International coring specialist Corpro has won an 'Oil Oscar' for a pioneering new technology which looks set to become a major industry game changer.
Corpro was awarded the top accolade for The Idea category at the prestigious Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards ceremony on Thursday March 25. The award recognizes the excellence in Corpro's innovative iCoreTM technology and includes additional funding to further develop the tool.
Philippe Cravatte, technical director of Corpro, said, "This award is significant in that it acknowledges iCore's uniqueness. This is our latest creation intended to offer a cost-effective coring solution with no equivalent in the industry. It is also great for our engineering team to be recognized and rewarded. Their creativity, talent and hard work have been instrumental in designing and building iCore.
"The team encompasses not only Corpro's research and development team but also other engineering divisions within our parent company Reservoir Group.
"Indeed, it is through our synergies with the concentrated expertise of Reservoir Group’s specialist divisions that Corpro can continually evolve and enhance existing technologies. This integrated approach will continue to lead to the launch of new technologies such as iCore."
iCore offers a major industry breakthrough in the oil and gas coring process because, unlike current technology which only depicts surface indications, iCore interprets what is happening inside the barrel – the crux of the coring process.
Philippe said, "Currently, coring engineers have to rely solely on surface indications such as torque, pressure and rate of penetration to evaluate what is happening downhole. But as wells become more complex and deeper, coring is becoming increasingly challenging. This is further exacerbated by continuous rising costs, increasingly challenging environments and the related fear of losing critical reservoir data. In many cases, conservative barrel lengths make the process very expensive and consequently, coring - despite its industry-recognized value - is seldom being utilized.
"With iCore, both tool designs and procedures will be improved and subsequently, run length will be extended to its maximum potential making coring a viable and economic formation evaluation technology."
Dimo Dimov, a senior electronics engineer at Corpro, has played a key role in helping to develop iCore. He said, "The technology is a 2.5ft compact instrumented sub, which is positioned inside the core barrel at the top of the inner-assembly. It registers and transfers to surface various activity occurring during the coring operation. The sub continuously records a large volume of information, extracted through a large set of sensors. When analyzed, this information provides visibility on the good conduct of the coring operation.
"Data acquired from core is the only direct measurement of reservoir properties. All other data acquired through logging or testing are calculated or estimated hence leaving room for costly inaccuracy. This demonstrates the undisputed value of coring / core analysis which, despite constant progresses in other means of formation evaluation, remains systematically utilized. However, because of the expensive rig time required during the coring process, operators are often forced for budgetary reasons, to "bypass" coring or, at least, for some intervals.
"iCore addresses these issues in that it will suppress uncertainties in the coring process either in terms of lost recovery or, equally important, when pulling out the barrel prematurely for a suspected core jamming. Furthermore, the acquisition of downhole information on how the barrel performs and reacts will ultimately permit the design of upgraded coring systems that will help to secure longer runs while still providing reassurance that the entire core will be recovered."
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