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Solving high pressure risk through intelligent innovation

Success Story Info

  • Organization: 

    Intelligent Wellhead Systems (IWS)

  • Region:  Alberta
  • Impact: 

    Oil companies save millions of dollars in non-productive rig time at both on- and off-shore live wells, reducing their carbon footprint making many daily tasks much safer.

  • Project: 

    Intelligent Wellhead Systems (IWS)

  • Category:  Clean technology, Natural resources
  • Story Date:  2019-02-05
Solving high pressure risk through intelligent innovation

The aptly named, Intelligent Wellhead Systems (IWS) knows a lot about working under pressure in the energy sector.

Founders Mitch Carlson (CEO) and Brad Martin (CTO) spent almost 20 years working in high-pressure snubbing operations, where pipe, tubing and special equipment is inserted into gas and oil wells under pressure.

Their first-hand knowledge of the stress and dangers of live well intervention inspired them to create a new tool to increase efficiency and improve safety.

In 2016, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) invested $1.1 million to IWS through the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. The funds helped Mitch and Brad commercialize their inVision System.

This System allows pressure control operators to see inside the wellhead and other pressurized components in real time. They can inspect pressurized systems without the need to create pressure compromising entry points. It works much like an MRI that helps healthcare professionals to see inside the human body.

This technology boosts efficiency and saves oil companies millions of dollars in non-productive rig time at both on- and off-shore live wells. It reduces the carbon footprint of oil and gas operations by enabling quicker work-over and completion times. That means less time burning diesel engines to perform such tasks. At the same time, it makes many daily tasks much safer.

IWS built 10 inVision Systems for 3 market sectors across the globe:

  • Offshore
  • Plug & Perf Land
  • Critical Well Middle East/North Africa

Working with major oil field service companies, IWS is deploying this system in the Gulf of Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Canada.

Thanks in part to WD funding, and through industry support, IWS found new uses for its technology in sub-sea and onshore hydraulic fracturing.

WD is proud of how IWS helps oil and gas companies prevent life-threatening accidents, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make operations more efficient.

Photo credit: Intelligent Wellhead Systems

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