The distributed fiber optic sensor market stood at $585 million in 2013. The market was projected to approach $1.5 billion in 2018 with 70% associated with the oil and gas segments. The sudden and unexpected drop in oil prices will negatively impact the market with the overall forecast falling short of the $1.5 billion forecast according to an updated and expanded market survey report conducted by the Photonic Sensor Consortium and published by Information Gatekeepers. The long term picture is still optimistic, but a short term contraction is likely.
The expanded report provides much greater detail for how the market is forecasted for specific technologies. Data is provided in graphic and tabular formats. The market is broken down for DTS, Bragg grating, DAS, interferometric and Brillouin scattering technologies in relation to the various market segment applications (oil and gas, military, homeland security, smart structures, etc.). In addition, the two dominant technologies (DTS and Bragg gratings) show relative market share by the major suppliers.
Distributed fiber optic sensors are an enabling technology that creates smart systems in a variety of applications. The initial commercialization efforts focused on military applications. However, the need to function in harsh environments and the development of optical fiber technology that can survive in these applications has significantly impacted the oil and gas industry. These smart sensing systems provide benefits throughout the life of a well from exploration to drilling and completion, production and reservoir management. There is no other technology that can provide critical process control information spatially throughout the well in real time over long periods. Without smart well technology, fracture monitoring and analysis and applications like steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) would be very difficult to effectively implement.
The forecast covers distributed fiber optic sensing systems including sensor elements, fiber optic cables, interrogators and software. The markets covered are defined below.
Worldwide market excluding China Market segments covered:
• Oil & gas seismic
• Oil & gas in-well
• Oil & gas pipelines
• Wind energy turbines
• Utility power lines
• Military – hydrophone
• Military – security
• Military – shipboard / avionic
• Homeland security – intrusion / chemical
• Industrial process control
Most physical properties can be sensed optically with fibers. Light intensity, displacement (position), temperature, pressure, rotation, sound, strain, magnetic field, electric field, radiation, flow, liquid level, chemical analysis, and vibration are just some of the phenomena that can be sensed.
Fiber optic sensors have been used successfully for many years in military gyroscopes and hydrophones. However, their use in smart oil wells has been the key to enabling North America to be on a path to energy independence.
The following companies are profiled in the report:
4DSP, Baker Hughes, CGGVeritas, Fiber SenSys, FISO Technologies, Fotech, IFOS, Intelligent Optical Systems, Halliburton, LIOS Technology, Luna, Micron Optics, Northrop Grumman, NP Photonics, Opsens, Optiphase, OZ Optics, Petrospec Engineering, PGS, QinetiQ, Schlumberger, Sensornet, Silixa, Smartec (Roctest Group), TGS, US Seismic Systems, Inc. (USSI), Weatherford, and Zeibel.