Wheeling and Lake Erie (W&LE) Railway Co. may be relatively new to the energy industry, but it certainly knows how to get material from one destination to the next. With unconventional oil plays creating a boom market in regions once considered dormant, W&LE’s freight and logistics know-how and rail coverage area make it ideal for companies operating in the Marcellus/Utica shale.
“Because the commodity base has shifted to more shale-related products, we have adapted to that changing market,” Vice President of Marketing & Sales Drew Nelson says. “Our business development efforts have been focused on attracting energy-related companies, so we also have ramped up our train and engine personnel with the incoming business.”
The process of casing a well presents a number of manpower and technical challenges for oil and gas producers, especially since a majority of these wells are now being constructed with long horizontal sections. For more than a decade, Volant Products has been developing solutions to unique problems these wells present.
The Edmonton-based company, founded in 2001 as a manufacturing spinoff of consulting firm Noetic Engineering Inc., has evolved beyond its origins as a small machine shop to become a global provider of technology that enables well completions in even the most challenging environments and conditions. “Our primary objective is to help our customers do more with less,” President Bill Roggensack says. “We’re responding to several things we’ve seen in the industry over the last few years, including the extension of drill rig automation to install casing, and the routine use of directional drilling to achieve extended reach.”
Despite the Great Recession, the need for mineral processing facilities hasn’t decreased. However, according to John Vyskocil of Turn-Key Processing Solutions (TPS), what has decreased is the amount of financing available to operators who need to build and improve plants to make their money.
TPS changed its business model to better serve clients who need to build these facilities but do not have access to capital like they did in 2008 and earlier. Today, TPS has the capabilities to take mineral processing facilities from cradle to grave, and it even offers ongoing management and operations for clients who need it.
A vital link in rail transportation in West Texas was saved from deterioration just as the oil industry was beginning to develop in that area from hydraulic fracturing. Now, Texas Pacifico Transportation Ltd. is undergoing exponential expansion from the explosive growth of oil wells in the area. “The oil companies have plans to drill 4,000 wells within the next few years,” Executive Vice President Federico Díaz-Page reports. “We are not at the peak of demand.”
Mike Maynard, president of TCI Manufacturing & Equipment Sales Inc., knows that great equipment is important in his business, but he also acknowledges that the most important tool for the success of his company is its people. “The key to any company is the quality of the people who work for that company,” he says. “At our company we have excellent people who live and breathe TCI. We have extremely low turnover and we have several people who have worked together [in the industry] for more than 30 years.”
A brand as iconic as Snap-on doesn’t grow into a multinational tool and equipment manufacturer by relying on any one industry for profitability. Instead, it serves diverse customers, as seen in its recent big push into the energy and mining segments to grab additional market share.
“We’ve been selling into the energy sectors for a very long time, so what we’re trying to ramp up now is the number of products we offer in those markets,” President of Snap-on Industrial Andy Ginger says. “We’re penetrating each of those markets and going deeper than we ever have before.
Where the oil and gas companies go, Schwob Energy Services is never too far behind. As a general contractor for the oil and gas production and processing industry, Schwob Energy Services is active in oil and gas plays throughout the country. The Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian Basin, Niobrara, Marcellus, Utica, Monterey and others – Schwob Energy Services has played some part in the infrastructure development of each one.
There are times when a growing company has to invest in new equipment, which can be a massive investment. And yet, many times that company can achieve better results simply by deploying smarter logistics solutions.
RSI Logistics has been helping its customers improve their efficiency since 1984 through a multipronged approach. The company has four distinct areas of expertise to help companies improve their rail transportation management and reduce freight and handling costs: RSInet rail transportation management software; rail logistics management services; door-to-door bulk liquid shipping via intermodal ISO tanks; and rail terminal operations.