Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) is backing efforts to develop a ground-breaking high temperature downhole safety valve.
Pragma Well Technology and Pharis Energy are working to commercialise a valve which is rated for steam injection temperatures, in excess of 300ºC.
The development could facilitate the development of heavy oil fields which have so far been deemed too marginal to attract investment, they said.
Chris Pearson, marginal developments solution centre manager at OGTC, said: “There is almost one billion barrels of heavy oil in marginal developments on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
“Steam flooding has the potential to dramatically increase recovery rates and the DSIV project could help unlock significant reserves. We look forward to working with Pragma and Pharis on this innovative technology project.”
Gary Smart, CEO of Pragma, said “We’re thrilled to be working alongside the OGTC and Pharis in the development of the DSIV. We see real potential for this breakthrough technology, which will enable steam flood to unlock previously inaccessible reserves in the UKCS, with the potential to expand to further geographical regions.
“Collaboration is vital for the future of the industry and the duo’s confidence in our ability to support this project, especially as a new start-up company, is testament to our deep technical knowledge of the energy sector. The calibre of the OGTC and Pharis leadership teams are renowned and we look forward to a successful relationship as we drive this technology forward.”
Steve Brown, CEO of Pharis, added: “We are really pleased to have the support of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and to be working with the innovative minds at Pragma Well Technology on this project. Fundamentally, the application of steam flooding offshore has been enabled by the development of technologies to drill, complete and control horizontal steam injection and production wells.
“These technologies have been pioneered in the SAGD projects in Canada where more than 1,900 horizontal producer injector pairs have been drilled. This valve is the missing ingredient to apply these well technologies offshore and help us unlock the four billion barrel prize we see from the widespread application of steam flooding on the UKCS.”