A COMPANY that can help oil and gas giants avoid the type of problems that caused the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster two years ago is moving into the African and Asian markets.
Durham-based Ikon GeoPressure provides training and consultancy to find pressure problems so that oil wells can be drilled safely.
Its niche software is designed to manage and visualise pressure data that can cause major issues for companies extracting oil and gas.
It also identifies water pressure issues and works on finding suitable sites to store carbon dioxide.
Originally set up in 1997 as Durham University spin-off company led by Professor Richard Swarbrick called Geopressure Technology Ltd (GPT), the business became part of Ikon Science in 2006 and was renamed Ikon GeoPressure. Prof Swarbrick, the company’s global director, said: “We provide what is a vital service for the oil and gas industry to predict subsurface pressures that they will come across during drilling and exploration operations.
“If not handled properly, pressure can cause blowouts such as that seen at the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caught fire and sank causing a major oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
“We've also been involved in developing and using technology to inject carbon dioxide into the ground – a process known as carbon sequestration – that helps offset and reduce greenhouse gases.”