Interface Leads Innovation in Oil and Gas Force Measurement

The oil and gas industry is among the world’s most dangerous and expensive industries. There’s also the inherent risk of ecological harm caused by faulty machinery. Because Interface is able to address these challenges, the company’s products have become a heavy favorite among oil and gas companies.

Oil and gas companies recognize the interface for product reliability, accuracy, and innovative design.

The oil and gas industry has used “wet” load cells to monitor forces on their downhole load strings for several years. These downhole load strings are equipped with various sensors that travel down thousands of feet during exploratory drilling operations. These load cells provide data to the user that measures the forces on the load string to ensure it doesn’t break due to forces greater than the string has been designed to. When one of these strings breaks, it leaves up to a million dollars worth of equipment trapped underground until it can be fished using expensive recovery techniques.

The problem with wet load cells is that they don’t hold up for extended use in wells that extend several thousand feet underground with extreme pressures and temperatures in a caustic environment. These wet load cells typically last about a year or two before being damaged beyond further use. The turnover rate of these products becomes extremely expensive and can also cause critical measurement inconsistencies or the complete loss of measurement feedback.

These wet load cells break down after a year or two because the sensors on this product are exposed to the harsh underground environment. To address this issue, Interface created a “dry” load cell that protects the sensitive parts with innovative design, reduces the number of sensors required in the customer’s downhole load string, and allows the load cell to last 10 years or more.

“Our dry load cell technology provides Interface’s signature accuracy in a ruggedized package that will stand up to the harsh environments of a deep oil well. These design iterations that allow for longer product lifespans are critical to our customers because of the cost savings and consistency of using a single force measurement solution.” Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface

Interface initially developed this technology as a custom solution to address a customer’s challenge of constantly replacing wet load cells. Based on the positive feedback Interface received, the company has begun developing a standard version of the dry load cell. The standard load cell will be more cost-effective than wet and custom-designed dry load cells.

For more information on Interface’s products for the oil and gas industry, click here.  For details on all Interface solutions, please visit

Contributor:  Ken Vining, Chief Engineer at Interface