Scorpius forms 3D pictures

Qinetiq, Gravitec and Shell Technology Ventures are developing Scorpius, a remote sensor that builds a 3D picture of hydrocarbon reservoirs by measuring changes in gravity over time and distance.

Qinetiq has been awarded a £1.6m development contract by Gravitec Downhole Instruments Ltd (GDI Ltd), a joint venture formed by Gravitec Instruments Ltd and Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 BV to fast track the development of Gravitec’s gravity gradiometer for use in borehole applications.

Qinetiq will lead the development, testing and packaging of a fully integrated sensor for use in the downhole petroleum environment.

According to Qinetiq, the borehole environment is extremely challenging for remote gravity sensing as a result of the high temperatures and pressures involved and because changes in magnitude of the measured signal are extremely small requiring precise measurements.

Gravitec’s sensor is said to be the only gravity gradiometer that has the potential to monitor hydrocarbon reservoirs in wells because it is small and sensitive enough to produce in-hole data of commercial use.

Scorpius is expected to produce density information that can help define the location of oil reserves and monitor depletion of producing reservoirs when it is expected to be ready for deployment in 2008.