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QLM wins £12M Series-A funding and venture with Schlumberger for gas detection

05 Aug 2022

Quantum technology camera quantifies methane emissions and flare efficiency.

QLM Technology, a UK-based photonics technology company with headquarters in Cardiff and operations in Bristol and San Francisco, has announced the closing of £12 million Series-A funding and the signing of a collaboration agreement with Schlumberger, the global oilfield services firm.

With support from Innovate UK, QLM has developed a new type of lidar camera based on quantum technology that can detect and accurately quantify emissions of greenhouse gases, such as methane leaks at processing and storage facilities.

The gas imager enables customers to monitor, detect and accurately locate and quantify Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission sources to enable rapid repair. A related version of the product enables remote quantification of flare efficiency.

“The technology is unique in the emissions monitoring marketplace in its potential to achieve the greatest amount of GHG abatement at the lowest cost of ownership,” said Murray Reed, Chief Executive officer, QLM.

“The funding and strategic relationship with our new lead investor, Schlumberger, and expanded backing of initial and new investors will allow us to scale our manufacturing, enabling significant cost reduction, as we launch our solution into the various GHG-intensive industries and markets.”

Collaboration with Schlumberger

Through the strategic collaboration, QLM’s technology will be part of the new Schlumberger End-to-end Emissions Solutions (SEES) solution for the oil and gas industry. SEES’s methane monitoring offering is based on previous investments in satellite-, airplane-, and drone-mounted sensors, along with additional sensors developed internally.

QLM’s differentiated lidar technology complements those mobile monitors by providing accurate and sensitive measurements where continuous monitoring is required. The ability to quantify flare efficiency will ensure optimal efficiency for flares that cannot yet be eliminated.

“SEES selects partners following rigorous technical evaluation to identify innovative technology that complements our existing measurement solutions,” said Kahina Abdeli-Galinier, Emissions Business Director, Schlumberger.

She added, “QLM’s lidar technology will allow operators to continuously monitor their facilities for methane emissions, and the technology is differentiated in its ability to detect even small emissions; to quantify emission rates accurately; to provide actionable information by locating the emission source precisely; and to fit upstream, midstream, and downstream facilities of all sizes.”

Besides emissions monitoring for the oil and gas market, the QLM solution is suited for use in tracking and reducing methane emissions in other applications such as in biogas production, at landfills, at wastewater treatment plants, and in coal mines.

In addition to lead investment from Schlumberger, existing investors Green Angel Syndicate, Enterprise100 Syndicate, Development Bank of Wales, Newable Ventures, and several private investors joined in this round of funding, as well as new investor Quantum Exponential.

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