The rising cost of exploring new smaller oil fields, together with concerns about safety and environmental risks of exploration activities, is leading to the development of autonomous exploration techniques – one such is the Badger Explorer tool.
Severn Subsea Technologies is playing a leading role in developing this autonomous exploration technology.
The Badger Explorer tool designed to explore and monitor the subsurface without the need for a conventional drilling rig. Lowered to the seabed using either an anchor handling vessel or direct from a rig, it drills autonomously carrying advanced instrumentation to map and / or monitor the subsurface, while closing the path behind itself to prevent oil and gas migrating upward. As a result environmental impact is minimized and no blow out preventer is required.
Severn Subsea Technologies has been involved in the construction and qualification of the high specification Badger Explorer tool in preparation for a subsequent industrial pilot phase. This involved the following:
• Development of Enabling Technology
• Advanced drill bit concept
• Thick slurry storage and compaction
• Separation and compaction
• Algorithms for steering and control system.
Compared to a full drilling operation, the Badger Explorer needs only a very little amount of equipment to launch during operation, the tool consumes only 10 kW.
In addition to traditional formation logging as the tool penetrates the ground, the Badger Explorer can provide some unique measurements:
• continuous measurement of True RW,
• cable integrated sensing
• standard down hole fibre can be incorporated in the cable construction, enabling sensing for distributed temperature, distributed strain, pressure and acoustics.