The breakthrough sensing technology enables the recording of gravity data at very high sensitivities and seismic data at ultra-low frequencies. Both sensing methodologies provide an improved means for oilfield reservoir surveillance. Gravity sensing is a well-established surface exploration technology, however not easily available in the borehole. Changes in gravitational acceleration of the order of one part per billion provide information related to differences in density associated with variations in fluids and geological lithology. In the borehole current mechanical sensing systems are fragile and constrained to large diameter vertical boreholes, consequently the borehole gravity applications potential is currently not realised. Seismic imaging involves the use of seismic sources sending acoustic energy through subsurface geological layers. The reflected energy is sensed as minute vibrations by geophones. Processing these seismic signals provide a subsurface image of the layering and reservoirs. The company’s sensors have broader spectral response than other seismic sensors and their improved low frequency response has imaging benefits.
The breakthrough sensors are based on Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The Company’s MEMS technology is differentiated from other available MEMS technology by using a highly sensitive resonant frequency sensing methodology. This provides improved performance at low frequencies relative to other MEMS seismic sensors based on capacitive or optical sensing. More importantly the sensing methodology provides breakthrough sensitivities as compared to alternative commercial MEMS accelerometers enabling high resolution gravity measurements. This feature together with the small integrated design means cost-effective sensors can be deployed in high deviation slim-holes. There is no other comparable competing technology in this highly lucrative market for borehole gravity.
Next Technology Opportunity – A high performance rate gyro
Gyroscopes have significant application in the oil and gas sector and enhance the performance of gravity sensors by enabling highly accurate positioning. However, this technology has much wider applications in the navigation, guidance, and stabilization or directing of many intelligent systems for commercial, industrial, and military applications. The SMG MEMS implementation is being designed to enable applications in inertial navigation not currently addressable by existing technology (e.g., pedestrian and automobile navigation systems) and offers the potential for substantial gains in cost, power dissipation and form factor compared to conventionally machined devices.