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Revolutionary technology nets deal with Statoil for start-up company

30th November 2015

An Aberdeen based start-up company has secured a contract with Statoil following a successful trial of its downhole well completions technology.

Steve Bruce and Keith Oddie of Darcy
Steve Bruce and Keith Oddie of Darcy

Sand control engineering specialist, Darcy, has signed a framework agreement with Statoil, to supply its unique hydraulic screen technology to the oil giant’s assets in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The contract, which could have a seven year duration, could be worth millions to Darcy, representing a step-change in the company’s growth. 

With 70% of mature and deep water oil and gas wells requiring sand control and experiencing costly challenges, Darcy believes there is a significant global market for the hydraulic screen technology enabling operators to complete sand plagued wells much more efficiently. 

Steve Bruce, CEO of Darcy said: “This framework agreement is a major milestone in Darcy’s growth and signals a new trajectory for the company. Having invested considerably in the development of our hydraulic screens, it is fantastic to now have proven technology which we aim to roll out globally at a time when the industry is focused on driving efficiencies and reducing costs.”

Darcy designed and developed the technology in response to industry concerns about the high failure rate and costs of traditional gravel packing methods to control produced sand in well completions operations. 

“Our hydraulic system offers a more efficient alternative and enables operators to complete wells which would be difficult or impossible using traditional sand control methods,” explained Mr Bruce.

The agreement comes on the back of a world-first successful installation of Darcy’s technology on Statoil’s Statfjord oil field in the Norwegian North Sea. This field faces challenges with continuous pressure depletion and reduced margins for pumping traditional open hole gravel packs. Integrating with Statoil’s completion equipment suppliers, the activation of the hydraulic screen took less than one hour of rig time. 

The hydraulic system provides ‘pump free’ sand control delivering increased operational efficiency and simplifying logistics in drilling and completing wells to reduce time and costs. For the first time in the industry, it uses patented hydraulic technology that is easily activated from the surface to provide an alternative to gravel packing which is more time-consuming and labour intensive.

Mr Bruce added: “Securing field trials of new technology in oil and gas has always been challenging and we are grateful to Statoil for being so receptive to and supportive of our technology. 

The hydraulic screen is suited to deepwater regions, mature fields and HPHT wells. The technology eliminates the need for specialist pumping crews or additional downhole tools required for gravel packing. It is easily integrated with standard completions equipment which provides logistical efficiencies on transportation and bed space.

Based in Kintore, Aberdeenshire, Darcy launched in 2010 to develop innovative sand control systems. The company also works with operators to develop customised hydraulic screen solutions to meet project specific sand challenges including extreme HPHT environments.

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