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E-Spectrum Technologies News​

July 15, 2019

Machine Learning Can Solve Drilling Problems When Physics-Based Models Fall Short

Government awards contract to develop a data-driven approach to improve oil & gas drilling operations

The digital transformation of the upstream energy industry has spawned exponential growth in the amounts and types of data generated during the process of drilling oil & gas wells. A new research grant awarded under the United States Department of Energy's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program aims to develop technologies that can harness these large data sets to help drillers make time-critical decisions. E-Spectrum Technologies, a market leader in the development of technology-driven telemetry solutions for upstream energy markets, in partnership with the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, have been awarded a $192,763 Phase I grant to begin development and commercialization of a machine learning-based drilling optimization system.

The objective of the grant is to develop a commercial real-time computer advisory system to help drillers make more effective decisions and optimize the Rate of Penetration (ROP) achieved during drilling operations. The advisory system will incorporate transformational digital technologies including distributed processing and machine learning techniques to quickly identify ongoing or incipient vibration and loading patterns that can damage drill bits and slow the drilling process. Features of the drilling advisor include the ability to: operate in geothermal wells at temperatures up to 250°C; perform downhole bit dysfunction identification using machine learning; and transmit near-bit data using high-speed short-hop EM telemetry. The system will identify incipient bit dysfunctions using a near-bit embedded computer to process critical down-hole sensor data which will be passed through a high-speed EM short-hop telemetry tool to be transmitted to the surface using E-Spectrum’s popular Drill Dog™ MWD telemetry platform. At the surface, a PC-based dynamic advisory application using machine learning and data mining algorithms will integrate this incipient failure information with numerous other data streams to provide drillers with critical real-time advice on how to set drilling parameters in order to optimize ROP and avoid damaging drill string components.

While the Phase I research is targeted at ROP optimization, the advisory system will be designed to be modular and scalable to allow future incorporation of expanded data inputs and data driven algorithms to address other drilling problems that are currently difficult or impossible to solve using physics-based models.

April 12, 2018

E-Spectrum Technologies, Inc. announces selection for the next phase of a DOE sponsored research grant for $985,773

New High Temperature Communication Tool Will Advance Expansion of Sustainable Energy

E-Spectrum Technologies has been competitively selected to continue development of A Near-Real-time Electromagnetic Data-Link for Geothermal Downhole Instruments  (Award Number: DE-SC0017065).   After successfully completing our Phase I grant, which is intended for feasibility studies and market analysis, E-Spectrum will use the Phase II funds to develop a fully commercialized product that will reduce hazards and  lower costs associated with drilling geothermal wells.  Clean and renewable geothermal energy is produced by harnessing the heat generated in the core of the earth. Geothermal reservoirs are a highly sustainable and efficient energy source that produces minimal emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. However, the full potential of geothermal energy has not yet been realized partially because of the significant economic risks involved with drilling wells deep underground to reach the reservoirs.  


The new tool can provide near real-time information from sensors located near the bit of the drill string to reduce the hazards and costs associated with geothermal well development by allowing surface monitoring of key variables such as bit vibration (for extending the bit life and penetration rates of PDC and roller bits, and verifying the operation of hammer bits); drill pipe and annular pressure (for quickly detecting and locating lost circulation and high-pressure zones); and downhole temperatures (to better match drilling fluid and cement properties to field conditions).  All of these factors play critical roles in enhancing wellbore integrity under high-temperature, high-pressure conditions.


The wireless tool will be achieved by modifying a the Drill Dog ElectroMagnetic Measurement While Drilling (EM MWD) System to operate in the high temperature environments associated with geothermal well applications.  Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon-carbide (SiC) semiconductors will be incorporated into the design of the downhole electronics with a goal to operate for extended periods of time at a maximum temperature of 250°C.   


July 10, 2017

Drill Dog™ Nears 10,000 Circulating Hours with Zero Failures

E-Spectrum's Electromagnetic MWD technology continues to impress as it expands to more unconventional plays

Drill Dog™ has topped 8000 circulating hours on operational drilling rigs and is on track to break the 10,000-hour mark by the end of the third quarter of 2017.  To date, the system has been used on rigs operated by multiple oil companies in the Eagle Ford, Mississippi Lime, Belloy, Falher MBR, Glauconitic SS, Montney FM, Viking FM, and Wilrich FM formations with no failures.   The system continues to perform extremely well even in formations typically not suited for EM.  The maximum measured depth the system has achieved to date is 18,663 ft. (5690 m).  In addition to the ongoing use in the above formations, testing of the system in the Permian Basin is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2017.

June 21, 2017

E-Spectrum Approved for Full Funding to Move Ahead with the University of Texas to Commercialize a New Fracture Diagnostics Tool

An Enhanced Extremely Low Frequency Triaxial Induction Tool for Fracture Diagnostics in Open Wellbores

E-Spectrum has received notice of a 2-year grant from the DOE to continue an R&D program jointly conducted with the University of Texas at Austin to develop a new tool to map hydraulic fractures. The system uses conductive proppant to measure fractures using a new patented method and will be the first tool available with the ability to characterize the length and orientation of propped hydraulic fractures.  E-Spectrum will adopt and integrate our existing Drill Dog™ proprietary signal processing technologies into the design and use an extremely low-frequency triaxial induction tool with improved aggregate receiver sensitivity and greater noise rejection generated with electrically conductive proppant in open holes.

June 13, 2016

E-Spectrum Challenged to Develop New Technologies to More Accurately and Cost Effectively Characterize Hydraulic Fractures in Near Real Time

E-Spectrum Technologies will lead effort for development and commercialization of an enhanced tool for fracture diagnostics in wellbores

The DOE has funded E-Spectrum to conduct a joint research effort with the University of Texas to develop and commercialize a fracture diagnostics tool capable of measuring the size of propped fractures (with electrically conductive proppant) in open hole and cased wells that can be operated during the fracturing operation, or at any time during the well's lifecycle.   The primary objective of the program is to demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing our existing proprietary Drill Dog™ signal processing technologies to measure length and orientation of conductivity propped fractures. This capability is valuable to achieve because it will significantly enhance the ability to collect data associated with hydraulic fracturing operations of shale plays.

September 11, 2015

First operational test of system meets and exceeds expectations

The Drill Dog™ EM MWD System has successfully completed an initial set of three operational field tests in the Eagle Ford at recorded depths of 9960, 11020, and 11070 feet TVD. These results are especially impressive given the historical difficulty of using EM in the Eagle Ford and the fact that all three of these tests were conducted using oil-based drilling mud.  On all tests, the system had margin to go deeper.   These tests demonstrate that the Drill Dog system can perform at extended operational depths in the Eagle Ford’s formations, which are known to be particularly challenging for through-the-earth signal propagation. This achievement underscores E-Spectrum’s 15-year commitment to producing the most technologically advanced downhole data transmission technologies for the oil and gas industry.

February 13, 2014

New system is the world’s first portable through-the-earth communication system approved for use in US coal mines

Expanding on its popular line of industrial automation products, E-Spectrum Technologies announced that the company’s Rescue Dog™ System has successfully completed the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) equipment safety certification process, the culmination of a two year application procedure that began on February 22, 2012. This certification establishes Rescue Dog as one of only two systems worldwide currently approved by MSHA as a through-the-earth emergency communication system for use in underground coal mines. Built on E-Spectrum’s newly patented technologies that allow low power signals to travel wirelessly directly through the earth for thousands of feet, the battery-powered Rescue Dog System will provide trapped or injured miners direct two-way communication with surface rescue personnel.

August 13, 2008

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Selects E-Spectrum to Develop New Energy Technology

State-of-the-art technologies developed by E-Spectrum will be leveraged to find trapped miners

E-Spectrum was awarded a grant from The US Centers for Disease Control Office and Prevention's Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) to develop and demonstrate an ultra-low frequency through-the-earth communication mine safety communication system.  The goal of this program is to develop and adapt E-Spectrum’s current state-of-the-art oil and gas technologies for use as a new mine safety emergency communication technology for use during mine disasters in support of the MINER Act.

July 15, 2003

DOD Missile Defense Agency Challenges E-Spectrum to Implement Its Off-Shore Safety Technologies for The US Airborne Laser Missile Defense System

A generalized data driven prognostic algorithm based on a Kalman filter mixture-of-experts framework

E-Spectrum's proprietary technologies used in its offshore oil drilling safety systems and toxic gas regulators will be adapted for a new application. This research is centered on the investigation of a modular methodology for application of adaptive Kalman filtering using a mixture-of-experts network to a data driven prognostic system for the Airborne Laser (ABL).  The ABL is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs) while in boost phase   In this framework, each expert node will be a Kalman filter modeled with failure modalities based on physical ABL system parameters. This framework provides the robust on-line prognostic capability for the complex systems of the ABL which will require an ability to estimate time-varying system states with specified uncertainty and to rapidly react to changes in ABL system failure modalities and as well as occurrences of un-modeled failures. The use of data driven prognostic algorithms that can accurately predict time to fail distributions for key subsystems and functional elements of the Airborne Laser will allow timely remediation of failure modalities prior to their physical manifestations impacting overall system performance.

September 09, 2002

E-Spectrum Selected by The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for Deep Trek Initiative

DOE taps E-Spectrum to develop a high-tech drilling system to reach up to four miles into the earth to tap oil and gas reservoirs

Under a four-year, cost-shared agreement, E-Spectrum will develop a wireless, electromagnetic (EM) telemetry system for use in deep natural gas and other high-temperature drilling applications beyond 20,000 ft. and up to 392º F (200ºC).  

DOE's Deep Trek Program was established in 2002 to develop "smart" systems to address the needs of U.S. producers drilling to depths of 15,000 feet and deeper, where more than 125 trillion cubic feet of untapped natural gas is estimated to be in place.

March 21, 2002

Air Force Reaches Out to E-Spectrum to Expand its Oil-Field Technology For Aircraft Wiring Inspection

Proprietary technologies will be adapted to provide rapid real-time aircraft inspection system

E-Spectrum will apply its proprietary technologies used in oil and gas tools to provide the Air Force tools to examine and characterize the integrity of aircraft wiring harnesses, while also providing predictive data analysis, health assessment, and identification of incipient failures.   Of importance in this research is the heretofore untested application of ultrasonic signature analysis and Bayesian aging and surveillance predictive modeling techniques to wiring harness test and characterization. This effort addresses the combined efficacy of these technologies as well as specifying a requirement for integration and automated control of a commercial system.  In addition to technical performance, emphasis is placed on identifying a reliable, low cost, ruggedized, portable system solution using existing, proven commercial off the shelf (COTS) technologies and industry standards. Benefits of the technologies targeted for research include the ability to test a large class of inaccessible wiring harnesses while they are in operational service at a reasonable cost, and to predict failures in the wiring before they occur.  Target market segments and applications for a realized test system include commercial aviation repair and maintenance; public power distribution networks; automotive cable and harness manufacturing; telephone distribution systems; and rail transportation systems.

September 18, 2000

E-Spectrum Selected to Develop a Pressure/Temperature Tool for Geothermal Drilling Applications Based on A High-Temperature Universal Logging Computer

New technologies will help migrate oil & gas drilling capabilities to geothermal well development

E-Spectrum has been awarded research funding to E-Spectrum selected to develop a Pressure/Temperature Tool for Geothermal Drilling Applications Based on a High-Temperature Universal Logging Computer.  Temperatures in geothermal and deep petroleum wells exceed the maximum operating temperature of conventional electronics. This makes it expensive to obtain even the most basic downhole measurements and limits the type, quality, and quantity of data that can be obtained. This paucity of downhole data contributes to poor reservoir management and inefficient extraction of valuable natural resources. Using newly available high-temperature electronic components, this project will develop a low-cost, high-temperature, reprogrammable Universal Logging Computer. In Phase I, the Universal Logging Computer (ULC) architecture was completed, indicating that a system is feasible using available Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) component technologies. Innovative electronic designs were completed and simulated to overcome challenges of operating in high temperature environments up to 250 degrees C.  E-Spectrum will develop a mechanical tool design  using advanced substrate materials were and a proprietary solderless component interconnect technology.  Under this effort, E-Spectrum will develop low temperature module prototypes; fabricate downhole tool mechanical packages;  and field test downhole tools incorporating low temperature module prototypes.   A high-temperature Universal Logging Computer should allow logging companies to easily design their own electronics packages and enable the geothermal and petroleum industries to commercialize loggings tools for a wide variety of applications, leading to more effective reservoir modeling and resource management in high-temperature reservoirs.

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