Halliburton’s ‘Centrino’ wireless frac job

Joint presentation with Intel—engineering breakthrough or product placement?

A joint Halliburton and Intel presentation at the Calgary AAPG described a wireless fracture job carried out using Intel’s Centrino-based communications devices. The idea is to replace the conventional distributed control systems (DCS) with a WiFi 802.11 network. A video showed a bunch of red trucks whose heavy duty cables were apparently replaced with a WiFi ‘hotspot’.

Product placement

Why the consumer-oriented WiFi technology was used and why Intel technology was deployed was not explained. In fact the whole presentation had more than a whiff of product placement. Speakers seemed to be under instructions to weave ‘Intel’ into every talk. Halliburton Canada’s Darcy Cuthill drew the short straw and had to ‘place’ Intel into a presentation on a horizontally-drilled ‘u-bend’ of a well. Cuthill concluded her talk with a dutiful, ‘Behind the scenes all this is enabled by the digital highway. Intel is certainly one of the most important things we can say today about the kind of technology that made this possible.’

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