GE Oil & Gas and Statoil have issued their final call for entries for their Open Innovation Challenge which launched in January 2015. With less than a month until the final deadline, GE is inviting entries to scoop one of the five US$25 000 cash prizes. Each winning respondent also will have an opportunity to receive additional funding for a 6 month period, from a total prize pool of up to US$375 000.
The Open Innovation Challenge was launched in January to invite engineers, technical innovators and startups to submit ideas to address the use of sand in unconventional operations like hydraulic fracturing. The goal of this Challenge is to find technologies to reduce the amount of or replace sand required to drill and maintain productive wells.
Sand is a proppant used to keep fractures open during fracturing and can dramatically reduce the environmental impact of fracturing and greatly increase its productivity and efficiency.
Trucks carrying sand account for a large percentage of the truck traffic to drilling fields. Weight limits on community roadways prevent sand delivery trucks from hauling maximum capacity loads. To improve the health and safety of these communities, GE and Statoil are seeking innovative technologies to replace or reduce the amount of sand required for hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. Transporting sand to well sites, however, is costly, logistically tricky and can compound the community and environmental impacts of drilling. Trucking is a key political and public concern around the development of fracturing sites all over the world.
It is for that reason that GE and Statoil launched the Innovation Challenge to crowdsource solutions to reduce the amount of or replace sand required.
Adapted from press release by Joseph Green