Sentec conquers downhole sensor challenge


Cambridge technology developers have been called on to help create sensor systems for hydrocarbon testing in one of the harshest environments found on earth - at the bottom of an oil well.

Working with Petrotech ASA, a leader in oil analysis services, Sentec Ltd have successfully developed a sensor for accurately measuring the viscosity and density of oil down-hole and in real time; information previously only available through a lengthy process of sampling followed by laboratory analysis.

The sensor has a tough life: test drills are up to 10 km deep and the sensor and sophisticated electronics must withstand temperatures over 175oC and pressures up to 1000 atmospheres. In addition, the presence of hydrocarbons, seawater and other liquids under such immense pressures and temperatures produces an extremely corrosive environment which rapidly destroys all but the most robust equipment.

'The sensor is a prime example of what is possible when some out of the box thinking is combined with clever engineering and design.' said Michael Stevens, the project manager 'We now have a fully operational demonstrator, which is undergoing some pretty severe testing and we hope to see the first products in use next year.'

Bjrn Dybdahl, founder and Managing Director of Petrotech said 'Our future depends upon our ability to continue pushing forwards and to develop new technology, ideas and solutions that perform a better and more cost effective service for our clients.'

Carl Nilsson, Chief Scientist at Petrotech commented 'The accuracy of the sensor is excellent, and we already looking forward to additional ways we can partner with Sentec to address other challenging problems.'

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Sentec Ltd a Xylem Brand

Sentec Ltd