TETRA Innovation Group: a collaborative arrangement
August 24, 2016
TETRA Technologies explains how the collaborative approach of the TETRA Innovation Group (TIG) can help to overcome customer challenges
As oil and gas industry operations become more complex and costly, TETRA believes that greater collaboration in developing new technologies and innovations is key to solving common challenges.
Technology development is a central component of the corporate strategy of the company, which prides itself in developing innovative solutions to meet the needs of the onshore and offshore energy markets. Despite many advances in technology over the past decade, new challenges arise every day, focusing the drive to innovate and develop new technologies.
TETRA is a geographically diversified oil and gas services company, focused on completion fluids and associated products and services, water management, frac flowback, production well testing, offshore rig cooling, compression services and equipment, and selected offshore services including well plugging and abandonment, decommissioning, and diving.
With decades of experience in scientific testing, skills and collective knowledge, TETRA offers customised, tailored solutions to address the challenging environment faced by oil and gas producers. Its focus is to provide specialised solutions that improve quality, safety and productivity to help customers navigate an increasingly regulated world. “For us,” says global VP for sales and marketing, Barry Donaldson, “success is partnering with our customers in order to achieve their business objectives.”
This is achieved via a dedicated innovation unit. The TETRA Innovation Group is comprised of industry-leading experts employing the latest technology and methodologies – meaning customers get the most innovative and cost-effective solutions. The team members have in-depth knowledge of their fields and their customers’ business needs, and have experience in meeting both international and local regulations for a broad spectrum of industries.
There are many challenges involved in creating an innovative environment. But as Donaldson adds: “at TETRA this is our specialty! We work side by side with our customers to understand their challenges and develop new technologies to address them wherever you are in the world.” The implications of those technologies are significant: in the energy sector, process innovation can have a dramatic impact not just on the bottom line of individual companies, but also on national economies.
TETRA uses agile project management methodology within the stage-gate framework to evaluate and accelerate its response to customer challenges. Agile development involves the use of short-termed delivery cycles called sprints. Each cycle is a series of iterative steps: develop, test, obtain feedback and revise. The use of sprints allows product design to be adapted as needed and ultimately reduces overall development time.
The entire organisation is aligned to deliver customer solutions and some of its newly released innovations are generating impressive results.
Onshore technology innovations
One of the biggest challenges facing the onshore oil and gas industry today is water management. The ability to recycle produced water and minimise the use of fresh water can improve operator profitability and promote water conservation. Delivering consistent water quality and volumes as per the frac design is key to the successful completion of a frac job. Any changes in water quality, volumes or rates during the stimulation job may lead to screen outs or unpredictable stimulation results.
Operators must match the characteristics of the source water with the frac treatments used. Produced water reflects reservoir geology, which in some cases means the water is incompatible with a frac treatment. TETRA’s automated blending solution takes the guesswork out of combining produced water and fresh water into a consistent blend needed for fracing. Blending source water with fresh or brackish water with a lower chloride content is a simple and cost-effective solution to water quality and consistency issues. Moreover, optimal blending must be done in real time during the frac job to ensure consistency is maintained during the entire operation.
Controlled automated blending technology provides on-the-fly, real-time measurements of input and output water quality. The technology continually measures output quality as well as the quality of the input water stream (i.e., conductivity related to chloride content), making adjustments in real time to match the job requirements. Automated blending and sampling/measurement can happen in real time at rates of up to 110 bbl per minute.
TETRA’s Automated Blending Solution can save its customers money by reducing the overall costs associated water needed for fracturing operation.
Deepwater – not a problem
Jointly developed in collaboration with a major Gulf of Mexico operator at a cost of more than US$1.5 million, TETRA CS Neptune is an innovative, high-density completion fluid, free of solids, zinc and formates. TETRA CS Neptune has been specifically developed for deepwater and complex high-pressure wells that require heavy clear brine solutions to control well pressure during the completion phase.
Moreover, CS Neptune addresses the environmental challenges facing offshore oil producers seeking an alternative to zinc brines.
The first application of TETRA CS Neptune was for a Gulf of Mexico operator on an ultra-deepwater completion. The job required a 14.5 pound per gallon (ppg) completion brine, for use at a well depth of over 30,000 feet (9,150 m), in a water depth over 7,200 feet (2,200 m) and a seabed temperature of 39°F (3.8°C).
The lower completions were installed successfully, with TETRA CS Neptune performing as designed. The fluid performed as designed after a 15,000-psi BOP test, encountering no issues with true crystallisation temperature (TCT) or PCT throughout the well.
You can access more information on TETRA CS Neptune, via the website at www.tetratec.com/csneptune.
Collaboration is the key
TETRA has built a reputation in the industry for recognising that energy producers require new and innovative solutions that deliver unparalleled performance. By listening to its customers, the TETRA Innovation Group has a deep understanding of their needs, enabling it to develop a pipeline of new technology innovations.