Oil and Gas Automation Innovation

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Though automation technology providers represented only a small portion of exhibitors at ONS 2016, they showcased how automation advances are set to transform the oil and gas industry.

ONS is a major oil and gas industry event held every other year in Stavanger, Norway. Like most shows of its size featuring industry technologies—more than 1,400 exhibitors and nearly 100,000 attendees—ONS holds an awards event to recognize innovative new products.

Many of the technologies included in the finalist category for the ONS Innovation Awards this year highlighted advances in standard oil and gas industry products, such as drilling equipment, compressors and gas-capturing membranes. Highlighting the trend toward greater use of automation in the oil and gas industry was the fact that all five finalists in the SME (small to medium-sized) Innovation Award category were suppliers of automation technologies.

Following is a run-down of the SME finalists:

  • The autonomous inflow control valve fromInflow Controlshuts off unwanted gas and/or water automatically in a well while also helping increase oil production and recovery. This valve has been installed in offshore and onshore wells in Saudi Arabia, Canada, Norway and China.
  • A robotic drill floor system fromRobotic Drilling Systems ASallows for unmanned drillfloor operations and can handle all sizes of pipes and tools for onshore and offshore operations. This technology is supported by Odfjell Drilling, Statoil, Shell, Conoco Phillips, the Norwegian Research Council and Innovasjon Norge.
  • TechInvent AS’s automated FluidCom injection valve and metering controller for chemical injection applications features integrated autonomous valve control, continuous flow metering and a self-cleaning function. It reportedly requires no regular maintenance.
  • The CMR (continuous motion ring) Technology fromWeST Drilling Productsis a drilling robot that can perform continuous drilling and circulation. It reportedly reduces drilling costs by 30 percent to 50 percent and improves well and personnel safety.
  • The Torden pinless connector fromWiSub ASreportedly transfers data and power through seawater without the need for physical conductor contact. It offers 1 kw power transfer—taking in 24 V dc and delivering a regulated 24 V dc output—allowing Torden to be a drop-in replacement for legacy connectors. In addition, the Torden is said to be unaffected by misalignment, acoustic disturbance turbidity or marine growth.

The winner of the ONS2016 Innovation Award in this category was FluidCom for its chemical injection valve and metering controller. This combination valve and controller is designed for multipoint chemical injection using a single-unit device per injection point. It features individual integrated flow control, flow metering, and local and remote operation, as well as wired and wireless HART communication.

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