From flared gas to safety measures, support services companies must grow with the industry to stay on stable ground.
In January 2010, North Dakota alone had 4,628 producing gas and oil wells. The number rose all the way to 8,224 by December 2012, the most recent numbers available. That’s an increase of 78 percent in three years. Over the same time period, oil production jumped from 7.3 million barrels per month to 23.8 million barrels per month, an increase of 226 percent. Gas production jumped 216 percent, from 7.9 million MCF to just shy of 25 million MCF.
More oil and gas is being pulled from the ground more efficiently, and less gas is being flared off. Part of the reason for that is the development of new technology to capture the natural gas liquids. One of the developers of that technology is G2G, a service company profiled in this issue.
G2G, formed by three engineers with different backgrounds but much common ground, has developed mobile technology to capture gas liquids that would otherwise be flared off and wasted. They’ve created their own boom by identifying a problem and developing a viable, cost-effective solution.
About a third of the gases from new wells are flared, according to recent estimates, and a single G2G system will prevent 4,000 to 5,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions from gas flares in a year and capture enough energy to heat nearly 1,300 homes. The gas processing unit, natural gas generator and portable LP storage tank are all on wheels, so they can be moved quickly when a gas pipeline is built to the well and G2G is no longer needed.
The boom has had a huge impact on all the companies that provide support services for the drillers in the Bakken area. Workloads have grown at unprecedented rates, and companies have been forced to hire at equally impressive rates to keep up with the demand for their services. In this month’s “Building the Business” column, Marsha Lindquist discusses how to make sure you’re attracting and hiring the right people.
In a booming oil area, workers flood in from all over the country. Taking a chance on someone to fill an open labor position might not be a big deal for a major drilling company, but if you’re a smaller company offering pumping or hauling services, you don’t want to take a chance on someone who may not represent your company as you wish. You have too much to lose.
Of course, when you do find the right people, you need to take care of them and treat them right. This month’s “Safety First” and “Tech Perspective” articles both address this important issue. “Safety First” takes a look at injury prevention programs and their importance in protecting workers from hazards and employers from big hits to their bottom line.
A study conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation analyzed the policies of 16 employers over a 12-year period from 1999 to 2010. The study compared the employers’ experience before and after entering into the OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), which recognizes small employers that operate exemplary injury and illness prevention programs. Results showed that the average number of claims for these employers decreased by 52 percent, the average claim cost decreased by 80 percent, and the average lost time per claim decreased by 87 percent. Those are certainly significant numbers for anyone employing people in potentially dangerous environments, and they speak both to the human and financial rewards of taking care of employees.
Peter Kenter’s “Tech Perspective” article takes a different look at safety. After witnessing an accident at a remote fracking site and having no proper place or supplies to deal with the injury until help arrived, Josh Galindo realized oil and mining contractors needed something better. He developed the concept for a medical trailer and eventually founded Nomadic Safety, Inc. of Loveland, Colo. The company designs and builds the trailers to provide immediate medical assistance at remote sites until qualified medical teams arrive.
The trailers provide a clean, climate-controlled environment for immediate patient care, along with the necessary supplies, equipment and instructions. Most importantly, they provide the potential for better outcomes when workers are injured, and that’s good for everyone involved.
Better outcomes are what we’re all after, in business, life and emergency situations. An important part of this magazine is providing you the information and insight necessary to improve your business. I hope these stories help you in that regard.
Enjoy this month’s issue.