Sigra is involved with all matters pertaining to the ground.
From mining to groundwater, the company’s experience is both broad and deep. Using this extensive experience, Sigra “invents solutions” using its unique integrated approach.
A Brief History
Sigra was founded in 1994 in Brisbane, Australia, by Dr. Ian Grey. In its early days, the company supported the mining industry in a consulting role, as well as through research and development as part of the Australian Coal Industry Research Program.
Along with its work on some other projects, Sigra built up its own technologies, which was vital to the economic success of the company. In 1996, the company developed its overcore stress measurement system (IST), which allowed for HQ coring at depths of 2000 m.
The company undertook further innovations, eventually working on field measurement projects. This led to the evolution of the tectonic strain theory that explained the varying stresses measured through sedimentary strata. Now, this process has been nearly universally adopted by the mining industry.
The company was even able to weather the coal recession in 2000 and come out on top. Sigra became a major force in the burgeoning coal seam gas industry.
“Underpinned by the original work on the subject by Dr Ian Gray in the early 1980s, Sigra has developed its stress path analysis to determine how the effective stresses in coal seams and other adsorbative reservoirs change with the removal of fluids; in this case, water and gas, where the latter leads to shrinkage of the coal,” the company writes. “This is important because the permeability of coals is very dependent on the effective stress that they are subject to.”
Sigra has continued to work with stresses in the coal and surrounding rocks—work that requires extensive knowledge and experience.
“In 2012 Sigra built, tested and proved its Gas Content Without Coring System (GCWC),” the company explains. “This enables the gas content of strata to be determined while drilling an open hole under overbalanced conditions. This is a very important development as it is provides a means for determining the gas content of virtually all rocks that are not vuggy or hugely over pressured. It has been proven in coal bearing formations.”
Sigra’s talents are not just available to Australia, either. The company is always prepared to do international work.
Guided by Principles
While Sigra’s scope of work is extensive, it applies the same guiding principles to everything it does.
“Sigra’s guiding principle is to provide the best solutions possible to its clients,” the company writes. “This means that the solution must be feasible, sustainable, appropriate and economically sound, within the context of the best environmental and health and safety objectives.”
The company works to provide its staff with a greater understanding of company operations, which allows them better contextualize their work and provide more effective service.
“Only by this broader perspective can the organisation progress through its expanding knowledge base,” Sigra writes. “We therefore have a commitment to continuing education within the organisation. We often find this approach means that we educate our clients, and the industries they represent, as well.”
Having a team with diverse backgrounds is also very important to Sigra, as they believe it leads to more varied and intelligent solutions to problems. This also extends to Sigra’s commitment to cultural diversity within its workforce, allowing for different perspectives on projects.
At the end of the day, though, it all comes back to the balance between science and art.
“Understanding the geology is the key to providing a solution to matters related to the ground,” the company explains. “Devising solutions to engineering problems is an art form to which there are many possible solutions. Finding the solution that works best depends on the skill of the engineers and the palette of tools they have at their disposal. At Sigra we endeavor to provide the broadest palette of engineering techniques possible, and one that is not restricted by current fashions of industry.”
All of these factors lead to a more innovative team and allow Sigra to excel in all areas.
And innovate Sigra has. The company offers total solutions to a wide variety of problems and is able to tackle specific areas of a problem if need be. Still, the company knows how challenging the work can be at times.
“The complexity of coal s
eams and their reservoir behavior is self evident,” Sigra explains. “The extraction of coal and gas requires multi-disciplined engineering skills and expertise. Sigra excels at optimization of exploration and appraisal programs for the development of coal and gas resources and the design of their extraction.”
This approach allows employees to think outside the box and provide the best service and engineering skills possible. For Sigra, innovation and forward-thinking isn’t something special: it’s what they do every day.