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Canada’s energy sector is one of the hardest impacted in the world. Our producing costs tend to be high, and our regulatory systems are some of the strictest in the world. As a result, Canada’s energy technology sector has become a well-respected hotbed for developing new technology. Challenges breed innovation. Canadian O&G companies have an opportunity to become world leaders in technology adoption for the new reality our industry faces.

My dad was super techy and entrepreneurial. He was always inventing new things to improve day to day life. He had this strong vision that drove him.  He once (over 40 years ago) developed a new solar panel system and a novel system to store and distribute energy. He adapted it to the house we built in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I was 15. He automated it with one of the first home computers on the market at the time. It was a ZX80, there was no hard drive, just a cassette from an audio cassette player. The screen was our home television. He developed a software collecting thermo-sensor data from different parts of the house to control the heat distribution. To us kids he was a genius and ahead of his time. He told me something that I’ll always remember, and I think is worth sharing: “In trying new things, the hardest is the first step — take it, the rest will follow”.

Acceleware has been innovating since its beginnings. I came on board in 2014 to take on its burgeoning seismic imaging software business. Acceleware had made waves in the industry by pioneering the use of graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the computation complexities of advanced seismic depth imaging techniques such as reverse time-migration (RTM). Until then, RTM application was limited due to the enormous resource requirements to process the data. Building on this success, we looked at the next generation velocity modeling technique full waveform-inversion (FWI) which was only available as a cost prohibitive and highly specialized service. We took a unique and innovative software development approach to bring to market a modular commercial solution capable of adapting to future R&D trends.

What are our next steps now? Innovation should never end. Our industry continues to rely on new technology, especially in trying times. Acceleware is making great strides in innovative ground-breaking RF Heating technology for heavy oil and oil sands reservoirs. As with other thermal enhanced oil recovery solutions the steam chamber generated in the reservoir changes, and the hydrocarbon migrates over time. In order to improve production efficiency companies are now using 4D seismic to help monitor these changes. Acceleware’s AxRTM and AxFWI can support 4D seismic technology adding to time-lapsed surveying a higher level of accuracy and a better understanding of oil sands reservoir rock properties, which leads to optimized drilling decisions reducing costs and reducing environmental impacts. In the next step will be to use AxRTM, AxFWI and machine learning (AI) in real-time optimization applications for SAGD and Acceleware’s RF XL production process. Adoption of these technologies bring about the promise of lower costs, and the smallest possible carbon footprint.

Technology development is ahead of adoption. Today more than ever our industry needs transformative changes. I’m excited to see that we have a strong R&D culture and skilled resources at Acceleware to be transformative and disruptive!

 

About the Author:

Eric Trouillot - Director of Business Development and Technology, Seismic Imaging Software, Acceleware Ltd.

Eric is responsible for the global sales and product direction of Acceleware's seismic imaging software. He has over 30 years of experience in the upstream geoscience technology sector, and his previous experiences includes management positions at Paradigm Geophysical and at Halliburton providing geological, petrophysical and geophysical solutions to the oil and gas industry. Eric has a technical civil engineering degree from the University of Egletons in France.

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