The oil and gas industry has experienced many challenges throughout the last several years. As a result, companies are looking for innovative solutions to long-standing problems.
Welltec is an oil and gas solution company that performs sustainability-focused interventions to help businesses address environmental and efficiency concerns.
Welltec was on the hunt for new technology that would benefit their downhole drilling efforts by improving the technology used to monitor completed or abandoned wells. Keeping accurate data on these wells allows for more informed decisions and helps prevent dangerous occurrences.
In the past, engineers have used long wires that travel all the way from the surface—also called control lines—to power monitors at the bottom of wells. If these wires break or fail, the replacement is costly and time-consuming.
City Labs’ NanoTritium™ batteries caught the attention of Welltec’s Research and Development (R&D) team. These long-term power sources that can supply sustainable energy under extreme conditions were an exact match for what they needed.
These batteries would allow Welltec to power sensors in the bottom of a well for multiple decades. If a battery ran out or the sensor malfunctioned, it could be replaced easily and affordably.
With the guidance of its R&D team, Welltec purchased products from City Labs for testing in their well sensors. Welltec tested Five P100 Series NanoTritium™ batteries in its labs.
During this initial testing, it quickly became clear that some additional modifications to the batteries would be needed before they could be used.
When the City Labs batteries initially arrived at Welltec, they were not manufactured to endure the temperatures they needed to. This was because City Labs, at the request of the customer at Welltec, changed the standard manufacturing process to streamline product development.
The batteries supplied for testing utilized a unique manufacturing process designed to rapidly address power requirements and were not representative of the final product; additional work would need to occur for the batteries to work more effectively. We offered to replace the five batteries with updated models that could withstand the necessary environmental conditions.
With the technology we have acquired since the beginning of our relationship with Welltec, City Labs now has the capability to manufacture tritium batteries that meet both the power requirements of the application and the temperature extremes of the demanding application.
One former Welltec employee, a senior electrical engineer and R&D team member, spoke with us about the communications shared with our CEO, Peter Cabauy:
“It was a very cooperative experience, it wasn’t like working with a typical vendor. It was almost like working with a partner.”
City Labs understands that client-supplier relationships are not one-way interactions. We want the process to go smoothly because we believe it’s beneficial for both parties. If something isn’t working how you want it to, we will work with you to find the best solution.
In addition to how we address obstacles, City Labs also takes pride in our preparation for partnerships. We proactively address regulatory concerns to ensure the timely delivery of novel and customized solutions. Our team has worked diligently to achieve a license for our betavoltaic batteries which enables us to distribute directly to our customers. If your platform demands long-term power and extreme temperature operation, and you want to try some of our products, we can support your application and engineering, just like we did for Welltec.
City Labs is licensed by Florida to manufacture and distribute tritium betavoltaic batteries and to conduct tritium product research and development (R&D). We hold the industry’s first and only General License for commercial distribution of betavoltaic devices, registered under U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Sealed Source Device Registration # FL-1334-D-101-G.
City Labs’ work with Welltec, although ongoing, has been instrumental to our development of an optimized manufacturing process for batteries in extreme environments. And as the oil and gas industry relies more on low-power energy sources, the former Welltec R&D team member is optimistic about City Labs.
“I do think that Peter is going to see more and more of these oil companies coming back and saying—‘hey, can this battery perform better under temperature? Can it provide more power?’—and if it can, I think he’ll have a real solution.”