Archive for: Industry News
By Matt Halker
I am thrilled to announce that Halker Consulting has been named a “Top Contractor” for Colorado and Wyoming for 2015 by ENR Mountain States’, a regional publication of Engineering News-Record. What’s more, of the 66 firms ranked by ENR, we came in at number 11 for work done at the Wells Ranch Central Processing Facility in Greeley, Colo.
This is an honor not just for the Halker engineers who worked on the Wells Ranch project – and there are many names on that list – but for everyone at Halker who has helped build the firm into the successful, award-winning place that it is. This is a reflection of the fantastic work being done every day by our innovative and collaborative employees and clients to support the oil and gas industry here in Colorado and nationwide, and is truly humbling for all of us.
ENR Mountain States serves as the virtual face of the engineering industry in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, offering news and information about the people and projects of the region and encompassing all facets of the development, design and construction marketplace in the Rocky Mountain West. Its annual lists of the top providers in the industry are based on annual revenues both at home and abroad and rank companies engaged in general contracting, specialty contracting, engineering, architecture, planning and studies work.
The Central Processing Facility at Wells Ranch was an $80 million project designed to help our client better manage the production flow at its multi-well sites and better capitalize on the value of advanced drilling technologies. The exponential increase in production from multi-well drilling meant there was more oil and gas to manage at its sites, and with that came an equally exponential increase in site risk and environmental impact. Halker’s design not only helped the client save on costs at the site, but the installation is now safer and more environmentally compliant. The Centralized Processing Facility significantly decreased the overall environmental impact of the site, reducing the overall footprint, minimizing air emissions and road use, and cutting down on water consumption.
Halker’s environmental and site safety expertise was in the spotlight last week when firm client, Liberty Resources, featured our midstream work at the 2015 Bakken Artificial Lift Cost Reduction and Production Optimization Conference in Denver, Colorado.
In its presentation, Liberty specifically discussed the support Halker provided them throughout the site planning process and the role we played in helping them realize their cost savings and production optimization goals.
Take a look at the following slide from Liberty’s presentation:
Now in its third year, the Bakken Artificial Lift Cost Reduction and Production Optimization Conference is dedicated to the optimization and cost reduction of production assets with a focus on identifying the areas of most costly expenditure without compromising production rates.
“As operators engage in new price-responsive strategies to react accordingly to the low oil price environment, the big push is on innovative cost cutting and the optimization of existing assets,” organizers wrote on the event website. “Whether switching to new chemical treatments to reduce failures, restructuring equipment to reduce surface facilities costs, or redeploying artificial lift to ensure every pump generates the most revenue possible per day, there are ways to reduce costs in both incremental and transformational ways from the production engineering perspective to ensure wells remain economic.”
Halker’s strategic field development practice helps clients plan and develop their engineered oil and gas facilities on a large scale, with an eye toward system optimization, site safety and regulatory compliance. This whole-systems approach helps well owners and operators to optimize and expand existing field systems, and strategically expand and develop new systems, for maximized production and profit through engineered solutions.
An article written by Halker Vice President of Operations, Travis Hutchinson and Vice President of Business Development, Peter Dickey, has been published in the April 2015 issue of Oil and Gas Facilities magazine, available in print and online now.
[Click here to read the full article on Oil and Gas Facilities magazine’s site.]
Entitled “Value-Added Engineering: A Solution to a Down Market,” the article deals with the challenges currently facing the U.S. energy market — including falling prices, tightening margins and delayed exploration efforts — and how engineering can help operators address those challenges.
“In the short term, oil and gas firms need to find ways to cut costs and optimize their existing production efforts and debottleneck their systems to maximize available revenues from what they are already producing to maintain profitability until the market returns, all with an eye on future needs,” write Hutchinson and Dickey. “Prices are falling now, but are expected to rise again in the future. Operators need to know that they can make adjustments to expenditures now without sacrifcing future opportunities down the road.”
Among the engineered solutions that the authors recommend are cost reductions through process optimization, new revenue generation through debottlenecking, strategic site planning and pre-engineering to prepare for the eventual upturn.
“Oil and gas firms cannot give up on existing assets as a result of market pressures because it will cost more to get back into production mode later if they do. Maintaining a readiness to return to the market at higher production levels is key. Now is the time to work more effectively to extract maximum productivity from existing facilities by building value, maintaining flexibility, and improving efficiency.”
Click here to read the full article.
Halker Consulting has added to its leadership team, naming industry veteran Peter Dickey its new Vice President of Business Development. Dickey is now based out of Halker’s headquarters in Englewood, Colorado.
Dickey, a Chemical Engineering graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has more than 35 years experience in the refining, oil and gas, petrochemical, industrial gas and minerals processing industries. Over the course of his career, he has progressed through roles of increasing responsibility from Process Engineering, Project Management, Quality Management, Business Development and Engineering Management.
“I could not be more excited to be joining Halker at this point in its history,” Dickey says. “The firm is growing exponentially and has emerged as a key service provider to the oil and gas industry, both here in Colorado and nationwide. It is an exciting time for the U.S. energy industry and I believe that Halker is well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities moving forward.”
Prior to Halker, Dickey spent 25 years with Jacobs Engineering, working on projects in South America, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona.
“Bringing Peter Dickey on board as our Vice President of Business Development is a big step in the ongoing evolution of our firm,” says Halker Consulting founder Matt Halker. “With his long industry experience and deep energy know-how, Peter is helping us not only reach out to new clients but also better understand what we can offer the modern oil and gas industry, which will help set us up for growth in the future. We’re thrilled to have him in the office and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”
Halker Consulting Vice President of Operations, Travis Hutchinson, agrees.
“Now, with Peter Dickey as a key member of our leadership team, we are well positioned to build on our existing business development efforts with an eye toward the future,” Hutchinson says. “Given his diverse industry background, he brings a unique, wide-angle perspective to this role that will serve the firm and its clients well, both now and down the road.”
Halker Consulting is proud to announce that it has been named a finalist in the 2015 Oil and Gas Awards’ “Engineering Company of the Year” category for both the Rocky Mountain and Gulf Coast regions. The Rocky Mountain winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Denver, CO on March 10th, while the Gulf Coast winner will be announced at a similar event in Houston, TX on March 19th.
Halker Consulting was named the Rocky Mountain region’s “Engineering Company of the Year” at the 2014 Oil and Gas Awards.
“It is a great honor to have been named a finalist in not one but two regions of the Oil and Gas Awards this year,” said Halker Consulting founder, Matt Halker, P.E. “We have worked hard over the past year to expand our reach nationwide by serving clients well beyond the Rocky Mountain West, and this recognition is proof that this strategy has not gone unnoticed. This is an exciting time for the entire U.S. oil and gas industry, and we are humbled to have been included as a finalist amongst this world-class group of engineering firms.”
According to the event organizers, the 3rd annual Awards act “as a platform for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of environmental stewardship, health and safety, efficiency, innovation and corporate social responsibility.”
Details about the Oil and Gas Awards and a full list of finalists are available at www.oilandgasawards.com.
These are busy times for U.S. oil and gas producers. Prices are up, demand is rising, and the market for domestic sources is riding high. As a result, production volumes for oil and gas in many North American energy basins are reaching new record highs, with almost no end in sight.
Unfortunately, energy producers in many parts of the country are discovering that their existing facility installations are not capable of supporting today’s heavier production volumes. Oil and gas production facilities that were built in the last few decades simply weren’t designed to handle what the market now supports, and these limitations are forcing many producers to leave money on the table.
As a result, operators are now scrambling to upgrade their sites in order to supply enough oil and gas products to the market, calling on skilled engineers to conceptualize, test and oversee these retrofit projects. For example, in 2014, a leading independent energy company approached us for help retrofitting its existing compressor station facilities in an effort to support its growing production volumes.
The problem: The Client did not have enough compressor capacity at its facilities to handle the stream volume it now needed to produce. Compressor stations manage the pressure of the oil and gas products in the system during processing. Low pressure is needed at the wellhead to maximize efficiency, but higher pressures are needed further along the line to both extract the desired products from the raw stream and send it all where it needs to go, often over great distances.
The solution: The first step in retrofitting The Client’s compressor station layout was reviewing the installation that was currently in place, analyzing both what the system was currently capable of handling as well as what changes would be needed. How would the new compressors communicate and coordinate with the other equipment at the site? Which one would be the main compressor and which one the backup? Which one would handle the 100% load and how would the others vary? With that decided, a new system layout was created, regulatory issues were ironed out, and parts for the new setup were procured and installed.
The results: After incorporating Halker’s compressor station upgrades at the plant, The Client saw a range of economic and production benefits.
Increased processing load: The Client owns more than 2,000 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines in North America and operates some 240,000 horsepower of compression serving the oil and gas industry. By adding to that capacity, The Client is now able to process more natural gas, from more sources, than it was previously.
Minimal downtime: By working with Halker to both retrofit its existing compressor facilities as well as convert readily-available equipment for natural gas compression, The Client was able to reduce what could have been a six-month project to one lasting less than six weeks. That limited the downtime for The Client’s systems and ensured that they were able to get back online at the new, higher capacity in the shortest amount of time possible, minimizing the project’s impact on The Client’s bottom line.
Land use: Halker’s compressor station designs for The Client’s sites made use of all available space, maximizing the potential value of each facility without forcing The Client to acquire more land in the process.
Scalability: By incorporating skidded equipment into its compressor station designs, Halker was able to provide The Client with a truly modular facility design that can be scaled up or down in the future as production needs and equipment availability fluctuate.
Need to estimate the air pollutant emissions coming from the storage tanks at your oil and gas facility?
At long last, there finally is an app for that.
This week, Halker Consulting is proud to announce the launch of “Tank Emissions,” the first app available for iOS devices (including the Apple iPhone and iPad) that enables users to estimate their facility tank emissions on the fly, making it easy to determine whether their systems are within permit limits or if it is time to re-evaluate their installation with the help of a qualified engineer.
Click here to download a FREE copy of Tank Emissions from the Apple App Store.
Based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) AP 42 air pollutant emissions standard, the app simplifies a very complex set of calculations in order to give the user a rough estimate of the tank emissions for their facility. The results are not intended to be official or used when filing paperwork with the EPA, but are simply a guide so the user can see on what order of magnitude their tank emissions currently rate so they can decide on the best path forward.
“It’s a tool that we can use both with our existing clients as well as new clients,” says Eric Parvin, process department manager at Halker. “If they’re concerned about maybe having to add tanks at their facility, this app will make it very easy to pull up their numbers so that we can see what magnitude we’re talking about in terms of tons per year of emissions. The information can help them make important decisions about the future of their installations.”
Halker Consulting vice president of operations, Travis Hutchinson, will present his technical paper on multi-well oil and gas facility optimization this week at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, to be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
The conference is a joint event sponsored by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and is advertised as an “industry platform where key disciplines can come together in an integrated environment to learn about the latest technologies, trends and solutions for optimization of unconventional plays.”
The Halker presentation on Aug. 26 will examine the ways that well performance can be improved and maintained via the use of engineered, multi-well designs. It will outline the advantages of multi-well oil and gas systems, the hurdles that such installations face, and the solutions that are available right now to operators who want to move in this direction.
“The widespread adoption of offshore-born approaches by surface well operators, including directional drilling techniques and multi-well site facilities, has been game changing for the oil and gas industry,” Hutchinson writes in his associated paper. “These multi-well techniques will likely become the industry standard in the U.S. over the next several years, if they aren’t at that point already. Still, there is work to be done. To be successful, multi-well production facilities must leverage engineered surface facilities and equipment that provide the primary processing and conveyance for all of the directional oil and gas wells producing at a single site. These facilities need to be modular, they need to be optimized for each installation and application, and they need to be capable of supporting increased site production safely, effectively and over the full course of the type-curve.”
Additional information about the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, including last-minute registration and a schedule of events, is available at http://www.urtec.org.
Halker Consulting project engineer Tyler Farley was mentioned in the March 2014 issue of The Bakken magazine as part of the publication’s coverage of the first Bakken/Three Forks Shale Oil Innovation Conference & Expo, which was held in Grand Forks, North Dakota in February.
“If the future of the Bakken revolves around larger spacing units or the development of energy corridors, then Tyler Farley … knows how to make it happen,” the magazine wrote, summarizing Farley’s conference presentation on the benefits of offshore-born techniques for onshore operators, including recent developments in multi-well facilities.
“In the Bakken and Eagle Ford, producers are still looking at ways to optimize well production,” Farley was quoted as saying. “New techniques are always being tried.” The article went on to highlight the importance of strong engineering as operators adopt multi-well techniques, as new technologies and retrieval infrastructure are still being tested and perfected.
Farley’s presentation at the Innovation Conference focused on the ways that multi-well facilities can help Bakken operators improve efficiency and safety at their sites. The event brought together exploration companies, independent operators, consulting engineers and other industry insiders for a wide-ranging discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing oil and gas producers in the Bakken.
The Bakken magazine is focused on “exploration and production, logistics, infrastructure and construction, and products and technology in and around the Bakken region.” The magazine says its audience includes oil and gas executives, drilling contractors, legislators, industry suppliers, organizations and key decisions makers in the Bakken oil play.
Earlier this week, The Denver Post released its annual list of the Denver metro area’s top workplaces – a list that is based 100 percent on employee feedback and includes more than 130 local companies – and for the first time Halker Consulting made the cut.
I cannot overstate how proud I am of this accomplishment.
When we started Halker Consulting in 2006, we set out to not only create a world-class, full-service engineering firm but we wanted it to be a place that was focused on the well-being and happiness of the people who would come to work with us. We believed at the time – and still do – that a company is only as strong as its employees, and when they aren’t happy, aren’t empowered, the whole enterprise suffers. People can’t perform at their best if they don’t feel supported, don’t feel free to express their opinions, or don’t feel like they have the tools they need to do their best work.
This has not always been easy goal to reach. We’ve gone through a period of very rapid growth in recent years, and managing the transition from a small group to a larger one (we now have more than 100 employees spread across five offices) has taken a concerted effort on the part of everyone at Halker. We’ve all worked hard to maintain that small company feel by fostering an open, collaborative environment at all levels and by building our corporate culture around community, creativity and autonomy.
That’s why it’s great to hear comments from Halker employees like the three below, which were included as part of The Denver Post study.
“It is exciting most every day. The people I work with care about each other.”
“Great team atmosphere and support structure.”
“I find the flexibility, casual environment, and empowerment to be the best aspects of working at Halker Consulting.”
It’s simple; at Halker Consulting people come first. This recognition from The Denver Post is an honor in itself, but it is also a great reminder of what we all know to be true: this is a special place to come to work to every day and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve all accomplished these last eight years.