HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Petrobras and Foro Energy today announced the signing of an amendment extending their Technology Cooperation Agreement (TCA) for developing a next generation high power laser drilling system.
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Foro Energy is commercializing highpower lasers in the oil, gas, geothermal, and mining industries with a unique capability and hardware platform that uses fieldpackaged highpower fiber lasers and fiberoptic cables to transmit the laser power over long distances. This laser power is then combined with mechanical tools to provide enhanced and potentially breakthrough performance and capabilities.
HOUSTON(BUSINESS WIRE)Petrobras and Foro Energy today announced the signing of a Technology Cooperation Agreement (TCA) for high power laser drilling research and development. The program with the Leopoldo Americo Miguez de Mello Research & Development Center (CENPES) will focus on developing a next generation high power laser drilling system. The TCA sets the framework for collaborative research between Petrobras and Foro Energy over an initial threeyear time period with the opportunity for extensions.
A high-power fiber laser succeeds in drilling through ultra-hard crys- talline rock.
The concept of using lasers to drill through rock has been dis- cussed in the oil and gas industries since the development of the high-power laser.Mauer’s book on advanced drilling tech- niques summarized the early attempts to develop a CO2-based laser drill in the 1960s, but concluded that the technology was premature because of its size and complexity.1 In 2002, Ramona Graves from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) demonstrated the potential of laser drilling by destroying a rock with a mid-IR advanced chemical laser, and later characterized the ability of a high-power diode laser to drill through rock.2 At the time, how- ever, there were still substantial gaps in the technology that pre- vented commercial development.The innovation that opened up the prospect of commercializing laser drilling was the intro- duction of a 10kW fiber laser by IPG Photonics in 2008.A year later, with the assistance of CSM, we started developing a laser drilling process capable of creating a commercial grade borehole, along with the supporting technology necessary to field a laser drilling system.
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Critical Need: Geothermal energy is a potentially vast source of clean baseload electricity in the U.S. However, it is difficult and expensive to penetrate the ultra hard rock formations found at many prospective geothermal sites. Conventional drill bits penetrate ultrahard rock formations slowly and wear down quickly, which makes the drilling process time consuming and expensive. More economical drilling methods are required to enable access to next generation energy resources, including geothermal and natural gas.