A new company which has developed a unique sand control system to maximize oil and gas well production, launched this week with the backing of upstream private equity investor Epi-V.
'Scarlet' has developed a breakthrough sand screen and inflow control technology which uses hydraulic force applied from the surface to change the shape of pressure chambers within the screen sections.
Results demonstrate that the new screen provides higher flow rate capability, a step change in collapse resistance, and lowers installation risk by utilizing surface activation.
The novel technology was the brainchild of inventor Paul Metcalfe who is well known in the industry for designing and commercializing various expandable pipe technologies.
Epi-V became aware of the opportunity through its industry network and agreed with Paul to invest a multimillion pound package of growth capital to support the engineering development, proof of concept and full commercialization stages.
In 2008 the private equity investor backed the infant technology which provided Paul with access to a high quality design team and state of the art manufacturing facilities.
After successfully passing a number of technological milestones, the new business, Scarlet, has been established to take the proven technology to field trials and through the commercial development phase.
Epi-V has also funded the opening of an office and product development facility in Aberdeen and has used its network to recruit managing director Steve Bruce, who has over three decades of management experience in the sector at Schlumberger, PSL and Expro.
The business now plans to tap into the market for sand screen technologies which is currently worth over £600 million and continues to grow at around 11 percent a year.
Steve Bruce said, "The industry has been relatively slow to take up novel sand screen technologies due to their complexity.
"Scarlet's straightforward, low risk solution has a simple installation process, offers significantly improved collapse resistance and will demonstrate a step change in well design for sand control which is badly needed by the industry."
"Epi-V's support has provided the perfect incubation set up for Paul to use his innovative engineering skills to develop a revolutionary technology and for us to build a business capable of fully commercializing and internationalizing this product.
Steve Kent, Partner at Epi-V, said, "Scarlet is capable of adding significant value to a well and will be of interest to the completions engineers looking for a simple, but hugely effective, sand management and inflow control system.
"This investment is a great example of how Epi-V uses its industry contacts to identify a disruptive technology, and then provides the right funding, strategic and operational support needed to successfully carry it through the development, testing and market introduction phases.
"With the management team's technical knowhow, commercial and operational expertise and Epi-V's strategic support, Scarlet is in a strong position to quickly become a significant player in the sand screen market."
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