inApril is pleased to announce the appointment of Pierre-Loïc Laizet as Vice President Technical, effective September 1. Pierre started his career assembling wireline tools with Schlumberger in Paris, then moved to Norway and Malaysia with WesternGeco in engineering and manufacturing of marine and land seismic hardware. Combined with experience in sourcing and supply chain management, he has acquired a wide range of technical expertise in the manufacturing of seismic systems. His latest position was Technical Manager for Malthus Uniteam, focusing on modular and containerized solutions for the oil and gas industry. He is a French citizen and resides in Norway.
inApril is currently recruiting for a senior level technical position to our offices in Lillestrøm, Norway. The position, reporting to the CEO, will be responsible for the oversight and management of manufacturing, system delivery and further development of our Ocean Bottom Node solutions.
Oversee internal technical developments and deliveries
Manufacturing management (manufacturing is outsourced)
Manage Automation development (mechanical department)
Monitor market trends and make recommendations for management
Minimum 10 years of experience in a technical role within seismic acquisition. Experience within ocean bottom seismic is an advantage, but not a requirement
Strong experience, understanding and knowledge of mechanical design and operations
Overall good knowledge and understanding of electronics and software
Fluent English verbal and written language
inApril is an independent provider of complete and fully automated ocean bottom node (OBN) seabed seismic solutions to seismic companies. We offer a step change in safe and efficient operations of seabed seismic acquisition.
Applications to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “VP Technical – Application” within the 25th of May. For further information on this position, please send an email to the same address with the subject “VP Technical – Information”
By applying for this position you accept that inApril store your application for a period of up to 6 months.
We are posting here a summary of an OBS market study by Oslo-based independent consultant Arkwright Consulting AS. It confirms the expectation on which inApril was established in 2012, namely that increasingly cost-effective ocean bottom seismic (OBS) acquisition technology will continue to gain market share for marine seismic surveys. Arkwright´s research indicates that OBS will grow by 250% within 2019/2020.
Some of the graphics provide a clear picture of why inApril’s innovative approach to reducing costs and speeding operations, based on a high degree of automation, exactly meets the needs and preferences of the offshore E&P industry going forward. It is clear from this report that inApril can successfully challenge towed streamer solutions to multi-/wide-azimuth and other seismic surveys involving complex geology, as well as provide high quality multi-component data for reservoir characterization.
The Norwegian seismic equipment supplier inApril AS announces that it successfully carried out a full-scale sea trial of its fully integrated node-based seabed seismic acquisition system, Venator. The company says the trial confirmed that Venator is the first seabed-based exploration tool to provide data far superior to conventional towed streamer solutions at competitive terms.
The system, which features fully hands-free handling and flexible node spacing at unprecedented speeds, was tested in 110m water depth over a part of the Edvard Grieg field (PL 338), operated by Lundin Petroleum, in the Norwegian North Sea. The node used was inApril’s A3000 node, suitable for both deep and shallow water operations.
The trial repeatedly demonstrated ‘node-on-a-rope’ deployment speeds of 5 – 6 knots and retrieval speeds at 3 – 4 knots in these water depths, enabling up to 20 km² full-azimuth data acquisition per day in exploration mode.
Preliminary results confirm the excellent data quality also shown by previous sea trials, only achievable by seabed data acquisition. Data processing will be carried out in the coming weeks.
According to numerous industry executives and analysts, more efficient node-based ocean bottom seismic will provide the optimal solution for oil companies looking to increase reserves at reasonable costs via targeted exploration and reservoir characterization data acquisition.
Vidar Hovland, CEO of inApril, said: ‘The market has been waiting to see if we can deliver what we promised. Now we have documented that Venator offers a game-changing, cost-effective, and fully automated exploration and reservoir characterization tool. The system is flexible and can be containerized for mobilization to a variety of vessels for a range of offshore seismic applications and water depths.’
Following is our abstract paper presented by Ronny Bøhn at the SEG OBN Technologies and Applications Workshop in Beijing.
The paper considers the high cost and operational inefficiencies traditionally associated with ocean bottom seismic (OBS) acquisition that have deterred wider industry adoption of this compelling technology. A case study is presented on how the main challenges are being overcome in the development of a next generation ocean bottom node (OBN) system focused on lower cost and more efficient, faster operation with scope for exploration projects as well as reservoir characterization and monitoring.
Oslo, March 16, 2017. Tim comes to inApril with 35 years of experience managing Ocean Bottom Seismic (OBS) operations around the world and is known as a pioneer of the OBS method. Prior to joining inApril, Tim was Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ION Geophysical’s OBS subsidiary, OceanGeo. In addition to his position at OceanGeo, Tim worked at ION for thirteen years where he served in various roles including Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives where he was responsible for ION’s QHSE program, the R&D process, and corporate marketing. He spent ten years as President of the Seafloor Seismic Division at PGS and nearly twenty years managing OBS and land operations at GSI and HGS.
Oslo, February 28, 2017. Data from the first pilot project using inApril’s A3000 nodes has now been processed and is showing very good data quality (see image). The acquisition took place in shallow water and was efficiently completed without failure of any kind. Nav-merged SEG-Y was delivered within hours of survey completion.
Another small scale test has been carried out with a second potential customer and a third and full scale test is scheduled before summer to demonstrate inApril’s launch and recovery system at up to 6 knots deployment and recovery speed.
June 13, 2016. Tore Valderhaug and Jan Helgebostad were elected new board members at inApril´s annual general assembly on 13 June 2016.
They both were elected for a period of two years and replace John Thompson and Terje Sparengen, who have served on the board since 2014.
”We are very pleased that Tore and Jan join us as they will add solid financial, commercial and strategic perspectives to the board”, says CEO and Founder Vidar Hovland.
Tore Valderhaug has close to 20 years’ experience as finance director/CFO in the Norwegian publicly listed companies Cermaq, EDB Business Partner, ASK Proxima, Ocean Rig and Unitor. Valderhaug was CFO and head of business development in PHARMAQ AS, a leading pharmaceutical company supplying the aquaculture industry until the company was sold late 2015. He is currently also a member of the board of the publicly listed companies Nordic Semiconductor ASA, Q-Freee ASA and XXL ASA.
Jan Helgebostad holds a M.Sc in Geology/Geophysics from The Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTNU) and a MBA from BI Norwegian Business School. Helgebostad has more than 30 years’ experience from the geophysical industry and he managed for 10+ years Fugro-Geoteam’s global sales and marketing activities. His work has in addition focused on business development, strategic processes and technology development.
It is well known that seismic companies have a long tradition for patenting their solutions and it has become a necessity for all players in the industry to navigate carefully in the development and use of seismic equipment.
The validity of patents will always be geographically limited – some very narrow and some wider. As a relative newcomer to the market for seabed seismic systems we fully respect IP secured through patents and have spent a significant amount of time and money navigating our way through the field of patents and patent applications.
In inApril we always try to stay clear of existing IP in our efforts to design cost efficient seabed solutions, but it is not always clear what will or will not infringe existing patents. Despite our best efforts there may be patents that we have overlooked in our searches and there may also be ‘prior art’ in the sector. As the case is for any equipment supplier, inApril can therefore not rule out that parts of our solutions could infringe other’s patents rights if used in certain countries.
inApril works under strict ethical standards and we will always inform our customers of what we know when it comes to other’s patents, but we can not control how and where our customers use inApril’s equipment and solutions. The responsibility will therefore always be with our customers to carry out their own evaluations and make their own decisions.
In our patent searches we have seen that some patent applications cover the most obvious solutions. To reduce the risk of anyone, intentionally or unknowingly, trying to patent parts of our Venator solution or ways of operating, we have decided to make public elements of our solutions that previously might not have been presented in a traceable way, although they have been disclosed in meetings with potential customers and end users.
Most of what is listed below will become an integrated part of our marketing material and other documentation. The list is not complete and more solutions will be added over time. It should be noted that some of the solutions we make public this way might be included in presently non-public inApril patent applications.
The A3000 node is designed to meet the requirements for all types of nodal operations, whether for cable or ROV deployment. However, we also deliver nodes for special markets such as transition zones. Some of our nodes have electronics and sensors in separate pressure compartments.
Rope or Cable
Venator is currently designed for rope with a central core payload for the right buoyancy. However, replacing the node’s ‘rope latch’ mechanism may allow the use of other cables such as steel wire. Replacement can be carried out without the need to open up the node’s pressure compartments.
Venator does not use expensive rope termination joints – rope sections are joined together by means of conventional rope splices. This approach was taken because it adds no cost, is quicker to connect, provides a stronger solution and is more flexible in use.
The Venator nodes can operate in different recoding modes. These include:
Recording starts as the onboard charging power is disconnected and continues until the charging power is connected again.
Recording starts when the node has been steady on the seabed for a set time. The recording may also be programmed to stop again when the node detects that recovery has commenced.
Recording starts after a fixed time from when the node has been deployed from the vessel. The recording may also be programmed to stop again when the node detects that recovery has commenced.
The nodes record and store an RMS value of all four channels at regular intervals in addition to an accumulated RMS. This is used for QC of the data in the data management system.
Data Management System
In addition to its normal task of taking care of the data from the nodes, the Venator data management system also performs the following tasks:
Keeping track of locations and status of all nodes at all times.
Selecting the sequence of nodes to be deployed and where the nodes shall be docked once recovered.
Controlling the rope speed and node intervals/positions on the rope.
The Venator data management system is designed for ‘hands-free’ operations. The flow and processes are mostly automatic and the focus is on monitoring and QC.
Venator has all nodes connected with power, data communication and a clock synchronization signal at all times while onboard. This means that the clock will normally never be switched off, which again improves the stability of the clock significantly over time. The nodes do however have a ‘standby mode’ for longer storage (eg. onshore storage).
A standard Venator system has sufficient docking positions/slots for all nodes. The nodes can dock in any docking slot.
Venator uses a ‘crane’ to move nodes between docking slots. The ‘crane’ can carry two nodes at a time, is not linked to any carrier system and can only move nodes between different slots.
Dummy docking-slots are used for pick-up and delivery of the nodes. Nodes are pushed or pulled in or out of the dummy docking-slot(s). The ‘crane’ moves nodes between a dummy slot and a ‘real’ slot. The sequence can be to move nodes via dedicated slots for clock sync/drift and/or data downloading before being moved to a parking slot. The parking slots have power, data communication and a clock sync pulse.
The built-in transponder can operate in different modes to extend the battery endurance. These modes are, but limited to:
Always powered as long as the onboard external charging power is disconnected.
Powered from when the onboard charging power is disconnected (deployment) and until it has been stable on the seabed for a set time. The transponder power in this mode will normally be programmed to come on again if the node experience movements (typically, but not necessarily, recovery).
In combination with point two above there are options to preprogram the power to come on at certain times or under certain conditions while on the seabed.
In mode two and three above the power will remain on for a set time after the last interrogation from the vessel.