Car technologoy cuts oil exploration costs

Paul Boughton

Engineers at the University of Bath are working on a new £175000 project that will help reduce the size and cost of the drilling systems used to reach oil reserves found as deep as six miles (9.5 kilometres) underground.

These advanced drilling systems allow for more efficient drilling; making it more economical to produce hard to reach oil reservoirs.

The project is being funded by InterSyn Technologies in HoustonTXUSAwhich has proprietary rights to the Milner Continually Variable Transmission (MCVT).

Many car manufacturersincluding AudiHonda and Nissanhave started replacing traditional automatic gear boxes with CVT technology because it is a significantly more efficient way of transmitting the power of the engine to the wheels.

InterSyn’s MCVT technology removes the need for belts and their associated control hydraulics by using a novel concept in conjunction with rolling traction components.

“For oilfield applicationsCVT technology offers a number of advantages over traditional transmission methods” said CVT expert Dr Sam Akehurst from the Powertrain & Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC) at the University of Bath.

According to Stuart SchaafPresident of InterSyn Technologies: “As the system drills through layers of rocksthe CVT provides directional control of the drilling system and allows the operator to position the oil well for optimal production of the hydrocarbons in the reservoir.”

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