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Novel Tube-in-Tube System Simplifies Subsurface Fluid Sampling

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryBarry Freifeld of Berkeley Lab has developed a device that simplifies subsurface fluid sampling. The technology’s tube-within-a-tube construction is a substantial improvement to the U-tube sampling system widely used for borehole sampling today. Using only one line, instead of two, the tube-in-tube system enables the sampling device to get lowered easily through a pressure control device (such as a grease head or pack-off) for discrete level sampling of live oil and gas wells. Installation of the Berkeley Lab device is easier and faster than current sampling approaches and fewer wellhead penetrations are required. DescriptionIn the past, obtaining a representative downhole fluid sample has been challenging. Traditional borehole sampling relied on submersible pumps or on sampling devices lowered within the wellbore. Options for recovery were limited for multiphase fluid sampling until the invention of the U-tube sampling methodology. By relying on, and simplifying, the U-tube sampling technology, the Berkeley Lab invention offers a significant improvement in subsurface fluid sampling. Benefits* Simplifies and speeds installation and deployment of subsurface samplers
* Minimizes wellhead penetrations
* Builds on a proven methodology for retrieving uncontaminated fluid samples
Applications and Industries* Carbon dioxide sequestration
* Oil and gas exploration
* Geothermal wells
* Retrieval of single or multiphase high-purity samples
More InformationFreifeld, B. M., 2009, “The U-tube: a new paradigm in borehole fluid sampling,” Scientific Drilling, 8, doi:10.2204/iodp.sd.8.07.2009 Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IB-2802Development - The tube-in-tube system has been fabricated and tested. It has been shown to be an effective replacement for the current U-tube dual-line system.Available - Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.01/21/201101/21/2011

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To: Shanshan Li<ipo@lbl.gov>