Los Alamos National Laboratory’s INFICOMM Technology announces innovation for the oil and gas industry now in Northern New Mexico
Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, June 12, 2012--After six years of joint development between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Chevron, the oil and gas industry now has a game-changing wireless communications technology that will address the challenge of increasing production and maximizing extraction potential of an oil field.
INFICOMM: Nexus of the oil field of the future
Until recently, the oil and gas industry has been unable to monitor and collect real-time data of down-hole environments; mainly because current wired and other methods of communications were unreliable and costly. This new technology allows for efficient and inexpensive real-time data retrieval and monitoring of well temperature, pressure and fluid levels.
Working closely with Chevron, LANL repurposed its own wireless communication technology (INFICOMM) to allow for real-time broadband communication in down-hole environments using multiple sensors. With the introduction of this low-cost technology, the entire oil and gas field can be modeled and managed as one integrated field, as well as allow each well to be managed separately.
Because of Chevron and LANL’s partnership to develop this technology, the oil field of the future will look nothing like the past. In addition to maximizing production of resources, INFICOMM will reduce the amount of energy required during production.
Regional research lab brings jobs to Northern New Mexico
LANL has developed many models to work with industry to facilitate commercialization. In this case, the INFICOMM technology required additional prototyping and testing to achieve commercialization for Chevron and the industry.
As a result, Chevron founded a regional research laboratory in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has brought new jobs and skills to Northern New Mexico. This lab is referred to as Area 52™ and currently employs retired LANL scientists and technicians and regional experts.
Dan Neagley, a LANL retiree, stated, “Working with this organization provides an exciting environment to continue my scientific work applied to real world problems, in a way that will benefit the global community.”
Once the INFICOMM technology was proven for oil & gas applications, Chevron licensed it from LANL and is commercializing it worldwide through a start-up company, Production Sciences, Inc., in The Woodlands, Texas.
The Area 52™ lab continues to broaden its abilities to prototype and test other Chevron/LANL-developed technologies for the oil and gas industry.
“We value the partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory experts and our Chevron operations,” said Scot Ellis, Chevron alliance manager.
“Together, we are able to field test and commercialize significant impact technologies for the energy industry in an aggressive cycle time.”
What started as an important technology developed for U.S. government purposes has now transformed into a game-changing commercial product that will be used broadly in the oil and gas industry in both exploration and drilling, which has an estimated market value of over $1 billion per year. New technologies will be implemented that will increase production and maximize the extraction potential of a field.
About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and URS for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.
Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory
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