Fishbones sucks the marrow from wells

This alternative to fracking is attracting notice

Photo: Dave Russ / Wikipedia The technique developed by Fishbones expands wells laterally, like bones from a fish’s spine.

Photo: Dave Russ / Wikipedia
The technique developed by Fishbones expands wells laterally, like bones from a fish’s spine.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Fishbones AS was recently presented the SME Innovation Award by the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tord Lien, at the ONS Innovation Award Ceremony. The award was given for its completion method for making large numbers of laterals simultaneously out of one wellbore. The jury described the innovative method for stimulating reservoirs as having great potential for large value creation for the involved enterprises, both innovator and users. Being an alternative to hydraulic fracturing, the environmental gains can be considerable.

The inventor and main shareholder is Rune Freyer. Until 2005 he was the inventor and owner of the successful company Easywell. He has also worked for Schlumberger. His inventions have resulted in a number of patents. His vision is to deliver a shift change in completion method that creates vertical connectivity in the reservoir without the infrastructure, environmental impact and complexity of traditional fracturing treatments. Today Fishbones’ headquarter is located at Forus, outside Stavanger. They have regional offices in Houston and Kuala Lumpur and have 13 employees. Revenue last year was NOK 15 million.

Earlier this year Fishbones’ completion stimulation in a horizontal well was successfully deployed in a tight limestone formation in Texas. 30 days later the company could report that after the company’s stimulation the horizontal carbonate well produces better than ever before. The cumulative production was increased by 8.3 times compared to before shut-in and by 2.6 times compared to initial production after the well’s original completion. The productivity index was increased by 30 times.

This was made possible as Fishbones signed a joint industry research, development, and demonstration project with Lundin, Statoil, and Innovation Norway in 2012. Also the Research Council has given grants. The target was to design, develop, and implement a Fishbones open-hole completion and stimulation for hard rock formation and for high temperature.

Fishbones completed a private placement with Statoil Technology Invest early this year. It provided Statoil with an ownership rate of 11 percent. The new product, Dreamliner, was developed through a joint industry project with Statoil, Lundin, ENI, and Innovation Norway. It uses rotating needles with drill bits to simultaneously drill laterals into the formation. Each needle is driven by a turbine powered by fluid circulation through the liner.

With this, Fishbones has a unique and cost-effective technology to increase production from challenging reservoirs. Now the task is to take Fishbones from a unique invention to a global, fully operational and capable service company.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 31, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.