Low-shear valve wins SME Innovation Award

The Typhoon Valve makes it easier, cheaper, and cleaner to separate oil from water

Image: Typhonix.com
Typhoon® Valve System is developed to reduce shear forces and thereby droplet breakup and emulsification of oil and water. The results from various tests and field installations show that performance improvement is observed across a range of process conditions and fluid compositions.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

There is a lot of optimism in the oil and gas sector these days. Four years ago, oil prices dived. Now, they are up, while costs have been drastically reduced.

When oil and gas was discovered in the North Sea in 1969, the need for a meeting place for the companies in this new industry emerged. Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) was founded in 1974 and has developed into a global energy meeting place connecting international suppliers, operating companies and decision makers. It takes place every second year in Stavanger.

This year, there were nine exhibition halls totaling over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space. The main theme for the conference was “Innovate,” with 600 speakers in seven conference arenas. In 2004, the SME Innovation Award was established to ensure that small- and medium-sized enterprises were given the chance to highlight their new developments. This year, the jury used the following criteria: level of innovation, market readiness, market potential, the added value by the introduction of the new product, service or process, and environmental impact.

This year’s winner was Typhonix. The startup was congratulated for winning by Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes, who on Aug. 28 presented the award to Ole Jørgen Engelsvoll, Typhonix CEO since 2009. The enterprise won the award for its Typhoon® Valve System, which is a low-shear valve technology. According to the jury, Typhonix’s system is a new and innovative approach to valves in the oil and gas industry, and the technology has wide applicability. As a research-based startup believing in its technology, Typhonix has showed patience and commitment, investing in research efforts over many years. According to the Typhonix website, the cost of development was $12 million and sponsored by Shell, Statoil, Eni, Total, ConocoPhillips, GDF, Suez, Mokveld, and the Research Council of Norway. The technology has been tested offshore over time with impressive results, documenting added value both in terms of increased production and environmental impact, while being cost-efficient through “debottlenecking separation and produced water treatment, without adding additional equipment.” It will be a serious contender in an important market. The jury found them to be a worthy winner of the ONS 2018 SME Innovation Award.

The company was established in 2006 by Trygve Husveg and the Prekubator (Technology Transfer Office) in the Science Park of Stavanger. Shareholders are the management group together with Prekubator and Ipark. The foundation of the technology was made in Husveg’s 2007 dissertation on use of cyclones in petroleum processing for the oil company Total. Today, he is Typhonix’s CTO. The Typhoon Valve is the company’s first product since 2011, which also involved low shear/coalescing centrifugal pumps. Multiphase sampling equipment has been developed, according to a company presentation.

Revenue last year was close to a $1 million and the company had nine employees. The technology has been tested in the oil fields Oseberg and Troll with good results. The company has moved out of the Ipark and is today located in Bryne, Rogaland. According to the CEO, the startup has focused on products that “we know are in demand. We will continue working on new technologies”

Norway has been very fortunate discovering oil. The Norway Oil Pension Fund has surpassed $1 trillion in assets, and about 40 percent is invested in U.S. stocks, bonds, and property.

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the October 19, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.