The Competitive Edge

In the demanding oilfield industry, success hinges on not only maintaining a competitive advantage through innovative equipment design and technologies, but on decades of combined industry experience. To better meet the demanding needs of the industry, Energes Oilfield Solutions was formed, and continues to grow as it offers clients a diverse range of expertly crafted, innovative, and highly cost-effective products and services.
From well flow management and fluid transfer services to oilfield training, safety services, and a range of fabricated products, Energes provides precisely engineered, seamless solutions to ensure customers can react quickly and mobilize their efforts as efficiently as possible to any and all oilfield situations.

A venture capital-backed company, Energes was formed out of growing demand from the oilfield industry, explains Gary Coates. “There was an opportunity to invest in some experienced middle-level managers in the flowback and well testing segments, and the investors worked to try and pursue this, but they wanted to structure more around it than that, a more well-tooled organization from a management perspective,” Mr. Coates says. He himself was an energy industry veteran who came aboard as Chief Executive Officer. Early on, the emerging company investigated the acquisition of another entity focused on safety services. Realizing there were a number of synergies between the well testing / flowback company and safety services, the two companies were joined in July of 2013 to form Energes. “They complement each other very well,” comments Mr. Coates, who has worked in operations in Venezuela, North Africa, the Middle East and other locations. “The well testing side of the business needs safety services whether they’re in-house or third-party, and that gives us a market advantage in that sense.”

Elevating Oilfield Standards
Rapidly growing to a staff of over 200, Energes retains workers who are not only highly qualified in their individual specialities, but passionate about the oilfield industry. Comprising a variety of disciplines – including industrial safety specialists, well testing production operators, mechanical engineers, petroleum engineers, chemical engineers, process engineers, field technicians, and finance experts – the company boasts a strong team. At the company’s Houston-based fabrication facility, which manufactures much of the equipment for the well testing side of the business and the water management segment, Energes has a complement of skilled project managers, project engineers, welders, fitters, project execution technicians, and more.

Currently, the company is operating in three of the main basins in the United States. These are: South Texas (Eagle Ford); West Texas / East New Mexico (the Permian Basin); and the Bakken, spread across North Dakota and Montana, with a base in Williston, North Dakota.

With many years of cumulative oilfield experience, Energes is able to save clients time and money through the services it provides. Much of this is accomplished in part through new developments in the industry, but more importantly, through intelligent planning and the re-interpretation of time-tested techniques and existing methodologies. “To be clear, there is no super new technology that we do,” shares Mr. Coates. “It is just the wise application of lessons learned over decades in the oil and gas industry, and bringing back processes – using modern tools – which may have been designed as many as 100 years ago. I won’t say we are coming up with any new technology, but we are leveraging off new technology available and applying it as best as possible to provide our customers with many advantages.”

Providing a range of process packages and technologies such as remote monitoring, Energes prides itself on saving clients time and money through efficiencies which are safe and secure. Recognizing that there are numerous ways to streamline procedures, one way is through speed of delivery, which shortens the time to money for customers. In some instances, when clients are developing a new field, they may have made discoveries but are uncertain of the extent of the field. While they have some production, it could be a few thousand barrels per day or five times that amount, so at that early stage they cannot yet invest in permanent facilities because they do not know what they need.

As an alternative, Energes offers solutions to fast-track projects, which see the company put a certain amount of capacity in the field for clients very quickly, give them access to cash flow, and conduct the engineering for permanent facility installations. At the other end, when field production is coming to an end, clients often have facilities which were originally built on the production capabilities of the wells when they were new. In later life, the wells may not have the same pressure, and therefore cannot produce at optimum levels. This is where Energes comes in. By installing temporary process facilities to alleviate pressure on the well, this allows clients to extend the production life of the wells, maximizing profitability in the process.

“It is all about finding an opportunity for clients to be more efficient, or to save costs, or to improve the quality of product, which makes them more money,” says Mark Freeman, VP, Sales & Marketing for Energes. “We accomplish this by using application engineering, process engineering, and then our fabrication facilities to develop a solution to improve client capabilities.”

Energes has developed other methods for its clients to bolster production and reduce costs even in well-known areas, such as sweetening crude oil. Although performed for decades, sweetening crude oil typically requires the product to be stabilized at large processing facilities. As an alternative, Energes has a sweetening system unit which can be put on the back of a trailer and mobilized in just days. “This is where the real advantage comes, where you can offer this concept of a solution and put a sweetening system in the field where you need it strategically, and you don’t have to do a 12-month project to build it in the field where it may only last for 12 more months,” states Mr. Coates. “These are some of the offerings we are getting across to our customers. We benefit them by providing what may sound like temporary solutions, but may in fact be permanent solutions.”

Working closely with customers, Energes helps to determine their exact needs, which often enables clients to spend less money, not more; it is all about a well-planned and prudent approach to capital investment. Realizing some wells may only have two to three years of remaining production, it does not make sense to invest more money than is necessary. Additionally, if the oil and gas being produced is not sales quality because of contaminated elements, it is typically delivered to midstream companies for processing. This not only adds expenses to the client, but results in the midstream companies taking a percentage of the revenues. An option devised by Energes is process solutions which are deployed at or near to the well site in a small gathering station, which saves clients the cost of dealing with midstream companies.

Remote Monitoring Services
Another way Energes saves money for its clients is through the provision of remote monitoring services. Well sites require a production technician to drive around on a regular basis, checking on pressure gauges and other equipment and ensuring flowing conditions are acceptable and within proper parameters. Unfortunately, even the most vigilant technicians can misread gauges or miss other critical issues. Instead of workers in the field, Energes’s remote monitoring systems are able to communicate with equipment miles away, in real time, from a central control room through secure Internet connections.

As a result, remote monitoring significantly reduces labor costs. “If a pump on a well turns off for whatever reason you will know instantaneously, and you can program a maintenance crew to be out there within 24 hours or less, without having the surveillance,” explains Mr. Coates. “This results in greater visibility and reduces manpower. Remote monitoring is very cost-effective and provides real-time information, which is useful especially on large scales where you have dozens of wells.”

Providing customers with services related to well flow management, fluid transfer, safety and training services and more, Energes prides itself on creating solutions which can be professionally implemented independently or as an integrated unit. In addition to its services, the company is able to meet other needs of its clients through its substantial fabrication facility, where it manufactures items such as oil and gas processing equipment and piping skids. Currently in the process of obtaining its American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) license, Energes will obtain the ASME code for pressure vessels before the end of the year.

Energes’s range of products includes hydraulic combined plug catcher and well control manifolds, gas buster knockout systems, mobile well test separators, production heaters, temporary production facilities, remote data surveillance, customer desk remote data delivery, and more.

With a strong focus on growth and expansion, the company plans to double in size over the next 12 months, and continue to grow at that same pace. “We are at 200 employees now, and intend to be at 400 in 12 months, and 600 in 24 months,” says Mr. Coates. “This requires organic growth, and there may be some acquisitions in in the future, strategic acquisitions of companies that would fit well with our product offerings.” At present, Energes is well on its way to achieving its goals, with a focus on hiring the right people at every stage. Currently, the company is investing in the education of its frontline supervisors and middle managers, recently sending some to attend project management courses at the University of Houston.

“We have some strong differentiating factors in the spaces where we compete,” says Mr. Freeman. “Energes has the engineering capabilities, and our fabrication capabilities set us apart from the competition in many ways, because we have a strong focus on quality and sound engineering design. This shows not only in the quality of our equipment, but the service that we are able to provide to our customers. On the other side of that is we know that talent attracts talent, and as such we have brought high-potential, strong candidates onto the team and focused on retaining that talent. That is what we have really focused on to build up the organization.”

July 19, 2018, 3:36 PM EDT

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