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The oil and gas industry works in some of the most challenging places on the Earth, in extreme weather, harsh conditions and remote locations. Lithium batteries serve as power sources for oilfield downhole tools among different segments, such as drilling, measurement, testing, wireline and well intervention.
For decades, the oil and gas industry has been using long-life batteries that can operate in extreme temperatures, from +220°C to -50°C, in the deepest subsea, and are safe in potentially inflammable and explosive environments. The reliability and long operation life are vitally important for downhole lithium batteries, simply because of extremely high costs associated with a downhole battery failure.
By utilising modern manufacturing and testing facilities, lithium batteries in oil and gas have developed rapidly. Technologies including custom mandrel packs made with cylindrical and annular cells, lithium chemistries with unique electrode constructions, or high-power Lithium Carbon monofluoride (Li/CFx) batteries or solid-cathode rechargeable cells have been explored and applied. Lithium metal rechargeable battery technologies are currently pursuing their applications in oil and gas industry, as well as in other areas of the industry.
Li Liu studied both MSc and BSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute before joining Schlumberger in 2014 as a Tech and Field Engineer. Schlumberger is the world's leading oilfield services provider, currently employs approximately 100,000 people representing more than 140 nationalities working in more than 85 countries. During her field assignment, she worked as a field engineer on offshore rigs in Malaysia, where she worked on upper completion job preparation, offshore string installations and testing. In 2015, Li was then promoted as a Manufacturing Engineer to the Schlumberger’s Shanghai QingPu Battery Technology Centre, where she worked on the manufacturing of lithium batteries. In 2017, Li moved to Schlumberger’s Stonehouse Battery Technology Centre in the UK as a lead manufacturing engineer for both battery cells and pack technologies.
Li has gained rich experience and knowledge on the batteries and battery cells, through product tech transfer and cells qualification process. In turn, she has applied her knowledge on the improvement in large-scale production of battery cells and other new battery projects. As part of her projects, she led the innovative approaches for lithium battery performance improvements. For example, she solved the long-standing issue of premature battery voltage drop, leading to significant cell performance improvement of annular battery. She also worked on the commercialization of new Extreme High-Pressure-High-Temperature (HPHT) Li/CFx batteries and lithium iron phosphate rechargeable batteries, on which she sets the manufacturing routines, processes and quality control measures to enable high quality final products.
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