Leading the competition with the niche skills the oil sector demands
Offering top quality service and leading technology knowhow, Casing Specialties remain the industry leader
Cementing itself as the leader in the oil industry, Casing Specialties, experts in providing leading drilling and well support services, has proven to lead the competition by expertly completing each job ‘one rig at a time’.
Situated in Midland, Texas, Casing Specialties has been operating for over 40 years. However, the family-run business started out as a more minor operation with a single truck. In 2006, Russel Davis, President, and CEO of Casing Specialties took over the reins from his father and has run it since.
The company actually provides two different services in the same industry. Firstly, Casing Specialties provides drilling equipment as well as operations crews to run the specialized drilling equipment, all of whom have a genuine ‘can-do’ attitude.
However, the company refers to itself as a casing company, which is the second service. When holes are drilled into the ground, it’s just a hole that the drilling rig has created. Casing Specialties provides the casing, or a pipe, that ensures the extracted resources can be pumped to the surface.
Since 2006, the company has expanded its reach. First, into a California corporate location, and second, adding two operations locations to complete geothermal work in the southern and northern parts of the state. Since then, the company has conducted geothermal work worldwide, including in Honduras, Guatemala, and the Guadalupe Islands in the Caribbean.
Domestically, the company has also expanded into Wyoming, North Dakota, Texas, and Hawaii.
Davis explains that this expansion is due to a single reason: “We followed the people. By meeting new people, we were exposed to new opportunities. We kept on making great relationships, which has now led us to Texas.”
The approach to the business’s expansion can be summed up by the company’s mantra of ‘one rig at a time.’ Casing Specialties wants to ensure they don’t overreach its capabilities. The company lands the next project by delivering services and work that is of the best standard on their current project.
Also, the company has no contracts in place, so if a client is not happy with the standard of work, they can ask Casing Specialties to leave. It’s either excellence or nothing.
Over the years, the company has implemented technologies, policies, and procedures that assist with its one-rig-at-a-time approach. This approach has taken years to perfect, sometimes requiring the company to take one step forward and two backward. It’s been years of uncovering problems and eliminating them.
And with the single-focus approach of one job at a time, the company can eliminate any possible setbacks before they happen. And it’s this attention to detail that they carry through the rig-up process and in the workshop.
Casing Specialties also ensures that they do extensive research before arriving at a location.
“If there are setbacks, it’s not good business, and when operations can exceed $3,000 an hour, making mistakes is not an option,” says Davis.
The company’s management is well aware that technologies in the sector are changing every year, which means they are constantly reevaluating the efficiencies of their rigs. And that’s obvious when you compare the number of rigs they were operating in 2019, which was 50, to the 35 they are currently operating to produce the same volume.
This need to continually hone and perfect has led to significant expansion and growth for the company in the last four to five years.
As the company is primarily focused on tubular running services, being a part of the energy sector is exciting due to its constant evolution. But according to Davis, the real breakthrough came in 2008, with horizontal and directional drilling, which has allowed the domestic oil industry to boom.
“While fracking has been around forever, with new developments in directional drilling, we can control where the hole goes, literally to the foot. And the operators of these drills are only improving their skills. They can now get the same production capacity from one borehole that used to require 10 – 20,” says Davis.
Casing Specialties has been able to identify that the improvement in horizontal and directional drilling, fracking, frack solutions, and frack sands has meant a better demand for tubular running companies.
While a part of the drilling process, Casing Specialties considers their role of successfully casing the hole the most crucial part. There is no way to redo the casing lining if an issue occurs. For the well to operate efficiently, it hinges on an excellent casing run.
This drive for perfection is the key to the company’s success and is crucial for the entire energy process.
In 2022, the company completed many fiber optic jobs and is looking to become more specialized in the installation process. The fiber optics that Casing Specialties refers to aren’t the telecommunication lines but a monitoring system.
“Fiber optic is a good monitoring system, which is installed on the outside of the casing. It measures the oil’s temperatures, pressures, and strains in and out of the ground. It also assists with monitoring zones and the fracture efficiency of the well, which is crucial. This is a long process, but it is key if you need to document the well’s history,” says Vincent Navarro, Western Texas Operations Manager.
These fiber optic installations are done on permanent wells and can be accessed remotely. Casing Specialties is one of the only companies in the Texas region that can install fiber optics on a well.
Installing these fiber optics must be done precisely to ensure that the casing doesn’t compromise the cable. And the lines are installed by third-party specialists collaborating with the company.
Casing Specialties work with Halliburton and SageRider; depending on the region, the specialists change.
The company has invested in technology and programs to streamline installations, workforce, and workflow. Also, with the development in the sector, manufacturing processes and machinery have had to be upgraded.
According to Davis, “Much of the equipment we used six or seven years ago is obsolete because it doesn’t meet a high enough rating. These new machines implement higher torque connections and more premium connections, which can handle higher pressure.”
Casing Specialties has invested in an entirely new fleet of power tongs, which is the machine that connects the two casing joints together. The supplier that keeps the company modernized is Starr Manufacturing.
Starr Manufacturing’s power tong has exceeded expectations and has fixed 95% of the problems for Casing Specialties as their product works and is reliable.
Volant Casing Running Tools is another company that Casing Specialties works with to supply CRTs (casing running tools). This equipment interfaces between the casing work and the drilling rig itself.
Volant Casing Running Tools has also provided excellent training to the staff to ensure they get the most out of their quality tools.
Casing Specialties also collaborates with McCoy Global, which provides a lot of equipment to the company.
In the last 25 years, safety equipment has come a long way, and in the energy sector, safety is paramount. The work that Casing Specialties does can be hazardous with multiple risks. Also, the industry standard for safety is incredibly high, as the company has had to change processes over the years.
Currently, the company has four safety employees who oversee that all regulations are met, ensure that documentation is done correctly, and see that new training procedures are completed.
These training programs are done online, and the company that implements these interfaces and training platforms is ISNetWorld. ISNet world also supplies accreditation for the oil industry.
Another online safety protocol system, KPA, helps Casing Specialties track the staff’s training process, certification training, and tool operations.
The company has reduced the need to invest in a significantly larger safety department by allowing technology to assist with all the safety training.
“From a safety standpoint, being able to train new employees who don’t have oil industry knowledge at the shop means that they never go into the field without experience. They know how to file documentation and more. We need to correctly train our staff, says Navarro.
The company started 2022 by focusing on its staff. The company operates 24/7 and 365 days a year. This can be taxing for the staff members, and to be a successful company with highly trained specialists, they know they need a low turnover.
The company wants to keep its employees and their families happy by ensuring they are safe when on the job. Some projects require them to be on-site for up to 72 hours straight.
“Everything we do has to have a human element of consideration in it. We need the employees to be happy, safe, and to rock up on site with a positive attitude,” says Davis.
Casing Specialties is the company to work for in the casing industry, with leadership that inspires their teams. In 2023 and beyond, the company wants to ensure its employees understand that it cares about them, their safety, and what matters to them.
The goal for the future is simple, Davis concludes; to ensure the workers can start and finish their careers in a company that cares about them.
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AT A GLANCE
What: experts in providing leading drilling and well support services
Where: Bakersfield, California
Volant Products Inc. – www.volantproducts.ca
Volant; providing industry-leading techniques with a commitment to responsible environmental practices
Committed to customer needs and with a finger on the pulse of the industry while remaining deeply rooted in technology, Volant’s capabilities derive from designing and manufacturing equipment and developing digital solutions that make casing system installation safer, easier, and more productive by removing people from harm’s way. Volant is also committed to advancing industry practices and is mindful of reducing environmental impacts during the well construction process and for the life of the well.
Volant’s CRTi® and CRTe® casing running tools are fully mechanical and offer industry-leading capacity with the smallest footprint available for casing running or drilling operations.
As mechanical tools installed on the top drive, they are fully controlled by the driller, require no one in the derrick, no additional personnel or auxiliary power, and present no pinch points at the rig floor. Not only do they remove people from the red zone during makeup operations, but they also remove the need for additional equipment with their ability to make up, break out, reciprocate, rotate, fill, circulate, and cement casing and liner strings. The simplified design minimizes resources for transportation and requires less rig idle time during rigging-in and removal of the tools.
As a result, resources, emissions, and rig time needed to successfully complete casing and liner running operations are reduced. With superior technology, proven industry results, and a focus on getting the job done the first time, Volant continues to stand above the competition.