As a manufacturer and supplier of high-tech inflatable products to the oil and gas sector, World Oil Tools is one of the few companies in the world that sells inflatable packers for the industry and strives to outshine its competitors.
World Oil Tools manufactures a number of diverse products for the oil and gas industry, including casing equipment, production injection packers, completion equipment, and drillstem testing equipment.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, World Oil Tools started in 2000 and has grown to boast a team of 55 employees. Besides offices and manufacturing facilities in Calgary, offices and warehouses have also been established in Saudi Arabia and Colombia. In fact, about 80 percent of the company’s manufactured products are shipped to international markets outside North America. For product distribution, the company works through a network of agents and has established agreements with many service providers in key operating oil regions of the world. In 2012, the company also opened a branch office in Bogota, Colombia and plans to expand even further.
In early 2014, the company relocated into a new 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Calgary and with increased capacity, World Oil Tools is now committed to capturing substantial sales in the North American market. The company plans to increase inventory levels in order to meet the quick delivery times expected by domestic customers.
“With the opening of this facility, we’ve effectively tripled and even quadrupled production capabilities in some cases,” President and CEO Dennis Makar explains. “We have added a new management team to gear up for higher volumes and more customers.”
He explains that, “We saw that there was an opportunity to launch the company because doors were closed to certain companies who wanted to utilize inflatable packer technology. Our company is often called upon to solve very unique zone isolation problems encountered during the production life of wells.”
Currently there are four competitors globally that manufacture inflatable packer products. Two of those are major multi-national service organizations and are rather more broadly focused, whereas World Oil Tools is able to specialize in this niche area. “World Oil Tools remains very focused in this space,” Mr. Makar says. “Our philosophy is to work as a partner with our customers so we can respond quickly to specialized applications they may have, while large companies have to go through major review process before developing products. Decisions at our company can be made faster with deliverability in a timely manner, and that gives us an advantage over our competitors.”
In its product line, World Oil Tools offers equipment designed for diverse purposes and functions. For example, the Cased Hole Drillstem Testing Tool is used for testing formations after casing has been set in a well. These tools may be used for testing vertical or highly deviated wells. In addition, these tools may be used for either land-based or offshore wells, as explained on the company’s website, worldoiltools.com.
Cased hole tools are available in a standard bore or a full-bore configuration. Full-bore tools allow perforating through the system. As well, full-bore tools allow high production flow rates.
Inflatable Drillstem Testing Tools may be used for open hole testing, and this allows evaluation of multiple zones in a single trip, before running casing in the well. These tools, used to conduct open hole tests, can save operators the expense of have to perforate through casing, as well as any subsequent remedial work. In addition, the Inflatable Drillstem Testing Tools may be used for cased hole testing, often performed in older producing wells. Each zone may be isolated to obtain reservoir flowing and shut-in pressures, fluid samples under reservoir conditions, and water content of the producing fluids. These tools’ features include a high-volume single piston (Double Acting) pump; with so few moving parts to the system, the risks of failure and associated maintenance costs are very low. External ports allow rapid adjustment of maximum inflation pressure used in packers, and external ports allow cartridge check valves to be replaced quickly. An integral fluid bypass passages allow equalized pressure above the Top Packer and below the Bottom Packer at all times. Precise subsurface data using electronic Instrumentation.
A hookwall packer is used to isolate zones and to anchor the tools against the casing. This packer is operated by applying an upward pull to the tool string, rotating a half turn to the right, and setting down partial string weight on the packer. A straight upward pull releases the packer, and an integral bypass passage in the packer assembly allows pressure to equalize across the packer at the end of the drillstem test.
Multiple flow periods and shut-in periods may be obtained with cased hole drillstem testing tools. The Annulus Pressure Operated (APO) shut-in tool is opened by annulus pressure and is closed by releasing annulus pressure. A pressure-volume balanced slip joint assembly is used to easily identify free travel for setting sufficient weight on the packer used to isolate test intervals. This system allows testing of formations after casing has been run into a well and concerns about open hole formations are eliminated. Designed for land or offshore operations, cased hole drillstem tools can be used in vertical or highly deviated wells, and are designed for economical operations. A full-bore configuration allows perforating and coiled tubing operations to be performed through the system, as well as high-flow rate production.
The company also offers Inflatable Multi-Set Production-Injection Packers, used for isolating zones in open hole or in casing. This tool is re-settable and may be used for testing, treating, production, or injection of several zones with each trip into the well. The tool is designed for long-term downhole production and injection applications, and may be used in vertical, deviated, or horizontal wells, with no rotation required to set the packer.
These inflatable packers are designed with high strength aircraft cable to provide robust expansion characteristics in washed out or irregular well bores. Cable reinforcement allows these inflatable packer elements to return very close to the original run-in diameter while providing high differential pressure capabilities. The Packer elements are designed in such a way that bulging due to high differential pressure is less likely to occur. Due to superior bonding between the cable and rubber, these elements lose less rubber downhole. Inflatable multi-set production injection packers can be used for a number of applications including water shut-off, injection of fluids in disposable wells, testing zones in open hole or casing applications, treating zones, squeeze cementing, and pressure-testing casing patches.
In the realm of Multi-Zone Fracturing, World Oil Tools offers customers a Retrievable Inflate Test Treat System (RITTS). The re-settable system allows many zones to be selectively treated with each trip in the well. Best of all, the system is retrieved after treatment, leaving a wide open wellbore to allow many re-completion options at a later date.
Multi-Stage Fracturing has been performed in the industry for over ten years now, and many of those initial wells now require re-work. The RITTS tools may be used to pass through restrictions in existing wellbores and zones may be treated again. Alternatively, many of those zones may now be producing water. The RITTS is ideal for isolating zones to determine where water production is coming from. Treatments for water shut-off may then be performed using this same system.
In the volatile oil and gas industry, World Oil tools has reaped the benefits of the boom times, and of course, has also faced its share of challenges during the slow periods. Navigating such waters is a given in this sector, and the company makes sure to offer a point of difference in the marketplace in order to stand apart from the competition.
High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) applications for the equipment are creating major challenges for the company. “People want equipment to perform in high temperature and/or high pressures environments,” explains Makar. “We are aiming our R&D efforts in that direction and pushing to make equipment suitable for heavy oil type production where temperatures are higher and for deep drilling where subsurface pressure can be very high. We are trying to address those issues with our equipment.”
Coupled with quality products, the extensive on-the-job training World Oil Tools provides for its employees has prepared the company well to meet the evolving demands of the industry. “We always have ongoing training for our employees,” Makar says. “Since this is a very specialized line of production, the production workers we hire usually don’t have the skills to manufacture products. So our on-the-job training takes three to six months before they’re skilled to take on the product line; there is a lot of training required when first hiring people. On the other end of the spectrum, our recruitment and retention is very important because of training involved.”
World Oil Tools also maintains an extensive Health, Safety, and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) as an integral aspect of conducting business. This system is based on the stringent standards of the oil and gas sector. The company is an ISO 9001:2008 registered firm, and as such it has the ability to consistently provide products that meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements.
With the company’s growth and the potential for new markets to be explored, World Oil Tools has extensive plans for the future. With a strong presence in the Middle East, the company plans to establish a major manufacturing centre in the region, and agreements are now in the process of being finalized. Land has been acquired for this venture with a planned groundbreaking for the new facility to take place within the next several months.
With its dedication to safety, quality and innovation, World Oil Tools, Inc. has enjoyed an impressive period of growth over the last 15 years. Mr. Makar knows the company is successful largely due to being ethical in its principles. “We want to make it clear that we operate in an ethical manner and we are strict about avoiding corruption in all areas,” he says. “It is an important part of how we operate. We want our customers to think of us first when they have a need for product. We want World Oil Tools to be their first call.”