Petrolern Received DOE Grant to Develop Replacement Technology for Radioisotope-Based Well Logging Tools

Eliminating Radiological Security Risks Associated With Subsurface Characterization

ESG is Petrolern's Culture

Petrolern, a leading low-carbon technology company, earned another Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the Department of Energy to develop an innovative and value-add technology to replace the current radioisotope-based well logging methodologies. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that Petrolern will receive a grant as part of 259 Department of Energy awards totaling $53 million to 210 small businesses in 38 states.

Petrolern will develop an entirely different means to characterize the same rock properties measured by radioisotope sources without the use of such hazardous materials. 

"It is critical to characterize subsurface formations for energy resource exploration and production. Radioisotope-based well logging devices have been widely used to measure the physical properties of subsurface rocks such as density, porosity, mineralogy, hydrogen content, etc. Those devices, however, pose radiological security risks, thus, there is an essential need to explore replacement technologies to determine these subsurface parameters without using high-activity radioisotope sources," said Dr. Hamed Soroush, founder and CEO of Petrolern. "To this end, we will develop an alternative methodology to produce well logs equivalent to gamma ray and neutron density and porosity logs from the high-resolution drill-bit vibration data. This data will be acquired at no risk or significant cost along the entire wellbore. Our proposed technology benefits from advanced signal processing and a powerful physics-informed machine learning model. It does not change anything in the typically used drilling assembly except adding a small vibration sensor to the bottomhole assembly. These sensors can survive the extreme downhole conditions and do not have any power requirements."

This technology will provide an entirely new system for logging of subsurface rock properties and the reduction of radiological risks. Another significant benefit is the ability to define important hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoir properties from data currently gathered with existing operations and requiring no concurrent or subsequent well logging. Traditional drilling activity will benefit from reduced costs, due to the elimination of logging operations. This meets the needs of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to address disposition of what are largely legacy nuclear materials.

About Petrolern:

Petrolern is a leading technology company developing cutting-edge low-carbon technologies to improve economics and risk mitigation for subsurface operations. Petrolern delivers subsurface solutions for carbon storage, geothermal energy, and reduced carbon oil and gas operations. Our green energy initiative begins with making the oil and gas industry greener by providing energy transition solutions. Petrolern's core competencies include advanced geomechanics, fluid mechanics, subsurface engineering, applied artificial intelligence, visualization, edge computing, and software development. For questions about our services and technologies, contact us at or

Source: Petrolern


Categories: Energy

Tags: gamma ray, geology, geomechanics, geothermal, Neutron log, oil and gas, petrophysics, Radioisotope, Radiological Security Risks, subsurface characterization, well logging