Sondex & Beta R&D Secure Government Grant for New Battery Technology

Sondex and its research partner Beta Research & Development have secured a UK Government grant for the development of a new power source for downhole instrumentation.

The financial grant of £199,000 has been made by the Department of Trade and Industry's Innovation Group under its Technology Program. Shared equally by Sondex and Beta R&D, the money will be used in the development of rechargeable, high temperature battery technology.

The technology has been pioneered by Beta R&D at its centre in Derby. The new battery is being designed to provide a cost effective, robust and reliable alternative to the lithium batteries that are currently used for memory tools by downhole operators within the oil and gas industry.

Sondex announced in March 2005 that it had signed an agreement with Beta R&D covering exclusive rights to the advanced battery technology for use in the downhole oil, gas, water and geothermal industries. Beta R&D is currently refining the battery technology while Sondex is developing the associated electronics and packaging.

When commercialized, the battery will complement the Sondex range of downhole tools that includes sophisticated logging, cutting and transportation technologies.

Martin Perry, Chief Executive of Sondex, said: "We are grateful to the DTI for assisting us with this important development work. We believe there is a significant worldwide market potential for this battery technology."

Roger Bull, Managing Director of Beta R&D, commented: "This grant will provide further impetus to our development work. I believe it is also Government recognition of the potential importance of the technology."