GE and Statoil have launched a new collaboration to accelerate the development of environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions. This joint technology-focused program is aimed at driving an industrial response to some of the biggest challenges facing global oil and gas development. As part of this, GE Oil & Gas and Statoil are committed to catalyzing broader collaboration within and beyond the industry through open innovation. This includes active use of crowdsourcing as a channel to solicit innovative ideas to reduce the environmental footprint in oil and gas exploration, development and production.
The first Open Innovation Challenge was launched earlier this year, and specifically aimed to improve the efficiency of proppants used in unconventional operations in order to reduce the impact of trucking on our communities. Sand, one of the most widely used proppants in shale development, plays a critical role in the hydraulic fracturing process and in the ultimate productivity of a given oil or gas well. Sand is transported via water into a formation to “stimulate” or “prop open” the tiny fractures, enabling oil and natural gas to flow freely.
When operators stimulate a well, hundreds of truck trips carrying sand are required to bring this proppant onto the site. Through this open innovation challenge, GE Oil & Gas and Statoil sought to improve efficiencies within their own operations, as well as encourage the broader industry to pursue solutions to lessen emissions and impacts on local communities and make energy production more efficient.
Click to download the winning ideas! GE Sand Challenge Winners