25 Most Innovative Organizations: Wavefront Technology Solutions
Wavefront CEO Brett Davidson sells Powerwave, a unique process that improves fluid flow
by Alberta Venture Staff
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Senior executive: Brett Davidson
Date founded: 1998
So much for peak oil. With the advent of both horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, North America is awash in new oil and gas reserves that would have been unrecoverable just a few years earlier. But if Calgary’s Wavefront Technologies is right, those reserves are about to get even bigger. That’s because it’s developed a proprietary technological process of its own that effectively magnifies the effects of these revolutionary changes in the way oil is extracted. The scale of opportunity is immense: if an oil company is using a liquid-based system to extract hydrocarbons, be it water flooding, liquid-CO2 injection or surfactant and polymer flooding, Wavefront says it can help.
Wavefront’s patented Powerwave process emits a pulse that improves the flow of fluids in geological materials like sedimentary soils and fractured rock. By moving fluid into and out of a large number of pore networks, the pulse creates a more uniform injection front and increases the amount of oil that can be recovered. The company’s Primawave process does the same for the remediation efforts that come after the drilling stops, too, enhancing the flow of fluids and reducing the amount of time it takes to reclaim a site. The data that Wavefront has collected so far suggests that its technology can deliver on its promises. According to a 2012 report from Gaffney, Cline and Associates, an internationally respected oil and gas consulting firm, the Powerwave process can increase recovery rates by anywhere from 0.75 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Apply those figures to the billions of barrels of oil still sitting in the ground in North America’s tight oil plays and the potential upside becomes clear.
Wavefront CEO Brett Davidson is understandably excited about the potential of the company and its technology. “What other technology do we know of out there that not only changes the way you introduce the fluids, but has such an enormous impact on the recovery rates?” He certainly can’t think of one, and while the major players in the industry have been understandably cautious to deploy Wavefront’s technology, they’re starting to give it a chance. Wavefront recently struck a deal with Brazil’s Petrobras, one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, and Davidson thinks it will be the precursor to more work in the region.
“What other technology do we know of out there that not only changes the way you introduce the fluids but has such an enormous impact on the recovery rates?”– Brett Davidson