Baker Atlas, part of the Baker Hughes Group, is a specialist in creating advanced well logging and completion systems for all major companies within the oil, gas and energy industry.
Baker Atlas offers total downhole petrophysical and geophysical data acquisition, formation rock, and fluid sampling processing. Equally, the business division provides a wide range of services that allow its clients to define, manage, and reduce the risks of the processes that are used mainly on oilfield locations.
Baker Atlas has consolidated its position within the oil industry through a combination of focusing on employing the best personnel within the sector, designing and using high quality “Best in Class” technology, and maintaining definitive analysis and interpretation capabilities, specifically related to oil well data collation. The division’s well logging and data analysis technologies enhance the imaging capabilities for operators, as well as providing accurate information relating to increased value adding resolution of reservoir models.
Jasper de Kock, sales manager within Europe, explains the position of the Atlas division within Baker Hughes: “Baker Atlas focuses on the wireline branch of the organisation’s services, and we deliver services that require wireline technologies or solutions. For example, this includes perforating, case hole work, and open hole logging. The key strength of this division is the high quality of the technology we deliver, which provides clients with accurate data readings. Another significant factor Baker Atlas has is its hard working personnel. Particularly in Europe, the level of experience within the staff is very high, and they are extremely competent in meeting the demands of the industry. We employ a number of individuals that have over 25 years of experience within the Group, and this has its obvious advantages within the sector.”
Jasper continues by describing some of the difficulties Baker Atlas faces as downhole conditions become more difficult to work in: “The most important factor is the accuracy of data collected from a well. Conditions are getting increasingly more hostile – becoming hotter, deeper, and existing at higher pressures. Therefore, getting important information out of this environment has become technically more problematic. Hence, Baker Atlas must meet the challenges of maintaining quality within this area, and efficiency is also a significant factor in gathering data on a rig. The quicker that data is acquired, the more beneficial it becomes for clients commercially. The increase of hostile environments, as well as working at greater depths, will be something Baker Atlas will certainly be able to handle, and we will continue to develop technology that can deal with these conditions in the future.”
To consistently ensure that the best technology is being used, Baker Atlas develops all of its products and solutions in-house. Jasper elaborates on the process: “We always maintain a constant dialogue with other divisions within Baker Hughes, particularly Baker Inteq, as they develop technology that allows measurement while drilling. In the meantime, projects do tend to develop in other ways, as technology can develop rapidly on some projects, providing new ideas and tools that can be used in the wireline logging division. So there is a mutual benefit of having Atlas and Inteq working closely together.”
Every job that Baker Atlas completes is unique in regards to the services that clients require, and this makes operating within this area of the industry particularly challenging. Jasper comments: “Each well has different environmental conditions, and hence every wireline job needs a specific approach to below the square metre of earth being measured. In general, the data is acquired via acoustic and nuclear devices, as well as through electrical logging. This is accumulated through a formation evaluation group, before being actuated. Our strengths lie in sampling, most notably reservoir characterisation instrument (RCI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (MREXplorer) services. Equally, we have strength in providing bore-hole seismic services to create images of reservoirs in a greater scale around the well bore.
“Examples of our cased hole measurements taken by clients are used to determine the mechanical integrity of casings and pipes, and how those are cemented in place,” Jasper states. “The production logging systems are used when the valves are opened up, and perforations of the formations are required to enhance the production of hydrocarbons flow in different phases. Our technology allows us to measure what phase of hydrocarbons is being emitted from the reservoir and what quantities of hydrocarbons are still left in the reservoir – GASVIEW is good example of that.”
The industry is in growing mode, as well as being highly competitive. Jasper outlines Baker Atlas’ perspective: “The market is very strong at the moment, and with the current oil price being around $100 a barrel, oil companies are very active in the search for new fields and areas to concentrate on. Therefore, these operators require a large amount of services, many of which Baker Hughes can provide. Unfortunately, the high demand from oil companies within the industry has resulted in a shortage of personnel that are capable of working competently in the sector.”
To maintain the organisation’s stability within the market, Baker Atlas must continue to develop in some respects, as Jasper understands: “On a global basis, the company needs to employ many people, but we are well equipped to meet this challenge through the wellrespected nature of Baker Hughes in the market. Clients require properly trained personnel to complete projects, and we are ahead of the learning curve in this respect. Building and maintaining equipment will also always be a challenge to being successful, although last year we did manage to catch up on the progress of the industry. In Europe, the market is changing, and many companies are developing gas storage projects, so this is an area Baker Atlas is interested in expanding in to. Technologically, companies are moving from being traditional oil-based businesses, to becoming complete energy firms that need gas storage capacity underground as well. Hence, to develop this aspect of their organisation, they need the expert help we can provide.
“We are going through a period of extended growth as well, so it is difficult to say when this will stop,” Jasper continues. “We aim at developing for at least the next five years on a global scale especially in the geographic areas of North Africa, Far East, and Russia, as well as deep-sea markets. The geothermal aspects of the energy market are also expanding rapidly, and this is another area we aim to grow into,” he concludes.
Industry: Advanced well logging and completion systems