Posted on Sep 7th

Full Steam Ahead with Fiber

Fiber technology is heating up in an already re-energized industry. But fiber isn’t new to O&G—they’ve been using it to improve drilling efficiencies since the 90s.


Global statistics predict that the fiber optic sensor market will reach $1.4 billion this year. By 2030, it could reach a staggering $2.5 billion. The reliability of fiber optics, which are able to withstand rough handling in challenging environments, makes them highly sought-after in many industries.


Shawn Fouts, a senior project engineer at Petrospec, says they’ve seen a dramatic increase in mean time to failure (MTTF) rates with their fiber cables: “Our improved design and contamination prevention methods have resulted in at least a 42% increase in run-time…and that number will improve as the latest generation of fiber optics continues to operate at a high degree of reliability.”


This equates to longer life expectancy for cables and better wellbore health across the board. It’s a game changer.


Petrospec Engineering offers a full suite of cutting-edge fiber products.


Sensor-Line™ is their brand of “pump-in” fluid-injected fiber optics, boasting a long list of advantages including:

  • full wellbore thermal profiling in real-time
  • complete turn-key service, with same-day wellbore data availability
  • easy sensor fiber replacement in SAGD wells
  • use of the latest high-temperature, hydrogen-tolerant sensor fibers (rated to 300°C)
  • competitive service rates and warranty terms


DTS fiber was first introduced for thermal wells in the early 2000s. As you may expect, these predecessor cables were unreliable and susceptible to failure. Exposing them to extreme heat, pressure, and moisture deep in the ground made for a short life span.


The technology has advanced significantly since then.


In 2015, Petrospec introduced fiber optic decontamination as a post-manufacturing process for high-temperature downhole environments. “Our team learned the failure mechanisms and found creative solutions that are proving invaluable for oil companies,” shared Fouts. “Now we can reliably measure distributed temperature points across a greater distance with better downhole resolution than ever.”


Each fiber is rigorously tested in their Edmonton lab during the manufacturing process. In addition to being industry’s most thorough decontamination process, a 100% pure nitrogen atmosphere is maintained before the product is sent out to the field. Once in operation, they complete an additional nitrogen sweep to protect against potential contaminants and error sources.


And as we know, even the smallest operational improvement we can make on-site can pay huge dividends in asset maintenance and avoided expenses.


Collect real-time downhole data. Pinpoint wellbore problems quickly. Get results.


Contact Petrospec today to chat about your unique fiber needs.



About Petrospec Engineering

Established in 1997, Petrospec is proud to be a leading provider of turn-key reservoir monitoring systems for oil and gas operators.  We strive to improve efficiency, meet high safety standards, and provide equipment and software for harsh environments.  Our Edmonton-based company is a global innovator in downhole instrumentation and the accurate measurement of temperature, pressure, acoustics, and flow.

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