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  • Bakken Oil Products and Service Show

    BOPPS has fresh faces looking for niche in Bakken

    By Renée Jean rjean@willistonherald.com

    Oct 4, 2018

    A video caught Goran Misic’s eye as he wandered the booths at the Bakken Oil Products and Service Show, a video of something that the Basin Safety controller had never seen before.

    In the six-minute clip, volunteers outfitted in Fortress Clothing jumped into an icy hole carved into four-foot thick ice at the Hunting Reservoir in Utah.

    The initial dive was shockingly cold, of course, but as the participants stood there, they did not get colder, as you would expect. Instead, a thin, quarter-inch layer in the middle of the garments designed to wick moisture away helped keep them warm despite being wet.

    Misic stopped to watch the video, and was soon trying on the garments with their articulated sleeves and knees, which he felt might be something the safety company’s customers might like.

    “It gets ridiculously cold here,” Misic said.

    Basin Safety does safety audits and training, Misic said, and also offers products that play into safety. Gear that can keep employees warm in North Dakota’s winter weather, particularly even if the employee has gotten wet, go well with a safety mission.

    The only wrinkle in the idea, Misic said, is that some companies require everything the employee wears to be fire resistant, not just the outer shell. But still, it was a product with promise, Misic said, and he was taking notes and considering it as a possible option.

    Fortress Clothing wasn’t the only product with promise at the annual oil service company show. This year’s event seemed to have attracted a wide range of companies seeking either an entry point to the Bakken, or an expanded presence.

    Among these was Rosen with a service it calls R-Cubed. Laid out on their table was what appeared to be an eye-catching, miniature rocket ship. It was actually an inline inspection tool. A smart pig.

    The center component could be exchanged for a variety of different purposes, such as checking for dents in a pipeline. That tool has a number of calipers that expand out. If they hit a dent, however, they collapse. That information is recorded, along with the location where the collapse occurred.. There’s also a magnetic setup that can detect holes in the pipe, using magnetic detection and special sensors.

    While smart pigs aren’t really new, Rosen has put together a new service that offers pipeline diagnostics with a 48-hour turnaround. It has eight mobile teams going around the clock every day of the year.

    “The more usual timeframe is 30 days,” explained Brian Lalima, manning the Rosen booth with Mike Joiner. “With this, we can do it in two days. No other company can turn that around this quickly.”

    Rosen is a Houston company looking to expand its footprint in the Bakken partly due to a shortage of pipelines in the Permian. That shortage is driving some operators to lay down rigs, and head back to the Williston Basin for the time being.

    “That’s why we’re here,” Lalima said.

    Rosen offers a variety of services, Lalima added, including pipeline cleaning.

    Another of the new entrants was IJack, offering an automated lift technology with push-button control of production settings such as stroke length and speed.

    The units have a smaller footprint than the traditional donkey pump jacks, and take only an hour or two to install, versus the more traditional two or three days.

    The units not only can run both a pump jack and a compressor, but they allow the two to operate at independent speeds.

    These types of pump jacks have already found a niche in Canada, Dan McCarthy, a representative for the company said, but they are hoping to find new markets in the Williston Basin.

    “We’ve had quite a few interesting conversations today,” he said.