Hans Joakim Skadsem and Dave Gardner - Photo: IRIS

Ground breaking research


In the fall of 2014 the Research Council of Norway (RCN) called for a new type of projects named “grensesprengende” – ground breaking – under the PETROMAKS 2 program.

With this, the RCN was looking for “big, visionary projects”, according to Tarjei Malme in The RCN.

Based on the call, the IRIS drilling & well community initiated a creative process with several people involved. Several smaller ideas were proposed and debated, and out of these, two project ideas emerged:
  • Smart Drilling Fluid
  • Micro-Sonde Well Logging System

The project proposals had to go through three stages in the RCN-system; first, a sketch had to be submitted to the RCN and then a full proposal. If the full proposal was accepted, the  project had to be presented for a panel of industry experts in Oslo for the final selection.

Both of IRIS’ project proposals, presented by Hans Joakim Skadsem and Dave Gardner, went all the way to the final round in Oslo to compete with project proposals from 9 other innovative institutes and companies in Norway.

One of our proposals, the “Micro-Sonde Well Logging System” ended up being one of four proposals that obtained funding from RCN.


The “Micro Sonde Well Logging System” is an idea on how to collect data from a well by using miniature sensors. By placing miniature sensors in the well, either by pumping them in or releasing them from release magazine as shown in Figure 1, the sensors are transported by fluid flow and can record well parameters such as pressure, temperature, acceleration and fluid properties. The data are memorized in the sensors and can be analyzed once they are retrieved at surface. By combining the recordings from several sensors, the resulting analysis will give a good picture of the conditions in the whole well, providing decision support for well maintenance and production optimization.

The project will start in Q2 2015 and last for two tears, in cooperation between IRIS, SINTEF ICT and a technical advisory group with representatives from the oil & gas industry.

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