UCL, Weatherford, Silixa develop fiber optic flowmeter

Chevron-led consortium to develop continuous flow measurement with backscattered laser light.

Weatherford has joined a Chevron North Sea led consortium that is developing a new continuous flow measurement device that uses fiber optics developed by UK-based startup Silixa. The project is developing a permanent in-well flow meter based on Silixa’s Idas technology. Idas provides continuous sampling of the acoustic field in the well by analyzing backscattered laser pulses. Other applications include sand control performance monitoring, gas breakthrough, artificial lift optimization and more.

Some of the early R&D on the technology was performed at University College London’s (UCL) Optoelectronics Research Group. UCL, where professor Charles Kao received a Nobel prize for Physics, is also a member of the project. The project includes the development of a neural net-based data processing system. The project has a budget of £1 million over three years—with £750,000 coming from the British Government’s Technology Strategy Board. Silixa has backing from Chevron’s Technology Venture’s unit and Lime Rock Partners. In a separate announcement, Weatherford unveiled a ‘mutually exclusive’ agreement for marketing Idas-based in-well monitoring systems. More from silixa.com.

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