US company setup to track doomed rigs

Written by By Staff Writer The US Omicron division of Norway’s Statoil ASA is establishing a software division to help customers track down stricken rigs. The new division plans to add 30 people to…

US company setup to track doomed rigs

Written by By Staff Writer

The US Omicron division of Norway’s Statoil ASA is establishing a software division to help customers track down stricken rigs.

The new division plans to add 30 people to the current staff of nine and is focusing its efforts on Gulf of Mexico contracts.

“New seismic surveys pose a great risk, but they offer new investment opportunities,” said Guido H. Burggraf, Statoil’s offshore seismic services chief.

“Operators are always under the pressure to secure permits, and unfortunately, there are always a few missing wells to be drilled.”

The division has been created with US-based firm Kongsberg Geophysical ASA, and the two have a joint venture called Mobiloco that has been created to develop and market Omicron technology to clients.

The Omicron system, which tracks the conductivity of sand and mud in the earth, can offer some clues about whether a subsurface hydrocarbon-bearing system is in operation, if a fracture system has recently been exploited, or if fresh sand or seawater is moving through an area.

The system’s website highlights that production responses occur much faster if the fault, in this case with oil and gas, is in an area where there has been oil production within the past 24 hours.

It adds that if there is deep water pressure and flowing, seismic pressure sensors can be detected in areas where there has not been offshore oil production in several years.

Petroleum exploration requires a lot of money and drilling times and accidents can be costly. Earlier this year, Houston-based service giant Halliburton said it would spend $40 million to buy a world-leading provider of remote sensing technologies, which offers data and analysis about subsurface hydrocarbons to operators.

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