Stingray stands by for action

QinetiQ has announced its latest spinout, Stingray Geophysical, which has been established to develop a commercial fibre optic seismic monitoring system. The system can be deployed permanently on the seabed to provide high quality data on hydrocarbon reservoirs and help oil companies to increase the amount of oil and gas extracted from reservoirs.

Stingray Geophysical has secured £6.6 million capital from a venture capital consortium led by Energy Ventures and including Hydro Technology Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures. QinetiQ holds a 19.9 per cent share in Stingray Geophysical.

The company has licensed QinetiQ’s OptaSeis fibre optic technology which will be commercialised to acquire time lapse (4D) seismic surveys using multicomponent (4C) sensor packages permanently deployed on the seabed to provide oil companies with high quality information about their offshore reservoirs.

4D-4C seismic is critical for oil companies to improve reservoir management, accelerate production and increase the total reserves that can be extracted from a reservoir. Typically, oil companies currently recover about 35 per cent of reserves in place. Emerging technologies and techniques such as 4D-4C are expected to help push this to 50 per cent, generating significant additional value and helping to maintain hydrocarbon supply around the world.

However, current 4D-4C systems, while providing highly valuable data, are expensive and can be unreliable, primarily because of the problems associated with installing electrical components in the sea. The OptaSeis technology will allow the development of a smaller, less expensive and more reliable permanent seabed system that requires no underwater electronics.