canadian oilpatch technology guidebook & directory
volume 1 2009
featured technology exploration drilling production software communications environmental
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tech guide | table of contents
table of contents 4 The Canadian Oilpatch Is Technology Driven
39 Production 40 Cracking Good
8 Can-Do Attitude
Challenging conditions yield leading-edge oilpatch innovation
45 Little Pump That Could
16 Exploration 17 Showing The Way
New large-area survey technology narrows the search for oil and gas
Canadian service companies leading innovators of new fracing technologies Hydraulic submersible pump tackles low pressure, low fluid volume gas wells
46 PC Pump Innovator
Oil Lift’s products now in about 20 countries
47 Production Directory
20 Upside To Downsizing
Acceleware’s graphic processor technology propels seismic data processing revolution
22 Exploration Directory 26 Drilling 27 Need For Speed
Canadian drill rig technology focuses on speed
32 On The Straight & Narrow
Well guidance system keeps vertical wells on track
35 Drilling Directory
53 Software 54 Sights Set South
Despite the economic slowdown, some Canadian software providers continue to extend their reach south of the border
58 “ONE” Of A Kind
From production accounting to trading and budgeting, Entero unifies data and business processes
table of contents | Tech guide
advertisers Departure Energy Services........................IFC
Departure Energy (www.departureenergy.ca/home. aspx) is a customer-focused provider of directional drilling services, committed to delivering exceptional value, with well established technologies.
Energy Navigator Inc.................................... 1
Energy Navigator (www.energynavigator.com) was created in 1998 to help the oil and gas industry make better decisions and now over 240 companies use its software solutions.
Entero Corp............................................ OBC Entero Group (www.entero.com) provides comprehensive business software that delivers clarity and efficiency to the energy industry.
Expro Group............................................. 6, 7
Expro (www.exprogroup.com) is a leading provider of services and products that measure, improve, control and process flow from high-value oil and gas wells.
geoLOGIC systems ltd......................... 61, 63
geoLOGIC (www.geologic.com) was founded in 1983 as an independent software company with a goal of providing improved software and data to the oil and gas industry and delivering a more comprehensive, relevant data solution.
Mostar Directional Technologies Inc.... 24, 25
60 High Performance
Gas compressor optimization program pays immediate dividends
64 Software Directory 68 Communications 69 Meter Readers
New system simplifies the monitoring and downloading of well data from electronic flow meters
70 Preparing For The Worst
Calgary startup brings emergency response into the digital age
71 Communications Directory 72 EnvironmentAL 73 Skimming The Surface
Alberta company markets a portable waste water treatment system
Mostar (www.mostardirectional.com) is committed to “doing directional differently,” and is dedicated to the development of new directional technology.
OME Group Consultants Inc.................... IBC OME Group Consultants (www.omegroup.com) is a firm of scientists and engineers that specialize in the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program, and offers a offers a complete SR&ED claiming service.
Q’Max Solutions Inc. ................................... 5 Q’Max (www.qmaxsolutions.com) helps oil and gas operators create value in their drilling process. It is the largest Canadian mud company worldwide.
Savanna Energy Services Corp. . .............. 33
Savanna (www.savannaenergy.com) is a premiere contract drilling and well servicing company providing safe, efficient, and cost-effective energy services throughout Western Canada and the U.S.
Schlumberger Canada Limited . .......... 38, 52
Schlumberger (www.slb.com) is a leading oilfield services provider, trusted to deliver superior results and improved E&P performance for oil and gas companies.
74 Greener Drilling Days
Singletouch (www.singletouch.com), a leader in onetime data entry, builds software that can be deployed by any major industrial contractor or E&P company.
TELUS Corporation.............................. 66, 67
Service company thrives on efficient treatment and recovery of drilling fluids
75 Environment Directory
TELUS (www.telus.com/energysolutions) provides a comprehensive range of communications and IT products and services, from oilfield safety and security to turnkey oilsands camp services.
tech guide | welcome
The Canadian Oilpatch Is Technology Driven Early last century, at the dawn of the Canadian oil and gas industry, it was not uncommon for the drilling of a relatively shallow southern Alberta exploration well to take as long as three years. Today’s rigs can spud and complete such a well in a mere five hours. Similarly remarkable progress has taken place in all areas of oil and gas exploration and production. Modern technologies to find, produce, transport and refine hydrocarbons would astound the early pioneers who launched the industry in places like Turner Valley and Leduc based on little more than a random gas seep or a well-educated whim. They might be just as astonished at the rise of a world-class petroleum industry they gave birth to almost a century earlier. Canada’s oilpatch is second to none in terms of technological prowess, as celebrated in this premier edition of the Canadian Oilpatch Technology Guidebook & Directory — or, as we call it colloquially, the Tech Guide.
In sectors as diverse as exploration, drilling, production, software development, communications and reduced environmental impact, companies operating in the Canadian oilpatch have demonstrated the capability to unlock the most challenging of resources in some of the most demanding environments on the planet. It is thanks to such innovation that entirely new sectors, such as the now established oilsands and emerging shale gas plays, have become feasible.
New Technology Magazine 300, 999 - 8th Street SW Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2R 1N7 T: (403) 209-3500 F: (403) 245-8666 Toll Free: 1-800-387-2446 www.newtechmagazine.com editorial and production publisher | Stephen Marsters firstname.lastname@example.org editor | Maurice Smith email@example.com design/layout | Andrew Brien firstname.lastname@example.org publications manager | Audrey Sprinkle ad traffic coordinator | Elizabeth McLean writers | Mike Byfield, Gord Cope, Lynda Harrison, Jacqueline Louie, James Mahony, Elsie Ross, Paul Wells sales sales director | Rob Pentney email@example.com sales manager – magazines | Maurya Sokolon firstname.lastname@example.org senior account executive | Tony Poblete email@example.com sales | Michael Goodwin, Rhonda Helmeczi, Bonnie Pigeon, Diana Signorile sales administrator | Craig Cosens
Whether because of its rural, agricultural roots and the can-do attitude that has engendered, the various and challenging geological conditions encountered, or merely the sheer breadth and diversity of the country’s hydrocarbon endowment, the industry has developed and adapted advanced tools and technologies that are now sought around the globe.
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So technology-driven has the industry become that, in one article within this guide, Roger Soucy, president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, quipped: “The reality is, large parts of the service sector really are almost a technology play as opposed to an oil and gas play.”
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In addition to a sketch of new technologies making an impact on the Canadian oil and gas industry and of those Canadian-born technologies penetrating world markets, the Tech Guide features a comprehensive list of Canadian technology providers.
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The guidebook and directory is a project of JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group’s New Technology Magazine, the first word on oilpatch innovation. Created in 1995 and published 10 times a year, New Technology Magazine (newtechmagazine.com) provides engineers, geoscientists, IT professionals and executives in middle and upper management with information on leading-edge and cost-saving oilpatch technology. New Technology Magazine’s website features daily technology updates and an archive of magazine feature stories dating to 1999. An online version of the Canadian Oilpatch Technology Guidebook & Directory will also be housed on the New Technology Magazine website. Welcome to the Tech Guide!
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technologyprofile Expro – A Global Leader In Well Flow Management Expro offers innovative clamp-on sonar metering technology that’s changing how the oil and gas industry measures flow rates. Expro’s business is well flow management. The U.K.-based international oilfield services firm is a market leader in providing services and products that measure, improve, control and process flow from high-value oil and gas wells. Extensive industry knowledge, combined with innovative technology, allows Expro to offer advanced, reliable solutions to customers worldwide. The company, whose North American head office is based in Houston, is committed to delivering excellence in operations everywhere it operates.
launched, next-generation clamp-on sonar metering technology, users can now measure volumetric gas flow rates in a range of wet gas mixtures, for both new and existing well installations. ActiveSONAR significantly expands the range of wells for Expro Meters’ clamp-on surveillance
EXPRO METERS Expro Meters provide clampon flow surveillance of production and injection wells. Expro’s clamp-on sonar-based technologies allow cost-effective, real-time surveillance of wells in a multi-phase environment improving well flow management. Clamping on avoids the health, safety and environmental risks common to traditional well measurement practices. “The biggest thing for all these tools is that they offer a simplified solution,” says Curtis Jerrom, Expro Vice President Canadian Operations. Expro Meters’ sonar-based surveillance tools clamp on to the outside of existing production piping, allowing them to be installed with no process interruption or production shutdown whatsoever. SONAR is extremely well suited for applications where conventional flow measurement devices are impractical due to high procurement, installation or maintenance costs. “This technology is really innovative but simple. You don’t need a highly technical person to install it,” Jerrom says. PassiveSONAR™ uses strain-based sensors to measure the strain within the pipe wall associated with coherent flow structures. The PassiveSONAR meter uses passive listening technology to determine volumetric flow rate, and is well suited for high rates and high liquid loadings.
capabilities, and can be retrofitted to a wide range of applications. In particular, the new meters have been designed to address the flow rates and heavy schedule piping found in upstream oil and gas fields. ActiveSONAR uses pulsedarray sensors to replace the strain-based sensors in PassiveSONAR to track the speed of the same coherent flow structures. The pulse array technology provides enhanced signal to noise. “Our vision is to create, capture and lead the oil and gas clamp-on metering market by providing our customers with production surveillance which enables field optimization. We are also working towards 24-hour networked wellhead and process surveillance,” says Expro Meters General Manager, Tony Walker. To date, more than 1,500 clamp-on SONAR meters have been deployed worldwide in a broad range of single and multi-phase applications. Over the last several years, SONAR flow measurement has been adopted in the Canadian oil sands for use on large diameter hydro transport and tailing lines. SONAR flow meters have also been deployed on oil and gas wells in oil producing regions throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to SONAR technology, Expro offers a wide range of other innovative services, including:
ActiveSONAR™ Accurate, reliable measurement of wet gas flow has been a longstanding challenge for the upstream oil and gas industry. With ActiveSONAR™, Expro’s newly
Flarestack and Pipeline Services Expro boasts one of the industry’s largest inventories of international certified equipment, including the highest capacity pipeline separation units
(up to 500 MM scf/d with a 16” inlet). The fleet includes both high pressure and low pressure systems for separation, fluids handling, storage, analysis, water treatment, solids handling and disposal. Expro’s state-of-the-art trailer mounted flare systems are easily mobilized to handle your flaring needs. Combined with Expro’s SONAR technology, our customers can now monitor and precisely measure the flaring process. Well Integrity Camera Services Expro’s downhole video range of downhole camera systems offer operators a cost-effective, easy way to see downhole problems. Video provides an effective diagnostic and preventative tool of downhole conditions. Combined with the SONAR technology, we can accurately measure surface flow rates and quantitatively validate the video. Cableless Telemetry System (CaTS™) Expro’s Cableless Telemetry System (CaTS™) is a field-proven, battery-powered, wireless data transmission system that offers significant advantages in monitoring and controlling both new and existing wells. Key features include: Extended periods (up to 36 months) of in-well operation; Real-time BHP/BHT ‘data to desk;’ Signal transmission is unaffected by the presence of cement or bridge plugs; A completion-deployed CaTS mandrel variant allows full-bore well access and maximum flow rates. In combination with SONAR flow technology, we can optimize wellbore performance through clearly understanding downhole conditions and rates.
• • • •
Land Well Testing Thanks to the SONAR technology’s ease of installation and highly mobile nature, we can incorporate SONAR onto existing well site separators, line heaters, flare stacks, test tanks for wells, or any customer application, without comprising equipment integrity, and upgrade your monitoring of wellbore conditions. For more information, contact: www.exprogroup.com
Find out more:
introduction | Tech guide
Can-Do Attitude Challenging conditions yield leading-edge oilpatch innovation By Maurice Smith
Photo courtesy of Savanna Energy Services
hough Canada is blessed with some of the largest oil and gas resources on the planet, there is much to disadvantage those seeking to extract it. Not only does it encompass some of the harshest operating conditions encountered anywhere, in regions remote from distant markets, but its resources all too often fall into the unconventional category, requiring unique, often costly means of extraction. But there is a silver lining in that fundamental challenge. It has led to the creation of a high-tech, innovative and highly efficient oil and gas sector that has managed to overcome the manifold challenges, creating a world-class industry able to take home-grown and modified technologies to basins around the world. Often serving as a testing ground for new technology development, Canada possesses particular strengths in heavy oil technology, adaptability and in the nurturing of a highly innovative workforce, say industry officials. “I think we have been blessed with two things here; first the huge, huge resources that we have, but I think even more important than that is the people — they are great in terms of creativity and innovation,” says Soheil Asgarpour, president of Calgary-based Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC). “Our industry here is not like Saudi Arabia, where you drill a hole and you put it on production. It is extremely complex, it requires sophisticated technology, and I think we have been fortunate to have both people and resources that have made it work.”
“We have had to [develop and adapt local technology solutions], whether it be driven by price cycles or by cold weather and the ups and downs of seasonality that others don’t have, or just simply by the geology that we have to work in,” he says. “Those conditions started off the expertise that was developed here, in the homegrown entrepreneurial spirit that’s going on from even the small service companies that are very technologically innovative, and all the way through to the major oilsands projects that were created essentially by the development of technology.”
Greg Stringham, vice-president of markets and fiscal policies for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, believes technology has been the key enabler for Canada’s oil and gas industry for many, many decades.
Roger Soucy, president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, says companies have to maintain leading-edge technology to survive in the highly competitive services sector. “The industry has access to the best technology there
tech guide | introduction
“The reality is, large parts of the service sector really are almost a technology play as opposed to an oil and gas play.”
is in the world to do the work that we have here. Some of that comes from the fact that we have multinational service companies here — the Schlumbergers, Halliburtons, Bakers are all here — but we also have Canadian companies that compete with those companies that, in order to do so, have to have technology that certainly approaches if not matches whatever the American companies have,” he says.
“The reality is, large parts of the service sector really are almost a technology play as opposed to an oil and gas play.” Technology incubator According to Industry Canada, “Canada is an outstanding incubator for new technology due to the diversity of well depths, geological conditions, low operating costs and variety of production. Canadian expertise is being exported around the world.”
Canada is a leader in the development of such innovative drilling technologies as top drive drilling systems, casing drilling, drilling with coiled tubing, helicopter transportable drilling rigs, automated drilling rigs and horizontal, underbalanced and slant rig drilling. Companies have developed rigs specifically designed for drilling in shallow oil and gas fields that can be moved quickly to new locations, increasing drilling rates and reducing labour costs. Automated hybrid drilling rigs for the shallow gas market can accommodate both larger coiled tubing and conventional jointed drill pipe. According to Industry Canada, new tubing tools and improved metallurgy have increased the reliability and availability of a wide range of sizes of coiled tubing. Automated casing-while-drilling technology uses standard oilfield casing to drill and case a well. And specialized slant rigs used in oilsands areas can drill a large number of wells from a single drilling pad, reducing costs and the land surface footprint. Advances in software have revolutionized data management in Canada’s oil and gas industry in recent years, with new systems created to manage international data that are capable of providing map-based access to datasets, computerized logs and project applications. In the Foothills — where steeply dipping beds present special challenges — advanced seismic techniques like anisotropic depth migration have been advanced to more accurately determine geological structures and drilling locations. Canada is also among the world leaders in such emerging segments as gas hydrate extraction and carbon sequestration technology development. Offshore, technologies such as intensive seabed mapping and remote sensing have been key to programs off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. And work in Canada’s northern offshore, which has some of the most arduous environmental challenges in the world, has led to such innovations as drilling from artificial islands in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea that are capable of withstanding migrating ice.
Photos courtesy of Foremost Industries
“Canada is a renowned expert in cold-water and ice engineering. Canadian engineers have considerable experience working with ice, fog, high seas and frigid waters. This expertise is being applied to many projects worldwide,” says the agency. As would be expected, Canadian technology expertise is weighted to those areas that match the country’s resource base. And that base tends to be in areas that will lead the energy industry in future years, says Asgarpour. “In high viscous oil we clearly have established our leadership. And in my opinion heavy oil and bitumen are the resources of the future,” he says. Whereas a significant portion of the recoverable light oil has been produced, “bitumen/oilsands recovery is still extremely low, so there is huge potential for growth in heavy oil and bitumen.” The agency notes that both onshore and offshore, Canadian companies deal with some of the most extreme conditions on earth, including frigid Arctic temperatures, icebergs, tundra, muskeg and mountain terrain. In response to those challenges, the industry has developed expertise in areas such as topographic and communications technologies applicable to remote and inhospitable terrain, and specialized vehicles for moving equipment and supplies to such areas, including rig transportation ranking first in the world for speed, expertise and safety.
He estimates just seven to 10% of bitumen resources are recoverable under current technologies, about one-third the recovery of light oil. Getting that number up to 30% through new technologies and Canada’s recoverable oil resources would be larger than the entire Middle East. Which is not to say the industry can rest on its laurels, Asgarpour adds. “Given the size of resources that we have, and the complexity and challenges, we are not investing enough
introduction | Tech guide
Distance From Markets Necessitates Local Innovation
Though the Canadian oil and gas industry has often been dominated by foreign production and service companies, that has never been a barrier to indigenous technology development. In fact, one of the multinational service companies with among the longest histories in Canada has originated many technological advances here that have since been exported to hydrocarbon producing countries around the world. Halliburton’s beginnings north of the border date back to 1926, when Paul and George Halliburton, brothers of founder Erle Halliburton, arrived on the scene with nothing more than two steam-powered pump trucks. The company has gone on to leave its mark on the industry, providing such early “firsts” as the first electric wireline services, the first perforating services and the first fracturing job in Canada. Sheldon Harbinson, Halliburton Business Development Manager, Canada, says Canada has a long history of providing innovative technologies to the oil and gas industry. “Halliburton Canada is no exception to this given that resource plays in Canada must be competitive with oil and gas basins in other parts of the world. Current economic conditions help stress the importance of this,” he says. “Halliburton has a long history of technology development globally, and especially a long history of this development in Canada.” Innovation is driven in part by the necessity to produce more cost-effectively in Canada due to its remoteness from major markets, Harbinson notes. “Our customers are often selling their commodities at a price that has a negative differential to other areas [natural gas due to transmission and tariff charges to markets further away, heavy oil due to additional refining requirements, et cetera]. This differential requires them to find ways to increase their competitiveness. Technology and efficiency development from companies such as Halliburton is one of these ways,” he says.
International producers compete not only against each other, but against other operations in their own companies, often in the U.S. “So if you have got activity that is close to market, say the Marcellus shale [in the northeast U.S.], it is easy to see why there are some economic benefits there, as opposed to developing technologies in a market that’s much more remote. At all levels, it requires Canadian operations to be much more efficient, and it requires them to find ways to help reduce the amount of time to drill, to increase the productivity of wells, to make them more prolific, to extend the longevity of the wells’ production and so on. And that all comes down to being able to keep the market here competitive with markets elsewhere.” The Canadian oilpatch has proven over the years to be an excellent incubator for new technologies that migrate to other basins once perfected here, Harbinson says. “Just about any technology that we develop for the Canadian market also gets used elsewhere, so it really is a good place for the birth of technologies. If they will work in environments up here, in areas either where we are more remote or where it’s colder or where we have got to drill a little faster or where the rock is harder, those technologies are easily applied elsewhere,” he says. “Sometimes they require some modification for work elsewhere, say for higher pressures and things like that, but certainly, many technologies that are applied elsewhere are first developed here. In the gas market, for example, if something is going to work to make shallow gas activities efficient here, then it is definitely going to work in other areas as well.” From an oil perspective there is much focus on heavy oil and oilsands. “That’s almost a no-brainer. We have adapted our heavy oil technologies for use in Venezuela, China and other heavy oil markets, but the majority of them are definitely developed here first.”
One example, Harbinson says, is the development of magnetic ranging technology used to maintain precise separation between the two horizontal wells used in steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oilsands production. SAGD entails injecting steam into one wellbore to educe the flow of bitumen to a secondary producing wellbore running parallel to the injector. Depending on the reservoir, the pair are generally spaced between four and 10 metres apart over several hundred metres. Inter-well spacing is critical to maximizing production. Magnetic ranging uses magnetic measurements to ensure the second well is drilled the precise distance required from the first. “We have ranging technology that was jointly developed in the U.S. and Canada that is now used elsewhere, and we have lots of IP [intellectual property] around that technology. That’s just one of many technologies that have been developed for heavy oil and oilsands production.” Technology and efficiency development is treated as a global resource at the Houston, Texas-based company, Harbinson says. “We have folks who are dedicated to that, but we don’t restrict technology development only to those core research and development scientists. It’s an expectation on behalf of ourselves and our customers that our teams will bring new ideas to help our customers out at all times, so we are all expected and challenged to come up with innovative ideas. And it is surprising the number of people who do, who are in those sorts of roles that are not traditionally considered R&D core roles.” This is particularly true of the company’s Canadian workforce, he says. “The Canadian market is a very entrepreneurial market, so we have a number of individuals in our company who have helped us develop technologies here who have gone on to help with other areas around the world.” By Maurice Smith
tech guide | introduction in R&D activities,” he says. “But then the key is not investing more money, the key is to invest in a more effective way. We think that collaboration and working together is important because then we can have much higher mileage from our R&D activity.” Stringham says three main areas where the industry is particularly leading-edge are in developing unconventional oil and gas resources, reducing environmental impacts and driving down costs. “Although it’s been pushed more down in the U.S., in shale gas [extraction techniques] we now work right alongside with what’s going on in the rest of North America. The application of shale gas technology into B.C. is really a giant technological experiment at this point in time. It’s still so early in the game that there is lots of room for technological innovation and improvement to drive that even faster. “Reducing the environmental impact of developing any of the unconventional resources is critical so that it can be seen as being long-term sustainable development into the future, because those resources are so massive,” Stringham adds.
Photo by Joey Podlubny
“And then thirdly of course is doing these things at a lower cost, to enable it in today’s lower price environment, especially for natural gas. “The oil and gas industry is sometimes viewed as being old technology. But when you see what’s being done and used out there right now, you see that its stretches beyond just the production technologies; we have been driving some very high-tech computer solutions and IT solutions, such as remote communications, for trying to get things tied in via the Internet, tied in by cellular networks and so on. Companies have had to be very innovative in going out to very remote areas in order to deal with our industry.” While they may have only limited application elsewhere, the development of various oilsands extraction technologies — including established steam-assisted processes and the emerging fireflood and electrical stimulation techniques on the in-situ side, as well as the abundance of technologies developed to appreciably drive down the cost of surface mining — have made Canada an undisputed world leader in that
introduction | Tech guide
Technology adaptation In fact, Stringham says, the industry’s aptitude for adapting technology developed elsewhere to Canadian conditions, and then modifying it further for export elsewhere, is itself a major strength. Solving the shale gas and coalbed methane puzzles are good examples where it has been shown technologies developed elsewhere cannot simply be parachuted into the Canadian context and expected to work — extensive adaptation to local conditions are often necessary.
Stringham also notes the country’s regulatory expertise has been sought elsewhere. “If you look at the ERCB [Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board], for example, they are called on by many developing countries that come up and say, ‘We have seen your technology side, but how do you govern all of this and regulate it.’ Our regulatory system has evolved over many years into one that is seen as being world class.”
Photo by Joey Podlubny
“All of those have contributed to the heavy oil side, but there are some really interesting technologies on the conventional side as well, like the seismic technology that is being done in the Foothills right now by the Shells and the Talismans of the world, and those who are really pushing the envelope on horizontal [drilling] and fracing technology, adapting it to here and then turning around and selling it to other places.”
“People thought you could just lift it and move it over and that certainly hasn’t been the case. So we can be seen as being not only innovators but also early adaptors and early revisers of technologies to apply them to different conditions. If there is something that is developed elsewhere, we are very willing to apply it and modify it and make it work here too. We have found we can early adapt it and make it much more globally applicable. I think that works well for many of the companies that have taken technology, like some of our small companies, and moved it into other basins in South America and around the world. That adaptability is one of the specialties that I think we have in this basin that has shone fairly well.”
Photo courtesy of Global Energy Services
sector. “Even though some [technologies] were being used elsewhere, we have perfected them here in the oilsands and they are now being used elsewhere,” Stringham says.
tech guide | introduction
Technology-Based Alliance Adapts Along With Industry If there is one trend that has been apparent since Soheil Asgarpour took the helm of Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada two years ago, it has been the intensified focus on CO2 emissions and the application of PTAC’s collaborative model to foster research to tackle the increasingly high-profile challenge.
The Alberta government’s 10-year, $2-billion commitment for large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects has clearly helped shine a light on the subject. So has U.S. President Obama’s new energy policy, says Asgarpour. PTAC has supported several studies on CCS and will soon launch two more projects involving CO2. One upcoming project will delve into evaluation of the application of nuclear technology to replace natural gas consumption at oilsands projects. It’s an example of the alliance expanding outside of conventional oil and gas into oilsands, an ambition Asgarpour named as one of his goals when he took over the position of PTAC president from Eric Lloyd in April 2007. Another forthcoming PTAC study will look into the profitability, obstacles and technical challenges of enhanced oil recovery using CO2. Asked which of PTAC’s projects he believes has been of the most value to industry over the years, Asgarpour laughs and says that’s like asking which of his children is his favourite. He chooses instead to highlight some of PTAC’s recent projects, saying his organization has been heavily involved in CO2 emission reduction projects of late. He cites Husky Energy Inc.’s proposed CO2 Injection in Heavy Oil Reservoirs project, which has received support from the federal government. The project involves the capture and processing of CO2 and injection into nearby heavy oil reservoirs. Husky is undertaking work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its Lloydminster complex and increase the recovery of heavy oil from the company’s nearby fields. “I think that’s a very important project for the industry because we will be
able to test a number of new technologies in the field,” says Asgarpour. He has no reluctance in naming PTAC’s greatest accomplishment over the past 10 years: to increase the research and development capacity of the oil and gas industry without increasing costs. The PTAC collaborative model encourages the leveraging of financial and intellectual expertise across all stakeholder groups to develop needed technologies and allow innovations to be pursued while minimizing risk and avoiding costly duplication. In its 13-year history PTAC has facilitated 257 projects worth about $138 million. It has held more than 400 events, such as the Global Petroleum Conference, held in conjunction with GO-Expo, in Calgary. Now with 187 members, PTAC also facilitates an average of 17 or 18 environmental projects per year and four or five on eco-efficiency (reducing emissions and costs simultaneously). The association has facilitated consortiums of as large as 38 organizations. That was the Alberta Saline Aquifer Project led by Enbridge Inc., one of three projects selected for some of the $2 billion in Alberta provincial funding. The first phase of the project — identifying at least three suitable locations where large volumes of CO2 could be permanently stored in deep saline aquifers — has been completed. PTAC recently began a comprehensive project on a clean bitumen technology action plan. So far PTAC, along with the Alberta Energy Research Institute, the Canada School of Energy and Environment, ConocoPhillips, Enbridge Inc., EnCana Corporation, ISEEE and StatoilHydro, has held an information session on the development of the plan. The project fulfils another of Asgarpour’s goals, to see the association more involved in the downstream. The scope would include surface deposits, in-situ resources and upgrading, and cover environmental impacts on air, water and land. The action plan will seek to answer key questions such as:
• What are the environmental impact gaps? • What improvements or brand new recovery and extraction technologies could offer significantly less environmental impact than present day steam-assisted gravity drainage, cyclic steam stimulation and surface mining? • How does industry reduce the environmental footprint of upgrading? PTAC recently signed a couple of memorandums of understanding, one of them with the National Optics Institute. Quebec City-based, it’s the largest R&D centre in optics/photonics in Canada. Asgarpour says the industry is just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what it can do with photonics technology. “We think this is going to have huge applications in oil and gas,” he says. Some companies are already using this technology to read reservoir pressure and temperature in-situ, but he believes the application can be expanded significantly. The other MOU is with the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas, designed to help both organizations work together, he says. Asgarpour is now working on getting companies together to work on technologies for mature oil and gas fields. “With today’s low oil and gas prices, especially gas, many of the reservoirs or fields are becoming uneconomic, to the point they are going to be abandoned,” he says. “We are trying to find technologies that will extend the life of these reservoirs — essentially converting a liability to an asset.” Many things can be done, and clearly, reducing costs would be one objective while another would be increasing recovery, he says. “This would be beneficial to both industry and government. One of the major issues with these mature oil and gas fields is that most of them are owned by either royalty trusts or small oil and gas companies and these guys either don’t have capacity to do R&D or they lack expertise in that area, so working together, hopefully we can provide some solutions in that area,” says Asgarpour. By Lynda Harrison
introduction | Tech guide Soucy notes that Canadian companies cannot be laggards as technology rapidly develops to open new plays around the continent. “In order to keep the doors open you need to have the latest technologies these days, because costs are ever rising to find oil and gas. We need to develop products and services that help to make oil and gas plays economic. That’s the whole story behind the multistage fracing and horizontal drilling. If you consider the Bakken [oil play in southeast Saskatchewan and northern U.S.], the industry found the Bakken 70 years ago but didn’t develop it until recently because we didn’t have the technology to do it. And the whole shale play, whether its gas or oil, has been made economic because of new technology.”
“I think we have been blessed with two things here; first the huge, huge resources that we have, but I think even more important than that is the people — they are great in terms of creativity and innovation.” people have found ways, as in the shales, to use it in many more places, and I think what we are seeing in fact, is horizontal drilling is being used in many, many places now that people didn’t think it would be as little as five to 10 years ago.” The fact Canadian companies are making big inroads into Latin American countries shows they can compete with technology offered anywhere, he says. “Most recently, several drilling and service companies have got contracts in Mexico. It would have been pretty easy for the Mexicans to go across the border into Texas and get that, but you have got Canadian companies working in there, so from a status standpoint obviously they have the confidence in Canadian companies at the same level that they have for American companies for land operations.” Soucy also credits the people in the industry for its technological prowess, something he links to the Canadian West’s agricultural roots. “Certainly, historically, it has been true that service companies were populated by people in large part with farm backgrounds, and with a farm background, when
Photo by Joey Podlubny
Soucy says horizontal drilling is a good example of a rapidly improving technology in which companies north of the border played a large role in advancing. “Although it was invented in the States, it was really perfected in Canada, to a large degree. When it was first used, it had limited application. Over time
your combine breaks down at midnight, there is no tech centre to call to come and fix it, so they learned to do it themselves. And so they brought those kinds of skills and work ethics to the oilpatch and it was inherent in them to make things work better. So there was lots of garage and back shop kind of work that went on to make widgets work better than they originally were. “And with that farming background, you get people who say, ‘Well I can do this better than the [multinational service company] can, so I am going to start my own company.’ So we had guys who broke off from, typically, a large service company and started their own. And to a degree there is still a good segment of the industry that does maintain those kinds of skills and work ethics to do that today.” Soucy, however, also has a caveat regarding adoption of new technologies in the Canadian oilpatch — resistance to be the first to try something new. “In a lot of ways the oil industry is typically not an early innovator with new technology — historically that’s been the case. People will say, ‘I’ve been doing this for 25 years or 40 years and I’ve done it a certain way and I am happy with the way I am doing it, why try something new.’ So when new technology comes along it really has to prove itself before it finds wide usage, and that can take time.”
Photo courtesy of GASFRAC Energy Services
exploration | Tech guide
Showing The Way New large-area survey technology narrows the search for oil and gas
he long and often bumpy road to respectability for any inventor’s new creation follows no predictable pattern. But surely George Liszicasz’s would rank as more unusual than most. The journey began in 1994 with the discovery of the principles underlying stress field detection. A decade later, the fall of 2004 saw the Hungarian-born scientist flying through Syrian airspace, under the watchful eyes of the national air force, conducting an airborne survey comprising almost 24,000 square miles, one-third of the country, for the Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC). With windows covered over and on co-ordinates unknown to them, his engineers tended to his complex instruments — based on the latest in quantum mechanical principles — meticulously taking readings of stress changes in the subsurface below. Once completed, Liszicasz holed up in a Damascus hotel room processing reams of data few outside of a tight circle of quantum physics specialists would comprehend. Emerging almost a month later, even he could not have guessed the accuracy of the results — flying blind, the company identified, it was later confirmed by SPC, 108 of 137 known structures flown over for a 79% success rate. Liszicasz identified 17 major prospect areas of which 11 were in production, one was dry, three were seismically verified but not drilled and two are still unknown. According to Nimr Arab, geophysicist and former exploration manager for Shell-Syria, one of the unknown prospect areas was recently verified by 3-D seismic and is being drilled by a major oil company. For Liszicasz, president and CEO of NXT Energy Solutions Inc., this was among the biggest milestones in his 13-year effort to bring the radically new exploration technology he invented to market. Others were no less salient. In early tests in North America, NXT unearthed anomalies that, after not being followed up, would independently be drilled as major discoveries, including the giant Ladyfern natural gas strike in northeast British Columbia and the East Jonah gas field in Wyoming’s Green River Basin. NXT’s proprietary Stress Field Detection (SFD) remote sensing technology measures changes in subsurface stress fields associated with structural and stratigraphic hydrocarbon traps and reservoirs, Liszicasz says, providing a low-impact, cost-effective method of rapidly surveying large areas. “We can identify sub-basins, faulting, fracturing, geological domain changes and most of the major hydrocarbon systems within the sedimentary basin. The most important deliverables are the ranked prospect areas.”
High Flying Flying over anomalies, NXT’s technology measures stress changes in the subsurface.
He claims that even with a grid as wide as 30 by 30 kilometres, SFD will identify major hydrocarbon systems and prospect areas within the area surveyed as long as the flight path crosses the feature, while a 10-square-kilometre survey grid will identify 75% of all major prospect areas, irrespective of basin depth. The “deepest” change the SFD detects will always relate to the Precambrian, below which the crust becomes much less influenced by tectonics and therefore stress regimes are less pronounced. Once prospect areas are identified NXT ranks them according to their potential to the precision level required for planning
“We can identify sub-basins, faulting, fracturing, geological domain changes and most of the major hydrocarbon systems within the sedimentary basin. The most important deliverables are the ranked prospect areas.”
tech guide | exploration
Flight Pattern The SFD surveys are typically flown in a grid pattern to maximize the probability of encountering significant anomalies.
detailed seismic programs. If required, NXT will conduct infill flights over prospective areas to obtain further definition. The SFD interpretation complements the focused seismic interpretation of depth to structure, closure and an estimate of the timing of structural development, says Liszicasz. Early trials and written reports of recommendations arising from the technology, re-examined years later, appear to back up company claims, according to an independent report authored in 2005 by GLJ Petroleum Consultants Ltd. A survey in northeast B.C. recommended 16 prospect areas totalling four per cent of the survey area. Eighty-eight per cent have since been drilled, with 252 billion cubic feet of natural gas produced to date from them, the company says. Similarly, from 20 recommended prospect areas identified in the Green River Basin, 65% have been drilled, producing 84 bcf of gas. The technology is considered a wide area reconnaissance tool that could point explorationists in the right direction by identifying anomalies of potentially high prospectivity. Any findings would be followed up on with more narrowly defined seismic surveys. How it works The existence of stress associated with geological events is well documented and used by industry. It’s employed, for instance, to characterize the in-situ stresses that are used for geomechanical applications such as borehole stability analysis, reservoir stimulation and well placement in fractured reservoirs. The difficulty is that stress magnitude and orientation cannot be measured remotely with conventional sensing techniques. SFD technology offers the unique capability, the company says, to remotely measure subsurface stress variations.
What makes the technology unique, the company says, is its ability, using a passive transducer, to recognize the changes in stress regimes remotely. Changes in geology from one stress signature to another could indicate the presence of faulting or fracturing or the potential for the presence of fluid or gas reservoirs. NXT employs an array of 12 SFD sensors that can respond to different types of stress regimes generated at various depths, allowing it to distinguish a number of geological features in the sedimentary basin. Conducted between 300 and 1,000 metres altitude at speeds of up to 450 kilometres per hour — too fast and too wide a grid for aeromagnetic or gravitational
“All exploration methods rely on the existence of ‘physical contrast’ that arises between the deposit and the surrounding rocks. For the detection of physical contrast the SFD relies on the redistribution of stress regimes caused mainly by tectonic activities that are also the primary cause of hydrocarbon trap development.”
exploration | Tech guide systems — the surveys use self-contained equipment (put on the aircraft in place of two seats and deployed with no external sensors) capable of sampling at 2,000 cycles per second. “All exploration methods rely on the existence of ‘physical contrast’ that arises between the deposit and the surrounding rocks. For the detection of physical contrast the SFD relies on the redistribution of stress regimes caused mainly by tectonic activities that are also the primary cause of hydrocarbon trap development,” says Liszicasz. “These stress variations will affect certain processes within the sensor element and ultimately will cause a change of the preset electronic conductance. We can conduct SFD surveys in any sensor orientation, in normal weather conditions. Furthermore, SFD sensors are unaffected by changes in vertical acceleration, or electromagnetic or nuclear radiation.” By monitoring background stress levels NXT can also determine if the basement is getting shallower or deeper or if the sedimentary column thickness varies substantially over any flight line. The technology can determine with a high degree of certainty whether the structural trap and reservoir is shallow or deep, Liszicasz says, though it cannot determine the exact depth. Multiple structures and reservoirs stacked at different depths can be identified individually providing there is sufficient separation. If separation is not sufficient they will appear as structures and a single reservoir will be registered, he says. According to experienced geophysicist Geoff Carrington, who authored a 2006 report on the technology, one reason SFD is able to differentiate between shallower and deeper structures is the apparent difference in the degree of compactability of Cretaceous and Jurassic age sandstones versus deeper Mississippian and Devonian age limestone structures found throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Although the geometry of depositional systems may differ, sandstone is more compactable than limestone, which allows limestone structures to retain higher stress levels. “These stress discrepancies will result in identifiable SFD signatures pertaining to these events, allowing us to make assessments of the relative depths,” Liszicasz says. Liszicasz concedes that stress cannot be measured in-situ or remotely with any conventional techniques. Stress, he says, is expressed as a mathematical entity known as a secondorder tensor that describes stress in all directions in all planes (shear stress) and at right angles to all planes (normal stresses). “The analysis of these entities cannot be described by vectorial decomposition. We can describe general stress in terms of three principal stress tenors [first order tenors] that are known to have a predictable empirical relationship to faults. These we can treat as vectors and describe with an equation or describe using Mohr’s graphical simplification,” he says. “The theory we put forward proposes that when ‘rocks’ in confinement are subject to increased mechanical pressure the result is the production of a naturally occurring energy form that is inherently tied to anomalously stressed subsurface geological structures and the proposed energy has no relation to electromagnetic energies. Although we are not yet able to provide a full account of the underlying physics relating to stress energies, the existence of stress is inherent to the ‘make-up’ of the universe [all its dimensions, matter and energy forms] and without stress no ‘physical system’ can
high impact prospecting One early user, Nexstar Energy Ltd. with an undisclosed partner, conducted “high impact” prospecting in the Swan Hills area of north-central Alberta using SFD for what Nexstar called rapid and economic evaluation of large land areas. The region contains some of Alberta’s biggest oilfields with production from deeper Devonian formations well established. Some 30 anomalies were identified over the 6,000-square-kilometre survey area, Nexstar says. Peter Carwardine, Nexstar president and CEO, says he was involved in an SFD trial while with a previous company that has since been sold. “I have been familiar with the technology for about 10 years and it has matured to the point where we thought it was a worthwhile project for us to pursue with a partner,” he says. “In our case, what we use the technology for is essentially a wide area tool. Once we are presented with anomalies we then do conventional geology and geophysics to determine if the anomalies are real.” As a result of the SFD survey, Nexstar and its partner were able to focus their efforts on development of exploration core areas without spending a large amount of time and money to evaluate the lands through seismic, notes NXT.
exists, at any level. From our perspective, we apply a technology in the exploration for oil and gas whose theoretical principles are not well understood, but it demonstrably works.” NXT generally keeps clients’ identities confidential to preserve their competitive edge in the surveyed area, Liszicasz says. He points to one unidentified client that successfully competed against several other companies at a number of land sales. “Our client relied on SFD data for the acquisition of key land positions. Our client did not spend millions and years on developing the geological play, neither did it spend tens of millions on 3-D seismic. Our client spent less than $1 million on surveying [a] 5,000-square-kilometre area and was provided SFD information starting within weeks following the completion of the survey flights.” NXT’s technology became commercial in 2006, when it signed $1.2 million and $3 million contracts, each including a gross overriding royalty interest on any production from lands acquired by the clients based on the SFD survey results. The company is also pursuing international deals with an initial focus on Latin America, particularly in areas well suited for the technology, such as large under-explored basins that might be difficult and time-consuming to gain access to. In June 2009, NXT completed a $2.3 million (US) SFD survey in Colombia for a Colombian subsidiary of Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. By Maurice Smith
tech guide | exploration
Upside To Downsizing Acceleware’s graphic processor technology propels seismic data processing revolution
ad Rick Steele, president of junior seismic processing company P-Wave Imaging Ltd., known a new, smaller and faster processing technology was on the way to market, it’s unlikely he would have chosen the cumbersome cluster computing technology he so heavily invested in. Since trying the latest generation, graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator technology, Steele, an industry veteran who launched his own company three years ago, has been won over by its small-footprint, low-wattage, high-speed advantages.
Steele was among the first to pilot Calgary-based Acceleware Corp.’s new GPU accelerator software, which the company says brings supercomputing speed to the desktop by leveraging the massive parallel processing capacity of the very latest in GPU technology — a technology originally developed largely for the exploding computer gaming market. As with gaming, speed is the name of the game in seismic processing. Among the most computationally intensive of industries, seismic processing seems a natural for a technology that can boost performance by as much as a factor of 35 times, reducing month-long computational tasks to days or hours. And while CPU performance improvements have shown signs of plateauing, GPU performance is still rapidly improving. “In order to turn around the data, you have to have a lot of CPUs available. If you are dealing with a fairly large project and you don’t have the CPU power, you could be waiting for a month or two for your job to finish,” Steele says. “And to buy the CPU power you have to start generating your own cluster and maintaining all these different units — you have got to provide electricity and air cooling for them et cetera. Acceleware can reduce the amount of hardware you need — one of their GPU solutions is equivalent to five to 10 CPU cores.”
“Had they been around when I first got into this and was buying new equipment, I might have considered just plugging a couple of these [GPUs] in the back of each of my desktops,” he says. “Instead of bulking up too much on CPUs [central processing units], you could just have these GPUs that are there when you need them and can really boost your power.”
GPU ascendancy Originally dedicated to computer graphics, GPUs, which can be a stand-alone component as a desktop solution or integrated into the mother board, took much of the load off CPUs to greatly speed up processing. Their highly parallel structure — they can simultaneously perform 240 or more tasks in parallel compared to the typical two or four
tasks in parallel performed by multicore CPUs — and enormous floating-point computational power makes them ideal to take on complex data processing and data-intensive simulations. Additionally, as mass-produced products, graphics cards are cost-effective compared to specialpurpose computing alternatives. In recent years, GPUs have emerged as general-purpose processors, providing as much as several orders of magnitude greater performance than conventional CPUs in the performance of certain tasks. They are proving to be a boon in fields where intensive computer modelling is required, such as seismic data processing, financial modelling, biomedical imaging and electromagnetic simulation. “By combining our core knowledge in making complex algorithms run in parallel with an in-house team of seismic industry experts, Acceleware provides software solutions for seismic data processors that access the massively parallel capabilities of compute GPUs,” says Ryan Schneider, the company’s co-founder and CTO. Founded in 2004, Acceleware was among the first to recognize the potential for GPUs to surpass the performance of CPUs in dataintensive tasks. The company has already leveraged the technology to gain a foothold in the electromagnetic modelling industry — primarily involving telecommunications and electronic design automation (EDA) industries — gaining such prominent customers as Boeing, Research In Motion Limited, Sony Ericsson and Mitsubishi. Following field trials with several seismic companies in 2007, Acceleware officially launched its seismic product offering in Calgary in January 2008. The company developed the algorithms on the graphics processor with the goal of achieving an order-of-magnitude increase in processing speed. High-performance graphics cards are key to enhancing computational speed, acting as a turbocharger for the engine of the computer. Acceleware choose the Kirchhoff pre-stack time migration processing method as its launching pad into the seismic industry, with other methods to follow, because Kirchhoff is the most common migration solution in use globally. Such processing methods allow the echoes recorded by seismic surveys to “migrate” to their true sub-
exploration | Tech guide surface position, a process required to accurately image subsurface geology in complex areas. Acceleware ran a comparison of various processor configurations when benchmarking its accelerated version of Techco Geophysical Services Ltd.’s SUMMIG Kirchhoff time migration seismic processing software. Compared to a single core CPU, it found a performance factor increase of 23 times for its desk-side dual-GPU DS30 accelerator package, and a performance lift of 45 times with its rack mounted quad-GPU QS30. Powerful partner Acceleware chose Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA, a leader in programmable graphics processor technology, as a partner for its hardware technology because of the company’s lead over its competitors. Soon after, NVIDIA invested $3 million in Acceleware. NVIDIA’s industry standard GPU technology is a high volume, broadly supported product that has hundreds of millions of dollars of investment going into it every year, keeping it at the leading edge of high-performance hardware development. NVIDIA’s main GPU competitor, Markham, Ontario-headquartered ATI Technologies U.L.C., was purchased by microprocessor maker AMD in 2006. AMD’s main competitor, Intel, meanwhile, has since also entered the GPU market. One of the advantages with NVIDIA is its creation of a software development environment that is very programming-friendly. That, combined with Acceleware’s experts with extensive experience in developing applications on graphics processors, allows the company to maximize performance in an application. Acceleware’s bundled solutions integrate seamlessly with its partners’ proprietary software applications, ensuring that acceleration is optimized based on the requirements particular to that industry. Integration of Acceleware’s core technology with third-party applications is not a problem, the company says, with customers deciding how much integration they want. In most cases, clients prefer the hardware and software packaged together as an appliance. Smaller footprint Acceleware’s compact hardware has another advantage immediately apparent to firms confined in small offices in
high-rent downtown skyscrapers — it both takes up a fraction of the space and uses up to 70% less power. In a comparison of traditional CPU servers (a 160 CPU-only server cluster using four cores per server) against an equivalent setup using Acceleware’s acceleration technology, the company calculated the annual power consumption and cooling costs would be $51,653 versus $15,228. The company estimates savings of more than $3,500 annually per accelerated server, or up to tens of thousands per year for large installations. While Acceleware is targeting a worldwide market, it chose to enter the market in Calgary in part because the city has a high concentration of seismic processing companies with which Acceleware could work as it establishes a strong reputation for the new technology. As well, many of the company’s executives have connections to the city. Chief scientist and interim president and CEO Michal Okoniewski, an expert in applied computational electrodynamics, high performance computing and
Acceleware announced it would begin moving to a software-only sales model in 2009 and would not be maintaining equipment inventory for combined sales of hardware and software once existing hardware inventories were used up. A new pricing schedule, incorporating a much lower unit cost of sales (and, hence, a proportionately greater contribution to the company’s earnings), was also launched in 2009. In addition to relying on its existing channel partners, the company said it is actively pursuing new channel partners and alternative revenue streams, including professional services agreements with key customers. In one deal announced in July 2009, Acceleware signed a $350,000 (US) consulting agreement with one of the world’s largest oil companies allowing the company to run one of Acceleware’s seismic migration algorithms on GPUs. “The oil and gas industry was one of the first to realize the potential that GPUs have to transform their work,” says Okoniewski. “This contract is a strong endorsement of Acceleware’s expertise
“By combining our core knowledge in making complex algorithms run in parallel with an in-house team of seismic industry experts, Acceleware provides software solutions for seismic data processors that access the massively parallel capabilities of compute GPUs.” microelectronics, holds a faculty position at the University of Calgary (UofC) in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and is Canada Research Chair in Applied Electromagnetics. Schneider holds a UofC master’s degree in electrical engineering. His innovative work in the acceleration of scientific computing applications has earned Schneider numerous elite national scholarships and awards, including the Engineering Internship Prize from the UofC and the Alberta Science and Technology Leader of Tomorrow Award. Prior to establishing Acceleware, Schneider was co-founder and president of Vortex Computing Inc., a high-performance computing consulting company and value-added reseller. In a restructuring begun in 2008,
in harnessing the massively parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to accelerate seismic data processing.” Acceleware also took steps to operationally align itself more closely with NVIDIA, its principal hardware technology provider, making significant progress in introducing NVIDIA’s new hardware programming language (CUDA) in its products. In March, the company announced a new CUDAbased professional services offering, designed to help organizations rapidly implement GPU-based high-performance computing software projects. The new CUDA-based services, including consulting, training and quick start packages, provide expertise for parallel code optimization projects and customization for Acceleware’s existing products. By Maurice Smith
tech guide | exploration directory
exploration Acceleware 1600 - 37 St. S.W. Calgary AB T3C 3P1 Phone: 403-249-9099 www.acceleware.com
Baker Hughes Canada Company 1000, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-537-3400 www.bakerhughes.com
Cubex Limited 12126 - 44 St. S.E.. Calgary AB T2Z 4A2 Phone: 403-258-1544 www.cubexltd.com
Excel Geophysics Inc. 302 Center St. South, Box 5056 High River AB T1V 1M3 Phone: 403-652-1068 www.excelgeophysics.com
Advanced Locating Services 300, 444 - 58 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0P4 Phone: 403-255-9399 www.destiny-resources.com
Bertram Drilling Corp. 10 Main St., Box 100 Carbon AB T0M 0L0 Phone: 403-572-3591 www.bertramdrilling.com
Current Equipment Inc. 4860 - 25 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 3M2 Phone: 403-248-1455 www.currentequipment.com
Explor 1800, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-263-5950 www.explor.net
Aguila 1500, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-232-6222 www.aguila.ca
Bighorn Land and Field Service Ltd. 2805 - 12 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7J2 Phone: 403-291-3371 www.bighornland.com
Data Source Inc. Box 37005 Calgary AB T2E 8V1 Phone: 403-298-0450 www.dsicalgary.com
Fugro Airborne Surveys 2060 Walkley Rd. Ottawa ON K1G 3P5 Phone: 613-731-9575 www.fugroairborne.com
Alconsult International Ltd. 600, 744 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T4 Phone: 403-262-5886 www.alconsult.net Allan Spector and Associates Ltd. 24 Strathallan Blvd. Toronto ON M5N 1S7 Phone: 416-487-9598 ARAM Systems Ltd. 7236 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8X3 Phone: 403-537-2100 www.aram.com Arcis Corporation 2600, 111 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3Y6 Phone: 403-781-1700 www.arcis.com Associated Geosciences Ltd. 415, 708 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0E4 Phone: 403-264-9496 www.associatedgeosciences.ca
Canadian Seismic Rentals Inc. 7862 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8W1 Phone: 403-730-7090 Complete Land Services Ltd. 2432 - 2 Ave. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 0H4 Phone: 403-265-1000 www.completeland.com Conquest Seismic Services 2200 - 39 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6P7 Phone: 403-216-5929 www.conquestseismic.com Copyseis Ltd. 6705 Fairmount Dr. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0X6 Phone: 403-253-3425 www.copyseis.com Cossack Land Services Ltd. 201, 5810 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2H 0H2 Phone: 403-252-5090 www.cossackland.ca
Data Trek Ltd. 207 - 61 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0R4 Phone: 403-255-5774 Datum Exploration Ltd. 6939 Farrell Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0T3 Phone: 403-252-1307 Dove and Kay Exploration Ltd. 690, 400 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0L6 Phone: 403-266-3885 Eagle Canada Inc. 1110, 396 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-263-7770 www.eaglegeo.ab.ca Edge Equipment Ltd. 12704 - 149 St. Edmonton AB T5V 7B3 Phone: 780-455-3343 www.edgeequipment.com
Fugro Data Solutions Canada 4221 - 23B St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7V9 Phone: 403-250-1119 www.fugro-data.ca Fugro-Jason Canada 610, 600 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0S5 Phone: 403-263-3340 www.fugro-jason.com GEDCO 1200, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-262-5780 www.gedco.com Geokinetics Exploration Inc. 3815 - 32 St. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 7C1 Phone: 403-265-1696 www.geokinetics.com Geomodeling Technology Corp. 1100, 665 - 8 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3K7 Phone: 403-262-9172 www.geomodeling.com
exploration directory | Tech guide Geophysical Service Incorporated 400, 400 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0L6 Phone: 403-215-2720 www.geophysicalservice.com
Olympic Seismic Ltd. 1900, 407 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y3 Phone: 403-515-2800 www.olysei.com
Seisland Surveys Ltd. 7235 Flint Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1G2 Phone: 403-255-2770 www.seisland.com
Teknica Overseas Ltd. 1900, 520 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3R7 Phone: 403-269-4386 www.teknicaltd.com
Geo-Search Data 200, 707 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3H6 Phone: 403-237-0885
Oyo Geo Space Canada, Inc. 2735 - 37 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 5R8 Phone: 403-250-9600 www.oyogeospace.com
Seismic Data Listing Service 1400, 630 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0S8 Phone: 403-514-6990 www.sdlsinc.com
Teletape Services Limited 3603 - 8 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 3A5 Phone: 403-287-0930
Paradigm Geophysical (Canada) Ltd. 1700, 125 - 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0P6 Phone: 403-750-3535 www.pdgm.com
Sensor Geophysical Ltd. 1300, 736 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T7 Phone: 403-237-7711 www.sensorgeo.com
GeoTir Inc. 2 Fl., 225 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1B7 Phone: 403-508-9815 www.geotir.com GX Technology Canada Limited 1905, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-263-9139 www.iongeo.com Halliburton Group Canada 1600, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-231-9300 www.halliburton.com Hampson-Russell Limited Partnership 510, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-266-3225 cggveritas.com/hampson-russell HEI Systems 1328, 5328 Calgary Trail Edmonton AB T6H 4J8 Phone: 780-430-6960 International Exploration Consultants (Canada) Inc. 2850, 801 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4A3 Phone: 403-233-7922 www.iexco.net
Pastirik Enterprises 682 Hawkwood Blvd. N.W. Calgary AB T3G 2V6 Phone: 403-547-7226 Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd. 500, 736 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1H4 Phone: 403-215-7950 www.petrelrob.com Petris Canada 805, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-225-4954 www.petris.com Phoenix Geophysics Limited 3, 3781 Victoria Park Ave. Scarborough ON M1W 3K5 Phone: 416-491-7340 www.phoenix-geophysics.com
Sproule Associates Limited 9 Fl., 140 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N3 Phone: 403-294-5500 www.sproule.com
Polaris Explorer Ltd. 4888 - 72 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 3Z2 Phone: 403-531-9739 www.polraisgeo.com
surveyaudit.com 410, 1000 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3M7 Phone: 403-264-2777 www.surveyaudit.com
Prime Seismic Data Ltd. 750, 630 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0S8 Phone: 403-290-1121 www.primeseismic.com
Kelman Technologies Inc. 600, 540 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M2 Phone: 403-262-5220 www.kelman.com
Prinoth Ltd. 6815A - 40 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2W7 Phone: 403-279-7271 www.prinoth.com
Landquest Services Ltd. 130, 3359 - 27 St. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 5E4 Phone: 403-234-9449
Pulse Seismic 2400, 639 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M9 Phone: 403-237-5559 www.pulseseismic.com
MWH Geo-Surveys Ltd. Ste.388, 3104 - 30 Ave. Vernon BC V1T 2C2 Phone: 250-542-9897 www.mwhgeo.com NXT Energy Solutions Inc. 1400, 505 - 3 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E6 Phone: 403-264-7020 www.nxtenergy.com
Signal Geophysical Consulting 1820, 101 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P4 Phone: 403-218-2380 Signature Seismic Processing Inc. 813 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0K5 Phone: 403-531-0760 www.signatureseismic.com
Johnston Seismic Consulting Ltd. 2344 Erlton Pl. S.W. Calgary AB T2S 2Z4 Phone: 403-813-5913 www.cuug.ab.ca/~johnstos/
Mustagh Resources Ltd. 134 Hubman Landing Canmore AB T1W 3L3 Phone: 403-265-5255 www.mustagh.com
Sigma Explorations Inc. 200, 630 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0S8 Phone: 403-264-7865 www.sigmaex.com
River Valley Energy Services Ltd. 5301 - 57 Ave., Box 1038 Grimshaw AB T0H 1W0 Phone: 780-332-1330 www.rivervalleyservices.com RPS Energy 1400, 800 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T6 Phone: 403-265-7226 www.rpsgroup.com/canada Sander Geophysics 260 Hunt Club Rd. Ottawa ON K1V 1C1 Phone: 613-521-9626 www.sgl.com
Terra Management Inc. 611 - 71 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0S7 Phone: 403-269-6090 www.terramanagement.com Terroza Exploration Services Inc. Box 2080 Fairview AB T0H 1L0 Phone: 780-835-5558 www.terrozaexploration.com Vibra-Sonic Control 4004 Gravely St. Burnaby BC V5C 3T6 Phone: 604-294-9495 www.vibra-sonic.bc.ca WesternGeco Canada 2300, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-509-4666 www.slb.com WorleyParsons Infrastructure & Environment 100, 4500 - 16 Ave. N.W. Calgary AB T3B 0M6 Phone: 403-247-0200 www.worleyparsons.com XL Perforating Partnership 5511 - 6 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1X6 Phone: 403-255-7776 www.explosives.com
technologyprofile Leading in the Right Directions The star of a full-service directional drilling package from Mostar Directional Technologies is a unique new product that allows drillers to switch from mud pulse to EM MWD without tripping out The surge to unconventional natural gas deposits like coalbed methane and shale calls for new innovations in directional and horizontal drilling technology from directional providers. Drilling operators are facing not only more precise targets and encountering more varied conditions, but tighter budgets and strict time constraints too.
With directional drilling, a major requirement is efficient measurement-whiledrilling, or MWD. Any failures here are costly and the associated risks high — it invariably means tripping out of the hole. So Mostar Directional Technologies, a full service directional provider, set out to find a solution. “Our goal was to virtually eliminate MWD failures and MWD trips for the industry,” says John Petrovic, vice president.
Of the two common MWD technologies, electromagnetic (EM) and mud pulse, EM is generally best — it’s known for enabling faster surveys and connection times. But occasionally EM-resistant formations like anhydrates are encountered, forcing a reversion to mud pulse. “We needed an innovative solution that could tackle both formation challenges and time constraint issues,” says Petrovic, “so we combined the strengths of both telemetries into a single tool.” Dual Telemetry MWD was the result. “It was the first system of its kind to combine EM and mud pulse capabilities in a single reliable tool,” says Petrovic. The innovation was released to the commercial market in January 2008 and has now been successfully deployed across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado and North Dakota. Operators love the savings. “The system virtually eliminates MWD trips — because there’s already a backup in the hole,” says Petrovic. “It has a built-in redundancy.” He says Dual Telemetry has already enabled several operators to experiment without having to absorb the associated risks and costs. Regarding high resistance formations that aren’t typically ideal for EM signals, he adds, “our EM signal is very strong — but for those unique situations still requiring mud pulse, we can switch over in just a few minutes, saving our customer an MWD trip.” It provides significant advantages when it’s considered that most traditional mud pulse jobs can be drilled using EM for at least a portion of the well. Enabling EM telemetry through any part of a well increases the efficiency of directional operations and results in significant time and cost savings. “EM signals are received up to four times faster than standard mud pulse surveys, and can literally save days of rig time,” says Petrovic. “It’s an easy way to boost operational efficiency and contribute
more to your bottom line.” While critical, MWD is only part of the equation. Horizontal drilling often means being vigilant about staying in narrow seams, so it’s important to always know where the bit is. That’s where Mostar’s focused gamma pitches in. Traditional gamma reads rock lithology on a 360 degree scale, but focused gamma blocks out a portion of that — it sees a quadrant of the rock. That’s an advantage which really becomes evident where there is a requirement to stay closely within a slim pay zone, so forecasting can help. By orienting the focused gamma in a tight seam, it can tell you if there’s sand below or shale above for example, avoiding entry into those zones. And when it comes to minimizing other downhole failures, Petrovic says common sense dictates thoroughly testing out mud motors before sending them down. “Drilling can be an extremely risky business. It’s important to take every precaution possible,” he says. “No matter how great your maintenance program is, you shouldn’t send directional equipment downhole before you’ve tested it.” That’s why the company invested early on in one of the few mud motor dynamometers in Alberta. “If you’re going to be serious about servicing your mud motors, it’s important to have a dyno. It demonstrates our commitment to being truly diligent and doing real preventative maintenance for our clients.” With an ever-increasing need to access targets from alternative locations at surface, directional drilling is becoming more prevalent across the industry. To keep pace, R&D never stops. “Innovations will be developed that will enable us to drill faster, with better accuracy, in order to reach more challenging pay zones,” enthuses Petrovic. “The industry may become reliant on technology that’s yet to be invented — that’s the thrill that keeps us pushing forward.”
And they’re wasted when you make unscheduled trips – like for an MWD failure. So we created the patended Dual Telemetry MWD system. Consider it two complete MWD systems in one. Reap the benefi ts of having both EM and mud pulse capabilities downhole – and switch between them without tripping. Make the most of your rig time. Ask about it.
MOSTAR – HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE
drilling | Tech guide
Need For Speed Canadian drill rig technology focuses on speed
Modern Driller At the core of Savannaâ€™s Rig 652 is a futuristic drillerâ€™s consol in the doghouse.
he relatively high-cost and mature Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin may be a challenge to those seeking to squeeze profits out of conventional oil and gas production. But those challenging conditions do provide an impetus, by encouraging innovation in drilling and production technologies to bring costs down to the lowest possible level. As a result, Western Canada has produced and advanced some of the most cutting-edge drilling technologies in the industry. Increased emphasis on unconventional gas resources has prompted much of the innovation as companies seek ever more cost-effective ways of tapping coalbed methane, tight gas and most recently, shale gas in remote, untested regions such as northeast British Columbia. And given the significant savings that can be gained by knocking hours and days off any drilling project, it is hardly
surprising that speed is where much of the innovation is leading as companies move increasingly to customization of fit-for-purpose rigs for particular plays. From super singles to slant rigs, coiled tubing and hybrid drill pipe/coil drilling, Canadian companies such as Precision Drilling, Ensign Energy Services, Xtreme Coil and Foremost Industries are pioneering many of the advances that increase the speed, efficiency and safety of drilling operations. Savanna Drilling Among those leading the charge to the rig of the future is Savanna Drilling, which was wrapping up completion in August of the first of its latest-generation automated AC (alternating current) rigs, Unit 652. From appearance alone, itâ€™s apparent the unit is, compared to anything built as little as five years ago, a radical departure from conventional technology. Savanna Drilling, along with Savanna Well Servicing, were
tech guide | drilling created by the amalgamation of the Trailblazer, Lakota and Akuna drilling divisions operated by Calgary-based Savanna Energy Services Corp., representing the first time in the company’s history that its drilling and well servicing units will all carry the Savanna name. Rig 652, and the soon to follow 653, both built at Nisku, Alberta, are the first new rigs constructed under the re-branding. At the new rig’s core is the futuristic driller’s consol in the doghouse, from which the modern driller, in temperaturecontrolled comfort, exercises control almost entirely via joystick and touch screen technology. Gone is the necessity to stand at the rig floor wielding the brake handle to adjust parameters such as torque and rate of penetration, tasks now fully automated. A wealth of information — collected from innumerable temperature and pressure sensors, cameras and other equipment — is relayed to the driller’s three touch computer screens.
While it may appear to be something out of Star Trek, its more about function than aesthetics, with control and safety the primary drivers, says one of the rig’s designers, electrical superintendent Rick Beniuk. “The advantage with the AC is control, because you can control the downhole tools and drilling however you want. With older models, it was kind of a hit-and-miss thing. The directional drillers love automation because if they ask for specific torque throughout a specific section, we can give them that. You don’t have to have someone there adjusting up and down. If the hole gets tight, it doesn’t matter, we keep constant torque. With the touch pad, you set your torque and the speed of penetration, and sit and watch.” “Where you used to have boot racks, now you have computer racks,” observes Savanna electrician Darcy Knorr of the high-tech equipment now packed into the doghouse. He compares the advance of the electric rig from its mechanical predecessor to the automobile’s advances over the horse and buggy. “That’s how I explain it to my mom — it’s that big a difference. If you have been driving a horse and buggy for years and then you go step in a car for the very first time, you can pretty much imagine what you’d be thinking — you have got all these buttons and switches you didn’t have before — well, that’s basically what this comes down to. It’s completely different,” he says, conceding it takes some getting used to. “Usually right off the bat [new users] are intimidated, [because] it’s a completely different way of drilling. Before they knew exactly what was going on with their rig by their brake handle. They learned to feel their brake handle’s noises and responses. Now they are put in an environment behind glass where the noises and the brake handle feel are completely gone. Now it becomes strictly a matter of relying on your gauges, or your computer screens, and visual.”
“Where you used to have boot racks, now you have computer racks.”
We can take criticism and are very open to feedback. We know it makes the next rig that much better.” Rated to 4,200 metres, the tele-doubles are nimble and fast. “A huge advantage of this rig is that, because it’s a teledouble, it’s a quick mover. In three or four hours we can be rigged out and gone, where a small triple that does the same depth of hole, it would be a full day to day and a half rig out,” Beniuk says. Motors and pumps are controlled by variable-frequency drive (VFD) systems, which control the rotational speed of an AC electric motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. Thus, equipment can be preprogrammed to, for example, limit motor or pump operations to 80% of rated capacities, rather than being restricted to being simply on or off. “Instead of being full-on or full-off, we usually run them between 20% and 80% depending on how much of a load you are putting on them, so therefore it cuts down on fuel, it cuts down on in-rush current, and it cuts down on noise. Rather than having guys running around turning on and off motors, it’s all computer controlled,” says Knorr. Autodrill mode also limits potentially dangerous actions, he says. Greater control enables many hazards to be engineered right out of procedures by making it impossible in many instances for an operator to make a manual mistake. “Number one is safety. So there are certain things they can’t do, like run their blocks into the crown or into the floor, for instance.” Preventative maintenance and redundancy are also built into the rig, Knorr notes, so that if something goes down, an alert is sent to the driller, but drilling can continue using backup systems, limiting downtime. The new rigs use Canrig Drilling Technology Ltd.’s AC top drives, which feature a patented directional steering control system that saves rig time by increasing the rate of penetration while sliding, says Beniuk. It also enables faster toolface setting and improved toolface control.
Probably because it resembles a video game, younger drillers seem to adapt to it much quicker, Beniuk says, though after adjusting to it, he says he has “yet to find a driller who doesn’t like going to this style of technology.”
“Everything that we have on here comes back to control — that’s the aim, that’s what the oil companies want, to get the best bang for their buck, with the quickest and best drilling,” he says.
The advances were sure to please most drillers, since they reflect their own requests. “Probably our biggest resource is the guys on the rig that are out there right now, because of the feedback we get from them,” Beniuk says. “Before we started building these rigs we contacted the AC rigs that were out there and said, ‘Send us a list — if you had the opportunity to change some things on your rigs, what would you change?’
Environmental benefits come hand-in-hand with the built-in efficiencies. A more efficient rig uses less power and subsequently less fuel to operate. Further, these efficiencies allow for decreased completion times meaning the rig is not operating for as many days to drill a well. And because the rigs are smaller, lease preparation is less extensive, leaving less of an environmental footprint.
drilling | Tech guide Precision Drilling Canada’s largest drilling contractor has long leveraged technology to remain a market leader. Innovations such as slant drilling capabilities, AC electric top drives, variable frequency drives and a variety of pad configurations are among the advancements that give Precision Drilling Corporation an edge in areas such as heavy oil production.
distinct advantage over coiled tubing, the company says. In coiled tubing applications, factors such as wellbore diameter and lithology, as well as directional drilling programs can create situations where coiled tubing does not perform well. The Super Single Light is therefore a more versatile option in that its performance is never compromised regardless of the drilling application, says Precision.
Among Precision’s biggest successes have been its Super Single rigs, which originated from its slant rigs built for heavy oil drilling. The high-performance rigs, most of which can drill in vertical and slant positions, are well suited for the horizontal and directional wells so much in demand today.
With an eye to further improvements, Precision is applying state-of-the-art AC drives to its next generation Super Single rig as well as the new line of fast-moving and versatile 4,000metre AC drive triple rigs.
Particularly proficient on conventional vertical wells, Super Single rigs use extended length tubulars, integrated top drive, innovative unitization to allow quick moves between well locations and enhanced safety features such as remotely operated torque wrenches. The Super Single is capable of such specialty drilling as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells, coalbed methane and tight gas wells, and river crossings for pipelines, without comprising its ability to move rapidly. Precision has since followed up its Super Single success with the Super Triple and, directly taking on the coiled tubing drilling market segment, the Super Single Light. Particularly advantageous for the shallow gas market, the Super Single Light is a scaled down version of the original Super Single that uses conventional Range III jointed tubulars, giving it a
Ensign Energy Services Ensign Energy Services Inc., Canada’s second biggest landbased drilling contractor, was one of the first to really comprehend that rig technology must keep up with advances in drill bit technology, which took a big step forward in recent years with the advent of the polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit. Ensign started constructing rigs that would maximize the benefits offered by this new bit technology early on. “We designed rigs that put an even weight on bit distribution — versus most typical rigs in the world with drum brakes, which provide an uneven weight on bit,” says Bob Geddes, Ensign president and COO. The advent of AC drawworks and hydraulic units led to Ensign’s Automated Drill Rig (ADR or ADRT) design, which reduces both drilling time and well costs. Ensign operates some 60 ADRs in Canada and around the world.
Modular Design Featuring a modular design, Ensign operates some 60 ADRs in Canada and around the world, including the Middle East.
Photo: Dean Hills of Ensign Energy Services Inc.
The company says its ability to develop in-house solutions is evident in its latest generation Super Single, which it considers the best high-tech, multiple-purpose rig in its class in the world today. The specialized, highly mobile rig continues to set new benchmarks for safety and performance with its automated pipe-handling, advanced control systems and minimal environmental footprint.
tech guide | drilling The flagship ADR technology gives Ensign a significant edge over its competitors, according to Geddes. “Many of our competitors just buy off-the-shelf rigs,” he says. “A lot of companies have constructed generic, 1980s style drilling rigs and there is a flood of these types of rigs on the market. At Ensign, we construct our state-of-the-art ADRT rigs, which offer the newest, safest and most efficient technology available today. Additionally, we are able to get our new rigs into the field more quickly than our competitors because of our in-house engineering and design group.”
With its modular design, the ADR series rigs reduce location size by up to 30% compared to locations required for conventional drilling rigs, providing operators a significant advantage, especially in environmentally sensitive areas. The ADRs are as much as three times safer than conventional drilling rigs, and are completely adaptable as a drilling unit using jointed pipe or coiled tubing, says Geddes. Ensign has a number of patents on its ADR technology, as well as on using coiled tubing in drilling rig applications.
Ensign’s vision is to complement its current business with drilling rigs that will go in any direction a driller wants them to go. Seventy-five per cent of all wells drilled by Ensign rigs now include a directional component. “It makes sense — it becomes part of the process,” Geddes says, noting that directional drilling makes up a large part of what companies now require. Going this route “saves a couple of people on location, it drops their directional drilling costs.” Ensign, which operates 10 rigs in the U.S. that offer this service, will be rolling out its directional drilling service in Canada this year — further reducing operating costs for customers. Ensign’s made-in-Alberta technology is a major asset for this Calgary-headquartered firm. The Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) is one of the highest cost basins in the world to produce. “So we have to be very much aligned
Ensign’s ADR-1000-CT won a 2005 Alberta government award for innovation in workplace health and safety. This was because the design eliminates many of the tasks where injuries occur on conventional rigs. Key safety features of the ADR include hydraulic pipe skate and loader, iron derrickman eliminating the need for a person to be in the derrick during tripping operations, iron roughneck, top drive system, integrated BOP handling system, hydraulic slips and non-skid flooring. The revolutionary design has led to performance records and trimmed costs as much as 25% in some cases. After mobilizing five ADRs to a country in the Middle East, the first well drilled tied the national record for speed and the second well beat that record. The company has been setting records there ever since. Ensign is nicely positioned to capitalize on the trend toward resource play exploitation, which increasingly makes use of drilling rigs designed specifically for particular plays. It operates its own engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group, which can purpose-build and design rigs using the latest technology. The key, Geddes says, is that Ensign becomes very much aligned with its customer. “The customer buys a resource play thinking he’s going to be there for 10 to 20 years. Why not construct a rig with the same thought, and build the most efficient machine that will live with the project.” Using that approach, Ensign’s EPC group has built approximately 50 rigs in the last 10 years, with another six ADRs under construction with deliveries scheduled through 2009. Ensign is also moving into the directional drilling business, where the technology is now off-the-shelf and commoditized.
Customer Input Xtreme has designed, with customer input, six different models of COTD drilling rigs to achieve different depths.
with our customers, and Ensign will continue to push the technology. A lot of new technology comes out of Canada for a reason — the WCSB is one of the toughest basins to produce from,” Geddes has noted. Xtreme Coil Drilling Three-year-old Xtreme Coil Drilling Corp. of Calgary is helping to push the frontiers of coiled tubing drilling with forays into the southern U.S. and Mexico. Eight of its 16-rig fleet is under contract in Mexico, while three are under long-term contract in the U.S. With their ability to drill deeper, using larger coil, Xtreme’s unique hybrid Coil Over Top Drive (COTD) rigs have made setting records an almost routine event. While CT drilling is well-suited to shallow gas drilling in southern Alberta, uptake in the U.S. has lagged, in part because of the need for deeper drilling out of reach of early CT drilling technology. Xtreme hopes to rectify that with its newest breed of rigs. “In the U.S. you need to be able to drill that 10,000-
drilling | Tech guide foot stuff,” says Tom Wood, Xtreme’s founder and executive chairman. “If you don’t have a tool to do that, you’re probably going to miss out. [With] the drilling in Canada, the coil rigs have been successful because it’s an extremely fast hole,” he says. “When you drill in formations that are deeper, they get harder, they change a lot.” Xtreme has designed, with customer input, six different models of COTD drilling rigs to achieve different depths. The hybrid rigs are designed to drill with conventional jointed drill pipe where necessary, with a seamless interchange between systems that can be done in one to two minutes. Coiled tubing is run continuously with zero connections and there is no human contact with the pipe — everything is automated and controlled by the driller working in a climatecontrolled doghouse. Xtreme is the only hybrid rig operator with drilling rigs rated to greater than 2,438 metres (8,000 feet), with 13. Using 3 1⁄2- and four-inch coiled tubing, its rigs have increased the maximum depth obtainable with coil from 2,100 to 3,000 metres (about 10,000 feet), a range that encompasses 70% of the world’s oil and gas wells, while with jointed pipe its five XTC 400 rigs can reach 4,267 metres (14,000 feet). The COTD rigs range in size from the equivalent of a super single drilling rig to a triple. The company’s rigs include plenty of automation along with very high-strength steels. To accommodate its ambitious target depths, the company has designed and built the world’s largest CT trailer. To preserve its international potential, the innovative company has applied for more than 60 patents. In addition to its drilling patents, Xtreme has patented innovative transportation techniques, making its rigs among the fastest to move in, rig-up and rig-out. Working with INTEQ, a division of Baker Hughes, Xtreme has also developed a leading position in the use of rotary steerable bottomhole tools used with coil, something that in the past required drill string rotation. With Baker’s prototype TruTrak automated directional drilling service, they’ve combined the motor and the rotary steerable assembly into a single tool. Program the tool at surface for the trajectory desired and run it into the hole and it drills that trajectory. In April, Xtreme completed the deepest well drilled to date with 3 1⁄2-inch coiled tubing (CT), reaching 3,034 metres (9,954 feet), drilling with a combination of CT and conventional drill pipe. The well, completed with Xtreme’s XTC 300 COTD, working under a subcontract with Weatherford in Mexico, was drilled at double the penetration rate of the historical average for conventional drilling in the area, according to Rod Uchytil, Xtreme’s president and CEO. Elsewhere, an Xtreme XTC 400 rig drilled an S-curve well with 3 1⁄2-inch coil and a rotary-steerable bottomhole assembly that it believes to be the deepest yet, drilling in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado. The 2,280-metre (7,480-foot) well accomplished a maximum angle of 21 degrees before returning to vertical. The field record well reached total depth in just 2.7 days, rig release to rig release. Also in Colorado, an XTC 300 successfully tested the prototype rotary steerable tool using coiled tubing in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, reaching total depth of 2,277 metres (7,470 feet) in 44.25 hours. Another first Xtreme marked was to penetrate the West Texas market, potentially opening up new opportunities until now
“A lot of new technology comes out of Canada for a reason — the WCSB is one of the toughest basins to produce from.” considered beyond the scope of coil. The company found it can complete wells in 50% fewer operating hours compared to the average offset well, even while penetrating hard carbonate formations to 2,225 metres (7,300 feet). In addition to the U.S. and Mexico, Xtreme’s equipment has attracted interest in Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Russia, Romania, the Middle East and South America. Foremost Industries Perhaps better known for its rugged-duty off-road tracked and wheeled vehicles for the oil and gas industry, Foremost Industries, LP, a division of the Foremost Industries Income Fund, is also an expert designer and manufacturer of specialized drilling equipment. Since the first attempts to drill new wells with coiled tubing occurred near Medicine Hat, Alberta, in 1994, Foremost has been among the pioneers of the development of new CT technologies. In fact, in 1997 Foremost engineered and manufactured the industry’s first hybrid coiled tubing drill rig designed to drill new wells from surface using either the proven technology of conventional top drive in conjunction with jointed pipe, or the cutting-edge technology of continuous coiled tubing in combination with existing injector systems. Since then, Foremost has led the industry in coiled tubing rig (CTR) engineering and manufacturing for shallow oil and gas drilling. It has worked closely with a number of clients since 1999 to develop coiled tubing rigs for production drilling, each with a unique design built to customer specifications. It is now the leader in providing mobile CT drilling rigs. Converting from coil to conventional drilling can take place in the field without measurable cost or downtime, notes the company. Average penetration rates of 250 metres (820 feet) per hour are commonplace, the company says, and depths of greater than 2,500 metres (8,100 feet) with 3 1⁄2-inch diameter coiled tubing have been achieved. Rigs can drill and case new wells under 1,000 metres in less than a day. From 2000 to 2008, more than 40,000 new wells were drilled with hybrid CTRs. The company also manufactures the Explorer Series hydraulic top drive rigs, capable of both vertical and slant drilling, designed for shallow oil and gas drilling to depths of 1,800 metres (6,000 feet). A unique hydraulic pullback and pulldown system delivers hoisting capacities up to 58,967 kilograms (130,000 pounds) with no mast crown load. Featuring a fully automated drill pipe and tubular handling system, designed to eliminate manual handling when making connections or bringing pipe to and from the drill string, the Foremost pipe handler also provides sufficient clamping forces to assist in breaking tool joints. By Maurice Smith
tech guide | drilling
On The Straight & Narrow Well guidance system keeps vertical wells on track
il industry veterans have long known the value of a straight wellbore. Whether for running casing, downhole tools or other hardware, a straight hole makes up for many faults. What’s true for vertical wells is true for directional ones: a kink or two in the vertical leg often creates big problems, whether drilling, tripping or moving hardware into the well, since all such operations have to get past any doglegs.
For that reason, various tools, including rotary steerable systems, have been developed to navigate or avoid crooked holes. Such systems often rely on guidance tools, such as measurementwhile-drilling (MWD), to keep well trajectories straight. The downside of rotary steerables is their often high cost, which is where an Alberta company comes in. Departure Energy Services says its G-Force vertical guidance tool (previously branded its DDLite system) offers benefits similar to those of other tool-makers, but for about half the cost. Departure’s tool is designed for vertical wells or vertical legs of directional wells. According to a Departure executive, deep horizontal wells are just one use for the technology. “That’s when you want to keep the vertical [leg] as straight as possible to minimize the torque and drag [created] when you drill the horizontal leg,” says Larry Comeau, Departure’s chairman and chief executive. “[G-Force] dramatically reduces tortuosity in the well’s vertical section.” He says the system eliminates borehole spiralling: the tendency for some drill bits to carve a spiral-walled wellbore that looks like a striped candy cane from the inside. The system also helps reduce torque and drag, yielding a better-quality wellbore, higher rate-ofpenetration (ROP) and reduced tripping times, he adds. “We’ve greatly improved the wellbore quality and taken out the ... borehole spiralling that typically occurs with a bent housing and a short-gauge PDC bit that is not stabilized,” says Comeau, noting the system also works with rollercone bits.
Be My Guide G-Force uses three stabilizers and a positive displacement mud motor to guide the bit during drilling and correct any deviation in well trajectory.
G-Force uses stabilizers and a positivedisplacement mud motor to guide the drill bit during drilling, correcting any deviation in well trajectory. According to Comeau, Departure’s system has been widely used in northeastern British Columbia, on natural gas wells in the 2,700-metre-depth range. So far, 31 wells have been drilled in Canada using the system, mostly in Alberta and B.C. In Western Canada, Suncor Energy Inc. has tried G-Force on several vertical gas wells. “We’ve used it on every well [on this project] so far, and as a performance [mud] motor, it works well,
similar to other performance motors,” Ian Macleod, Suncor’s superintendent of drilling, said as the company was drilling its fifth well with the system. He says the system “seems” to yield extended bit life, although it’s not clear if that’s attributable solely to G-Force. Macleod attributes one benefit to the system: the ability to make correction runs without tripping out of the hole to run in directional equipment. Under the latter scenario, the rotary table and drill string are stopped, and drilling comes to a halt. With G-Force, although the rotary table is also stopped, drilling
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tech guide | drilling combined rotation of the tool’s mud motor and the rotary table to drill, transferring more torque to the bit than with conventional drilling.
“When the well deviates two or three degrees [from vertical], we can do a quick slide and bring it back.”
continues because drilling mud still circulates, driving the mud motor at the core of the system. Since the mud motor is tilted at an angle, a slight turn of the rotary table allows correction of a deviated well trajectory.
Rate of penetration is another issue. While ROP improved on the five wells in question, Macleod would not attribute that solely to G-Force, partly because other variables, including drilling mud, were changed.
“When the well deviates two or three degrees [from vertical], we can do a quick slide and bring it back,” says Macleod. “The ability to do correction runs is a huge benefit, and we’ve had to do it on a few wells already.”
“It’s difficult [to say], because we’ve seen a substantial variation in ROP due to mud properties and how we’ve run the mud,” he notes. Despite the challenge of isolating such factors, he used the G-Force system on the project’s remaining wells due to its performance. “It seems to be a good fit for the area. I wouldn’t hesitate to run it in similar situations,” he says.
Of the first five Suncor wells, the majority were drilled in unconsolidated sandstones. Macleod is not sure the same performance would result in harder formations. Nor is he sure G-Force would perform as well in dipping formations — those that rise and fall — as it has in less challenging “flat-top” formations.
Another Canadian user says G-Force works well in high-ROP, performancedrilling, where the driller slows the rotary table to, say, 35-to-55 r.p.m., using the
Having first used G-Force in 2006, this drilling manager drilled about 20 wells with the tool. While drilling to the Leduc formation near Sylvan Lake, Alberta, his ROP in some carbonate formations was three-to-five metres per hour, but rose as high as 20-to-25 metres an hour with G-Force. The system offers “effective torque at the bit and having a slight bend in [the mud motor] creates a vibration that just makes the bit hum,” he says. “As we’re performance-drilling and increasing ROP, we also have target control,” he adds. “That’s important for operators.” The drilling manager believes the system is more effective in some rocks than others. “We really don’t see the cost-effectiveness on the shallow, soft rock as much as when we get down to the harder rock, like carbonaceous rocks in the Leduc. That’s where you can really see the offset in penetration rates.” By James Mahony
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drilling directory | Tech guide
drilling Accudrill Inc. Bay 14, 702 - 18 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 7V8 Phone: 780-955-9337 www.accudrill.com Accurate Leasing Ltd. 814, 1661 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3J 3T7 Phone: 204-772-2213 www.accurateleasing.com Advance Drilling Ltd. 400, 221 West Esplanade North Vancouver BC V7M 3J3 Phone: 604-980-5973 Aero Drilling & Consulting Ltd. Box 263 Bentley AB T0C 0J0 Phone: 403-748-3603 Airways Rentals, Leasing & Sales 4605 Gateway Blvd. Edmonton AB T6H 5C3 Phone: 780-451-2203 www.airwaystrucks.com AKITA Drilling Ltd. 900, 311 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3H2 Phone: 403-292-7979 www.akita-drilling.com Alliance Energy Services Ltd. 1840, 840 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z9 Phone: 403-663-9766 www.allianceenergy.ca
Alta. Can. Oil Tool Int. Ltd. Box 370 Avonlea SK S0H 0C0 Phone: 306-868-2291
Big Sky Drilling Inc. Box 659 Oxbow SK S0C 2B0 Phone: 306-483-5132
B.W. Rig Supply 609 - 21 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 7X9 Phone: 780-955-8686 www.hyduke.com
Black Diamond Energy Services 2000, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-206-4747 blackdiamondenergyservices.com
Baker Hughes Canada Company 1000, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-537-3400 www.bakerhughes.com
B-Line Directional Drilling Box 1240 Elk Point AB T0A 1A0 Phone: 780-210-2225
Beaver Drilling Ltd. 910, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-265-6472 www.beaverdrilling.com Beck Drilling and Environmental Services Ltd. 533 - 71 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2Y2 Phone: 403-297-1399 www.beckdrill.com Bertram Drilling Corp. 10 Main St., Box 100 Carbon AB T0M 0L0 Phone: 403-572-3591 www.bertramdrilling.com Bico-Faster Drilling Tools Inc. 805, 505 - 6 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1X5 Phone: 403-262-5595 www.bicodrilling.com
Boart Longyear Canada 4025 - 96 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 4T7 Phone: 403-287-1460 www.boartlongyear.ca Boundary Equipment Co. Ltd. 10740 - 181 St. Edmonton AB T5S 1K8 Phone: 780-483-3133 www.boundaryequipment.com Brandette Well Servicing Ltd. Box 6150 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1R6 Phone: 780-542-3404 www.brandette.com Camaro Drilling Ltd. 8, 4101 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7C4 Phone: 403-250-2431
Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors 800, 540 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M2 Phone: 403-264-4311 www.caodc.ca Canadian Discovery Ltd. 300, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-269-3644 www.canadiandiscovery.com Cathedral Energy Services Ltd. 1700, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-265-2560 cathedralenergyservices.com Champion Drilling Inc. Box 1090 Brooks AB T1R 1B9 Phone: 403-362-4400 www.ensignenergy.com Chinook Drilling 2550, 300 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C4 Phone: 403-269-2612 www.totalenergy.ca Circle T Service & Rental Ltd. 6828 - 52 Ave. Red Deer AB T4N 4L1 Phone: 403-342-6004 www.circletrentals.com Classic Oilfield Service Ltd 5211 - 65 St. Lloydminster AB T9V 2E8 Phone: 780-875-3276
tech guide | drilling directory Coffey Power Tongs Inc. 1643 St. Andrew’s Pl. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 3Y4 Phone: 403-804-8687 www.coffeytongs.net
Encore Coring & Drilling Inc. 1345 Highfield Cres. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 5N2 Phone: 403-287-0123 www.ensignenergy.com
Columbia Oilfield Supply 9280 - 25 Ave. Edmonton AB T6N 1E1 Phone: 780-437-5110 www.precisiondrilling.com
Enerflow Industries Inc. 4800 - 27 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 3M4 Phone: 403-279-9696 www.enerflow.com
Compass Directional Services Ltd. 400, 525 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C9 Phone: 403-237-8799 www.compassdirectional.com
Ensign Energy Services Inc. 1000, 400 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0L6 Phone: 403-262-1361 www.ensignenergy.com
Control Drilling Service (1987) Ltd. 5921 - 87A St. Edmonton AB T6E 5W6 Phone: 780-465-6006 www.controldrillingservice.com
Cougar Tool Inc. 7319 - 17 St. Edmonton AB T6P 1P1 Phone: 780-440-2400 www.cougartool.com Cubex Limited 12126 - 44 St. S.E.. Calgary AB T2Z 4A2 Phone: 403-258-1544 www.cubexltd.com D & D Oilfield Rentals Corp. Box 1197 Redcliff AB T0J 2P0 Phone: 403-548-2700 www.ddoil.net DC Energy Services Inc. 400, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-218-2975 www.dcenergy.com Decarson Rentals 1203 - 4 St. Nisku AB T9E 7L3 Phone: 780-955-9420 www.essentialenergy.ca Decision Dynamics Technology, Ltd. 300, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-451-0700 www.ddytech.com Densak Pipe & Oilfield Trucking Service 20 Strathcona Rd. S.W. Calgary AB T3H 1V5 Phone: 403-246-5551 Departure Energy Services Inc. 1750, 700 – 6 Ave S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0T8 Phone: 403-266-3940 Drilling Fluids Treatment Systems Inc. 7530 - 114 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 4T3 Phone: 403-279-0123 www.dfts.com Dril-x-Fluids Inc. 480, 840 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E5 Phone: 403-444-1517 www.dril-x.com
Excalibur Drilling Ltd. 700, 435 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3A8 Phone: 403-269-2041 www.excaliburdrilling.com Excell Specialty Ltd. 9516 - 62 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0C9 Phone: 780-437-2776 Extreme Engineering Ltd. Bay 130, 3510 - 29 St. S.E. Calgary AB T1Y 7E5 Phone: 403-640-9494 www.extremeeng.com Foremost Industries LP 1225 - 64 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8P9 Phone: 403-295-5800 www.foremost.ca Garritty & Baker Drilling Inc. 5715 - 56 Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 3G3 Phone: 780-433-8786 garrittyandbakerdrilling.com H.M.F. Oil Co. Ltd. 408 Mississippian Dr. Estevan SK S4A 2A7 Phone: 306-634-7688 www.hmfoil.ca
Impact Oilfield Supply Inc. 3320 Parsons Rd. Edmonton AB T6N 1B5 Phone: 780-466-7484 Impact Rock Bits Box 6448 Peace River AB T8S 1S3 Phone: 780-624-2640 www.impactrockbits.com Ironhand Drilling Inc. 405, 535 - 10 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0A8 Phone: 403-237-6789 Jomax Drilling (1988) Ltd. 1700, 505 - 3 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E6 Phone: 403-265-5312 www.jomax.ca K & D Pratt Ltd. 210 John Savage Ave., Box 279 Dartmouth NS B3B 0C9 Phone: 902-468-1955 www.kdpratt.com K Tec Industries (2005) Inc. Box 1060 Grande Prairie AB T8V 4B5 Phone: 780-538-1855 Komat Drilling Box 20126 Medicine Hat AB T1A 8M4 Phone: 403-580-7476 Lexcore Services Inc. Box 50090, RPO Marlborough Calgary AB T2A 7P1 Phone: 403-279-4550 www.lexcoreinc.com Lory Oilfield Rentals Inc. 1004 - 15 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 7S5 Phone: 780-955-2626 www.oilfieldrentals.com
MaxxiMat Inc. 21074 - 5 St. Nisku AB T9E 7X4 Phone: 780-979-6588 www.maxximat.com McCaw’s Drilling & Blasting Ltd. 4228 - 47 Ave., Box 2250 Rocky Mountain House AB T4T 1B6 Phone: 403-845-3101 MCO Industries Inc. 2915 - 15 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7L8 Phone: 403-250-5323 www.stratex-mco.com Mi Casa Rentals Inc. 200, 435 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3A8 Phone: 403-262-2288 www.micasa-rentals.com Nabors Canada 2800, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-263-6777 www.nabors.com Newsco Directional & Horizontal Drilling Services Inc. 7000 Railway St. S.E., Box 8388 Calgary AB T2H 3A8 Phone: 403-243-2331 www.newsco.ca Noble Drilling (Canada) Ltd. 4 Fl., 10 Fort William Pl. St. John’s NL A1C 1K4 Phone: 709-758-4400 www.noblecorp.com NorthBasin Energy Services Inc. 1203, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-648-8600 www.northbasinenergy.com
Halliburton Group Canada 1600, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-231-9300 www.halliburton.com Hemsing Drilling Ltd. 510, 922 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 5R4 Phone: 403-207-3302 www.hemsingdrilling.com HiTech Fluid Systems Ltd. 1800, 505 - 3 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E6 Phone: 403-547-2906 www.hitechfluid.com Horizon Drilling Inc. 2300, 700 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2W2 Phone: 403-290-0308 www.horizon-drilling.com Hyduke Drilling Solutions 2107 - 6 St. Nisku AB T9E 7X8 Phone: 780-955-0360 www.hyduke.com
Lougheed Welding & Fabrication (2005) Ltd. 405 - 18 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 7T5 Phone: 780-955-3700 www.lougheedwelding.com Marlex Energy Services Company 610 - 15 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 8A3 Phone: 780-955-7311 www.marlex.ca Matco Manufacturing Ltd. Box 2, Site 2, R.R. 2 Sexsmith AB T0H 3C0 Phone: 780-568-4484
Northwell Rentals Ltd. 9111 - 39 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 5Y2 780-437-7469 Phone: 780-437-7469 OK Drilling Services L.P. Box 700 Red Deer AB T4N 5G6 Phone: 403-343-8860 www.okdrilling.com Pantera Drilling Inc. 600, 407 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1E5 Phone: 403-515-8400 www.panteradrilling.com
drilling directory | Tech guide Parsons Oilfield Services & Supply Inc. 88 Scandia Rise N.W. Calgary AB T3L 1V6 Phone: 403-818-2005
ReedHycalog Canada 2700, 144 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N4 Phone: 403-234-9999 www.reedhycalog.com
Pason Systems Inc. 6130 - 3 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1K4 Phone: 403-301-3400 www.pason.com
Richfield Equipment Ltd. 337, 440 - 10816 Macleod Tr. S Calgary AB T2J 5N8 Phone: 403-236-0056 www.richfieldequipment.ca
PathFinder Energy Services Canada, Ltd. 1401 - 8 St. Nisku AB T9E 7M5 Phone: 780-955-7513 www.pathfinderlwd.com
River Valley Energy Services Ltd. 5301 - 57 Ave., Box 1038 Grimshaw AB T0H 1W0 Phone: 780-332-1330 www.rivervalleyservices.com
Patterson UTI Drilling Co. Canada 1450, 101 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P4 Phone: 403-269-2858 www.patenergy.com Peloton Computer Enterprises Ltd. 450, 1000 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 5L5 Phone: 403-263-2915 www.peloton.com Petris Canada 805, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-225-4954 www.petris.com Phoenix Technology Services LP 630, 435 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3A8 Phone: 403-543-4466 www.phoenixcan.com
Rotary Sales & Service 9516 - 62 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0C9 Phone: 780-434-3621 Savanna Energy Services Corp. 1800, 311 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3H2 Phone: 403-503-9990 www.savannaenergy.com Saxon Energy Services Inc. 1700, 700 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3J4 Phone: 403-716-4150 www.saxonservices.com Schlumberger Canada Ltd. 525 - 3 Ave SW Calgary AB T2P 0G4 Phone: 403-509-4000 www.slb.com Sentry Pumping Units International 450, 444 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2T8 Phone: 403-775-7077
Precision Drilling Trust 4200, 150 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3Y7 Phone: 403-716-4500 www.precisiondrilling.com
Sicotte Drilling Tools Inc. 1101 - 77 Ave. Edmonton AB T6P 1M8 Phone: 780-440-6700 www.sicottedrillingtools.com
Prinoth Ltd. 6815A - 40 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2W7 Phone: 403-279-7271 www.prinoth.com
Simmons Group Inc. 800, 906 - 12 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1K7 Phone: 403-244-5340 www.simmonsenergy.com
Progressive Technology 20, 4216 - 54 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2E3 Phone: 403-279-4040 www.nov.com
Smith - Drilling & Remedial 710, 396 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-264-6077 www.siismithservices.com
Prudential Energy Services Ltd. 11000 - 95 St. High Level AB T0H 1Z0 Phone: 877-926-9164 www.prudentialenergy.ca
Smith International Canada, Ltd. 710, 396 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-264-6077 www.smith.com
Q’Max Solutions Inc. 1700, 407 – 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y3 Phone: 403-269-2242 www.qmaxsolutions.com
Southwest Oilfield Products Canada Ltd. 9691 - 45 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T6E 5Z8 Phone: 780-434-3473
Quintera Drilling Box 1408 Brooks AB T1R 1C3 Phone: 403-501-3704
Stoneham Drilling Inc. 1230, 335 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1C9 Phone: 403-264-7777 www.stonehamdrilling.com
Strip-O-Matic Rentals & Sales Ltd. Box 73037 Edmonton AB T5T 3X1 Phone: 780-577-5112
Trendon Bit Service Ltd. Box 548 Redcliff AB T0J 2P0 Phone: 403-548-7242 www.trendonbitservice.com
T1 HDD Services Inc. 2059 #3, 9899 - 112 Ave. Grande Prairie AB T8V 7T2 Phone: 866-814-5254 www.t1hddservices.com
Treo Drilling Services L.P. 1600, 333 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1L9 Phone: 403-723-8600 www.treodrilling.com
Tall Pine Drilling Ltd. Box 700 Bentley AB T0C 0J0 Phone: 403-748-2955 www.tallpinedrilling.com
Trinidad Drilling Ltd. 2500, 700 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3V4 Phone: 403-265-6525 www.trinidaddrilling.com
Tartan Controls Inc. 6932 - 34 St. Edmonton AB T6B 2X2 Phone: 780-463-3366 www.tartancontrols.com Technicoil Corporation 1510, 555 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E7 Phone: 403-509-0700 www.technicoilcorp.com Teledrift Canada Inc. 7, 4275 - 78 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2Y4 Phone: 403-203-0840 Tempco Drilling Company Inc. Box 5543, Stn. A Calgary AB T2H 1X9 Phone: 403-259-5533 Terracon Geotechnique Ltd. 140, 2723 - 37 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 5R8 Phone: 403-266-1150 www.terracon.ca Terracon McKay Ltd. 140, 2723 - 37 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 5R8 Phone: 403-266-1150 www.terracon.ca Terroco Drilling Ltd. 4044, 39139 Hwy. 2A Red Deer County AB T4S 2A8 Phone: 403-343-6236 www.terroco.com
Tri-Service Oilfield Manufacturing Ltd. 9545 - 58 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T6E 0B8 Phone: 780-434-9596 www.tsm.ca Universe Machine Corporation 5545 - 91 St. Edmonton AB T6E 6K4 Phone: 780-468-5211 www.umcorp.com Varel Rock Bits Canada Inc. 9926 - 29 Ave. Edmonton AB T6N 1A2 Phone: 780-435-5706 www.varelrockbits.com Viper Rentals & Services Ltd. 10709 - 95 St. High Level AB T0H 1Z0 Phone: 780-926-3366 www.viperrentals.ca Walters Oil Tool Machine Ltd. 9924 - 29 Ave. Edmonton AB T6N 1A2 Phone: 780-462-4744 Westquip Diesel Sales (Alta.) Ltd. 11720 - 181 St. Edmonton AB T5S 1M6 Phone: 780-486-2645 www.westquip.ca
The Crossing Company Inc. 1807 - 8 St. Nisku AB T9E 7S8 Phone: 780-955-5051 www.thecrossingcompany.com
XI Technologies 1700, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-517-0111 www.xitechnologies.com
The Motor Company 4525 - 6A St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 4B2 Phone: 403-230-3055 www.themotorcompany.ca
XL Fluid Systems 102, 2531 Hochwald Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T3E 7K3 Phone: 403-265-4344 www.xlfluids.com
3D Drilling Tools Inc. 8135 Wagner Rd. Edmonton AB T6E 4N6 Phone: 780-440-1922 www.3Ddrillingtools.ca
X-Treme Energy Group 8014 Edgar Industrial Cr., Box 6239 Red Deer AB T4P 3R3 Phone: 403-341-0067 www.xeg.ca
Total Energy Services Trust 2550, 300 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C4 Phone: 403-216-3939 www.totalenergy.ca
Xtreme Coil Drilling Corp. 1402, 500 – 4 Ave S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-262-9500 www.xtremecoildrilling.com
Tracer Supervision 1110, 340 - 12 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1L5 Phone: 403-261-7097 www.barlon.ca
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tech guide | production
Cracking Good Canadian service companies leading innovators of new fracing technologies
handful of Calgary-based service companies have helped produce untold thousands more barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas than would otherwise have been possible, thanks to their ingenuity in fracturing technology.
its new StackFRAC HD, a high-density multi-stage fracturing system, to meet the demand from oil and gas operators for more stimulation stages in horizontal wells. “We can now effectively isolate and successfully stimulate as many as 20 stages,” says Themig. “This gives us a tremendous opportunity in this economy to meet the needs of our customers.”
Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. says if it weren’t for StackFRAC, the Bakken formation in southeastern Saskatchewan would still be largely uneconomic. Its affordably priced technology that delivers precisely controlled fracs along a horizontal wellbore is playing a similar role in opening up the Shaunavon, Montney shales and other tight reservoirs here in Canada and around the world, says the company.
One of the recent wells completed with the StackFRAC HD was in the Torquay formation in southwest Manitoba. According to Packers Plus, the installation went smoothly, the fracture stimulation was accomplished in one day and the operator plans to continue using the system in future Torquay wells.
Dan Themig, president of the private firm (30% held by Schlumberger but independently operated), also believes its technology will give producers the capacity to recover a lot more oil from mature fields. Packers Plus recently launched
“We are very happy with the results of our new system and the customer response has been very positive,” says Doug Bobrosky, director of the Canadian business unit. “Several other customers in Canada and the United States are install-
production | Tech guide
“We can now effectively isolate and successfully stimulate as many as 20 stages. This gives us a tremendous opportunity in this economy to meet the needs of our customers.”
ing the new system and are excited about the possibilities that additional stages present.” The new StackFRAC HD system allows for increased production through longer laterals and shorter stage lengths; costs are further reduced by smaller frac strings and liner sizes. To date, systems have been successfully installed in both Canada and the U.S. Packers Plus also pioneered openhole horizontal fracturing with expandable rubber packers. In 2001, two producers approached the firm with horizontal prospects, one in the Montana Bakken and the other a super-tight gas formation in Texas. Themig deployed two stimulation systems and
ran both operations within two weeks of each other. “We designed and manufactured those systems over an eightweek period, and we achieved a game-changing outcome,” he says. StackFRAC can speed up fracturing jobs so they take just one day instead of the usual average of four or five days. It’s done by installing liners in a single operation, and isolating open-hole sections before stimulating. A ceramic ball is injected into the pumping line at surface, which follows the fracturing fluid down the well, opens sliding sleeves and diverts all the fluid into that frac port. This compares to having a cemented liner and having to perforate with each frac. Open hole, or barefoot, means the well has no cemented liner. This saves the cost of running liner and cementing in a string of casing. It also means natural fractures are not cemented off. And it maximizes contact with the wellbore, which is what horizontal drilling is all about. In one continuous pumping operation StackFRAC can strategically place individual frac jobs without having to shut down. It allows operators to place multiple fractures in the same treatment, says John Zukowski, Canadian sales manager. “The whole process is done on the fly, injecting these balls and transitioning from one section to the next, so there’s no ‘pump one day, flow it back, come back the next day, pump another job, flow it back.’ We’re doing the whole stimulation in the horizontal, in one day, in one continuous pumping operation,” says Zukowski. StackFRAC liners can be used for horizontal and vertical wellbores, extended-reach horizontal wellbores, critical sour high-pressure/high-temperature wellbores and naturally fractured reservoir systems. They also can be used in sandstone, carbonate, shale and coal formations. Post-stimulation re-entry allows operators to clean out the StackFRAC liner with coiled or conventional tubing, determine production from selected intervals and selectively shut off undesirable production within the liner. Operators can also re-stimulate at desired intervals if necessary. Many of the applications have been driven by tight gas, says Themig. StackFRAC has become very popular with unconventional operators and is currently being used in seven different shale plays throughout North America and elsewhere, he notes. “In nearly all the fields we’re making best-in-field wells using this technology.” StackFRAC crews have also worked their magic in Saudi Arabia, Mexico and West Africa, among other locales. The first system installed in China improved the well’s gas production by about 2,500%, from 250 thousand cubic feet per day to more than six million cubic feet, sparking plans for more to follow. “We are currently active in more than 10 countries,” says Themig, “and our personnel roster exceeds 200.”
Game Changer Packers Plus’ StackFRAC multi-stage fracturing technology has helped to open up previously uneconomic oil and gas plays across North America.
tech guide | production radioactive tracers, going conventional was simply out of the question.
Frac Height Accuracy Fracture geometry can materially impact the economic value of a well, so acquiring accurate information on downhole conditions helps optimize well completion design, pushing production to its full potential. For years, radioactive tracers have been the most common choice in revealing the height of propped fractures. But these have several drawbacks, particularly on the environmental and safety fronts.
To assuage these concerns, Hexion’s Oilfield Technology Group (OTG) developed the PropTrac H Fracture Diagnostic Service to create a more environmentally friendly way of determining fracture height. The service uses Hexion’s resin-coated proppants containing a non-radioactive tagging material. Once the well is fractured, these proppants are temporarily activated downhole with a specialized logging tool that identifies their precise location and determines propped fracture height.
PropTrac H, the special environmental and safety precautions, permits and regulatory compliance associated with radioactive tracer methods do not apply. And the built-in tagging material in the resin coating produces more accurate results, the company says. “There is the concern that radioactive tracer materials could possibly move up and down the reservoir to some other formations that you would not want to pump a radioactive tracer into,” Kemp says. “PropTrac H is an alternative to conventional methods that provides an easier, safer and more accurate method to determine fracture dimensions.” Hexion introduced PropTrac H into the U.S. Rocky Mountains region at the end of 2007. “We’re looking at areas where they have an interest in determining fracture dimensions but have concerns with the environmental effects of radioactive tracers.”
Another advantage he cites is the absence of radioactive tracer materials used with conventional methods. In conventional jobs, small radioactive tracer materials are continuously added to the proppant slurry. With
The operator used the PropTrac H analysis along with the production log survey to improve the perforating and fracturing design of the offset well, says Kemp. This led to optimization of gas production while lowering water production, which boosted revenue. The latest technological advancement is calculating fracture width to provide operators with even more valuable information on downhole conditions. This new technology was highlighted at a Society of Petroleum Engineers fracturing conference in The Woodlands, Texas, in January, where a paper presented (SPE 119545) offered a more in-depth description of the process. Propped fracture width is calculated using a model that predicts neutron reaction rates as a function of position relative to both the neutron source and detector located in the logging tool.
Bill Kemp, sales and marketing manager with Hexion’s OTG, based in Houston, Texas, highlights shale and tight natural gas applications as instances where PropTrac H can be particularly useful. A technical obstacle in these cases, specifically with multi-zone wells, is the correlation of the post frac production performance with the reservoir’s properties and the completion procedure. “PropTrac can be logged at any time after the frac job is completed using a specialized logging tool that temporarily activates the tag. This provides a much more accurate picture of where the proppant is located,” Kemp says. “That information is used to improve the accuracy of frac models and the economic productivity of a well in a much safer, easier way.”
The company instead opted for PropTrac H and a three-stage fracturing treatment was performed on a well with a subsequent analysis. Data from openhole, cased hole and production logs were combined with the PropTrac H log. The log showed proppant placement compared to water and gas production in the fractured intervals. It also showed that the shale below the 2,730-metre (8,955-feet) interval limited downward fracture growth.
Case Study A U.S. operator used the PropTrac H analysis along with the production log survey to improve the perforating and frac design of an offset well.
According to a case history in the U.S. Rockies compiled by the company, an operator in the region was looking to confirm the propped fracture height in its wells to help improve its fracturing strategy. Cognizant of environmental concerns, along with regulatory restrictions and political issues with
Using the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code, a simulator was developed that generated spectrum data based on well parameters and the assumption of a concentration of tagged proppant at that location. The calculated spectrums can then be compared to a database of measured spectrums from the logging run. Values for both propped height and width are validated when the measured spectrum matches the calculated spectrum. The new fracture diagnostics technology used to calculate width was recently introduced and field tested. A well in the Muddy Ridge Field of Wyoming was the first well to successfully use the service to determine propped fracture width.
production | Tech guide
Shock Doctrine Applied to unconventional gas plays, Century Frac’s FracHammer shock stimulation technology works by “shocking” the formation with an instantaneous pressure release higher than that achieved by conventional fracing technology.
Shock stimulation technology Another Calgary-based company, Century Frac Services, believes it is on the fast-track to making life a little easier for players in the unconventional gas sector. Its FracHammer shock stimulation technology was designed to improve the dry nitrogen stimulation of coalbed methane and other unconventional gas plays by “shocking” the formation with a near wellbore instantaneous pressure application higher than the typical fracture gradient. (A Canadian patent was issued on July 22, 2008, and further improvements to the technology are being developed.) Century Frac Services is a division of Century Oilfield Services Inc., and is a privately owned oilfield service company offering specialized services in hydraulic fracturing. It has completed more than 40 wells using the technique. Results to date have been promising and new techniques are being developed to not only improve productivity but to also reduce the cost of completions, says Jim Collins, vice-president of quality, health, safety and environment. The FracHammer tool consists of a valve placed downhole in the wellbore at the end of the coiled tubing. This valve stays closed until the nitrogen pressure in the coil reaches a certain pre-set firing threshold. The valve then snaps open, allowing nitrogen to rush into the formation, at flow rates much higher than anything that could possibly be pumped because the nitrogen is pre-charged. The concept is that coal is a very brittle material so if force is applied rapidly, it’s more effective on a brittle material than if applied slowly. By shocking the formation in this manner, the company theorizes that numerous small radial cracks form outward from the wellbore. By continuing to apply more nitrogen after the initial shock, these cracks are then extended into multiple cleat systems. The result is a better fracture. Shocking the formation rather than building up pressure more gradually also results in an overall lower use of nitrogen on-site, which
leads to a smaller field treatment footprint and reduced trucking requirements. The 44-inch-long tool can be installed into a standard selective fracturing assembly string, and there is the ability to control the pre-set firing pressure, to ensure that this pressure is above the fracture gradient for the formation. Propane’s advantages Another fracturing technology to enter the market recently was developed by Dwight Loree, founder of Calgary-based GASFRAC Energy Services Inc. The proprietary new fracturing system uses liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), consisting mostly of propane, rather than water- or oil-based fracing fluids. Using propane as the fracturing fluid and pumping it into a reservoir does not result in the types of formation damage other fluids often cause. The real advantage is derived from propane’s two-phase nature — it is pumped as a gelled liquid, effectively delivering proppant into the formation, and then drawn back out as a gas. That means virtually 100% recovery of the propane frac fluid, compared to the roughly 50% achieved with conventional fluids, establishing an effective frac length into the formation two to three times longer. It also means flow back can be shortened to as little as 24 hours versus an industry average of about five days with conventional fracing. “Propane is a beautiful fluid because it can either be a liquid or a gas. It’s inert, so it doesn’t react with the formation or formation fluids at all. When fracturing with propane it stays liquid, but after completing the frac, the propane goes into solution with the reservoir gas,” says Loree, GASFRAC president and CEO. “Even when fracturing very tight zones, all of the propane is recovered and, in over 70 fracs now, has been recovered in less than 48 hours.” This means, where the infrastructure is in place, the propane
tech guide | production
can be recovered during flow back directly to pipeline along with the produced natural gas. This eliminates the need to flare sales gas for a week or longer, as is often done in conventional fracing to remove contaminants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Flaring of these contaminants is necessary until the produced gas stream meets pipeline specification. Using propane also eliminates the need to supply water, recover water back to surface and then finally dispose of it. The timing for such an environmentally-friendly technique could hardly have been better as jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, move to put a cost on carbon dioxide emissions (a carbon tax). The propane used in fracturing can be separated at the gas plant and recycled, Loree explains. Not only will the reduction in flaring convert what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of natural gas from a single well to sales gas, but it will eliminate hundreds of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per well that flaring releases to the atmosphere. “In conventional fracing, the well is flared until sufficient fluid is recovered so a test can be completed [before they can flow it to pipeline]. A tank is used to catch the fluids and a flare stack is used to burn off the gas. When a well is flowed back, it may be necessary to flare it for as much as two weeks, not only burning half a million dollars worth of gas, but also introducing 400 or 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the
“Propane is a beautiful fluid because it can either be a liquid or a gas. It’s inert, so it doesn’t react with the formation or formation fluids at all.”
Two-Phase Advantage GASFRAC went back to the drawing board to design its fleet of fracture equipment to tailor it to the specific handling needs of the gelled propane it uses for frac fluid.
atmosphere. With GASFRAC the well can be fractured and flowed back right into facilities where the propane is recycled and reused. That’s going green!” Loree estimates propane gas fracs can increase production up to 35% over conventional fracs in some tight reservoirs, in part because it provides such a long effective frac. “Water and oil create a lot of problems in the reservoir,” he explains. “When a well is fractured the process puts thousands and thousands of pounds pressure on the face of the reservoir rock. That extremely high pressure forces the frac fluid into the micro pores, while the reservoir only has a fraction of that pressure to push it back out. Where the created frac length may be 300 metres and only half of the frac fluid is recovered, the effective frac length is often 100 metres and that effective frac length is only near the wellbore where there is good pressure drawdown. Farther along the frac, the drawdown decreases to the point where that fluid is left trapped in the reservoir.” “Fluid remaining in the formation blocks production,” says Grant Nevison, GASFRAC vice-president and COO. “The tighter the reservoir, the tougher it is to get that fluid out and the more benefit you will see with GASFRAC. We are seeing effective frac lengths two to three times longer than conventional fracs.” Where re-completions have been done, GASFRAC has found its system can also remove fluid left behind from previous fracs. “One of the first wells we did was barely producing following a conventional oil frac; it was uneconomic. We fractured the well with propane and got 90 cubic metres of frac oil back along with all the propane within 20 hours. It turned out to be the best well in the field,” Loree says. By Lynda Harrison
production | Tech guide
Little Pump That Could Hydraulic submersible pump tackles low pressure, low fluid volume gas wells
n his work as a drilling and service rig hand and later as a consultant, Clayton Hoffarth had a lot of opportunities to see what worked — and what didn’t — when it came to technology. Over time, Global Energy Services Ltd.’s chief technology officer became convinced he could build a better pump, and four years ago he had a chance to do just that. Employed as a completions and workover consultant by Trident Resources Corp., he had encountered the problems of continuing failures with downhole pumps in the company’s Mannville coalbed methane wells. Setting to work, Hoffarth came up with the design for his now patented Activator Hydraulic Submersible Pump (HSP), which addresses the main problems of existing artificial lift solutions: gas lock and solids. The pump “will do everything I would have ever liked to have had to work with,” he says.
seven-inch casing and it has been deployed in depths of up to 1,650 metres. In the HSP, the flow of hydraulic oil to the bottomhole pump determines the cycles of the pump while the speed with which the oil is sent dictates the frequency of each cycle. A single joystick in the surface unit determines the amount of hydraulic oil sent to the bottomhole pump, which in turn determines the amount of fluid produced. Within the pump, a 10-slot self-flushing sand screen filters out large particles of frac sand, coal and cement. The screen is a 1.3-metre tube of 1 1⁄2-inch outer diameter and 0.01-inch spiral slots. The intake ports of the pump are located within the screen and the fluid exhausted from the cooling chamber back flushes the screen with each stroke. Smaller particles that pass through the screen are pumped through the pump into the production string and out of the well.
installed and running within half a day. A single coil tubing unit can deploy or pull the pump and all three strings in one run. “It’s a real good little system,” says Darrell Eagles, a production engineer with Devon Canada. “You just set it and forget it.” The HSP is simple, portable, environmentally-friendly and “the price point is pretty good,” says Eagles, who has used it to dewater shallow gas wells in the W4 area of eastern Alberta. The low-pressure wells, 250 to 1,250 metres deep, produce about 10 cubic metres of water per day. Most of the wells in which the pump was placed averaged about 1,100 metres. The HSP’s positive displacement design is ideally suited to horizontal and deviated wells, and with no reciprocating or rotating rods it provides greater reliability. One pump, for example, operated for more than two years at an 86.5 degree angle to the vertical in an Alberta
While originally designed for coalbed methane wells, the HSP has been successfully installed in conventional natural gas wells with low pressure and low rates of water. “We shine at low volume,” says Hoffarth. As producers strive to squeeze out the last remaining gas in maturing reservoirs of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, they are faced with the challenge of low pressure wells in which existing technology — such as plunger lift and velocity strings that require energy from the well — does not work as well. “When there is not enough energy to lift that water, our pump comes in,” says Farhan Farshori, Global’s vice-president of corporate development. While electric submersible pumps (ESPs) can do much the same job as the HSP, they are not designed to handle low or varying fluid rates. The HSP pump fills a niche that is currently not being addressed — wells with between 0.01 cubic metres and 24 cubic metres (150 barrels) per day of water — says Farshori. “It’s a huge opportunity for us and we address it.” The pump is designed to fit 4 1⁄2-to
A hydraulic flow control valve in the surface equipment can be easily adjusted to almost instantly increase or decrease the volumes of water produced. That’s a major advantage over other forms of artificial lift that may require a service rig, a complete reinstallation or a crew to make changes to accommodate fluctuating volumes, notes Farshori. That ease of use extends to installation of the HSP, which runs on three coiled tubing strings: two hydraulic power strings and one production string. The use of coiled tubing eliminates the need to thread piping, enabling the pump to be
Tackling Marginal Wells Global Energy Services hopes to fill a niche with a new pump design that excels in natural gas wells with low pressure and low rates of water production.
horizontal coalbed methane well. Its small size (about 15 feet long) also enables the HSP to land in a shorter straight section of a well. Global’s goal is to be involved in every aspect of dewatering for marginal and old gas wells, a market Hoffarth describes as “amazing.” By Elsie Ross
tech guide | production
PC Pump Innovator Oil Lift’s products now in about 20 countries
ver the past century, the reciprocating piston-type oil pumpjack has been refined to a high degree of reliability. In contrast, the PC (progressing cavity) pump — installed in heavy oilfields for less than 30 years — remains more service-intensive. “Pump reliability is particularly important internationally because maintenance is often less available and more costly,” says Vern Hult, president of Oil Lift Technology Inc. Cashing in on that need, the PC pump manufacturer has achieved 80% growth annually for the past three years, expanding largely on the strength of foreign sales.
Hult was raised in the heavy oilfield country of western Saskatchewan and graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary. His farm boy’s appreciation for practical applications was reinforced by an early engineering experience. In 1975, he designed permafrost-resistant trencher teeth for the world’s largest ditcher, intended to lay pipe in the Arctic. The massive machine, with 3,000 installed horsepower, never saw commercial use due to the first collapse of the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline project. The Calgarian later co-founded Canterra Engineering, building portable seismic drills. The units consisted of modules light enough to be carried by helicopters or human labourers. “We had plenty of international exposure, where our biggest customers were China and Mexico,” Hult recalls. Canterra also manufactured water well and environmental sampling drills capable of penetrating hard rock. The company was acquired by Foremost Industries LLP.
International Expansion Oil Lift has acheived 80% growth annually for the past three years, expanding largely on the strength of foreign sales.
Other early adaptors were Canadian Natural Resources Limited and ExxonMobil/Imperial at Bonnyville. “ExxonMobil helped us open up the conversation internationally,” the Oil Lift president says. From 2003-05, his company distributed internationally through Weatherford. A big seller proved to be a rod lock BOP (blowout preventer), which enables a company to service any make of stuffing box using just a pickup truck rather than a crane. The world’s crude production slate continues to get heavier as light oil reserves diminish. Also, PC pumps are useful in dewatering coalbed methane (CBM) wells, another resource with tremendous upside potential. “In 2006, we decided to market internationally on our own,” Hult says. Offices were opened in Farmington, New Mexico, and Brisbane, Australia. Both cities are located in CBM producing regions. Oil Lift has also won an encouraging foothold for its PC drive heads in the West African oil-producing nation of Gabon.
In 1995, Hult went to work for Griffin Legrand, a pump manufacturer acquired by Weatherford International in 1997. “For two years, I was general manager of the Weatherford Technical Centre, where a team of engineers developed the PC pump manufacturing capabilities still used by the company,” the veteran engineer says.
The company’s employee roster currently stands at about 70, down from a peak of 90. Even so, Hult says the international initiative has been an important success in preserving his firm’s cash flow and payroll. “In 2005, just before we began managing our own exports, foreign sales accounted for 10% of our total revenue,” he says. “In 2008, foreign revenue made up 60%. Last year, Australia alone provided 35% of our sales.”
“When we started Oil Lift, there were still opportunities on the surface equipment side of PC pumps that had not been addressed,” Hult comments. In his view, stuffing boxes were prone to frequent crude leakage, which generated cleanup bills and production halts while they were fixed. PC pump drives were belt-driven, he adds, creating more issues. And stuffing boxes were located below the drives, making them awkward to service.
With its products now in about 20 countries, Oil Lift carefully considers whether it should operate directly in a region or select a locally-based distributor. Usually it opts for the second option. “Creating an overseas office is expensive,” Hult says. “A foreign distributor can also offer established relations with customers and should understand the local business culture, which would take us a lot of time to develop on our own. The language issue alone is a major factor.”
Oil Lift designed gear drives mounted below the stuffing box. “Every seal leaks sooner or later, so we also pressurized the stuffing box. That way, lube oil pressure exceeds flow line pressure. Any leakage goes down the flow line, not onto the ground,” Hult says. When Baytex Energy Trust installed the new gear on six heavy oil wells, its bottom line reportedly benefited by $150,000 in savings over one year. Stuffing box failures were reduced in frequency from about every two months on average to every two years without maintenance.
When operating through distributors, quality of service becomes a high priority. “We strive to ensure that a distributor’s personnel are as efficient as our own people,” Hult says. While he doesn’t welcome the present slowdown in the oil and gas sector, the veteran manager considers it a good opportunity to streamline operations and train staff. “International sales are not down as badly as Canada and the U.S., and that’s definitely a big help at this stage,” the Oil Lift founder says. By Mike Byfield
production directory | Tech guide
Accu-Flo Meter Service Ltd. 4028 - 7 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 2Y8 Phone: 403-243-1425 www.accuflo.com
Apex Equipment Ltd. 116, 5726 Burleigh Cres. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1Z8 Phone: 403-214-2049 www.apexequipmentltd.com
Barber Engineering and Controls 5728 - 1 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0E2 Phone: 403-252-7651 www.barbereng.com
Bowie Pumps of Canada Ltd. 9333 - 41 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T6E 6R5 Phone: 780-465-7812 www.bowiepumps.com
Advantage Mud Systems Ltd. 730, 777 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3R5 Phone: 403-262-1120 www.advantagemud.com
Apex Oilfield Services (2000) Inc. 4424, 39139 Hwy. 2A Red Deer County AB T4S 2A8 Phone: 403-347-1628 www.apexoil.ca
Baron Oilfield Supply 9515 - 108 St. Grande Prairie AB T8V 5R7 Phone: 780-532-5661 www.baronoilfield.ca
Brandette Well Servicing Ltd. Box 6150 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1R6 Phone: 780-542-3404 www.brandette.com
ALCO Gas & Oil Production Equipment Ltd. 5203 - 75 St. Edmonton AB T6E 5S5 Phone: 780-465-9061 www.alcogasoil.com
Ardy Rigging Ltd. Box 180 Valleyview AB T0H 3N0 Phone: 780-524-3459 www.ardyrigging.com
Bell Industries 5317 - 91 St. Edmonton AB T6E 6E2 Phone: 780-434-4401 www.bellindustries.net
Argus Machine Co. Ltd. 5820 - 97 St. Edmonton AB T6E 3J1 Phone: 780-434-9451 www.argusmachine.com
BHz Power Tongs Ltd. Box 5270 Edson AB T7E 1T5 Phone: 780-723-3650
Alpha Controls & Instrumentation 6, 361 Steelcase Rd. West Markham ON L3R 3V8 Phone: 905-477-2133 www.alphacontrols.com Amorex Solutions Ltd. 1500, 324 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Z2 Phone: 403-770-7865 www.amorex.com Annugas Compression Consulting Ltd. 3601 - 48 St. Wetaskiwin AB T9A 3N9 Phone: 780-361-2350 www.annugas.com Apex Energy Consultants Inc. 700, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-269-9550 www.apexenergy.com
Armatek Controls Limited 55 Judson St. Toronto ON M8Z 1A4 Phone: 416-251-3111 www.armatek.com ATECH Application Technology 242, 3359 - 27 St. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 5E4 Phone: 403-261-0005 www.atech.ca B & H Tank Systems Inc. 6012 - 62 St. Taber AB T1G 2J4 Phone: 403-223-9198 Baker Hughes Canada Company 1000, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-537-3400 www.bakerhughes.com
BlackWatch Energy Services 300, 855 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P1 Phone: 403-225-3879 www.blackwatchenergy.ca Bonnettâ€™s Energy Services Box 1, Site 33, R.R. 2 Grande Prairie AB T8V 2Z9 Phone: 780-532-5700 www.bonnettsenergy.com Bouchard Well Service Ltd. 459 Aquaduct Dr., Box 1965 Brooks AB T1R 1C7 Phone: 403-362-4732 Boundary Equipment Co. Ltd. 10740 - 181 St. Edmonton AB T5S 1K8 Phone: 780-483-3133 www.boundaryequipment.com
Brazeau Well Servicing Box 6028 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1R6 Phone: 780-621-0654 www.essentialenergy.ca Bristol Canada 6338 Viscount Rd. Mississauga ON L4Y 1H3 Phone: 905-362-0880 www.bristolbabcock.com C.B. Engineering Limited 20, 1220 - 59 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2M4 Phone: 403-259-6220 www.cbeng.com Cactus Gas & Oil Operators Ltd. 26 Chinook Dr. S.W. Medicine Hat AB T1A 4B3 Phone: 403-526-8910 Calfrac Well Services Ltd. 411 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1E3 Phone: 403-266-6000 www.calfrac.com Cameron Flow Systems 7944 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8W1 Phone: 403-291-4814 www.c-a-m.com
tech guide | production directory Canadian Dewatering LP 11819 - 24 St. N.E. Edmonton AB T6S 1B5 Phone: 780-406-5111 www.canadiandewatering.com Canadian Nitrogen Services Ltd. 610B McCool St., Box 1909 Crossfield AB T0M 0S0 Phone: 403-946-0404 www.canadiannitrogen.com Canadian Sub-Surface Energy Services Inc. 600, 505 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1G2 Phone: 403-262-3247 www.cansub.com Canadian Wellhead Isolation 34 Industrial Dr. Sylvan Lake AB T4S 1P4 Phone: 403-340-3356 www.wellheadisolation.com
Canyon Technical Services Ltd. 1600, 510 - 5 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3S2 Phone: 403-355-2300 www.canyontech.ca Carbon Controls Ltd. Bay 124, 11979 - 40 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2Z 4M3 Phone: 403-238-9944 www.carboncontrolsltd.com Cardinal Well Services 31 Martin Way, Box 753 Brooks AB T1R 1B7 Phone: 403-793-6459 www.essentialenergy.ca Carnwood Wireline Service Ltd. 108, 3907 - 98 St. Edmonton AB T6E 6M3 Phone: 780-434-1122 www.carnwood.com Cartel Energy Services Inc. Box 155 Beiseker AB T0M 0G0 Phone: 403-947-3334 www.cartelenergy.com CCS Corporation 24 Fl., 530 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3S8 Phone: 403-233-7565 www.ccscorporation.ca CE Franklin Ltd. Box 6776, Stn. D. Calgary AB T2P 2E8 Phone: 403-531-5600 www.cefranklin.com Cementing Technology & Equipment Ltd. 6704 - 59 St. N.W. Edmonton AB T6B 3N6 Phone: 780-485-8799 www.cteltd.com Central Alberta Well Services 6763 - 76 St. Red Deer AB T4P 3R7 Phone: 403-341-3933 www.cawsc.com Central Production Testing Ltd. 1800, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-571-5171 www.cptl.net
Central Wireline Services 4513 - 51 St., Box 1969 Stettler AB T0C 2L0 Phone: 403-742-5000 Centrilift 1000, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-537-3400 www.centrilift.com Century Frac Services 300, 404 - 6 Ave S.W. Calgary, AB T2P 0R9 Phone: 403-440-3600 www.centuryfrac.com Chemicals By Sterling Ltd. #92 Hwy. 39 East, Box 1098 Estevan SK S4A 2H7 Phone: 306-634-6549 www.cbsterling.com Chemline Plastics Limited 55 Guardsman Rd. Thornhill ON L3T 6L2 Phone: 905-889-7890 www.chemline.com Circle T Service & Rental Ltd. 6828 - 52 Ave. Red Deer AB T4N 4L1 Phone: 403-342-6004 www.circletrentals.com Clariant (Canada) Inc. 950, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-262-7846 www.clariantcanada.com Classic Oilfield Service Ltd 5211 - 65 St. Lloydminster AB T9V 2E8 Phone: 780-875-3276 Classic Well Servicing 503 - 15 Ave. Nisku AB T9E 7M6 Phone: 780-955-5961 www.essentialenergy.ca
Conn Pumps 208, 110 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0B8 Phone: 403-262-5151 www.connpumps.com
DrSCADA Automation 160, 32 Westwinds Cres. N.E. Calgary AB T3J 5L3 Phone: 403-264-5937 www.drscada.com
Control Microsystems 48 Steacie Dr. Kanata ON K2K 2A9 Phone: 613-591-1943 www.controlmicrosystems.com
Eagle Well Servicing 8113 - 49 Ave. Close Red Deer AB T4P 2V5 Phone: 403-346-7789 www.eaglerigs.com
Couturier Oilfield Anchors Ltd. 6306 - 50 Ave., Box 5039 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1R3 Phone: 780-542-6358 www.couturieranchors.com
Electric Motor Service Limited 8835 - 60 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 6L9 Phone: 780-496-9300 www.emsl.ca
CriticalControl Energy Services Inc. 1100, 840 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G2 Phone: 403-705-7500 www.criticalcontrol.com
Emerson Process Management 7175 - 12 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2S6 Phone: 403-258-6200 www.hydrocarbonandenergy.com
CTC Energy Services 7755 Edgar Industrial Way Red Deer AB T4P 3R2 Phone: 403-347-6717 www.essentialenergy.ca C-Tech Design & Manufacturing 3201 - 84 Ave. Edmonton AB T6P 1K1 Phone: 780-464-3800 www.ctechenergy.com C-TECH Oilwell Technologies 3201 - 84 Ave. Edmonton AB T6P 1K1 Phone: 780-464-3800 www.ctechenergy.com Danco Equipment Inc. 9111 - 41 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 6M5 Phone: 780-468-5151 www.dancoequipment.com
Claymore Field Services Ltd. Box 1316 Stettler AB T0C 2L0 Phone: 403-742-0500 www.claymorefieldservices.com
Daniel Industries Canada Inc. 4215 - 72 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2G5 Phone: 403-279-1879 www.daniel.com
Codeco Energy Group Inc. 3 Fl., 3333 - 8 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 3A4 Phone: 403-237-7808 www.codeco.com
DC Energy Services Inc. 400, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-218-2975 www.dcenergy.com
Coltek Energy Services Ltd. R.R. 1, Site 4, Box 11 Grande Prairie AB T8V 2Z8 Phone: 780-538-9878 www.coltekenergy.com
Decoking Descaling Technology 2, 4873 - 46 St. Lacombe AB T4L 2B2 Phone: 403-346-7444
Compressco Inc. 5050 - 76 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2X2 Phone: 403-279-5866 www.compressco.com Computer Modelling Group Ltd. 150, 3553 - 31 St. N.W. Calgary AB T2L 2K7 Phone: 403-531-1300 www.cmgl.ca Concord Well Servicing Box 1528 Valleyview AB T0H 3N0 Phone: 780-524-2113 www.concordwell.com
Demand Data Services Inc. 520, 736 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T7 Phone: 403-263-3023 www.demanddataservices.com Diamond Energy Services 1521 North Service Rd. West Swift Current SK S9H 3S9 Phone: 306-778-6682 www.diamondenergy.ca DPS Microbial Solutions 312 - 3 St., Box 116 Frobisher SK S0C 0Y0 Phone: 306-486-2110 www.dpsmicrobial.com
Endeavor E-Line Services 1100, 250 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0C1 Phone: 403-265-9423 www.endeavoreline.com Enerchem International Inc. 450, 440 - 2 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 5E9 Phone: 403-269-1500 www.enerchem.com Enerflow Industries Inc. 4800 - 27 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 3M4 Phone: 403-279-9696 www.enerflow.com Entero Corporation 500, 1040 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G9 Phone: 403-261-1820 www.entero.com ESI Energy Services Inc. 1800, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-262-9344 www.energyservicesinc.com Essential Energy Services Trust 1100, 250 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0C1 Phone: 403-263-6778 www.essentialenergy.ca Ex-Cel Well Servicing Ltd. 420 Boscuruis Ave., Box 775 Oxbow SK S0C 2B0 Phone: 306-483-2281 Field Production Testing Service Box 4760 Taber AB T1G 2E1 Phone: 403-635-4212 Flowstar Technologies Inc. 8709 - 50 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 5H4 Phone: 780-485-6667 www.flowstardcr.com Galvanic Applied Sciences, Inc. 7000 Fisher Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0W3 Phone: 403-252-8470 www.galvanic.com
production directory | Tech guide GasEnergy Strategies Inc. 175 Oakmount Rd. S.W. Calgary AB T2V 4X3 Phone: 403-251-4048
Honeywell 5925 Centre St. S.W. Calgary AB T2H 0C2 Phone: 403-509-1200 www.honeywell.com/acs/indsol
Ironhorse Pumpjack Services 6217 - 52 Ave., Box 5072 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1R3 Phone: 780-542-7325 www.ironpumpjack.com
Lufkin Industries Canada Ltd. 1050, 808 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E8 Phone: 403-234-7692 www.lufkin.com
Hot Rods Oilfield Services Inc. Box 428 Carnduff SK S0C 0S0 Phone: 306-928-2245 www.hotrodsoilfieldservices.com
Kanex Energy Corp. 41 Springland Way Calgary AB T3Z 3N6 Phone: 403-240-1863
Global Energy Services Ltd. 10, 1220 - 59 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2M4 Phone: 403-243-0820 www.global-energy.ca
Hydrotestors 2000 Ltd. 1, 7889 - 49 Ave. Red Deer AB T4P 2B4 Phone: 403-343-6779 www.hydrotestors.com
Kayden Instruments 3368 - 114 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2Z 3V6 Phone: 403-253-1423 www.kayden.com
M.W. Hagel Consulting Ltd. 18 Golden Key Estates Calgary AB T3P 1A5 Phone: 403-265-7800 www.optimus.ab.ca
Global Steel Ltd. 1600, 144 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N4 Phone: 403-237-8108 www.globalsteel.ca
Hyduke Mechanical & Machining 2311 - 8 St. Nisku AB T9E 7Z3 Phone: 780-955-9559 www.hyduke.com
Keddco Mfg. Ltd. 645 Keddco St., Box 999 Sarnia ON N7T 7K6 Phone: 519-336-2960 www.keddco.com
GASFRAC Energy Services Inc. 850, 101 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P4 Phone: 403-237-6077 www.gasfrac.com
Global Well Servicing Ltd. Box 7745 Drayton Valley AB T7A 1S8 Phone: 780-515-9885 www.globalwellservicing.com GPM Sales & Service Inc. 5925 - 91 St. Edmonton AB T6E 6A7 Phone: 780-432-6957 www.gpmsales.ca GrenCo Industries Ltd. 3710 - 78 Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 3E5 Phone: 780-468-2000 www.grenco.com GS Hitech Controls Inc. 6173 - 6 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1L9 Phone: 403-255-7884 Halliburton Group Canada 1600, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-231-9300 www.halliburton.com Hansen Oilfield Consulting Services Ltd. Box 390 Oxbow SK S0C 2B0 Phone: 306-483-2982 HC Piper Manufacturing Inc. 234120 Wrangler Rd. Rocky View AB T1X 0K2 Phone: 403-212-5750 www.hcpmi.com Hexion Specialty Chemicals 400, 633 – 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y5 www.hexion.com High Arctic Energy Services Inc. 8133 Edgar Industrial Close Red Deer AB T4P 3R4 Phone: 403-340-9825 www.haes.ca HiTech Fluid Systems Ltd. 1800, 505 - 3 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E6 Phone: 403-547-2906 www.hitechfluid.com Hi-Tech Seals Inc. 9211 - 41 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T6E 6R5 Phone: 780-438-6055 www.hitechseals.com
ICI Artificial Lift 6010 - 53 Ave. Lloydminster AB T9V 2T2 Phone: 780-872-7470 www.icisolutions.ca ICTC (Innovative Chemical Technologies Canada Ltd.) 400, 635 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0T5 Phone: 403-720-5020 www.eclgroup.com
Ketek Industries Ltd. 20204 - 110 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T5S 1X8 Phone: 780-447-5050 www.ketek.ca
Marquis Fluid Inc. 700, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-264-1588 www.marquisfluids.com Master Flo Valve Inc. 4611 - 74 Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 2H5 Phone: 780-468-4433 www.masterflo.com Matco Manufacturing Ltd. Box 2, Site 2, R.R. 2 Sexsmith AB T0H 3C0 Phone: 780-568-4484
Kodiak Well Service Box 6101 Fort St. John BC V1J 4H6 Phone: 250-787-9016 www.essentialenergy.ca
Matrix Drilling Fluids Ltd. 1240, 540 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M2 Phone: 403-265-7660 www.matrixdrillingfluids.com
IMEX Canada Inc. 1510, 700 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3J4 Phone: 403-269-9999 www.imexcanada.com
Kodiak Wireline Services Ltd. 101, 200 Carnegie Dr. St. Albert AB T8N 5A8 Phone: 780-418-3405 www.kodiakservices.ca
MaX-Quip Inc. 6235A - 86 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2S4 Phone: 403-258-3680 www.maxquip.ca
Impact Rock Bits Box 6448 Peace River AB T8S 1S3 Phone: 780-624-2640 www.impactrockbits.com
KSM Inc. 1904 - 4 St. Nisku AB T9E 7T8 Phone: 780-955-3456 www.ksmrig.com
Import Tool Corporation Ltd. 10340 - 71 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0W8 Phone: 780-434-6406 www.importtool.com
Kudu Industries Inc. 9112 - 40 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2P3 Phone: 403-279-5838 www.kudupump.com
MaxxiMat Inc. 21074 - 5 St. Nisku AB T9E 7X4 Phone: 780-979-6588 www.maxximat.com
Infinity Oilfield Services Inc. R.R. 2 Sundre AB T0M 1X0 Phone: 403-230-6031 www.infinityoilfield.com
Lamarre Equipment Inc. 9419 - 27 Ave. Edmonton AB T6N 1C9 Phone: 780-438-3493 www.lamarreequipment.com
McAdoo Flow-Systems Ltd. Bay 6, 6115 - 4 St. S.E., Calgary AB T2H 2H9 Phone: 403-547-5002 www.mcadooflowsystems.com
Lanco Well Services (Elk Point) Corp. 14630 - 119 Ave. Edmonton AB T5L 2P2 Phone: 780-452-3744
M-I SWACO 5 Fl., 700 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2W2 Phone: 403-290-5300 www.miswaco.com
Levy’s Machine Works Ltd. 3503 - 78 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 1J7 Phone: 403-279-2010 www.levysmachineworks.com
Micro-Watt Control Devices Ltd. 2721 Hopewell Pl. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 7J7 Phone: 403-250-1594 www.microwattcontrols.com
Lochterra Inc. Box 2096, Stn. M Calgary AB T2P 2M4 Phone: 403-270-7899
Millard Oilfield Services Partnership 1402 Brier Park Cres. N.W. Medicine Hat AB T1C 1T9 Phone: 403-527-6235 www.essentialenergy.ca
Integrated Production Services 1900, 840 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G2 Phone: 403-266-0908 www.ipsadvantage.ca Integrity Tech Products Inc. 60 Abbotsford Pl. N.E. Calgary AB T2A 6V2 Phone: 403-259-4460 www.integritytechproducts.com International Frontier Resources 100, 601 - 10 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0B2 Phone: 403-215-2780 www.internationalfrontier.com International Oilfield Equipment Brokers Ltd. 4, 4063 - 74 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2H9 Phone: 403-299-2244 www.oilfieldequipment.com
Lockwell Servicing Ltd. Box 700 Kindersley SK S0L 1S0 Phone: 306-838-2014 Lonkar Well Testing Ltd. 8080 Edgar Industrial Cres. Red Deer AB T4P 3R3 Phone: 403-347-9727 www.lonkar.com
Mayco Well Servicing Inc. Box 575 Oxbow SK S0C 2B0 Phone: 306-483-2367 www.maycowell.com
Miller Well Servicing Ltd. Box 1341 Weyburn SK S4H 3J9 Phone: 306-861-6154
tech guide | production directory Miquelon Meter Services Ltd. 9720 - 54 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0A9 Phone: 780-434-3411 Mow-Tech Ltd. 17740 - 118 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T5S 2W3 Phone: 780-484-6356 www.mowtech.com Muis Controls Ltd. 29 Riel Dr. St. Albert AB T8N 5C6 Phone: 780-459-7080 www.muiscontrols.com Mungan Petroleum Consultants 1039 Durham Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2T 0P8 Phone: 403-244-7728 Nabors Production Services 33 Schenk Industrial Rd. Sylvan Lake AB T4S 2J7 Phone: 403-887-7400 www.nabors.com
National Coating Technologies 1975 Logan Ave. Winnipeg MB R2R 0H8 Phone: 204-632-5585 www.nationalcoating.com National Process Equipment 5, 3401 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6S8 Phone: 403-219-0270 www.natpro.com Navigator Resource Consulting 610, 7015 Macleod Trail S.W. Calgary AB T2H 2K6 Phone: 403-233-7380 www.navigator-resource.com Nelgar Oilfield Services 101, 7477 - 49 Ave. Red Deer AB T4P 1N1 Phone: 403-309-2620 www.nelgarservices.com Newpark Canada Inc. 300, 635 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0T5 Phone: 403-266-7383 www.newpark.ca
OilPro Oilfield Production Equipment Ltd. 348 Lake Placid Green S.E. Calgary AB T2J 5A3 Phone: 403-215-3373 www.oilpro.ab.ca Opsco Energy Industries Ltd. 285175 Kleysen Way Rocky View AB T1X 0K1 Phone: 403-272-2206 www.opscoenergy.com Pacific Valve Services Inc. 9750 - 62 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0E3 Phone: 780-463-3972 www.pacificvalve.com Packers Plus Energy Services 900, 407 - 2 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y3 Phone: 403-263-7587 www.packersplus.com Paintearth Energy Services 2435 - 22 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8K8 Phone: 403-264-5682 www.paintearth.com ParVal Equipment Ltd. 201, 14207 - 128A Ave. Edmonton AB T5L 4P5 Phone: 780-437-2334 www.parval.ca Peak Energy Services Trust 900, 222 - 3 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0B4 Phone: 403-543-7325 www.peak-energy.com Pembina Controls Inc. 9611 - 42 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 5R2 Phone: 780-432-6821 www.pem-controls.com Penetrators Canada Inc. 8002 Edgar Industrial Ave. Red Deer AB T4P 3S2 Phone: 403-346-7474 www.penedrill.com
Northstar Drillstem Testers Inc. 201, 736 - 1 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 0B8 Phone: 403-265-8987 www.northstardst.com
Penta Completions Supply & Services Ltd. 9543 - 56 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0B2 Phone: 780-436-6644 www.pentarods.com
Oak Environmental Inc. 103, 4712 - 13 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6P1 Phone: 403-250-9810 www.oakenviro.com
Peterson Instruments 123, 5655 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8W7 Phone: 403-291-9169 www.petersoninst.com
Oil & Gas Instruments Inc. 3, 265 Main St., Box 237 Glencoe ON N0L 1M0 Phone: 519-287-3554
Petris Canada 805, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-225-4954 www.petris.com
Oil Lift Technology Inc. Bay 3, 1820 - 30 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7M5 Phone: 403-291-5300 www.oillifttechnology.com
Petro Management Group Ltd. 401, 100 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N2 Phone: 403-216-5100 www.petromgt.com
PFE Pumps Inc. 5 Progress Dr. Orillia ON L3V 6H1 Phone: 705-327-6550 www.pfepumps.com PHH Petroleum Consultants Ltd. 240, 1121 Centre St. N.W. Calgary AB T2E 7K6 Phone: 403-232-6822 www.phhpc.com Platinum Energy Services (Lloydminster) Corp. Box 10207 Lloydminster AB T9V 3A3 Phone: 780-875-7145 www.platinumenergy.net Polycore Tubular Linings Corporation 430, 736 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1H4 Phone: 403-444-5554 www.polycore.ca Porteous Resources Limited 5008 Nesbitt Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T2K 2N5 Phone: 403-282-6183 PowerComm Inc. 6005 - 72A Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 2J1 Phone: 780-465-7038 www.powercomm.ca Powerstroke Well Control Ltd. R.R. 2, Site 33, Comp. 4 Grande Prairie AB T8V 2Z9 Phone: 780-539-0102 www.powerstroke.ca Precision Drilling Corporation 4200, 150 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3Y7 Phone: 403-716-4500 www.precisiondrilling.com Premiere Energy Services Ltd. 1700, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-874-6666 www.premiereenergy.ca Proficient Oil Tools Ltd. 105, 616 - 71 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2R1 Phone: 403-255-4070 www.proficientoiltools.com Progressive Technology 20, 4216 - 54 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2E3 Phone: 403-279-4040 www.nov.com Propak Systems Ltd. 440 East Lake Rd., Airdrie AB T4A 2J8 Phone: 403-912-7000 www.propaksystems.com PRO-ROD 3201 - 84 Ave. Edmonton AB T6P 1K1 Phone: 780-449-7101 www.prorod.com ProTechnics 2100, 125 - 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0P6 Phone: 403-269-2055 www.protechnics.com
Proven Reserves Exploitation 430, 1015 - 4 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0T9 Phone: 403-218-7000 www.proven-reserves.com Puma Well Service Ltd. Box 1134 Brooks AB T1R 1B9 Phone: 403-501-1051 www.essentialenergy.ca Pumps & Pressure Inc. 7018 Johnstone Dr. Red Deer AB T4P 3Y6 Phone: 403-347-9770 www.pumpsandpressure.com Q’Max Solutions Inc. 1700, 407 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y3 Phone: 403-269-2242 www.qmaxsolutions.com Quinn’s Oilfield Supply Ltd. 6798 - 52 Ave., Box 846 Red Deer AB T4N 4K9 Phone: 403-347-1128 www.quinnpumps.com R & M Energy Systems Canada 3703 - 98 St. Edmonton AB T6E 5N2 Phone: 780-465-9500 www.rmenergy.com Ramco Sales Inc. 1072 Main St., Box 2698 Pincher Creek AB T0K 1W0 Phone: 403-627-3541 www.ramcosales.com Rebco Oil Tools Inc. 4226 Ogden Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 4V3 Phone: 403-243-1380 www.rebcooiltools.com Redmont International ULC 3336 - 47 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 2W1 Phone: 403-297-0910 www.redmont.com Rheotech Drilling Fluid Services 610, 700 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3J4 Phone: 403-237-8870 Ringer Well Service Ltd. Box 506 Cochrane AB T4C 1A7 Phone: 403-208-9733 www.ringerwell.com Rockwell Servicing Partnership 1000, 400 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0L6 Phone: 403-265-6361 www.ensigngroup.com Rod Anderson Holdings Ltd. 399 Whiteridge Cres. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 2Y9 Phone: 403-293-0583 Roll’n Oilfield Industries, Ltd. 305, 5208 - 53 Ave. Red Deer AB T4N 5K2 Phone: 403-343-1710 www.rolln.com Ross Energy Services Ltd. 300, 206 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0W7 Phone: 403-236-0122
production directory | Tech guide Rotation Power & Equipment Box 500 Neilburg SK S0M 2C0 Phone: 306-823-4818 Royal Well Servicing Ltd. 5214 - 62 St. Lloydminster AB T9V 2E4 Phone: 780-808-2333 Sabre Oilfield Equipment Ltd. 121 Carlson Cl. Edmonton AB T6R 2J8 Phone: 780-446-6054 www.sabreoilfield.com Safety Boss Inc. 921 - 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0S5 Phone: 403-261-5075 www.safetyboss.com Sanjel Corporation 200, 505 - 2 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1N8 Phone: 403-269-1420 www.sanjel.com Savanna Energy Services Corp. 1800, 311 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3H2 Phone: 403-503-9990 www.savannaenergy.com Schlumberger Canada Ltd. 525 - 3 Ave SW Calgary AB T2P 0G4 Phone: 403-509-4000 www.slb.com SEI Industries Ltd. 7400 Wilson Ave. Delta BC V4G 1E5 Phone: 604-946-3131 www.sei-ind.com Select Energy Systems Inc. 4215 - 54 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2A2 Phone: 403-243-7542 www.selectesi.com
Slurry Cementers Ltd. 9525 - 62 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 0E1 Phone: 780-435-3451
TDH Fluid Systems Inc. 112, 422 - 11 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0Y4 Phone: 403-228-7018
Smith - Completions 710, 396 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-264-6077 www.siismithservices.com
Techmation Electric & Controls 1, 43 East Lake Cres. N.E. Airdrie AB T4A 2H5 Phone: 403-243-0990 www.techmationelectric.com
Smith International Canada, Ltd. 710, 396 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-264-6077 www.smith.com
Technicoil Corporation 1510, 555 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E7 Phone: 403-509-0700 www.technicoilcorp.com
Sounder Technologies 31 Norris Close Red Deer AB T4P 1R2 Phone: 403-340-9750 www.meterdat.com
Telematic Controls Inc. 3364 - 114 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2Z 3V6 Phone: 403-253-7939 www.telematic.ca
Tucker Wireline Services Canada 900, 444 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2T8 Phone: 403-264-7040 www.tuckerwireline.com
Spartan Controls Ltd. 305 - 27 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2A 7V2 Phone: 403-207-0700 www.spartancontrols.com
Terroco Oilfield Services Box 10, Site 14, R.R. 1 Red Deer AB T4N 5E1 Phone: 403-346-1171
Variperm (Canada) Limited 10, 3424 - 26 St. N.E. Calgary AB T1Y 4T7 Phone: 403-250-7263 www.variperm.com
SPM Flow Control Ltd. Unit A,8060 Edgar Industrial Red Deer AB T4P 3R3 Phone: 403-341-3410 www.weiroilandgas.com Stady Oil Tools Ltd. 300, 1601 Westmount Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 3M2 Phone: 403-262-8022 Stewart & Stevenson, Canada 3001 Shepard Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 4P1 Phone: 403-215-5300 www.stewartandstevenson.com
Thuro Inc. 4650 - 50 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 3R4 Phone: 403-243-0276 www.thuro.ab.ca Top-Co LP 7720 - 17 St. Edmonton AB T6P 1S7 Phone: 780-440-4440 www.top-co.ca Toran Power & Equipment Ltd. 1800, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-218-1882 www.toranpower.com
Stimulus Resource Technologies 702, 1718 - 14 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2N 4Y7 Phone: 403-239-3520
Total Enerflex 9715 - 115 St. Grande Prairie AB T8V 5S4 Phone: 780-532-8347 www.totalenerflex.com
Sentry Pumping Units International 450, 444 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2T8 Phone: 403-775-7077
Storm Service Rigs 1510, 555 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E7 Phone: 403-509-0724 www.stormrigs.com
Tracer Supervision 1110, 340 - 12 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1L5 Phone: 403-261-7097 www.barlon.ca
Shearer Products, a Division of National Oilwell Varco 7043 - 56 Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 3L2 Phone: 780-988-5522 www.nov.com
Stowell Pumps 5415 - 99 St. Edmonton AB T6E 3N8 Phone: 780-438-2485
Treeline Well Services Inc. 750, 333 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1L9 Phone: 403-266-2868 www.treelinewell.com
Sienna Contracting Ltd. 683 - 18 St. S.W. Medicine Hat AB T1A 7Y1 Phone: 403-527-9881 www.siennacomposite.com Simark Controls Ltd. 10509 - 46 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 5C2 Phone: 403-236-0580 www.simark.com Sim-Con Oilfield Equipment Ltd. 800 - 10 St. West, Box 246 Kindersley SK S0L 1S0 Phone: 306-463-4938 www.simconoil.com
Stream-Flo Industries Ltd. 4505 - 74 Ave. Edmonton AB T6B 2H5 Phone: 780-468-6789 www.streamflo.com Sure Flow Consulting Services Box 7400 Bonnyville AB T9N 2H7 Phone: 780-826-6864 www.sureflowconsulting.com Tank-Life Cradles Ltd. 2032 Crocus Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T2L 0Z8 Phone: 403-269-5525 www.tanklife.com Tartan Controls Inc. 6932 - 34 St. Edmonton AB T6B 2X2 Phone: 780-463-3366 www.tartancontrols.com
Trendon Bit Service Ltd. Box 548 Redcliff AB T0J 2P0 Phone: 403-548-7242 www.trendonbitservice.com Trican Well Service Ltd. 2900, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-266-0202 www.trican.ca Trinidad Well Servicing 2500, 700 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3V4 Phone: 403-265-6525 www.trinidaddrilling.com
Tristar Resource Management 800, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-262-8595 www.tstar.ca Tryton Tool Services 5107 - 62 St. Lloydminster AB T9V 2E3 Phone: 780-875-0800 www.essentialenergy.ca TS&M Supply Box 28 Estevan SK S4A 2A2 Phone: 306-634-6494 www.natoil.com
Vetco Gray Canada ULC 710, 530 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3S8 Phone: 403-264-4146 www.geoilandgas.com/vetcogray Westcomm Pump & Equipment Unit 2, 3424 - 26 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7A4 Phone: 403-215-7867 www.westcommpump.com Westpower Equipment Ltd. 4451 - 54 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2A2 Phone: 403-720-3300 Westwind Pipe Laydown Service 131 Kee Dr., Box 149 Longview AB T0L 1H0 Phone: 403-558-3681 Wilco Wireline & Swabbing Services Inc. 1, 4451 - 58 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 1Y3 Phone: 403-279-8895 www.wilcowireline.com Wood Group Pressure Control Canada Inc. 8743 - 50 Ave. Edmonton AB T6E 5H4 Phone: 780-450-3401 www.woodgroup.com World Oil Tools Inc. 6, 3504 - 72 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 1J9 Phone: 403-720-5155 www.worldoiltools.com XL Fluid Systems 102, 2531 Hochwald Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T3E 7K3 Phone: 403-265-4344 www.xlfluids.com Zazula Process Equipment Ltd. 1526 - 10 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T3C 0J5 Phone: 403-244-0751 www.zazula.com
*Mark of Schlumberger. Measurable Impact is a mark of Schlumberger. © 2009 Schlumberger. 09-IS-0263
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tech guide | software
Sights Set South Despite the economic slowdown, some Canadian software providers continue to extend their reach south of the border
aving gained a foothold in the Canadian market and looking to grow their businesses, many software providers north of the 49th are increasingly looking to expand their horizons, seeking to expose their respective products to relatively untapped markets. And expansion into the United States, even during the current tough economic times, is proving to be the perfect fit for many. Calgary-based software providers VistaVu Solutions Inc., WellPoint Systems Inc. and Energy Navigator Inc. are among those making a recent charge south. For Jory Lamb, president and chief executive officer of VistaVu, the company’s expansion into the U.S. market over the past couple of years was a natural evolution. “There’s a lot of overlap in our customer base, in their best practices and in the product that we developed specifically for oilfield energy services companies and oilfield product manufacturers,” Lamb says. “We’ve had some very good success and continue to have success here in Canada and we wanted to continue growing our company and the U.S. was the next logical step for us.” Despite the slowdown in the economy, Lamb says business has remained steady and future prospects are bright. “We have
software | Tech guide AG is the world’s largest business software company.) Lamb says SAP Business One is an integrated, affordable business management software platform specifically created for smalland medium-sized businesses. SAP Business One allows clients to simply and easily automate the functions that make their business work in a cohesive, efficient fashion — from operations to sales to human resources to manufacturing to purchasing to finance. Lamb explains that VistaVu’s “unique contribution” has been to deliver FieldVu (a field services add-on module) for SAP Business One, making this world-class business software available to field service companies and other service-related industries. The 16-module add-on includes sector-specific functions such as job and unit costing, field ticketing, equipment tracking and rental management. Combining the insight of VistaVu Solutions with the power of SAP Business One enables VistaVu clients to see their whole business, up to the minute, and manage accordingly. “We have a very specific application [for SAP] that we have developed internally, one that manages all the daily operations of energy services firms or an oilfield product manufacturer,” Lamb says, noting that VistaVu is a “preferred SAP supplier” to small- and medium-sized businesses in the oil and natural gas industry. “We assist our clients to know if they’re making money or what their margins are on a job. We assist our clients to determine asset utilization, to manage preventative maintenance and it’s all fully integrated,” he adds. “You can’t tell where our solution ends and SAP begins because the whole application is so fully integrated. It looks the same, it operates the same and by and large to our customers it is the same product and that’s the way we certainly view it.”
maintained our staffing levels and streamlined our operations into Calgary, Houston and Denver. While 2009 has come with its challenges, this slowdown has also provided us the opportunity to attract and retain talent that may not have otherwise been available,” he explains. “In short, business in both Canada and the U.S. remains sound, our client base continues to grow, and we are attracting top talent. Our commitment to the U.S. and Canadian markets remains steadfast.” VistaVu brings the power of SAP Business One to field services, serving the North American energy service and rental industries. (Headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, SAP
It has always been our long-term strategy to secure our position in the Canadian market, and then to expand into the U.S. and international markets.”
Since stepping over the border in July 2006, VistaVu has quickly navigated the landscape of this new marketplace and has built its states-side business to the point that it now contributes about half of the company’s annual consolidated revenues. “Business has been good in the U.S. We are growing, we have momentum behind us and our relationship with SAP ... has helped us leverage our growth,” Lamb says. In 2008, revenues in both Canada and the U.S. continued to grow beyond 2007 numbers. Most notably, revenue from the company’s U.S. operations exceeded Canadian revenues and Lamb notes this was accomplished in less than three years. Today, the company builds business software solutions in three distinct markets — Texas, the U.S. Rocky Mountain region and Alberta. In the U.S., VistaVu’s main office is located in Houston and the company has satellite offices in Dallas and Denver. Canadian operations are headquartered in Calgary, while Edmonton is home to a secondary office. VistaVu’s 22 employees are evenly split between the two countries. Improving workflows Energy Navigator has developed two software solutions, Value Navigator and AFE Navigator, to help the oil and gas industry improve workflows. Value Navigator gives users control over reserves, production and cash-flow forecasting. Users can quickly create an annual capital and production budget, build long-term plans, maintain reserve data and evaluate potential acquisitions — all from a single source. The application has powerful decline,
tech guide | software
How-To Lesson: U.S. Business Expansion
Although not without its trials, VistaVu’s Lamb says the company’s U.S. expansion can only be deemed a success. Incorporating a two-pronged market entry strategy consisting of acquisitions and a direct-to-market approach allowed VistaVu to hit the ground running, he adds.
challenges, Lamb admits. “I think the toughest part of any expansion is finding those first 10 customers. If you’re going into uncharted waters you really have to be very, very determined and committed to that marketplace — that’s the only way we’ve been able to be successful,” he notes.
“The other piece that’s been really key for us is finding really good relationships in an effort to find good people. When we entered the Houston market, we didn’t really know who was known, who was doing good things in the industry. We didn’t have the same networks you have in your own region,” Lamb says.
“We acquired some smaller software companies in similar markets. In doing so we immediately gained a client base and we also gained some market awareness,” Lamb explains. “We also took a direct-to-market approach whereby we opened offices, we’ve hired U.S. personnel to staff those offices and management is there on such a regular basis that it’s almost full-time.”
“It’s not easy. I’d be lying if I said it’s easy to expand beyond any boundaries you are used to, but if you are committed and determined to succeed, the chances are good that you will.”
“We’ve been really fortunate; we’ve built a good team. But building the network in a new market is a challenge.” As far as future company growth is concerned, Lamb says both Canada and the U.S. will share the marquee. “We think both markets for us hold a lot of potential,” he notes. “We are absolutely committed to growing. We’re actively hiring for the Calgary office and we’re actively hiring for Houston, so we’re committed to both markets.”
But entering a new and relatively unknown market is not without its
Being the new kid on the block can also mean starting from scratch when it comes to developing relationships with industry players, as well as finding and retaining qualified local employees to staff the new entity.
material balance and volumetric forecasting functionality. It can be used for geostatistical modelling to assist with property valuation or rank exploration. The robust, up-to-date economic engine includes Canadian and U.S. royalties, a comprehensive price deck editor and a custom regime editor to model international royalties. The company says AFE Navigator brings a new level of efficiency, control and accountability to capital tracking by automating and streamlining the AFE creation and approval process. The extensive real-time custom reporting utility allows a company to manage by exception, address bottlenecks and monitor project status. Integration with accounting and well data management systems give users the most complete picture of their project, Energy Navigator says. Founded in 1998, the company had a vision of providing workflow-oriented solutions to help oil and gas companies to be more productive and assist with the decision-making process. “Our primary focus for many years has been to exceed the needs of the Canadian market,” explains marketing manager Laura Brick. However, Energy Navigator began researching the unique needs of the U.S. market. And for good reason, Brick says, as with over 850 Canadian companies located in Houston, it’s a natural evolution for any successful Canadian company to expand states-side and try to meet the needs of a new market. “Our development and support teams have been enhancing both AFE Navigator and Value Navigator to meet U.S. requirements,” she says, noting that in addition to ensuring that the company’s solutions are ready for the U.S., Energy Navigator has also built up a reserve to fund its U.S. expansion efforts. “We are a profitable, private company with a stable revenue model. It has always been our long-term strategy to secure our position in the Canadian market, and then to expand into the U.S. and international markets.” In the past year, Brick says the company has opened offices in Houston and Denver and recruited a number of talented
individuals to head up its U.S. team. “Response to several marketing campaigns has exceeded our expectations and our sales team continues to be warmly received,” she notes. “As suspected, there is a genuine need for our products in the U.S. market.” But there are some inherent challenges in executing a growth strategy in a new market. For instance, Brick notes it is important to recognize that the oil and gas industry operates differently in the U.S. than in Canada, so it’s important to adapt the product offerings to match the new landscape. “We are able to adapt our solutions to meet the needs of each individual company. AFE Navigator is a configurable application that automates each company’s unique AFE creation and approval process,” she explains. “Value Navigator revolutionized the reserve management, reconciliation and reporting process. Our flagship tool was built with the inherent ability to balance all three reserves categories and satisfied the new SEC reporting guidelines announced in late 2008 without any changes to the software. Many of our clients report their reserves to the SEC using our solutions, both of which assist them with their SOX [Sarbanes-Oxley Act] compliance.” International growth WellPoint Systems, which provides enterprise applications and related services for managing business in the global energy sector, offers a diverse product line that reaches across boundaries from upstream to midstream — all targeting oil and gas companies globally. The company has major operations in Calgary; Denver; Houston; Livingston, New Jersey; Tampa, Florida; Tunis, Tunisia; and Pretoria, South Africa. WellPoint also provides software and services under the BOLO, IDEAS International and iSoft brands. In addition to providing solutions that solve the specific needs of regional markets, WellPoint is the only enterprise solution provider on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform targeting global energy companies.
software | Tech guide Founded in 1997, WellPoint Systems began with 10 employees and a couple of software products serving Canadian oil and gas companies. Growth has been through acquisition of products, product companies and by the development of solutions to meet the needs of energy companies globally. Several mainstay products such as OMS (Oil Marketing System), Cobra and MaxWell are still being used by many companies in the Calgary market. While continued support of its domestic market is always a priority, the opportunities to gain market share in Canada were limited. WellPoint quickly saw that the sheer breadth of the American market offered the best opportunity for growth. “WellPoint determined they were going to grow through acquisition and felt the U.S. had stronger market potential,” chief executive officer Rick Slack says. Through a series of acquisitions, WellPoint has grown substantially. An acquisition in 2004 led to a unique relationship with Microsoft, enabling WellPoint to develop industry-specific software for the energy industry using the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform. Products such as Energy Financial Management, Energy Broker and Enterprise Asset Management are developed on that platform and marketed worldwide. The 2006 acquisition of IDEAS International Inc., a U.S.based company, allowed WellPoint’s growth into the international upstream oil and gas market. In 2007, the company acquired iSoft and its Dynamics application now known as AX EAM. In the same year, WellPoint acquired BOLO, the leading provider of integrated financial, land and production accounting solutions for the U.S. oil and gas industry, giving the company a significant step up in its
“I think the toughest part of any expansion is finding those first 10 customers.”
efforts to gain U.S. revenue and marketshare. Slack says these key acquisitions not only helped WellPoint gain entrance into new markets, they provided valuable knowledge and experience of the markets for a seamless uptake and efficient operation. “Approximately 75% of annual revenues come from outside Canada,” Slack notes. “We have over 400 customers in more than 60 different countries, and those numbers continue to grow.” Additionally, in late 2008, the company formed a relationship with a Middle Eastern channel partner, QMENA, which will market WellPoint’s Dynamics AX products in the Middle East, North Africa and India regions. Today, Slack says WellPoint has nearly 200 employees across the globe, a clear vision, a strong management team and deep industry knowledge throughout the organization. “One of the company’s strongest assets is its unique relationship with its user community. Each product is developed with the user in mind and evolves to meet the ever changing industry demands.” By Paul Wells
tech guide | software
ounting c c a n o ti produc tradidnggeting–––––––– b–u–––––– ence – – – – intellig – 58
“ONE” Of A Kind From production accounting to trading and budgeting, Entero unifies data and business processes
he petroleum industry invests a great deal of research and development into exploration software. Vast resources are dedicated to integrate seismic, geology and drilling into fast and efficient geoscience suites. But what happens after the petroleum comes out of the ground? An equally concise system is needed to keep track of who owns what, how much they own, what it’s worth and where it’s going. Mike Flaman, a team lead for marketing and sales at Entero Corporation, a Calgary-based software developer, recalls his father wheeling and dealing as an energy trader in the early 1990s. “Back in those days, you recorded trading and marketing on spreadsheets, but it might be just the back of a cocktail napkin,” he says. “It was very hard to audit and keep track of data, and errors were also common. It could be something as simple as the name of the counter-party; accounting might use the name Shell on its account, but logistics might use Shell Limited.”
In an effort to revolutionize midstream business reporting in the oilpatch, Steve Remmington and Wes Bot founded OmniVision (now Entero Corporation) in 1994. Their first energy industry software package was called EnteroVision, consisting of evTM and evFM. The evTM component focused on trading and marketing, as well as operations and logistics. All deal-related contracts and operations were captured and made available to appropriate personnel in one central location so they could be efficiently used for inventory, risk management, terminal operations and reporting.
The evFM component focused on financial management and accounting; deal information was readily available including all financial, volumetric and account coding details, allowing personnel to manage credit, cash flow and fixed assets. “Our product eliminated confusion over inaccurate data,” says Flaman. Encouraged by positive industry response, Entero added production accounting and allocations (evPA) to complement its existing software. The evPA component allowed operators to view facility balance by owner, product or source — or any combination.
“It eliminates multiple spreadsheets; you enter the data once, and it’s there for everyone who needs it. It’s also very fast; literally, as fast as you enter the data.”
software | Tech guide Features included the ability to calculate and invoice the fees for services such as gathering and processing, as well as incorporating automation. “A lot of production information is observed, in the sense that someone inputs it off a chart or external document,” says Flaman. “Our software is adept at data interface, however, such as a flow meter at a truck-loading rack. That eliminates data error.” In order to beef up the reservoir component of its software, Entero merged with software company MOSIAC Integration in 2003. “The Entero MOSAIC application takes the same cross-functional view of everything Entero does and supports reservoir evaluation, capital
allocations, production and revenue accounting, managing trade deals, logistics and risk management. It also does financial accounting, such as invoicing for shipments made by any transportation mode, and a full general ledger. It eliminates multiple spreadsheets; you enter the data once, and it’s there for everyone who needs it. It’s also very fast; literally, as fast as you enter the data.” Entero software was initially developed for local companies, but soon found a ready market all over North America. “Our clients range from a five-person trading shop to large international companies with hundreds of users,” says Flaman. “We have over 120 clients in Canada and the U. S., and they operate around the world. Our clientele are
or midstream only,” says Flaman. EnerMarkT* is an energy commodities marketing company based in Texas (*some details have been altered to preserve client confidentiality). It acquires and delivers a large range of oil, natural gas liquid and biofuel feedstocks to its industrial clientele throughout the U.S. Over the course of a month, it conducts hundreds of trades and organizes the logistics to deliver commodities by road, rail and waterway right to the loading dock. Prior to acquiring Entero software three years ago, EnerMarkT’s trading and marketing, operations and logistics, and financial management functions were conducted on spreadsheets and disparate applications. “The more I work with Entero, the more I realize the superior service and software functionality they provide,” says Mary Johnson, operations manager for EnerMarkT.
A Click Away EnteroONE Production Accounting 2009 shows all operational locations and product flows. Click on any location to see all associated owners, contracts, volumes, components and fees.
budgeting, operations and A&D [acquisitions and divestitures] evaluations,” says Flaman. EnteroONE The company’s latest product evolution, the EnteroONE platform, was launched in the winter of 2008, bringing key Entero systems onto a shared platform. “This is a complete rewrite of the former EnteroVision functionality on a new, more flexible platform, with the addition of production accounting and plant allocations,” says Flaman. “Once energy is produced, EnteroONE tracks it from the wellhead through the gathering systems, doing production
E&P companies, trading and marketing companies, and midstream operators involved with product movement and processing; 30% of the top 100 Canadian E&P companies are Entero clients.” Part of the company’s success is related to ease of installation and training. EnteroONE, which is priced competitively to client needs, is installed at a client’s office in one or two days, and instruction for any given application can be accomplished within one week. Entero says its software also has a breadth of functionality. “There are several other major software providers, but most competitors are limited in their scope of functionality — they might do production accounting
The Future Like most software firms, Entero invests heavily in product R&D. The 85-staff company is currently focused on increasing the functionality of its products. New workspace enhancements and reporting customization in EnteroONE Financial Management are expected to make troubleshooting, audit reporting and reconciliations more efficient. A new integrated field data capture system in EnteroONE Production Accounting will comprehensively link field information to production accounting — eliminating time-consuming interdepartmental reconciliations. A new order, scheduling and nominations workspace for EnteroONE Trading & Marketing will pull all relevant decisionmaking information (including profitability) into one view, for consideration when moving product. In addition to the enhanced calculation performance of Entero MOSIAC 2009, client-driven features being introduced over the next year include capital scheduling, international economics and a generic production importer. “Within the next five years we will incorporate the MOSAIC functionality onto the EnteroONE platform to offer the oil and gas industry the most complete business software solution available,” says Flaman. In the meantime, Entero hopes to continue growing at 25% annually, primarily through word of mouth from satisfied customers. “We’ve recommended Entero to others,” says EnerMarkT’s Johnson. By Gord Cope
tech guide | software
High Performance Gas compressor optimization program pays immediate dividends
leading provider of compressor optimization and fleet management services to the energy industry worldwide, Detechtion Technologies is a homegrown Alberta success story whose origins date back more than 35 years ago as the dream of company founder, chairman and CEO Alan Taylor, a professional engineer who was a mechanical engineering student at the time. While working a summer job at a gas plant in central Alberta, Taylor realized the limitations of the compressor sizing shareware that was then in use, and set out to develop his own compressor performance diagnostic tool. After years of design work and rigorous field testing, the final result was Enalysis, an Internet-based compressor optimization and fleet management program intended to help clients maximize gas production by increasing efficiencies, while at the same time reducing operating and maintenance costs. The precise diagnostic engineering software for improving the performance and reliability of reciprocating and screw compressors has worked well for clients since it was first unrolled commercially in 1998. “The accuracy is second to none,” says professional engineer Steven Summers, Detechtion Technologies’ senior vice-president Business Development, Canadian and International Division. “It gives our clients a clear understanding of, and complete control over, their gas compression assets.”
Boosting Utilization Detechtion Technologies’ compressor performance diagnostic tool can increase utilization rates to the 80-90% range.
Functional with every model of reciprocating and rotary screw compressor, the Enalysis software provides clients a wide range of operating and cash flow benefits, including increased gas throughput; identification of unseen gas production potential; enhanced preventive maintenance; prevention of compressor failure; reduced compressor downtime, operating and maintenance costs; and increased profits. After they start using the Enalysis program and accompanying services, clients can easily achieve in the high 80 to low 90% utilization rate in either horsepower or cylinder capacity, up from an average performance utilization rate of 70-75%. Due in large part to increased production volumes, companies usually see cash flow gains directly after implementing the technology. “We saw the return immediately,” says Tim McKay, senior vice-president, Operations, with Canadian Natural Resources Limited. “With this program, I’m confident my operations are running smoothly, and I’m seeing that value hit the bottom line. It’s the first report that I go through.”
If you want easy-to-use decision-making tools – there’s only one direction to go
industry-leading customer service
easy & efficient migration of existing data
helping clients increase productivity geoSCOUT™ uses a Windows-based platform that makes it easy for you to get the oil and gas data you need to make smarter decisions faster and to maximize the return on your oilfield investments. And, our solution provides you with a complete package that all your departments can use. Thousands of landmen, engineers & geologists use geoSCOUT oil and gas mapping and analysis software every day, to make more efficient, informed decisions. Give us an hour for a demo – we know you’ll see the value. Call 403.262.1992 Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Online www.geoscout.com/demo
Another powerful suite of tools from
tech guide | software Recip Emission Summary for Washington (for the year of 2009) Note: Emissions are calculated based on the average used power (not the maximum).
Max. Derated HP
CO VOCs (tons/yr)
In keeping abreast of constantly evolving market and industry demands, Detechtion also provides government approved emission reports. “There is a clear and growing demand for advanced compressor emissions reporting as various local, provincial and federal agencies continue to introduce new requirements and regulations. Detechtion provides our clients with an effective and efficient way to monitor and report emissions based on actual engine performance,” notes Summers. “By capturing real-time snapshots of how a compressor package is operating, the actual emissions of the engine can be calculated with a high level of precision.”
“With this program, I’m confident my operations are running smoothly, and I’m seeing that value hit the bottom line. It’s the first report that I go through.” He says Enalysis determines, based on engine-specific emission ratings and EPA/government approved formulas, how much engines are emitting. “People have had to rely on the maximum rated engine horsepower, and not the actual horsepower used. Engines frequently operate well under their rated horsepower, and this means emissions estimates are often dramatically overstated. Enalysis gives companies a clear, yet very accurate and defensible way to identify and report emissions based on actual engine running conditions.” Also with respect to engines, Enalysis now provides the ability to track/store/trend a multitude of hardware and field data on gas drivers and electric motors. Although monitoring air emissions is a key component of Detechtion Technologies’ system, Summers says some clients are more focused on reducing their fuel and operating/ maintenance costs, while others are using it primarily as a
As SCADA has become more prevalent in the industry, Detechtion has enhanced the Enalysis program to capture streaming compressor data either directly from the field or through a client’s head-office server. This allows clients to immediately be aware of and respond to developing problems and opportunities in their compressor fleet.
Total CO2: 62,808.18 tons/yr Total VOCs: 31.86 tons/yr Total PM2.5: 1.85 tons/yr
Avg. Used HP
Total Number of Units: 13 Total CO: 221.57 tons/yr Total PM10: 1.85 tons/yr
Total SO2: 0.00 tons/yr Total Driver Rated Power: 15003.6 HP
Total NOx: 683.88 tons/yr Total TPM: 1.85 tons/yr
Real-Time Diagnostics Detechtion Technologies’ Enalysis is a web-based compressor optimization and fleet management service that provides real-time diagnostics and emissions monitoring on a compressor-bycompressor basis.
compressor fleet management tool. “Enalysis is a great way to track compressor health, engine utilization as well as emissions,” he says. The company’s 24/7 client assistance line is staffed by a team of compression engineers who assist clients with troubleshooting and guidance. In addition, all of the company’s senior management are members of the client support team. Enhancing its service offering, Detechtion provides training courses to instruct clients in compressor operation, optimization, maintenance and troubleshooting. Detechtion now serves approximately 75 clients, ranging from small private firms to major international players, located across North and South America, Europe, West Africa and Australia. In Western Canada, one out of every three gas compressors is on the Enalysis program; in North America, eight of the top 10 independent gas producers are Detechtion clients. About three-quarters of Detechtion’s clients are based in Canada and nearly one-quarter in the U.S. and overseas. The company has mostly grown through word of mouth, and future growth potential appears strong. Summers expects that within the next three to five years the company’s U.S. division will be larger than its Canadian division. Detechtion, which began making inroads into the U.S. market in 2002 with the addition of a U.S.-based management team, now has clients in 20 states. Detechtion’s U.S. offices are located in Houston, Texas; Forest, Virginia; and Charleston, West Virginia. The company is also enjoying strong international growth. Two years ago, Detechtion secured a contract with Santos, Ltd., a major Australian oil and gas exploration and production company, which conducted an international search for a suitable compression fleet optimization and fleet management tool before choosing the Enalysis program. “We have a tremendous product that has proven itself on a global scale ...,” says Summers. By Jacqueline Louie
technologyprofile One-stop decision support for upstream activities From exploration and online data needs to full-cycle economic analysis and diversified web applications, geoLOGIC systems can provide all your IT needs. If they can’t, just tell them
When Trident Exploration approached geoLOGIC systems for a solution to accessing the weekly CBM and shale gas control well lists posted by the Energy Resources Conservation Board, “they had no problem telling us they didn’t have one yet,” says Cory MacNeill, Trident geologist. But that situation didn’t last long. “geoLOGIC asked and listened to what we needed,” he says. “Next they developed a seamless function within geoSCOUT that allows our support staff to update this data in a fraction of the previous time.” She says the entire process was developed, tested and rolled out within a few months. “To me this is unheard of with a large scale software provider.” For Trident, who with its partners established the first commercial Mannville CBM field, it’s a real boon. “In the emerging unconventional gas world government regulatory bodies are developing and continually updating policies,” says MacNeill. Staying current with them all is critical. It’s that sort of response and adapting to customer needs that has kept clients coming back and maintaining geoLOGIC as an industry IT leader for 26 years now. “Our customers tell us,” says David Hood, geoLOGIC’s president. “If we aren’t doing something right we talk about it, right up front with them. And get their feedback—a tremendous amount of it. We spend a lot of time responding to it. Every morning we get together and talk about individual customers.” geoLOGIC offers full service solutions to the oil and gas industry that include a fully integrated exploration information system called geoSCOUT, an inventive online data centre called geoLOGIC Data Centre, a powerful full-cycle economic analysis tool called petroCUBE and a diversified suite of web applications.
“The thing that binds all of our products together is the data,” says Hood. “We’re actually a data company that also happens to build software. A lot of people see the software up front and aren’t aware of what’s behind it.” Which makes it so seamless for users. “The data is a broad range of raw data, everything except seismic,” he says. “The processes that geoSCOUT and petroCUBE support are basically the whole cycle of the exploration and production activities of the patch.” He illustrates with a series of decisions companies typically face: “Is land available? If so, is there a geological prospect available beneath it? Is it of sufficient size that it can be economic? How long is it going to take to deplete the reservoir? What kind of production can you expect? What is it going to cost you? What are your chances of success? If you can get it to the surface can you get it to market?” he says. “Our products are used to answer all of those questions.” It’s a complete package. “We are an enterprise-wide tool kit that’s used by the managers, the administrators, the geologists, the engineers, the landmen—everybody uses them,” says Hood. “We have put it together in an industry standard way, adopting the PPDM model (Professional Petroleum Data Management).” Each of the products has its special application. geoSCOUT supports the pure technical decision making analysis and interpretation. petroCUBE helps to support
the financial/economic side. “For example, I have a set of assets and do I want to sell them, drill them or buy more—petroCUBE is for those kinds of decisions,” explains Hood. “We make sure the software supports them effectively.” A lot of companies use all three. “You use geoSCOUT to provide the basin overview and then go across to petroCUBE to examine more of the financial aspects and that sort of thing,” he says. “Then with the geoLOGIC Data Centre you can supply the data to dozens of software applications to view the same data in a number of different ways.” And as with the Trident case, there are always new products in response to client feedback. geoLOGIC releases three upgrades every year, always on a specific date. “For example, we just released two brand new modules,” says Hood. “A document management module that allows you not only to get a well’s digital data but also the actual raw paper documents with all the hand written comments. And an area hazard report that tells you the risks inherent in a particular area so you know right away what to watch for when you’re drilling.”
Contact For More Information: geoLOGIC systems ltd. 900, 703 - 6th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 0T9 Phone:(403) 262-1992 www.geologic.com
tech guide | software directory
software Alternate Solutions Inc. 565 Arvin Ave. Stoney Creek ON L8E 5N7 Phone: 905-643-8289 www.asifluid.com Ambercore 140, 1 Antares Dr. Ottawa ON K2E 8C4 Phone: 613-820-4545 www.ambercore.com Amorex Solutions Ltd. 1500, 324 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Z2 Phone: 403-770-7865 www.amorex.com AVEVA 2600, 144 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N4 Phone: 403-303-3335 www.aveva.com B & G Systems Canada 54, 850 Tapscott Rd. Scarborough ON M1X 1N4 Phone: 416-646-2885 www.b-gsystemscanada.com Brillium Corporation 12 Hamptons Pl. N.W. Calgary AB T3A 6B8 Phone: 403-614-3913 www.brillium.ca Canadian Discovery Ltd. 300, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-269-3644 www.canadiandiscovery.com C-FER Technologies 200 Karl Clark Rd. Edmonton AB T6N 1H2 Phone: 780-450-3300 www.cfertech.com
CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc. 900, 800 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T6 Phone: 403-218-8300 www.cgi.com
Decision Dynamics Technology, Ltd. 300, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-451-0700 www.ddytech.com
CL Consultants Limited 3601A - 21 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6T5 Phone: 403-250-3982 www.clconsultants.ca
Detechtion Technologies 277, 1100 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T8 Phone: 403-250-9220 www.detechtion.com
Computer Modelling Group Ltd. 150, 3553 - 31 St. N.W. Calgary AB T2L 2K7 Phone: 403-531-1300 www.cmgl.ca
Energy Navigator 2200, 101 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P4 Phone: 403-233-9400 www.energynavigator.com
Control Microsystems 48 Steacie Dr. Kanata ON K2K 2A9 Phone: 613-591-1943 www.controlmicrosystems.com
Enersight Corp. 204, 3320 - 17 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T3E 0B4 Phone: 403-246-7447 www.enersight.com
Copyseis Ltd. 6705 Fairmount Dr. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0X6 Phone: 403-253-3425 www.copyseis.com
Entero Corporation 500, 1040 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G9 Phone: 403-261-1820 www.entero.com
Coraspec Systems 1230, 633 - 6 Ave.S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2Y5 Phone: 403-262-8750 www.coraspec.com
Envirosoft Corporation 10-B, 1235 - 64 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2H 2J7 Phone: 403-225-8760 www.envirosoft.ca
CriticalControl Solutions Inc. 1100, 840 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G2 Phone: 403-705-7500 www.criticalcontrol.com
Fekete Associates Inc. 2000, 540 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M2 Phone: 403-213-4200 www.fekete.com
Datacon Core Imaging Inc. 2410F - 2 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2E 6J9 Phone: 403-270-9350 www.dataconimaging.com
Fugro Data Solutions Canada 4221 - 23B St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7V9 Phone: 403-250-1119 www.fugro-data.ca
Gas & Oil Accounting (1988) Ltd. 200, 1040 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3G9 Phone: 403-234-9202 www.dglsoftware.com GEDCO 1200, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-262-5780 www.gedco.com geoLOGIC systems ltd. 900, 703 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0T9 Phone: 403-262-1992 www.geologic.com Geomodeling Technology Corp. 1100, 665 - 8 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3K7 Phone: 403-262-9172 www.geomodeling.com Glenbriar Technologies Inc. 301, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-233-7300 www.glenbriar.com GuildOne, Inc. 901, 304 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1C2 Phone: 403-355-8900 Halliburton Group Canada 1600, 645 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4G8 Phone: 403-231-9300 www.halliburton.com Hampson-Russell Limited Partnership 510, 715 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Phone: 403-266-3225 cggveritas.com/hampson-russell
software directory | Tech guide IFP Technologies (Canada) Inc. 810, 744 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3T4 Phone: 403-234-0342 www.ifp-canada.com
Petro-Soft Systems Ltd. 2100, 639 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M9 Phone: 403-774-1000 www.petro-soft.com
Teknica Overseas Ltd. 1900, 520 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3R7 Phone: 403-269-4386 www.teknicaltd.com
VistaVu Solutions Inc. 350, 7326 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8W1 Phone: 403-263-2727 www.vistavusolutions.com
IHS 200, 1331 Macleod Trail S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0K3 Phone: 403-770-4646 www.ihs.com/energy
PHH Petroleum Consultants Ltd. 240, 1121 Centre St. N.W. Calgary AB T2E 7K6 Phone: 403-232-6822 www.phhpc.com
Terra Management Inc. 611 - 71 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0S7 Phone: 403-269-6090 www.terramanagement.com
Jedex Equipment Ltd. 4, 4063 - 74 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 2H9 Phone: 403-531-8670 www.jedex.ca
Quest Computer Consultants 145, 6815 - 8 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7H7 Phone: 403-275-2775 www.geometrix.ca
Terrapoint Canada 140, 1 Antares Drive Ottawa ON K2E 8C4 Phone: 613-820-4545 www.terrapoint.com
Weatherford Advanced Geotechnology 1200, 333 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3B6 Phone: 403-693-7530 www.advgeotech.com
M.W. Hagel Consulting Ltd. 18 Golden Key Estates Calgary AB T3P 1A5 Phone: 403-265-7800 www.optimus.ab.ca
Quick Oilfield Solutions Inc. 300, 110 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1B3 Phone: 403-648-3944 www.quickoilfieldsolutions.com
The Fluid Life Corporation 9321 - 48 St. Edmonton AB T6B 2R4 Phone: 780-462-2400 www.fluidlife.com
Mustagh Resources Ltd. 134 Hubman Landing Canmore AB T1W 3L3 Phone: 403-265-5255 www.mustagh.com
Rapid Solutions Corporation 1040, 736 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1H4 Phone: 403-209-3000 www.rapid.com
3esi 200, 1601 Westmount Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 3M2 Phone: 403-270-3270 www.3esi.com
Neotechnology Consultants Ltd. 430, 910 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N8 Phone: 403-277-6688 www.neotec.com
Resource Energy Solutions Inc. 204 - 7A St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 4E8 Phone: 403-245-0220 resourceenergysolutions.com
Trivision Geosystems Ltd. 314, 602 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1J8 Phone: 403-777-9454 www.powerlogger.com
Open Door Technology Inc. 108, 7710 - 5 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2L9 Phone: 403-777-2410 www.opendoor.ca
RiskAdvisory, a division of SAS (Canada) 970, 401 - 9 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3C5 Phone: 403-263-7475 www.riskadvisory.com
P2 Energy Solutions 2100, 639 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0M9 Phone: 403-774-1000 www.p2es.com Paradigm Geophysical (Canada) Ltd. 1700, 125 - 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 0P6 Phone: 403-750-3535 www.pdgm.com Peloton Computer Enterprises 450, 1000 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 5L5 Phone: 403-263-2915 www.peloton.com Petris Canada 805, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-225-4954 www.petris.com Petro Management Group Ltd. 401, 100 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N2 Phone: 403-216-5100 www.petromgt.com Petroleum Joint Venture Association Box 6173, Stn. D Calgary AB T2P 2C8 Phone: 403-244-4487 www.pjva.ca
SAP Canada Inc. 600, 400 - 3 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 4H2 Phone: 403-269-5222 www.sap.com Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS) 600, 322 - 11 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 0C5 Phone: 403-294-4300 www.slb.com/sis Sierra Systems Group 2500, 1177 West Hastings St. Vancouver BC V6E 2K3 Phone: 604-688-1371 www.sierrasystems.com Singletouch Corporation 300, 110 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1B3 Phone: 403-648-3930 www.singletouch.com SQFive Intelligent Oilfield Solutions Ltd. 1900, 520 - 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3R7 Phone: 403-444-1447 www.sqfive.ca SustaiNet Software Solutions 910, 1111 Melville St. Vancouver BC V6E 3V6 Phone: 604-717-4327 www.sustainet.com
WellPoint Systems Inc. 2000, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-444-3900 www.wellpointsystems.com WellSight Systems Inc. 102, 7370 Sierra Morena Blvd Calgary AB T2H 4H9 Phone: 403-237-9189 www.wellsight.com XI Technologies 1700, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-517-0111 www.xitechnologies.com
technologyprofile New TELUS fleet tracking solution protects oil workers and vehicles Safety in the oilpatch is always a top priority, and for good reason. When accidents occur, serious consequences may result. This is why energy sector managers will likely be interested in TELUS Remote Fleet Tracker, a new fleet management and worker safety solution from TELUS Energy Solutions. TELUS Remote Fleet Tracker reduces operational costs, improves productivity and increases worker safety. This new service links advanced communications capabilities with worker and vehicle monitoring, combining Global Positioning Service (GPS) with Web-based maps to track vehicles in real time. The maps are specific to the energy sector and provide detail such as pipelines, well batteries and facilities. As a result, they deliver critical information for vehicle location, routing and worker safety in the patch. Using the solution, managers and dispatchers gain increased visibility into energy field operations and can locate employees in the field as the first step to worker safety. The service also provides important tools that can be used as part of an effective driver safety program. Information such as speed and seat belt usage can help improve driver behavior, while features such as Geo-fencing provide the ability to set geographic perimeters and receive alerts when vehicles enter or exit designated areas. To enhance the safety benefits of the solution, TELUS provides an option to protect workers entering hazardous environments. TELUS Protect is a satellite based loneworker solution that consists of an intrinsically safe (Class 1 Div 1) no-motion sensor worn around a workerâ€™s neck. The sensor connects wirelessly to the modem
in the vehicle and is an energy workerâ€™s first-line of defence against accidents in the workplace. Another available feature is outof-truck notification. Failsafe timers at the vehicle and remote locations notify drivers and responders of any potential incident. To facilitate response, distress messages can be forwarded to email, SMS or another nearby vehicle for quick action. In addition, a 24/7 call centre monitoring and escalation service is available for emergency notification. TELUS Remote Fleet Tracker can also report the history of each unit within a mobile fleet. By compiling and banking information, it gives managers the ability to create reports that are particularly useful for
establishing an audit trail if one is required for compliance to safety regulations. As the leading provider of communications services to the energy sector, TELUS has been focused on the industry since its inception and continues to make significant investments in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) that support safety in the field. The TELUS energy solutions team consists of dedicated professionals whose sole focus is on supporting the energy sector with leading-edge ICT and mobile services and solutions.
No matter where energy companies and their employees work, TELUS can work beside them. With both cellular and satellite connectivity options available, energy companies have reliable network coverage wherever they operate. For more information on TELUS Energy Sector Solutions please visit www.telus.com/energysector
Now there’s a fleet management and work alone solution built for the oil patch. TELUS Remote Fleet Tracker is designed exclusively for the energy and natural resource sectors. It includes an advanced in-vehicle modem, an intrinsically safe wireless fob for lone worker safety, industry specific maps, military grade gear and GPS tracking. It’s a whole new way to keep the oil patch safe.
GET THE BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS. Do more with TELUS solutions – connect with us today and we’ll show you how. Visit telus.com/oilsafe for more information.
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communications | Tech guide
Meter Readers New system simplifies the monitoring and downloading of well data from electronic flow meters
edi Inc., the maker of a popular piece of oilpatch technology — the Smart-Alek — is back with a new tool for field operators, one tied to the increasingly common BlackBerry. The Calgary-based company has come up with a new system for downloading data from producing wells, and it just might make an operator’s job easier. Boiled down, the new system allows a worker to download well or pipeline data like flow rate and pressure to a BlackBerry, using wireless data-transfer. For about a year now, downloading data wirelessly from Zedi’s electronic flow meter (EFM) has been possible using a Bluetooth-enabled laptop. Typically, a field operator would drive up to the well site or pipeline and remain in the truck while downloading. So long as the user is within 10 metres of the EFM, there should be no problem in transferring the data. Today, using the aptly-named EFM Walk-up for smartphone, a BlackBerry can perform the same task, meaning field staff gathering well data no longer need to carry laptops. According to Zedi, the BlackBerry can either send the well data immediately or, if out of range of a cellular tower, delay transmission until later. There are limitations, however. While Zedi plans to make its EFM Walk-up compliant with smartphones made by companies other than Research In Motion (RIM), the system is currently usable with the BlackBerry Curve 8330, 8703 or 8830 models, running version 4.2 or higher of RIM’s operating system. According to Zedi executives, plans to expand the EFM Walk-up’s compatibility are progressing. “We’ve only launched [EFM Walk-up] on what seems to be some of the more popular models of the BlackBerry, but development can be and will be done to support other smartphones as we go forward,” says Debra Deane, Zedi vice-president of marketing and investor relations. Wireless transfer of well data is also possible with Zedi’s Smart-Alek, which can send data automatically to a web portal, allowing secure access by customers. With more sophisticated features, the Smart-Alek is more costly and, for many operators, the Zedi EFM Walk-up can be justified in places where the Smart-Alek could not. In an earlier age, when mechanical flow meters were the rule, a worker could drive onto the lease in a pickup, and simply remove the circular paper chart whose data was inscribed by a pen as the chart rotated. Even today, some well operators prefer things the old way, explains one engineer.
Data Download EFM Walk-up allows field operators to use a BlackBerry to gather well data.
“Some people still like the paper charts, including some in my company,” says John Stueck, chief engineer for production, operations and facilities at Signalta Resources Limited, although he describes the group as “old-school.” Stueck acknowledges that paper charts have their merits: laid flat on a desk, they show the well history at a glance. But paper charts also have their failings, he says, including pens that can smudge or stop flowing. Typically, charts also have to be integrated, a process involving tracing the lines on the chart, which adds further scope for error, since it involves interpretation, he says. “Also, if you have any swathing or irregularities — say, the pen goes off the chart — you miss that data,” he adds. Given a choice between electronic and mechanical flow meters, Stueck has no doubt the electronic models are more accurate. About six months back, Signalta installed Zedi’s electronic flow meters on a cluster of half a dozen natural gas wells in Alberta. All the sites were equipped with EFM Walk-up for smartphone, and since then Signalta’s field operator has used a BlackBerry to gather well data, visiting the sites every oneto-three days. “I like the [system] because it’s got good accuracy, the data goes into a web-based area where you can retrieve and graph it, and it’s easier for the production accountants to pick up [new data]. They’re not looking for lost charts or waiting. They can do their accounting when they want to,” Stueck says. By James Mahony
tech guide | communications
Preparing For The Worst Calgary startup brings emergency response into the digital age
wo days before Christmas 2003, as residents living near a remote gas field in southwest China were preparing for bed, a natural gas well blowout sent a cloud of toxic hydrogen sulphide-contaminated gas into the sky which, over the coming hours, would create a 25-square kilometre “death zone” that left more than 200 villagers dead and thousands more suffering chemical burns and respiratory distress. Though a rare event, the tragedy was a potent reminder of the dangers posed by oil and gas facilities in regions, like Western Canada, thick with energy infrastructure. Around Calgary alone are more than 2,000 sour gas wells. One way to alleviate fears of well blowouts, gas processing plant leaks, pipeline failures, or refinery or upgrader explosions is to ensure all possible measures have been taken to alert residents as early as possible. While the hazards cannot be eliminated entirely, oil companies can go a long way toward maintaining good relations among rural residents — and perhaps saving lives — by having an effective and credible plan in place to deal with such emergencies, says one Calgary company.
“It became evident fairly quickly that there was no effective way of notifying a lot of residents and businesses in a hurry….” Cell Bridge Communications Corp. recently launched a hightech solution that brings emergency response into the modern communications era. Its secure, web-based emergency notification GIS (geographic information system) application, known as GeoAlert, automates a process that’s still handled, in some cases, manually through binders and call-out lists. In addition to streamlining and speeding up the process, it creates a digital audit trail, serves as an internal communications and training platform, and has the potential to eliminate duplication among oil companies with overlapping jurisdictions. “It became evident fairly quickly that there was no effective way of notifying a lot of residents and businesses in a hurry, in the event of an H2S or any other emergency incident. In an H2S gas situation, you may have a maximum 15 minutes,” Dan Pacholik, VP-Operations, says of Cell Bridge’s decision to develop a system specific to the oil and gas industry. The system allows companies to program emergency zones based on precise geographical co-ordinates and to use the
Moving Target In the event of a gas leak, GeoAlert can adjust its Protective Action Zone to follow the movement of the dispersal plume based on inputs such as weather reports.
system as a dashboard to proactively manage emergency response. The ability to visually monitor an emergency situation as it unfolds — to follow the movement of a plume of toxic gas, for instance, to track emergency response vehicles on the ground and to know at a glance in real-time which residents have and have not acknowledged notification — sets it apart from the paper and phone bank systems of the past. Once an area of interest is identified, GeoAlert — capable of dialing thousands of numbers every 15 minutes — automatically calls all affected residents on a pre-set priority basis. Companies can tailor specific pre-recorded messages to specific emergency zones. In order to ensure residents have received and understood a message — and that it was not, for instance, received by an answering machine — they are required to acknowledge by pressing a specified digit on their phone. A preset menu of options may allow them to indicate other responses, such as whether they need evacuation assistance or are planning to go to a preset shelter location. Cell Bridge invested heavily in 3D terrain mapping, dispersion modelling, facility and resident information databases, servers, telecom switching networks and bandwidth to create GeoAlert, Pacholik says. Its most visually striking feature is its 3D satellite mapping technology which, when an emergency like a gas leak occurs, can display the spreading plume as a purple-coloured “initial isolation zone” laid over designated emergency planning zones, moving in real-time while automatically identifying who should be notified and when. Numerous other details can be simultaneously displayed, such as residences, schools and businesses, oilfield facilities and pipelines, and any company vehicles in the area equipped with GPS. “I can now determine where my resources are, what responses I received from each resident, what actions I should be taking, where to send my rovers, where to put up roadblocks — all those things can now be monitored or deployed on the maps,” says Pacholik. By Maurice Smith
communications directory | Tech guide
Bailey Professional Search 2212 - 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 5P7 Phone: 403-289-5802 www.baileysearch.com
Guillevin International Co. 11220 - 180 St. Edmonton AB T5S 2X5 Phone: 780-453-1884 www.guilleviniag.com
PCC Communications Inc. 1107 - 53 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6X9 Phone: 403-567-8200 www.pccinc.com
T1 Services Inc. Bay 4, 4216 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6K3 Phone: 888-522-7180 www.t1telcom.ca
Barnett Engineering Ltd. 215, 7710 - 5 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2L9 Phone: 403-255-9544 www.barnett-engg.com
Hinz 204, 801 Manning Rd. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7M8 Phone: 403-235-5305 www.hinz.com
Platinum Communications Corp. 15, 6320 - 11 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2L7 Phone: 403-301-4590 www.platinum.ca
Telesat Canada 1601 Telesat Court Gloucester ON K1B 5P4 Phone: 613-748-0123 www.telesat.com
Benchmark Data Solutions 5, 4001 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6X8 Phone: 403-590-9101 www.benchmarkdata.ca
IBI Group 5 Fl., 230 West Richmond St. Toronto ON M5V 1V6 Phone: 416-596-1930 www.ibigroup.com
Priority Leasing Inc. 200, 7909 Flint Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 1G3 Phone: 403-216-1930 www.priorityleasing.net
TELUS Communications Inc. Flr. 32W, 10020 - 100 St. Edmonton AB T5J 0N5 Phone: 780-493-6564 www.telus.com
Cartel Energy Services Inc. Box 155 Beiseker AB T0M 0G0 Phone: 403-947-3334 www.cartelenergy.com
Infosat Communications, Inc. 3130 - 114 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2Z 3V6 Phone: 403-543-8188 www.infosat.com
Quick Oilfield Solutions Inc. 300, 110 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1B3 Phone: 403-648-3944 www.quickoilfieldsolutions.com
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd. 10708 - 181 St. Edmonton AB T5S 1K8 Phone: 780-489-3199 www.trinity-electronics.com
Microhard Systems Inc. 17, 2135 - 32 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6Z3 Phone: 403-248-0028 www.microhardcorp.com
Reboot Communications Limited 814, 41 Dallas Rd. Victoria BC V8V 4Z9 Phone: 250-388-6060 www.rebootconference.com
Westcan Wireless 12540 - 129 St. Edmonton AB T5L 4R4 Phone: 780-451-2355 www.westcanwireless.com
Enerconnex Box 2727 Whitehorse YT Y1A 4Y4 Phone: 867-668-8545 www.enerconnex.com
MobileSat Communications Inc. 12, 4621 - 63 St. Red Deer AB T4N 7A6 Phone: 403-755-1000 www.mobilesat.ca
Rigstar Communications Inc. 3567 - 52 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2B 3R3 Phone: 403-243-0600 www.rigstar.ca
Glentel Inc. 8501 Commerce Crt. Burnaby BC V5A 4N3 Phone: 604-415-6500 www.glentel.com
Network Innovations Inc. 4424 Manilla Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 4B7 Phone: 403-287-5000 www.networkinv.com
Rittal Systems Ltd. 7320 Pacific Circle Mississauga ON L5T 1V1 Phone: 905-795-0777 www.rittal.ca
Western Midland Communications Ltd. 8, 3601 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6S8 Phone: 403-250-9433 www.westernmidland.com
Guardian Telecom Inc. 7552 - 10 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 8W1 Phone: 403-258-3100 www.guardiantelecom.com
Ontor Limited 12 Leswyn Rd. Toronto ON M6A 1K3 Phone: 416-781-52866 www.ontor.com
Sigit Automation Inc. 540, 734 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P8 Phone: 403-723-4256 www.sigitautomation.com
Cell Bridge Communications Corp. 4628 - 5 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7C3 Phone: 403-444-9050 www.cellbridge.ca
Zedi Inc. 500, 600 - 6 Ave. SW Calgary AB T2P 0S5 Phone: 403-444-1100 www.zedi.ca
environmental | Tech guide
Skimming The Surface Alberta company markets a portable waste water treatment system
walk on the wild side gave the founder of a Calgary service company a new appreciation for clean water, indirectly laying the foundation for his own future. Years ago, while on the island of Borneo, Jason Snydmiller learned the super-major he was under contract to would promptly fine any contractor that left oil in local waters. Although it seemed harsh then, the rule was necessary, since locals depended on the water for fishing and prawn-farming, among other uses. “It was then that I started thinking about being able to recover the hydrocarbons from water on a location or lease, and reusing or disposing of the water onsite without contaminating the environment,” says Snydmiller, president of Tangent Environmental Technologies Ltd. Today, Tangent offers oil and gas producers a portable waste water treatment system that allows water to be recycled or disposed of, onsite or off. Self-contained in a 20-foot sea container, the Cascade Waste Water System is a modular unit that uses a series of filters to scrub hydrocarbons and other contaminants from surface waste water. The Cascade system does not treat all water on the lease, only surface water, such as rain water, wash water, water from pump lubricators, shale-shakers and ditches or cellars. For now, the Cascade system does not treat produced water, drilling fluids or solids, but Tangent offers other solutions for these. The company says the system removes detergents and naturally-occurring radioactive materials, while reducing sulphates, nitrates, phosphates, chlorides and such trace metals as calcium, sodium and magnesium. As for removing hydrocarbons, Snydmiller says the Cascade system can achieve 99.8% efficiency, processing up to 110 cubic metres of water per day. When the processing is done, the user is left with filtered water clean enough to safely put into Calgary sewers, he says. For oilpatch users, choices for disposing of the treated water will likely come down to two options: onsite disposal or recycling. “But our preference is to reuse the water,” Snydmiller says. “You could put it into the mud tanks for making drilling mud or into the rig tank for other reuse. You could also take it with you to the next [drilling] location.” On the other hand, there is an option that avoids having to truck water at all. Described by Tangent as atomization, this mode of onsite disposal involves heating the now-filtered waste water to about 150 C, converting it to a fine mist and dissipating it onsite, avoiding the need for trucking. With the Cascade system, an operator should be able to dispose of 34 to 37 cubic metres of water a day through atomization, although local temperature and humidity affect the efficiency of the process. Another benefit to the Cascade system is simplicity, says Snydmiller, pointing out that no technician is needed to run
Lateral Thinking Tangent says its Cascade system uses technologies from such sectors as drilling/ production waste management, oil spill recovery, mining and the process industry.
the system, which can be comfortably operated by a roughneck. Thanks to an automated filtration and self-diagnosing function, he says the system is also, for all intents and purposes, foolproof. While not designed to handle straight drilling mud, the system can process waste water that contains a measure of drilling mud and particulates. In that regard, however, there’s an onus on the user to keep an eye on what’s entering the system, Snydmiller says. If a filter pod becomes plugged, the system does not shut down, at least not immediately. Instead, a red warning light on the unit will start flashing to get a rig-hand’s attention. In addition to the light, the unit has an electronic read-out that displays a message, telling the rig-hand exactly which filter is plugged. Snydmiller says each unit comes with an ultrasonic filter cleaner. Among Alberta producers, one of the first to try the Cascade system was Amarone Oil & Gas Ltd. After eight days spent drilling a horizontal oil well near Jenner, Alberta, Jason Leroux, the company’s wellsite supervisor, was left with about 75 cubic metres of used drilling mud on his hands. Before going further, the crew removed the solids from the drilling mud using a conventional, centrifuging method that left behind only a mix of water and hydrocarbons. “It was a trial run,” says Leroux. “With a horizontal well, you can’t land-spread your drilling fluid afterwards. When we finished, we stripped the solids out of our drilling mud, brought the Cascade unit in, processed our water and separated out the oil,” he says, estimating that about 1.5 cubic metres of hydrocarbons were removed. When the water-hydrocarbon mix had been run through the system, instead of evaporating the remaining water onsite, Leroux decided to inject it into a disposal well, a choice that ultimately represented a cost saving, given the alternatives. “It saved me money. To dispose of fluid on the previous [horizontal oil] well in that field was over $30,000,” says Leroux. “My bill with Tangent was about $6,000, including trucking [costs to transport the Cascade unit], so it was a huge savings.” By James Mahony
tech guide | environmental
Greener Drilling Days Service company thrives on efficient treatment and recovery of drilling fluids
ilfield service companies planning to be around several years from now will not go far wrong by making the environment a priority today. If there’s a lesson in the recent experience of Calgary-based BOS Solutions Inc., that’s likely it.
operations, drilling fluid flows from the well to the tank, eventually making a full circuit of the cells. Along the way, polymer and calcium are added as the mud is agitated, causing solids to clump and fall to the bottom of each cell, where suction draws them off for further processing.
Despite the drilling slump that has idled service companies across North America, the company has seen increased sales and exports of its drilling fluid treatment systems.
Viewed from above, each cell shows gradually more clear water and fewer solids as the mud flows from cell to cell, until only clear water remains when the ninth cell is reached. By then, almost
solids and impurities are drawn off and centrifuged, allowing the operator to reuse the oil and stack the solids for later disposal. When solids have to be moved, they’re light and compact. South of the border, one user of the BOS system is EOG Resources Inc., which has kept up a steady pace of drilling, mainly in north Texas, where the company has drilled hundreds of wells, according to Bill Smith, an EOG drilling manager. On many wells, EOG used the BOS system to manage drilling fluids recovery. “We drill with water to the kick-off point, and then go to oil-based mud,” Smith says. “So, we use both [oil-based and waterbased fluids] on these directional wells.” When using water-based mud, drillers in Texas are allowed to “land-farm” cuttings, basically disposing of them by spreading them over the soil. But oil-based cuttings must go to a controlled disposal site, while the oil can be reused. Asked what difference that makes to an operation like EOG’s, Smith is frank. “If we’re on synthetic, oil-based mud, that’s important. It saves you a lot of money. [That] mud is $115 or $120 a barrel now,” he says. The dried cuttings have also meant savings for EOG on transport and disposal costs, he adds.
Fluid Management BOS says its tanks provide the flexibility to use one system to perform several different fluid management operations during the drilling process
Apart from reducing the footprint of drilling operations, the company’s hardware boasts one of the fastest set-up times in the industry. According to Ryan Pilsner, BOS chief operating officer, a typical set-up takes about 45 minutes from the time the truck arrives on-site. Instead of several loads, the BOS truck has just one load to haul, simplifying the logistics of moving.
all solids, such as barite, bentonite and other additives, are drawn off and run through centrifuges, reducing them to a dry, compact form, while the remaining water can be recycled.
While the exact BOS hardware varies depending on whether oil-based or water-based mud is used, it usually includes the BOS multi-sectioned mud tank and two centrifuges, although other hardware is sometimes used.
One trend that has helped BOS is the industry’s use of oil-based drilling fluids. Before invert, the oilpatch relied on water-based muds that were easier to dispose of and easier on the environment. But stricter environmental rules governing oil-based muds mean companies need to properly dispose of drill cuttings and excess fluid, often trucking them to offsite disposal areas. The less they have to move, the better.
Some of the equipment is unique. Take the BOS flocculation tank, for example. Unlike other “floc” tanks, it’s divided into nine discreet sub-tanks or cells. During
Using a closed-loop, “pitless” drilling system, the BOS tank allows the rig to drill with oil-based mud with minimal product loss. As the mud is filtered,
A going concern in Canada for six years now, BOS only entered the U.S. market in 2007. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. made up between 10 and 15% of BOS’s total North American business. Since then, the figure has quadrupled. The spike in U.S. business put BOS in the news recently, when the Alberta government honoured businesses with a track record for exports. As it turned out, BOS Solutions was one of three finalists in the New Exporter category for the Alberta Export Awards last spring. Organized by the Alberta branch of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the awards were inaugurated this year to recognize the achievements of Alberta businesses in exporting products and services. By James Mahony
environmental directory | Tech guide
environmental A.F.M. Resources Ltd. R.R. 2 Okotoks AB T1S 1A2 Phone: 403-938-2158 Abandonrite 2800, 500 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2V6 Phone: 403-263-6777 www.nabors.com ABKO Holdings (1977) Ltd. 2422, 246 Stewart Green S.W. Calgary AB T3H 3C8 Phone: 403-262-3221 Accurata Inc. 120 MacEwan Park Rise N.W. Calgary AB T3K 4A1 Phone: 403-295-1637 Alliance Energy Services Ltd. 1840, 840 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z9 Phone: 403-663-9766 www.allianceenergy.ca Altus Group Limited, Environmental & Forestry 17327 - 106A Ave. Edmonton AB T5S 1M7 Phone: 780-489-7883 www.altusgroup.com AMEC Earth & Environmental 140 Quarry Park Blvd. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 3G3 Phone: 403-248-4331 www.amec.com Aqua Terre Solutions Inc. 800, 736 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1H4 Phone: 403-266-2555 www.aquaterre.ca
Aresco Ltd. 108 Varsity Cres. N.W. Calgary AB T3B 2Z4 Phone: 403-247-1449 Ark Envirotech Inc. 102, 1439 - 17 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 1J9 Phone: 403-355-3655 www.arkenvirotech.ca Banner Consulting Services 269 Valley Springs Terrace NW Calgary AB T3B 5P8 Phone: 403-510-5351 BOS Solutions Inc. 1200, 444 5 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 2T8 Phone: 403-234-8103 www.bosrentals.com Boundary Technical Group Inc. 8, 421 East Lake Road N.E. Airdrie AB T4A 2J7 Phone: 403-948-2198 www.btgi.ca
CPIX Ltd. 500, 717 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z3 Phone: 403-261-6061 www.cpix.com
Frac Rite Environmental Ltd. 2, 4416 - 5 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 7C3 Phone: 403-265-5533 www.fracrite.ca
Curtis Reclamation Service Ltd. Box 490 Rocky Mountain House AB T4T 1A4 Phone: 403-845-4774
Ghostpine Environmental Services Ltd. 111, 10699 - 46 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2C 5C2 Phone: 403-291-9238 www.ghostpine.com
DANA Technical Services Ltd. 208, 3016 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6Y9 Phone: 403-571-0390 www.danats.com Diagnostic Engineering Inc. 111, 616 - 71 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2R1 Phone: 403-253-4856 www.diagnosticgroup.ca Enviro-Guard Reclamation Inc. 252 Sienna Hills Dr. S.W. Calgary AB T3H 2Y8 Phone: 403-540-9312
Calvin Consulting Group Ltd. 1A, 3850 - 19 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6V2 Phone: 403-547-7557 www.calvinconsulting.ca
Envirosoft Corporation 10-B, 1235 - 64 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2H 2J7 Phone: 403-225-8760 www.envirosoft.ca
CEDA-REACTOR LTD. 500, 11012 Macleod Tr. South Calgary AB T2J 6A5 Phone: 403-253-3233 www.cedagroup.com
Epic Environmental Technologies 48 Carlton St., Box 700 Redvers SK S0C 2H0 Phone: 306-452-3200 www.epicenvirotech.com
Clear Environmental Solutions 440, 840 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E5 Phone: 403-263-5953 www.clearenv.com
FDI Acoustics Inc. 250, 600 Crowfoot Cres. N.W. Calgary AB T3B 0B4 Phone: 403-547-9511 www.fdiacoustics.com
Golder Associates Ltd. 2535 - 3 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2A 7W5 Phone: 403-299-5600 www.golder.com Grassland Environmental Inc. 813 - 9 St. West, Box 1870 Kindersley SK S0L 1S0 Phone: 306-463-1431 www.grassland.ca HFP Acoustical Consultants 1140, 10201 Southport Rd. S.W. Calgary AB T2W 4X9 Phone: 403-259-6600 www.hfpacoustical.com HMA Land Services Ltd. 100, 7710 - 5 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2L9 Phone: 403-692-0850 www.hmaland.com Human Environment Group 1510 Kensington Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 1P2 Phone: 403-266-2677 www.theheg.com
tech guide | environmental directory Hunter and Associates/GIS Unit 18, 2285 Dunwin Dr. Mississauga ON L5L 3S3 Phone: 905-607-4120 www.hunter-gis.com
Levelton Consultants Ltd. 500, 1110 Centre St. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 2R2 Phone: 403-269-4141 www.levelton.com
Northern EnviroSearch Ltd. 620, 703 - 6 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0T9 Phone: 403-543-5353 www.envirosearch.ca
Hydrogeological Consultants 17740 - 118 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T5S 2W3 Phone: 780-483-7240 www.hcl.ca
Lorrnel Consultants 400 - 6 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1X2 Phone: 403-233-0900 www.lorrnel.com
Panther Environmental Inc. Box 7793 Bonnyville AB T9N 2J1 Phone: 780-812-2702
HydroQual Laboratories Ltd. 4, 6125 - 12 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2K1 Phone: 403-253-7121
Marquis Fluid Inc. 700, 706 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 0Z1 Phone: 403-264-1588 www.marquisfluids.com
Integrity Land Inc. 9940 - 99 Ave. Fort Saskatchewan AB T8L 4G8 Phone: 780-992-1500 www.integrityland.com
Intrinsik Environmental Sciences 1060, 736 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1H4 Phone: 403-237-0275 www.intrinsikscience.com J.K. Engineering Ltd. 320, 7930 Bowness Rd. N.W. Calgary AB T3B 0H3 Phone: 403-247-1777 www.jkeng.ca Kaizen Environmental Services 333 - 50 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 2B3 Phone: 403-297-0411 www.kaizenenviro.com Kanuka Thuringer LLP 1400, 2500 Victoria Ave. Regina SK S4P 3X2 Phone: 306-525-7200 www.kanukathuringer.com
McNally Land Services Ltd. 215, 5718 - 1A St. S.W. Calgary AB T2H 0E8 Phone: 403-503-5263 Milepost Manufacturing R.R. 2 St. Albert AB T8N 1M9 Phone: 780-459-1030 www.milepostmfg.com Millennium EMS Solutions Ltd. 208, 4207 - 98 St. Edmonton AB T6E 5R7 Phone: 780-496-9048 www.mems.ca Naft Canada Resources Ltd. 251158 Welland Way Calgary AB T3R 1L3 Phone: 403-239-3003 New Paradigm Engineering Ltd. 10444 - 20 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T6J 5A2 Phone: 780-448-9195 www.newparadigm.ab.ca
PFL Inc. Offshore & Arctic Technology 3387 Oakwood Dr. S.W. Calgary AB T2V 4V6 Phone: 403-265-3212 Pratum Resource Consulting Ltd. 2320 - 41 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6W8 Phone: 403-717-0493 www.pratum.com Remedx Remediation Services 305, 1550 - 5 St. S.W. Calgary AB T2R 1K3 Phone: 403-209-0004 www.remedx.net Response Safety & Rescue Services Inc. 1, 7053 Farrell Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 0T3 Phone: 403-287-8578 www.responsesafety.ca
Keneco Environmental Services (2000) Inc. 3 Fl., 3333 - 8 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2G 3A4 Phone: 403-237-8137 www.kenecoenviro.com Landmark Environmental Ltd. 1005, 400 - 4 Ave. S. Lethbridge AB T1J 4E1 Phone: 403-331-3035 www.landmarkenvironmental.ca
Nichols Environmental (Canada) Ltd. 17331 - 107 Ave. N.W. Edmonton AB T5S 1E5 Phone: 780-484-3377 www.nicholsenvironmental.com Nor-Alta Environmental Services 157, 9768 - 170 St. Edmonton AB T5T 5L4 Phone: 780-486-4931 www.nor-alta.com Normcan 2400, 530 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3S8 Phone: 403-233-7565 www.normcan.com
Tansley Associates Environmental Sciences Bay 3, 1470 - 28 St. N.E. Calgary AB T2A 7W6 Phone: 403-569-8566 www.tansleyaes.com TERA Environmental Consultants 1100, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-265-2885 www.teraenv.com Terra Pro GPS Surveys Ltd. Box 2340 Prince George BC V2N 2J8 Phone: 250-561-1664 www.terraprogps.com Trek Construction & Environmental Services Ltd. 63A Skyline Cres. N.E. Calgary AB T2Y 2K4 Phone: 403-274-1000 www.gettrekin.com
Roy Northern Environmental Box 847 Fairview AB T0H 1L0 Phone: 780-835-2682 www.roynorthern.com
Visible Data Inc. 1100, 640 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 1G7 Phone: 403-244-1288 www.visibledata.com
Scace Environmental Advisors 2416 Sandhurst Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T3C 2M6 Phone: 403-246-8303
Watersys Inc. 105, 5126 - 126 Ave. S.E. Calgary AB T2Z 0H2 Phone: 403-238-9510
Seaway Energy Services Inc. 810, 808 - 4 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3E8 Phone: 403-235-4486 www.seawayenergy.com
Waterworks Technologies Inc. 2024 - 12 Ave. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 1J7 Phone: 403-289-3198 www.waterworks.ca
Seguin Construction (1979) Ltd. 913 - 8 St. N.W., Bag 10 Slave Lake AB T0G 2A0 Phone: 780-849-3091
West Rock Energy Consultants Ltd. 1110, 910 - 7 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3N8 Phone: 403-663-4860 www.westrock-energy.com
Signum Consulting Ltd. 105, 239 Midpark Way Calgary AB T2X 1M2 Phone: 403-225-8140 www.signumconsult.com
KCM Engineering Ltd. 84 Oakmount Way S.W. Calgary AB T2V 4Y1 Phone: 403-807-6576
Tangent Environmental Technologies Bay A, 1007 - 55 Ave. N.E. Calgary AB T2E 6W1 Phone: 403-730-3410 www.tangentot.com
Skypics 10420 Maplemont Rd. S.E. Calgary AB T2J 1W4 Phone: 403-271-5094 www.skypics.ca SLR Consulting 200, 1620 West 8 Ave. Vancouver BC V6J 1V4 Phone: 604-738-2500 www.slrconsulting.com Spill Killer Environmental Products Ltd. Bay E, 7210 - 5 St. S.E. Calgary AB T2H 2L9 Phone: 403-735-5179 www.spillkiller.com
Western Corrosion Technologies Inc. 250, 815 - 8 Ave. S.W. Calgary AB T2P 3P2 Phone: 403-517-2200 www.westerncorrosion.com Whitland Consulting Inc. 2320 McIntyre St. Regina SK S4P 2S2 Phone: 306-757-8511 WorleyParsons Infrastructure & Environment 100, 4500 - 16 Ave. N.W. Calgary AB T3B 0M6 Phone: 403-247-0200 www.worleyparsons.com Wotherspoon Environmental 104, 429 - 14 St. N.W. Calgary AB T2N 2A3 Phone: 403-269-4351 www.wenv.com
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Published on Aug 1, 2009