Innovative Oilfield Services

FourQuest Energy

Co-Founder and Executive Vice President Karl Gannon shared with us why FourQuest Energy has become one of the most successful and fastest-growing companies in the oil and gas industry.

FourQuest offers a variety of services, primarily focusing on mechanical pre-commissioning, commissioning, and scheduled maintenance shutdown events. In the energy industry, commissioning is defined as a documented process of verification that systems of a building or facility work as intended by the design engineer. According to Mr. Gannon, FourQuest’s pre-commissioning operations primarily focus on newly-built facilities in the oil and gas industry.

FourQuest was launched by four directors who brought with them experience in pre-commissioning and international services. The company was founded in December 2007. The founders are Mr. Gannon; Nik Grgic, P. Eng, President; Zoran Bajic, P. Chem., M. Eng, Vice-President of Engineering; and Dave Wilson, Executive Sales. As Mr. Gannon explains, “As most entrepreneurs do, we started a company because we felt that we could do it better. There were a number of companies who performed specific services, but did not do all mechanical pre-commissioning. We felt the engineering portion was just as important to the overall operation as pre-commissioning was.”

Mr. Gannon feels that FourQuest’s combination of these services gives the company a distinct advantage in the oil and gas industry. Coupled with the fact that most of the company’s pre-commissioning equipment is designed by in-house engineers, it is clear that FourQuest truly offers a point of difference in the marketplace.

The company’s service platform includes steam blowing, air blowing, oil flushing, fluid pumping, filtration, engineering and procedure writing, pipeline testing, and chemical degassing and decontamination. The broad range of services FourQuest Energy provides makes it a full-service organization for its clients.

FourQuest Energy’s operations began in May 2008, and as Mr. Gannon explains, “The system has worked; we provide a service that was needed in the market. We currently provide services for the majority of the major oil companies.” As of the most recent fiscal year, the company’s revenue has increased to $40 million.

Mr. Grgic comments that FourQuest Energy’s success is based on the quality of its people: “We started our company with what we perceived as the best seven people in our industry. This enabled us to quickly establish and grow our reputation with our clients, rapidly increase our market share and at the same time develop our company structure, business processes and systems. As we grew, we promoted people internally and continue hiring the new employees with the biggest potential to fulfill not only the immediate roles, but to serve as future leaders and managers.

“Another reason for the sustained success of the company is our fiscal discipline and access to capital. We have demonstrated that we know how to grow our business year over year, invest in people and equipment and still deliver excellent financial results. Thanks to our results we have been able to gain generous support and real business partnership relationships with our financial supporters HSBC and Fulcrum Capital.”

FourQuest Energy currently operates on three continents with bases in North America, the Middle East, and the Caspian region of Asia. Headquartered in Edmonton, FourQuest has additional offices in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Fort St. John, BC, Mount Pearl, NL, Houston, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and Atyrau, Kazakhstan in the Caspian Region. Future plans include expanding into South America.

Another division of FourQuest Energy is the Tech Resource Group. This division of the company provides staff to sites to support Commissioning and Start-Up (C&SU) services and Major Maintenance activities onsite for oil companies. Operations and Maintenance Coordinators and Engineers can be dispatched for turnarounds and unit outages; and for projects, operations and maintenance coordinators, procedure writers, C&SU specialists, quality and project turnover staff, engineers, and project managers can be assigned by the Tech Resource Group. FourQuest Energy’s Tech Resource Group provides pre-screened talent to offer the organizations it serves with personnel who best meet their needs.

Incorporating quality management into its daily business operations is a part of the FourQuest Energy philosophy, and the company has made a commitment to upholding the highest of standards and offering top level services to its clients. With quality, safety, health, environmental stewardship, and continuous improvement forming the backbone of the company, it is no wonder it has grown in just a short time to be a leader in its field.

An indication of this commitment to quality is FourQuest Energy’s accomplishment of logging over 400,000 man-hours of fieldwork without a lost time incident (LTI). Mr. Gannon feels this achievement is a reflection on FourQuest’s commitment to responsible health, safety, and environmental practices. The company also received its ISO 9001:2008 Certification in 2011, meaning that it employs quality management systems that meet high standards to serve clients while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements. “This is a very impressive achievement for a company that started so recently,” Mr Gannon explains, and the company, he says, has a goal of going above and beyond the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

FourQuest Energy’s commitment to high standards and quality have been extensively recognized in the industry; the business has been ranked as one of Alberta’s 250 highest grossing companies, won a President’s Safety Award in 2010 from the Gas Processing Association of Canada, and its founders became finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Prairies in the Energy Services category for 2011.

Every business faces challenges, however. According to Mr. Gannon, one challenge for FourQuest Energy includes finding the right people in a competitive job market. FourQuest aims to attract and retain the best employees in the industry, and to further strengthen those employees through its commitment to training and mentoring. Mr. Gannon feels that the growing company offers terrific opportunities for professional development and promotion, and its open door policy makes it a welcoming environment for employees at all levels. The growth of the company and its strong reputation within the industry have also made it easier to find people who are eager to work for the organization.

One of Karl Gannon’s roles is to create standardization throughout the company’s global operations. He aims to create a consistent policy and service line worldwide, and to achieve this, FourQuest employs techniques such as using its own in-house engineering staff, developing custom training courses for employees, and recently, hiring a corporate trainer.

Mr. Gannon says that the culture of entrepreneurial spirit is the key to the company’s current and future success. “We want to give employees of FourQuest the chance to expand and promote into higher positions in the country they live in or the opportunity to move elsewhere to seek other jobs within the company.” The company will go wherever the opportunities are: “Wherever there is oil, that is where we would like to be.

“We started this business a few months before the recession hit in 2008,” concludes Mr. Gannon. “We had very little capital, few resources, a small client base – but belief in ourselves paid off.” While the situation was challenging, Mr. Gannon believes that the economic slowdown actually encouraged the company to be extremely efficient and cautious; it is a strategy which has paid off well.

June 24, 2018, 2:46 AM EDT

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