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OptaSense signs global agreement with Shell to deploy fiber monitoring for hydraulic fracturing operations

OptaSense, a QinetiQ company, has signed a Global Commercialization and Framework Agreement with Shell that sets out the basis on which Shell businesses can contract with OptaSense directly to use its unique Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) system. The initial service to be provided under the agreement is a commercial hydraulic fracture monitoring service.

The OptaSense Distributed Acoustic Sensing system provides a new window on in-well treatments. The hydraulic fracture monitoring service provides real-time monitoring of fracture fluid injection locations and provides an estimate of the volume of water and proppant uptake at these locations. With real-time monitoring of the operation at the treatment zone, operators are able to optimize the hydraulic fracturing process in a safe, reliable and repeatable way.

Conventional monitoring technologies are unable to survive the fracturing process whereas OptaSense is a breakthrough technology that has been developed in collaboration with Shell and can monitor the fracturing process by listening to a fibre optic cable attached to the well itself.

Optasense can monitor that the propant fluid that is injected into the borehole gets to the right place, and if not, modify the process straight away.

Commercial services have now commenced in the United States and Canada with hydraulic fracture monitoring underway in tight sands and shale gas wells. These services are expected to be extended into new territories in the near future. The hydraulic fracture monitoring services were developed in collaboration with Shell as part of a global research and development agreement announced in 2010.

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