Lloydminster – There is no fear in Brutus, the watchdog, and that’s reflected in the way brothers Pat and Cory Potter run their Titanium Tubing Technology Ltd. coiled tubing business in Lloydminster. Titanium was incorporated in 2006 with a single coiled tubing unit, and has grown most rapidly in the past year to six coiled units and 20 employees, thanks to the Potters’ bulldog approach to diversifying. “We try to have our coiled tubing units going out doing as many different jobs as possible,” said Pat, the operations manager. “We don’t want to pigeon hole our company to just being a service company or a completions company.
“We’ve taken our units and gone in every possible direction that we can to be as diverse as possible. We do a huge number of horizontal well completions. “We are doing a lot of perforating on coil, logging on coil, drillingplug setting and retrieval, acidizing and nitrogen pumping. There is a whole new realm of services we can do. “We are trying to stay on the cusp of what is new and exciting,” Pat said.
Titanium services the medium and heavy oil market in Western Canada with a growing list of services that will include SmartCoil applications this spring. SmartCoil is electric line placed inside coiled tubing that will allow Titanium to perform real time perforating and logging with a coiled unit. “This will eliminate the need for a conventional wireline unit to come in,” said Pat. “It will also eliminate the need for downhole tractors which are horribly expensive and prone to failure.” In the meantime, Titanium hopes to find more work in its own backyard following its ongoing experience with CJS Coiled Tubing Supply Ltd. Titanium is running CJS’s Flatpak encapsulated tubing into vertical and horizontal heavy oil wells in the Lloydminster area with a submersible PC pump attached. “It’s a real exciting new thing for us because these things are huge,” said Pat about the potential for new coiled tubing services with Flatpak. “It will kind of bring coiled tubing into a new age. We are expanding our service to more service rig oriented stuff,” he added. “Conventionally, you would need tubing and rods to land your PC pumps. Now it’s all being done with Flatpak. “This eliminates having a service rig come in and do your completion. Everything can be done rig-less with a coiled tubing unit.”
If the new Flatpak application catches on, it will help Titanium to establish the larger presence in Lloydminster that it has been missing. “It’s almost a new venture for us because we almost don’t have a presence in our base area,” said Pat. “Essentially, we are a fleet of gypsy rigs which has worked out fine. “If there is work to be in remote areas, we are more than happy to service them. It really broadens our work scope by leaving the area. “This is a nice fit to do something different with something that will potentially become a local option for our customers.
“The CJS Flatpak project can get us into the local market. We feel there is a lot of work we are missing out on. “Essentially we were a project company. We only took project work. Being a small company, we pigeon-holed ourselves and put all of our eggs in one basket. “This is the second year in a row that we haven’t taken any project work to speak of. We are trying to keep our base customers happy. Now we are diversified so we can help them in a bunch of ways too. “Efficiency plays the biggest role in this industry. Everybody wants to get their oil out of the ground yesterday and capitalize on the high oil price. “If we can beat a conventional service rig that really capitalizes on the oil company’s bottom dollar.”
Asked for his take on why Titanium has taken time to establish a local business presence, Cory, who focuses on field supervision, says it’s due to an early business decision to carry large size pipe for specialty jobs. “The larger diameter pipe is used in longer horizontal or drilling applications with higher volumes through the pipe so you can get your returns up faster,” he said.
“It doesn’t bother us to travel around. You learn lots of new stuff. “We can do completions, recompletions, abandonments, all sorts of different applications.” The company moved into a new and larger shop and yard last fall to keep with the strong industry demand for coiled tubing services in Western Canada.All six of Titanium’s coiled tubing units are Class I and Class II rated for high pressure sour oil and gas wells. Titanium is also busier than ever with cementing, perforating and completions services with an eye to cost saving for customers. “We are fighting to keep up with the demand,” said Pat. “We have built a really good customer base and we deliver second to none service. Our experi- ence out in the field is really unmatched by anyone else.”
The Potter brothers grew up in the small farm- ing community of St. Louis near Prince Albert Saskatchewan. They both cut their teeth in the coiled tubing business for several years before striking out on their own. “We had our fair share of trial and error with different equipment and different employers,” said Pat.“That’s why we started this company. We saw what was done right and what we done wrong and we felt there was a real need for some fresh blood in the industry for this service. “We have a young staff. We try to hire guys not so much on coil experience, but for their leadership skills, and what kind of role they can play, and how they fit in with our core group of guys. “Our slogan is If It’s Coiled Tubing, Make It Titanium. We are serious about that. There is no job out there that we can’t handle. We have gone down as far as 3,000 metres.
“We have done everything from a little sweet gas cleanout to a 35 per cent high pressure sour well. This is a really well versed company with a lot of experience in the field. “If can be more diversified in the areas that we work in, that will keep the ball rolling and the com- pany growing as well,” Pat said.
Pipeline News - Feb 2011