The oil and gas industry is driven by innovation but by no means is every innovation and not every new technology inherently disruptive. What makes a new technology disruptive?
A disruptive technology impacts the normal operations of an industry and brings a drastic change. Limitless™ is a dissolvable-dart activated fracturing system, developed by Advanced Upstream, a Calgary-based oilfield equipment company. Limitless™ is both: an innovative and disruptive technology.
Why is Limitless™ a disruptive technology? The system that does not require coiled tubing, wireline and milling out. Limitless™ incorporates the proprietary Contactless Sleeve Recognition (CSR) technology and features a compact, intelligent, programmable dart made of a magnesium alloy. The dart is programmed and launched at surface to land in a specific sleeve. The dart dissolves after the fracturing treatment leaving behind a large wellbore for production.
The idea of a completion system that would function without coiled tubing came to Jeyhun Najafov, President/CEO and Tom Watkins, CTO at Advanced Upstream, in discussions with major operators. Back then both Jeyhun and Tom worked in the service industry and coiled tubing was their specialty. The idea of the new tool was born. With a leap of faith they took on the new journey. It was a very quick learning curve and quite a roller coaster. But now, three years later, Limitless™ is a commercial technology.
Up-to-date, over 290 Limitless™ sleeves have been successfully installed and opened by darts. Limitless™ helps operators save 70% time per frac job, use 20% less water and 35% less fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 40%. The system also enables operators to save time. Thus, for a recent well 46 frac stages were completed in 13.5 hrs. Before switching to Limitless™, the operator could only complete 34 stages, which took 15 hours.
The world we live in and the industry are changing fast and the pace of change is accelerating. Despite COVID-19 and the industry downturn, Limitless™ fracturing system progressed from field trials to the commercial stage in just a few months in 2021. Safety, reliability and consistent performance are three key factors that attract operators. This allows companies reduce risks, lower costs and reduce the environmental impact to increase shareholder values and achieve their ESG goals.