Halliburton invests in fiber-optic sensing for harsh environments

By Control Engineering Staff August 19, 2002

Houston, TX—- Halliburton Energy Services (HES), a business unit of Halliburton, announced Aug. 19 that it is moving to develop and use fiber-optic sensor technology to improve oil and gas reservoir performance monitoring solutions.

In two separate transactions, HES recently acquired Pruett Industries, a company involved in wellbore permanent monitoring and fiber-optic sensor installations, and took an equity position in Prime Photonics, a company engaged in research and development and commercialization of fi-ber optic sensors for harsh environments.

Pruett Industries’ assets include 65 staffers; operational bases in Bakersfield, CA, and Duri, Indo-nesia; and what HES reports is a leading presence in the fiber-optic wellbore installation market. Pruett’s fiber-optic experience has been focused on distributed temperature sensing (DTS). It has performed about 500 installations of permanent capillary tube conduit for DTS; approximately 1,000 retrievable DTS surveys; and at least 50 permanent DTS fiber installations.

HES’ investment in Prime Photonics gives HES access to Prime’s technical staff and intellectual properties. This access reportedly includes Prime’s relationship with engineering departments at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), as well as its close research collaboration with Virginia Tech’s 34-person Center for Photonics Technology, the nation’s larg-est academic based photonic sensor research group.

Under terms of the investment, Prime’s fiber-optic sensors will be available to HES for use in oil and gas well and other energy services installations. Prime intends to develop a suite of rugge-dized sensors for the extremely harsh environments encountered during oil and gas exploration, production, transporting and processing.

The two transactions provide HES with fiber-optic sensing technology and a critical mass of op-erations personnel and know-how. HES says these elements complement its existing down-hole industry capabilities and completions, as well as Landmark Graphics’ industry-standard wellbore and reservoir performance, visualization and interpretation software. Landmark is a wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton.

HES states that it intends to bring all of these components together to help oil and gas companies extract greater value from reservoirs through tailored applications of this suite of wellbore com-pletion and monitoring solutions. Plans include levering these capabilities with WellDynamics, a joint venture 50% owned by Halliburton

Control Engineering Daily News DeskDave Harrold, senior editordharrold@reedbusiness.com