Optoelectronic Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry

08 November, 2011


Optoelectronic Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry


8 November 2011 SUT supported third annual technical meeting, Bergen, Norway


Report PDF file


Flyer PDF file



Following on from the successful two previous meetings in addressing this rapidly expanding technology area within the oil and gas industry, the 3rd Annual Optoelectronic Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry Technical Meeting highlighted major developments in optoelectronic technology relevant to current and future oil and gas industry applications. The breadth of optoelectronic technologies that may be utilised by the oil and gas industry will be reflected in presentations covering optoelectronics for Downhole, Seabed, Subsea and surface applications. The 2011 meeting was held in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, and a centre for the oil and gas sector. This annual meeting provides a unique opportunity for oil and gas industry professionals, technology developers, academics, and researchers to share the latest innovations in this rapidly expanding technology area.



After being held in Aberdeen for two years, the annual Optoelectronic Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry technical meeting was held for the first time this year in Bergen, Norway. The event was co-sponsored by FMC Technologies, The Michelsen Centre, NCE Subsea, Society for Underwater Technology (SUT), Norwegian Petroleum Society and Institute of Physics. Around 110 people attended the technical meeting, which is a new record and continues the growth of attendees from previous years’ events.

This annual meeting has established itself as an international event with a unique mix of representatives from various operators, service companies, subsea systems suppliers, technology providers, R&D institutes and universities. The evening commenced with an icebreaker reception attended by more than 60 people, held before the technical meeting began.

Optoelectronic technologies have developed rapidly over the last few decades, with telecommunication being one of the drivers for this rapid development. Principal researcher Kjetil Johannessen from Statoil gave the first keynote speech. Kjetil explained that it has only been ten years since Tampnet was established, but it now operates the largest offshore high capacity communication network in the world, serving 34 fields and carrying traffic for approximately 50 platforms in the North Sea, using optical fibre as the backbone. It is only in recent years that Statoil and many other operators have started to specify and use fibre-optical communication for subsea installations.

Christina Johansen, from FMC Technologies, gave the second keynote address and emphasised the importance that all obtainable data is aggregated and presented as useful information to the appropriate people. Increased oil recovery (IOR) is the key driver for technology development within the oil and gas industry. Aspects such as high temperature and high pressure (HPHT), longer tie-back, deeper water and Arctic conditions are pushing this development. As the bandwidth is now available, this should be utilised so that the recovery rates from subsea wells approach those of topside wells.

In addition to the keynote addresses, 10 technical presentations, 16 scientific posters and 10 tabletop displays were presented, with the main focus on optical sensing. Four of the presentations were related to distributed fibre-optical sensing, an area attracting much interest. Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) has been known and used for some time, but distributed strain is now more mature, and distributed acoustic sensing is also being developed. High temperature capability and the possibility for distributed sensing are two of the arguments for using fibre optics for downhole applications. Fibre-optical sensing allows the possibility of placing the transmitting and receiver optics and the electronics in a benign environment topside or marinised subsea, with the sensing element consisting of a passive optical fibre.

The meeting also included presentations on new optical sensor developments with environmental monitoring and fluid characterisation, in addition to presentations covering subsea fibre-optical architecture and test equipment.

Select presentations will be available from the event webpage, www.optotechmeeting.com.