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10 Oil and Gas startups you need to know about



According to Deloitte’s digital maturity index - a measure of digitalisation advancements by sector - the Oil & Gas industry is lagging behind most other industries.

Oil and Gas is the least digitally mature sector according to Deloitte. But that can change with help from companies like these top ten startups
(Image via Deloitte)

Oil & Gas scored just 1.3 on the scale, just below Power & Utilities at 1.4 and way behind the levels of the technology sector at 3.2.

With technology becoming more advanced and more pervasive, it’s more important than ever for industries to adopt digitalisation. According to Deloitte’s estimates, the Oil & Gas sector is missing out on $1.6 trillion in potential revenue.

And it’s not through a lack of available technology. There are new developments being worked on every day that would benefit supermajors and independent operators alike.

To demonstrate just a few of these advances in digitalisation that could transform the Oil & Gas industry, we’ve listed 10 of the most advanced startups that you need to know about.

Sensorfield's wireless, solar powered sensors are designed to fix onto pipes, tanks and generators, and produce uninterrupted data that will help with maintenance
(Image via Sensorfield)


Strode Pennebaker, a third-generation engineer and fourth generation oilman, was seeking a simple, practical system to monitor the wells he was operating. So, in 2011, he started Sensorfield - a Houston-based startup with a goal to create a sensor the size of a refrigerator magnet that could stick on to a tank or pipe and deliver usable data to a mobile device or computer.

From there Sensorfield have developed a range of wireless sensors that can be used throughout the industry. Their low cost sensors are powered by solar panels, to make them easier to maintain, and will transmit data in real time.

The company claim end-to-end advanced remote industrial monitoring solutions, including pipeline pressure measurements, tank fluid levels, temperatures, generator & pump vibration and more.

Toku's real-time sensors relay data on pressure in pipelines to help operators find and repair leaks as they happen
(Image via Toku)


Alberta-based TOKU Systems have developed a leading monitoring system to detect pipeline leaks.

Their sensors transmit real-time pressure data to mobile devices, allowing operators to quickly install them on site and begin viewing high-resolution data.

The company say that their data not only tells operators if an asset is working, but whether it is operating efficiently and effectively.

Solutions include tank level monitoring, pump jack efficiency monitoring and water injection management, with the intention of enhancing predictability, increasing capacity utilisation, increasing production and driving down operating costs.

LaserStream's BEMIS probe uses lasers to map the inside of pipes to deliver a vast range of data that can help with maintenance and repair
(Image via LaserStream)


LaserStream’s BEMIS (Bore Erosion Measurement and Inspection System) probes pipes and uses lasers to measure and map the internal surface. They provide quantitative data, visual representations of any features or defects and 3D imaging.

The data allows operators to define pipe ID, define volume, wear models, future caliper comparison, failed work string/tubing, corrosion, pitting, erosion, rod wear, wire line damage, mechanical damage, ovality and more.

They’ve worked with Shell, Chevron, BP, Stress Engineering and Wyman-Gordon over the last five years and are developing new portable equipment modules that can deliver further information on site.

Lift Etc's LAGL is primarily used in horizontal drilling and can create huge OPEX savings for operators
(Image via Lift Etc)

Lift ETC

Established in 2018, Lift ETC was founded to enhance the Artificial Lift Process to be safer, faster and more efficient, using their Liquid Assist Gas Lift (LAGL).

Their Digital-Lift-System is said to last the life-cycle of a well and provide 35% savings on CAPEX and 55% savings on annual OPEX for operators.

“Slugging is a big problem for horizontal wells following the high initial rates,” explains Stuart Scott, a collaborator in LAGL with researchers at Louisiana State University.

“LAGL has the capability to stabilise production from the often one to two mile long long horizontal section of the well which generates the slugging. Lift methods like rod/beam pumps and ESP are limited to the vertical section of the wellbore, so the ability of LAGL to operate in the horizontal section solves a very real and urgent problem."

Ondaka creates 3D virtual replicas of Oil & Gas infrastructure to allow operators to accurately plan and share project information
(Image via Ondaka)


From images, laser scans, and drone captures, Ondaka will create accurate 3D virtual models of assets and infrastructure.

Doing this means operators have a detailed, contextualised view of their project that can be annotated through Ondaka’s platform with documents, diagrams, JSAs, procedures, videos and SCADA.

The company envision more operators utilising virtual reality and augmented reality to plan projects from the existing infrastructure, allowing them to turn data into actionable insights. They claim that by doing so, they will revolutionise efficiency, improve safety, streamline communications and grow operators’ bottom lines.

Ingu's miniature "Pipers" can be put into pipelines again and again to show how well they flow and identify potential problems
(Image via Ingu)

Ingu Solutions

Ingu Solutions have developed a series of miniaturised mobile sensors that they call Pipers.

Pipers are a low cost tool that can be fed into pipelines to deliver 24 hours worth of screening data as they travel along the pipe. They use acoustic leak detection, magnetic feature identification, high resolution pressure and temperature sensing to detect issues in the pipeline without any interruption of service.

At just 2.2 inches in diameter, Pipers can provide data from even small and unpiggable pipelines, working in any fluid at pressures up to 1,450psi.

Working with companies such as Chevron, Equinor and Hess, Ingu have screened 238km of pipelines using Pipers, with each run providing more layers of data on the pipeline and helping to detect leaks, geometric defects and deposits.

DarkVision lets operators see through walls using ultrasound technology to map wells and pipelines
(Image via DarkVision)


Using new ultrasound based imaging technology, DarkVision allow operators to see inside their wells.

Their technology creates ultra-high resolution 3D models of oil and gas wells, which they claim will allow operators to “make smart decisions that reduce operating costs, increase production, improve well integrity and minimise environmental impacts.”

The company say that their imaging technology can recreate multi-kilometre long wells at a sub-millimetric level from a 360 degree scan, with the tool able to be deployed by either wireline, e-coil or tractor.

Ground Metrics began in the military sector, but have since adapted their technology to detect oil, gas and mineral deposits
(Image via Ground Metrics)

Ground Metrics

In 2014, San Diego start-up Ground Metrics created a military sensor product for the detection of improvised explosive devices.

Now, the same electromagnetic technology acquires deep subsurface resistivity data to detect oil, gas and mineral deposits below the earth.

The application of actual resistivity data gathered from entire fields provides accurate reservoir characterisation details, improving accuracy and efficiency.

Seven Lakes technologies use AI and cloud technologies to help bring greater automation into the industry
(Image via Seven Lakes)

Seven Lakes Technologies

Seven Lakes Technologies was founded by Oil & Gas industry expert Shiva Rajagopalan in 2009, with the aim of developing enterprise analytics and workflow software solutions for upstream operators to optimise oil production and maximise cashflow.

It’s electromagnetic technologies, like Ground Metric, were initially intended to detect explosives for the military. However the sensors also collect data from inside wells that measure pressure readings, tank capacity, choke sizes and more.

The company have developed artificial intelligence, mobile and cloud technologies that drive meaningful automation directing field workers to the best matched tasks. Their technology has so far been used on over 100,000 wells in the US.

Tachyus are growing fast, with significant investment into their seismic sensor technology
(Image via Tachyus)


Having recently secured $15 million in Series B fundraising led by Cottonwood Venture Partners growth equity firm, Tachyus are growing out of their “startup” stage.

The data-driven software company, founded in 2013, develop artificial intelligence systems for use in Oil & Gas projects.

Their platform uses a combination of artificial intelligence and data physics to analyse information from networks of real time sensors in Oil & Gas fields alongside seismic activity, drilling logs, cores, completion designs, production data and maintenance records.

According to Tachyus, the technology combines physical modeling and machine learning to quickly predict mechanical equipment failure, production responses to stimulation, relationships between completion design and initial production, and fieldwide forecasts for any given injection redistribution.

It allows operators to identify the safest, most efficient operational and development plans, resulting in significant cost reductions and production increases.

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Companies like this are leading the way for digitalisation to completely transform the Oil & Gas industry. As the sector evolves, there will be a rise of new skillsets required - such as data scientists, statisticians and machine learning specialists - while existing roles will be redefined to adapt to new ways of working.

It will inevitably disrupt the current standards of the industry, but will open up opportunities at the same time. Organisations and workers alike will need to take advantage of re-training for better industry-wide understanding of the digital landscape. Meanwhile, these developments will create new opportunities for a younger, digitally native workforce to join the industry - refreshing the workforce to continue delivering the future of the sector.

As Oil & Gas companies begin to embrace digitalisation, find out about the latest job opportunities in the industry with Fircroft
(Image via Wikimedia)

Work on the future of the industry

The Oil & Gas industry has never stood still, and it’s clear now that that it must embrace digitalisation and change to continue. From startups to supermajors, Fircroft continues to deliver recruitment and workforce solutions throughout this global industry, just as it has done since 1970.

View all of Fircroft’s services to find out more about what we’re offering Oil & Gas companies, or register with us today to stay up to date with the latest technical and engineering roles as they become available.

Recent Comments
Nice update. I will like to be getting oil and gas updates and job opening for civil and construction Engineer and project Engineering manager.
Daniel Chigemezu Obisie, 14 June 2019
Will be happy to receive your news about latest technology.
Ola Okedeyi, 14 June 2019
Reasonable and business like update for serious business minded entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of latest technology in oil and gas industry's. I will appreciate if you can include me in your mailing list. Keep the good work rolling.
Tunde Makinde, 14 June 2019
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10 Oil and Gas startups you need to know about - Time to read 8 min
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