of the pipe providing the vacuum source. An electrode is strung through the pipe from one end to the other and suspended in the middle of the pipe. Volatile molecules are then introduced into the evacuated pipe to ignite highly ionized gas molecules, or plasma, inside the entire length of the pipe structure. The plasma, once ignited, emits light and fragments in a special way to allow control over the chemical precursor molecules to form other ions in the plasma, which are then accelerated very rapidly onto the internal surface of the pipe. When the ions collide on the interior surface, they undergo a polymerization reaction that results in a partially inorganic, glass-like coating that keeps the materials from adhering to pipe surfaces. swri.org

Southwest Research Institute applies the LotusFlo superhydrophobic coating, which prevents materials from occluding the flow of oil, to a series of offshore drilling pipes. (Source: Southwest Research Institute)

New caliper tool for geothermal well operations
Probe has released the UHT Dimension XY Caliper, which is designed to operate in ultrahigh-temperature environments, a press release stated. This new development expands upon the Kuster geothermal logging tool portfolio used in the global geothermal industry. Designed to operate in hostile environments of up to 617 F, the UHT Dimension tool provides two continuous independent perpendicular measurements (X and Y) of the internal diameter of the casing. The tool also produces a high-resolution temperature profile of the well via an external fast-response resistance temperature detector. Featuring Kuster high-temperature technology, it is the latest addition to Probe’s range of Kuster pressure-temperature (PT) sensors, pressure-temperature-spinner (PTS) sensors and Protherma. The UHT Dimension tool can be run as a standalone or combined with other Kuster geothermal PT and PTS tools. Its mechanical design features single roller arms that conform easily to most wellbore conditions. However, if there is a need to run over slotted sleeves or sandscreens, an optional triple roller arm is available for increased run efficiency. probe1.com

The UHT Dimension XY Caliper tool measures the internal diameter of the well. (Source: Probe)

New risk management tool combines artificial and human intelligence
InEight Basis is InEight’s planning, scheduling and risk management tool that employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, along with risk intelligence capabilities, to establish more realistic plans and schedules for upstream oil and gas projects, according to the company. These are fully risk-adjusted plans and schedules that can be delivered earlier in the process and with fewer iterations. Drawing from a knowledge library containing historical data from an organization’s past projects, the tool’s AI-powered inference engine generates scenarios that are most likely to occur. Once these are reviewed and scored by team experts for increased accuracy, the data can be fed back into its knowledge library for use on future projects. This combination of AI and human intelligence ensures more predictable outcomes and saves time in the planning process. This results in project planners spending up to 40% less time building schedules as well as reducing the amount of time used in gathering team member feedback by 75%. ineight.com

New machine learning technology for reservoir characterization
GeoSoftware, part of CGG’s Geoscience division, has announced that machine learning technology in Python ecosystems will be available in upcoming releases of its HampsonRussell and Jason reservoir characterization tools, according to a press release. Python ecosystems in HampsonRussell and Jason will allow experts and data scientists to completely customize machine learning and reservoir characterization workflows by using Python machine learning libraries and also their own proprietary code. Python ecosystems allow users to efficiently research and test various machine learning workflows for proof-of-concept or commercial projects. Scripts and workflows directly access well, horizon and seismic data for use in machine learning, deep learning, visualization and numerical analysis. HampsonRussell and Jason users can benefit from complete control over input data and analysis output. With Python ecosystems, users can process data with prebuilt or client-proprietary Python scripts or Jupyter notebooks, and store input and output data in either a HampsonRussell or Jason project database or a shared directory. Python ecosystem functionality will integrate with the application’s data stores and viewers, eliminating the need to export, reformat and reload data. cgg.com

New software for faster commissioning of motor control centers
Rockwell Automation has released the new version of the IntelliCENTER software to enable industrial producers to commission Allen-Bradley CENTERLINE motor control centers (MCCs) quickly and easily, according to a company product announcement. The updated IntelliCENTER software can be helpful for oil producers as it more quickly and easily commissions MCCs. With the new software release, MCCs can be assembled, configured and validated across similar end devices—all before they arrive at a user’s site. This can give the user a head start designing their control system without having to wait for the MCCs to arrive on site. Logical connections and configurations are provided to users with the delivery of the MCCs, including ethernet/IP support. This allows the MCCs to be configured automatically. The user also receives validated integration datasets. With so many devices in an MCC with technical and system complexity or if third-party configuration is required, the updated software can still save commissioning time and ease startup. In addition to faster commissioning, the IntelliCENTER software gives production workers real-time access to diagnostics and MCC documentation. This can help them maximize the performance of their MCCs and related equipment. In addition, by allowing workers to remotely monitor, configure and troubleshoot MCCs, the software can help reduce worker exposure to hazardous energy levels. rockwellautomation.com

Compiled by Faiza Rizvi, Associate Editor, E&P