In the oil services industry, there are followers, and there are leaders. For almost sixty years, Oreco has remained at the forefront of state-of-the-art environmental solutions for oil-water-solids separation and recovery.
Oreco specializes in the development and manufacture of turnkey systems for automated waste oil recovery and storage tank cleaning that are safe, better for the environment and highly cost-effective.
The company is expert in the field of automated tank cleaning and oil recovery systems. The company is committed to working with clients to ensure the systems are cost-effective and comply with today’s health, safety and environmental regulations.
Since its founding in Denmark in 1957, Oreco – the name derives from Oil Recovery Company – has designed and created numerous sophisticated systems to recover, clean and separate oil safely and with respect for nature. For petrochemical industry clients across the world, the company’s innovative solutions for oil-water-solid separation maximize oil recovery, leaving clean effluents.
Originally part of The Toftejorg Group, which was founded with the aim of supplying systems, technology and services for automated cleaning of the interior of tanks in many industries, the company has evolved over the years. Realizing that the company needed its name to better reflect its new services and commitment to tank cleaning and oil recovery, Toftejorg Technology A/S changed its name to Oreco A/S in 1998.
A privately-held enterprise, the company’s independent Canadian subsidiary is based in Calgary, providing an ideal base for Oreco Canada Corp. to serve western oil companies large and small.
With years of in-depth industry knowledge, Oreco also prides itself on superior-quality consultancy services. Leading the way is Jens Husted Kjaer, managing director for the company’s Canadian operations and a graduate in chemical engineering from the internationally-acclaimed Technical University of Denmark. He brings considerable experience to the company having worked for five years as a commissioning manager in the cement industry in locations such as China, Israel, Pakistan, Chile and Spain. He also operated his own company that manufactured ceramic membranes.
In April of 2012, he relocated from Copenhagen to Calgary with his family to start up Oreco Canada Corp. The primary focus was to innovate the PROH2O® technology and build a team in the Calgary area to sell other Oreco products.
For Husted Kjaer and the team at Oreco Canada Corp., success is coming quickly based on the PROH2O and other systems that make it easier, safer and faster for companies to take on tank cleaning oil recovery processes and water treatment for reuse of water within the oil and gas industry. Oreco Canada Corp. had PROH2O units ready and out in the field just six months after released for marketing.
Oreco is behind a number of innovations. In 2007, Oreco unveiled Oreco NitroGen, an advanced range of nitrogen generators designed mainly for the oil and gas sector. A few years later, in 2011, the company developed SLOPO®, its oil sludge re-processing plant. In 2013, the company announced PROH2O® for water treatment plants. And for years, the non-man entry tank cleaning system BLABO and MoClean has been around.
In 1992, the company developed and patented the BLABO® system, an automated cleaning technology designed to clean black oil (black oil is the crude oil from the bottom of the refining process) tanks. In 2002, the MoClean® system, an automated technology created and developed for cleaning white oil (white oil is a lighter product from the top end of the refining process) tanks, was unveiled. The unique MoClean® is perfectly designed for jet fuel and diesel tanks, and Oreco has also developed MoClean ATS, which is a combination of Blabo and MoClean, for mainly mid-sized tanks and can clean black oil as well as product tanks.
Unlike some companies that simply sell products, Oreco not only provides all manuals, but trains customers, ensures they are certified to operate the system properly, acknowledges successful training with a certificate and then commissions the units and helps clients. The strategy minimizes risk in addition to ensuring success.
Oreco Canada Corp. is discerning in its methods of attracting business. In addition to participating in Calgary’s annual oil and gas show, the company specifically targets businesses best suited to its products. “A lot of how we do business is to meet people and cherry-pick customers who we feel have this need, then we build relationships with them,” says Husted Kjaer. After discussing the products, some customers have actually gone out and developed new companies specifically designed to use Oreco’s systems. “We then help them to train and build their organization with their product.”
All of the company’s products and systems are the result of decades of design and engineering expertise and first-hand experience in the oil industry field. The company’s systems operate at tank farms, refineries and oilfields worldwide. According to Oreco, its systems “have cleaned more than a hundred large crude oil tanks around the world and separated oil-water-solids to the highest satisfaction of our customers.”
Oreco’s products are designed and engineered to operate and last in potentially hazardous environments, while remaining fully compliant with the latest industry regulations. In addition to the company’s Denmark-based design team, the company calls upon the experience of Technical Manager Stephen Brodie at its Canadian operations.
Depending on the system, the company also works with customers and fabricators to comply with the varying specifications of different countries. No matter the system, all of the company’s products are designed with functionality and safety in mind. ISO certifications – ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and DS/OHSAS 18001 – ensure that standards remain high for products delivered all around the world.
“The Oreco philosophy is that we design and build unique equipment,” comments Husted Kjaer. “We use first-class components, many of them carefully-selected out of Europe, the United States and Japan.”
Some parts are built in Ontario and then shipped to a packager in Calgary. To ensure the highest standards possible, Oreco has its own project managers who go directly to fabricators and oversee quality control to make sure units are manufactured to the company’s exacting standards. “There are probably a lot of companies who want to do the same. We have seen similar systems, but with our units, we are ahead of the competition in technology. We have spent a significant amount of time and resources just to develop this system.”
Hydraulic fracking requires considerable amounts of energy, some 40,000 gallons of chemicals and an estimated one to eight million gallons of water per fracturing job. Anything that can be done to lower costs of the entire process, from the delivery of water and chemicals to the usage of power for drills, is welcomed by oil and gas companies.
With the vision of helping customers solve water issues, Oreco developed the PROH2O®. This system is designed to generate clean water from even the most difficult sources including frac flowback water or polymer flooding waste. The system – a fully automated process meeting health and safety demands – is setting the standard for cleaning produced/frac water through a highly-efficient membrane separation system.
“We proved the technology and created interest in a customer base in early 2013,” says Husted Kjaer. “If you are doing a fracking and pumping down 10,000 cubic metres of water, you’ll get 3,000 cubic metres of frac water flow back coming back up. With our PROH2O® system, you can take the 3,000 cubic metres, and turn it into 2,800 cubic metres of reusable water.”
With trucked in water prices at high cost per cubic metre, there is also a need to dispose of water after fracking, at an additional cost of about another $30-50 per cubic metre. By using the PROH2O®, customers can save on trucking and disposal costs.
Best of all, customers do not need to concern themselves with getting fresh water, since they can re-use the water as clean water in their systems. “It is very environmentally-friendly,” says Husted Kjaer. “These days, oil companies need to be proactive in re-using their water in order to get new drilling licenses. So not only is this an environmentally-friendly system, but at the same time, these companies are earning money by utilizing it. It is always good to be green, but at the end of the day, customers are looking at their balance sheets, and that is helping make sales to our customers.”
A truly unique system, the PROH2O® can handle approximately 1,000 cubic metres per day, depending what type of fluid comes in. “It removes basically all oil, all bacteria and all particles in the fluid. You can have a substance that looks like black, dirty, oily substance, and get that into crystal clear water.”
Ninety eight percent of the water is recovered by the system with the remainder disposed of as a concentrated sludge. The unit is a mobile system that measures 40 feet long, eight feet wide and 12 feet tall. Although it weighs approximately 20 tons, it is fully automatic and operates literally at the push of a button. “It is an easy operation, and can generate 1,000 cubic meters of crystal clear water a day.”
From the water-cleaning strengths of the PROH2O® system to the BLABO® system designed specifically for ‘difficult-to-clean’ tanks (while simultaneously recovering oil from cleaned-out sludge) to the SLOPO® system and Oreco NitroGen, Oreco continues to lead the way in state-of-the-art environmental oil-water solids separation and recovery solutions.
“We are a build-to-sell company right now,” comments Husted Kjaer. “We are building the units, selling them to our customers and hoping our customers will grow their business and come back and buy more units. We see a need for water treatment around the world, particularly in Canada. We are also creating awareness for a product.”
Branches of Oreco A/S have opened in Canada and the United States in recent years. As for the future of the company, Husted Kjaer says the business wants to continue to grow organically in Canada, the U.S. and Denmark. With its headquarters in Denmark, location in Canada and sales office in Houston, the company sees great potential in the United States for its products and welcomes opportunities to work with oil companies worldwide.