Distributed Fiber Optic Sensors Poised to Remap Upstream Sector

Too Much Data?

DFOS solutions produce data in the terabyte volumes every week. Gathering data in such vast volumes is a challenge from a storage point of view, but the value of such quantities is also questionable. Designing software to interpret this data should enable the amount gathered to be reduced – programmers will highlight points within the data of importance for analysis and thus storage. However, there will likely remain a mentality within the industry that future software development could yield insight and, therefore, that collecting the maximum amount of data should always be the default setting.

Solution Uptake and Industry Opportunity

In 2012, the 10,000 kilometer (6,100-mile) mark was passed for pipeline monitored using DFOS. Meanwhile, the solution has been used for many years as a temperature sensor.

Today, the main thrust for research and development is hydraulic fracture monitoring and seismic data acquisition, which represent the two biggest market opportunities.

The areas in which DFOS can provide solutions – well, pipeline and reservoir monitoring – are consequential for oil & gas pricing and the direction of E&P investment in three core ways:

  • Pipeline integrity and security affects the global oil price and the CAPEX budgets of oil majors (pipeline monitoring);
  • Hydraulic fracturing of shale has transformed the upstream industry and the fortunes of American oil and gas (well monitoring);
  • Enhanced oil recovery is increasingly crucial as companies seek to make the most of existing reservoirs (reservoir monitoring).

With its capabilities in each of these domains, DFOS looks set to become a piece of equipment with significant influence over the oil and gas industry’s future outlook and trajectory.

Grant Rudgley is a Senior Energy Analyst & Consultant at Visiongain where he writes in-depth reports analyzing a wide variety of segments within the global energy industry. His focus is upstream oil & gas.


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