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The oil and gas business never changes!  You get oil out of the ground, turn it into gas and put it in your car.  Nothing ever changes, right?

Wrong.

New companies are making major inroads into changing the oil and gas industry.  I had the pleasure of speaking with some innovative individuals in the industry and I’m excited to share their information with you.

Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc.

Brett Davidson, President and CEO of Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc., explained how Wavefront recovers oil out of existing reservoirs:

“We add 2 to 5 percent more to overall recovery, by rescuing stranded oil from light and heavy reservoirs. Primary production brings about 20 to 40 percent recovery.  Secondary production by water flooding might add another 10 to 15 percent recovery.  Add on our technology, Powerwave, to water or CO2 flooding and we may achieve up to 60 percent overall recovery.”

Wavefront’s patented Powerwave process is an injection technology that improves the flow of fluids in geological materials, including sedimentary soils and fractured rock. Powerwave increases oil recovery by optimizing the performance of existing secondary and tertiary oil recovery methods.

How are they able to recover so much oil?  Brett compares the Powerwave technology to a water hose:

“We use a pulse.  Take a water hose, for example.  If I put a kink in the hose, I automatically stop the flow.  I am storing energy behind the kink.  When I release the kink, there is a sudden burst of accelerated fluid and then it goes back to normal flow.  Wavefront adds a special device on the end of the injection string.  It’s a valve that opens and closes.  The valve mimics a garden hose when it closes by storing energy above the valve.  When the valve opens, there is a sudden burst of accelerated fluid.  Powerwave is an optimization technique that can potentially add billions of additional barrels of oil to world production.”

Wavefront’s Powerwave is a green technology; protecting the environment by potentially reducing the drilling of new wells to achieve better overall oil recovery from existing reservoirs.  

RigNet

RigNet, which supplies the upstream oil and gas industry with managed communications and other network-based services, provides internet services to oil rig workers in order to increase communication.

RigNet president and CEO Mark Slaughter provided more information: “We standardize the provision of remote communications to and from offshore drilling rigs. RigNet is used on about one third of the world’s offshore rigs.”

RigNet’s technology is similar to the internet access provided on airplanes where the internet is streamed via satellite.

Why would internet access be important to the crew of an oil rig?  According to Slaughter, “When rig personnel are off duty, and personnel are usually young, internet-savvy males, they want to be connected to the internet to surf the web, email, use Skype, or check Facebook.  If they don’t have that availability on the rig, they won’t want to stay in the industry.” 

Providing internet access to rig personnel has caught on and RigNet makes it simple for workers to purchase internet time.  Slaughter says, “Employees can log-on and enter a credit card number to purchase internet time. Our most affordable package is about $100 for 20 hours.”  Regardless of whether the oil rig employee is very internet-savvy or only logs-on occasionally, RigNet’s internet access is popular due to the sheer amount of time that most employees are out on the rig, which is about 30 days.

Just like every other industry, the oil industry must constantly recruit new workers into the field. Providing internet access from the very beginning is vital to attracting new workers to the industry.  Increased government regulations requiring rigs to report their operations more often also supports RigNet’s growing business.  With the increase need of communication, the demand for services like RigNet becomes more in demand.

Stay tuned to part 2 of this article where I speak to more oil and gas executives.

Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx, a provider of time tracking and resource management solutions.

Last updated: Sep 7, 2011




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