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Geothermal Monitoring – Providing the tools for the job!

April 2021


Avalon Sciences Ltd (ASL) is proud to be part of the instrumentation for the innovative Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geoenergies, Switzerland.  Avalon seismic tools are rapidly becoming the preferred option for high resolution seismic characterisation and monitoring of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).

Avalon has enjoyed the position of market leader in the design and manufacture of borehole seismic tooling for decades.  During this time, we have provided tooling, services, expertise and training to thousands of operations and major players across the globe.  Whilst the majority of business has been within the oil and gas industry, ASL has also provided input to industry leading projects within other markets, including mining and geothermal energy.  The latter of these represents a paradigm shift in our market, one in which ASL is proud to be considered a world leading innovator.

As a result of ASL’s burgeoning reputation within the geothermal industry, we have recently been involved in several cutting-edge operations, including the Bedretto underground geothermal research project and the upcoming US Department of Energy backed FORGE research project.  This is largely due to the quality and reliability of our robust and industry leading tools, including our new passive fibreoptic systems, which are designed and engineered in-house by our experienced and dedicated engineering team.  Our high temperature and pressure ratings make them quite literally the ‘tools for the job’ in any geothermal operation.

Photo of the disused railway tunnel, in which the Bedretto Underground Lab is.

The Bedretto Underground Lab is halfway down a disused railway tunnel. One advantage of this tunnel as a lab is it allows an emergency exit either side of a collapse due to induced seismicity! Picture from Werner Siemens-Stiftung.

The Bedretto lab is running research and exploring techniques to try to make the most of deep geothermal without associated risks of induced seismicty.  In November 2020, Bedretto began its first full-scale stimulations, which are known to cause tiny levels of shaking (imperceptible without scientific measuring equipment), or “micro-earthquakes.” A stimulation involves creating a network of cracks in the granite by injecting a few tens of cubic metres of cold water through it. The goal being to locote in 3D space and in real time the foci of potentially tens of thousands of micro-tremors. Find out how these tremors occur!

Seismic Engineer deploying Avalon fibre cables into tunnel wall borehole.

Avalon plays its part!

By combining our new Borehole Optical Seismic System (BOSS™) with acoustic and pore-pressure sensors the client is able to monitor and record vibrations in the granite as the water is injected into sections of the borehole. This data helps to map out the rock’s permeability by revealing the fracture’s size, characteristics, quantity, direction and stress capabilities under different water pressures. Knowing to what extent the granite can be made ‘artificially permeable’ will inform whether a reservoir that stands up to geothermal extraction can actually be made.

Further details of the Bedretto Underground lab can be found at the BUL website.

BOSS™ is our latest innovation in entirely passive borehole seismic tooling, capable of operating at high continuous temperatures (200°C) and pressures (20,000psi) for long term deployments.  The fibreoptic system combined with rugged specifications means BOSS can be viewed as a life-of-field installation and is the ideal tool for geothermal monitoring under any conditions.

Let there be light!

Named after the goddess of light and healing waters, the ‘Sulis’ DAS interrogator is a high performance, rugged and compact distributed optical fibre sensor interrogator, which provides very high sensitivity distributed measurements of phase changes within standard optical fibres.  It can be deployed at up to 300°C and 30,000PSI and is suitable for operations in the harshest of conditions.  Sulis can be combined alongside our conventional Geochain™ or BOSS™ systems to realise a massive hybrid distributed seismic receiver through overburden with high resolution 3-component sensors throughout the reservoir, including distributed recording through the entirely of the wireline!

All of us at ASL recognise the immense and expanding potential of the geothermal industry, not just commercially but also as a crucial part of the ever pressing and increasingly significant drive towards global sustainability.  As such, our team are united in our commitment to ensuring we retain our position as the go-to designer, producer and innovator in cutting-edge, rugged and exceptional quality downhole geothermal tooling.

For more information on our products, services or research or any other inquiries, please contact us today at: sales@avalonsciences.com, or call us on  +44 (0) 1458 270000.

 

Top Features:
Join Avalon Sciences at the 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition in Paris

What’s New with ASL?

  • New X-Series GeochainSlim Upgrade!
  • Improved telemetry, doubling the available number of satellites for a given sample/data-rate;
  • Facilitates Gapless Recording (DFU);
  • Tool Bypass and Mix and Match Modes;
  • High Side Indication (HSI) now in every tool for receiver roll and inclination.

Also new to ASL

  • Updated features of RSS-2 Remote Source Controllers
  • Geochain 30,000 psi system
  • GMP – Geochain Monitor Panel – Integrated Power Supply, wireline QC, Simulator and multiple telemetry options.
  • Slim Tension-Compression Sub

From the 12th – 15th June, the 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition will take place in the Paris expo Porte de Versailles, in the vibrant city of Paris, France.

 

About the event

Paris 2017 is the world’s largest  and most comprehensive geoscience event.  This event will include a high-profile Technical Program and Exhibition covering the latest developments, with an expected 6,500 delegates from all over the world.  On the exhibition floor over 300 companies will be representing the sector.

Visit us at booth 852

It will be an excellent opportunity to catch up and our staff will be ready to answer any questions you might have about our new X Series upgrades, as well as the rest of our product range.

 

Avalon will also be represented at a technical presentation programme:

Constant and frequency-dependent attenuation from vertical seismic profiles in fractured granite and thinly layered sediment CD. Cantú Bendeck* (School of Environment, University of Leeds), RA. Clark (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds), AD. Booth (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds), W. Wills (Avalon Sciences Ltd, UK)

A collaboration between the University of Leeds and ASL, which will be presented on the 14th of June at 16:20 in Room A2

 

For more information about the event, please visit the EAGE website:

http://events.eage.org/en/2017/paris-2017

BUSY STAND

ASL Acquires Assets and IP of USSI - 11 March 2016

ASL Logo Short Pulse

US Seismic Systems, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/USSI)

ASL has acquired the assets and IP of US Seismic Inc. The transaction will allow ASL to continue its development of alternative borehole seismic sensor technology with a mind to providing very broadband, high sensitivity passive sensors to complement the existing Geochain system. The optical sensor has the unique feature of requiring no complex downhole electronics making the potential for very high temperature systems suitable for not only the extended HP/HT oil and gas environment but also the increasingly important geothermal industry. The BOSS (Borehole Optical Seismic System™) was first introduced by ASL two years ago using USSI technology piggy backed onto our existing surface system with all the acquisition and processing features provided with the Geochain system. Acquiring this technology will allow ASL to develop the optical system so it will provide a robust and reliable system much the same as the Geochain system which was introduced nearly fifteen years ago.

The acquisition will enhance ASL’s borehole seismic equipment range with a suite of passive optical seismic sensors.

Gary Tubridy, CEO of ASL, said: “We had been working with USSI over several years and could well see the potential of its fibre optic based borehole seismic system. It was unfortunate that the oil price crash prevented them from realising the company’s potential. We have the experience, resources and skilled personnel at ASL to be able to hone and perfect BOSS™ to provide a reliable and easily deployed system for both permanent and wireline conveyed surveys. We are excited to add the USSI patented fibre optic techniques to our portfolio of conventional world renowned borehole seismic systems.

The borehole seismic survey, both active source and passive monitoring, is a tool most commonly used to enhance original low resolution surface seismic surveys. The technique is also very useful for reservoir characterisation, hydraulic fracture monitoring and CO2 sequestration monitoring. It has been limited in the past by the small number of tools that can be deployed in a well at one time, due mainly to the limited data transmission capabilities of conventional wirelines. Fibre optics overcome this barrier and because the sensor system is passive downhole it should ensure greater reliability.

ASL will continue to offer and develop its conventional Geochain borehole seismic system but will also now be able to offer an improved BOSS system to extend our product offering and be ready for the industry’s requirements over the coming decade.

For further information please contact:

•William Wills – will.wills@avalonsciences.com /+44 (0)1458 270000

Avalon WIN Best Engineering Company of the Year! - 18th June 2015

The success, hard work and achievement of south Somerset’s business was celebrated on Thursday 19th June at the Western Gazette’s annual Business Awards.

Winners of the coveted gongs at the glamorous ceremony at Westlands Yeovil were delighted as they were called to the stage to be congratulated by Western Gazette bosses and business leaders from the area.

The star performers of the evening included Avalon Sciences – winning best Engineering/Manufacturing Company of the Year.

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Proud Winners (Bottom Right) – Gary Tubridy (CEO) and Roger Marriage (MD) holding ASL Award

The award recognises the hard work at Avalon Sciences across research and development, manufacture and product support. The achievement is further testimony of Avalon Sciences position as a market leader in providing borehole seismic equipment

But everyone was in agreement that all the finalists were winners, having earned their place during yet another year of business innovation and success in Yeovil and the surrounding area.

Related content: ASL Nominated for Business Award

Addressing the crowded ballroom, Western Gazette editor Emma Slee said: “Just take a look around the room – because this is what success looks like.

“All of our winners and finalists have demonstrated what is possible with a clear vision, planning, a little bit of courage and great people.

“As always with the Western Gazette Business Awards, judging was incredibly hard – in fact I’m sure it gets harder every year”.

“All of the shortlisted entries tonight are deserved winners and I commend you all. It has been tough for the judging team to separate them, so every business here tonight is a winner.”

IMG_4987

Avalon Delegation – Left to Right – Staff Geoscientist William Wills, CFO Charles Hallows, CEO Gary Tubridy, Directors Sarah Tubridy and Roger Marriage, Logistics Manager Mike Kennedy and IT Manager Aaron Coleman

The Directors of Avalon would like to thank all the staff for helping ASL achieve this accolade. ASL would also like to thank the Western Gazette and their Sponsors for organising and hosting a fantastic awards evening.
EAGE 2015 Review and Athens Borehole Geophysics Workshop Review - 8th June 2015

EAGE 2015 Madrid and Athens Microseismic workshop

Madrid:

Avalon Sciences once again attended the annual EAGE Conference and Exhibition, held this year in Madrid. This year’s event saw 358 exhibitors, and 5533 delegates descend on Madrid for Europe’s largest upstream oil and gas exhibition.

As well as exhibitions from the world’s leading upstream oil and gas companies, the conference also hosts a strong technical program including 1083 oral and poster presentations regarding the latest research and developments in Geophysical exploration.

BUSY STAND

The low oil price meant the number attending the 77th Annual conference this year has fallen, despite this the exhibition was positive for ASL, with strong interest in our products across the 4 days. There was significant academic and industry interest in both the Downhole Sparker Tool and BOSS, with several poster presentations looking at the applications of this technology.

The exhibition provides the opportunity for Avalon Science employees to advance their knowledge of borehole geophysics and borehole imaging with access to the unequaled academic presentations.

Avalon was also pleased to entertain a number of European Undergraduates in Geosciences and Engineering, who had the opportunity to be introduced at the stand to very senior ASL clients from the Service/Oil company technical and operations divisions.

 

Empty Booth

Athens:

ASL sent delegates to the 3rd Borehole Geophysics Workshop held in Athens. The workshop is the premier meeting of academic and industry leaders in borehole geophysics.

The workshops aim to define the vision for the industry, with this year’s focus on unlocking the potential, recognising that Borehole Seismics and 3D VSP in particular have huge benefits in the understanding of a reservoir. The Athens workshop brought together 66 delegates from 17 countries representing 33 organisations.

ATHENS GROUP

Borehole Geophysics Workshop Delegates

 

Keynote speakers and the technical committee, which includes Avalon Sciences Middle East Manager Ross Jenkins, identified trends and discussion topics which were then addressed during later group sessions, combined with a strong technical program of paper and poster presentations, prompting discussion between delegates. ASL Geoscientist William Wills presented a paper Reducing velocity model uncertainty and improving microseismic event location accuracy: Cross-well seismic tomography using a repeatable downhole sparker source.

 

This years keynote speeches came from two experts in the borehole geophysics. Firstly Saudi Aramco’s Dr. Saleh M. Saleh, spoke about the relevance and importance of borehole seismic to Aramco’s exploration strategy. Following Dr. Saleh, Professor Gus Berkhout, from Delft University gave an inspirational talk on his vision of the future of seismic data imaging, using ‘closed loop’ imaging algorithms in which all the recorded data might be input to the imaging process, with the premise that there is no such thing as source-generated noise: it is just signal that we do not utilize.

The workshop was extremely productive and Avalon Sciences played a central role in discussions and also sponsoring social events. We look forward to another excellent workshop in the future.

TECH comitee

Borehole Geophysics Technical Committee

 

ASR-1 Milestone Reached - 29 January 2015

Avalon marks its one thousandth ASR-1 borehole seismic receiver milestone.

29th January 2015

 ASL is proud to note that the number of High Pressure  Advanced Seismic Receivers (ASR-1) now in world circulation has now reached one thousand.

The ASR-1 HP is the downhole receiver satellite component of the acclaimed GeochainTM  borehole seismic system. This downhole satellite was first manufactured in 2007 and due to the modular nature of both the robust electronics and sensors has over the years scene numerous upgrades to both telemetry performance, receiver sensitivity and increased robustness at both extreme high temperature and pressure.

Unlike any of the competing systems on the market, users investing in the ASR-1 experience a great value total lifetime cost of ownership, where the tool’s backwards compatibility and modular upgrades offer a much more cost effective alternative to replacing  an entire receiver string each time specifications are improved.

Welcome to our New Website! 30th May 2014

ASL New Web Preview Phone PC

New Features

  •  Integrated Field Engineer Support Utility
  •  Swift Access to product Specifications and Functionality
  •  Instant download of our latest Acquisition Software
  •  Interactive Contact Map of all ASL support bases to ensure 24/7 accessibility to support.
  •  Details of our flexible ATC Avalon Training Courses and Facilities.

…and much more!

ASL New Web Tablet

 

With the release of the new online site, access to products information and specifications will be made simpler and quicker. All of our online support tools are now being integrated to allow the field engineer to swiftly access our ACQ software, Tool Service/User manuals and technical notes.  Our global support base portfolio will be visible via an interactive map allowing immediate navigation to your nearest ASL operations office contact details.  At any time of the day at least one of our ASL offices will be able to support your queries.  Details of our training courses and modules will be available, including an online booking process using our digital calendar (Available Summer 2014).

The site can be reached via our usual address – www.avalonsciences.com and www.avalonsciences.co.uk