Ahead of the Competition

Workstrings International
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Every successful company has its visionaries, and Workstrings International® is no exception. Being the leading oilfield equipment rental company on the globe did not happen by chance, but required considerable effort, initiative, innovation, and in-depth engineering expertise and oilfield knowledge.
Workstrings International provides high quality oilfield products such as landing strings, tubing, drill strings, completion tubulars (CTM, GTM and TurboTorque™) and a range of handling accessories. The company is committed to the success of its customers through cutting-edge technologies for today, tomorrow, and future projects.

John Tritz, vice president of business development for Workstrings, acknowledges recent challenges facing the oil industry. “In these trying times, good companies get better, strong companies get stronger, and weak companies go away.” Workstrings International, despite the current market, has enjoyed continued success.

Workstrings International is the top choice in downhole tubular rentals for many highly respected and well-known multinational oil and gas corporations. Working closely with clients for months or even years before work commences, Workstrings plays a crucial role in the success of countless drilling projects, particularly deep water.

Workstrings is committed to working with leading oil and gas companies. The company creates innovative products to meet customer demand and fosters long-standing partnerships with major companies operating in locations such as the Gulf of Mexico.

“Normally, we work with our customers in terms of what is happening a couple of years from now, not necessarily in terms of what is happening right now,” says Tritz.

John has held the position for the past decade after previously spending twenty-five years with a leading supplier of drilling, completion, and production equipment for offshore oil and gas fields and subsea. Tritz’s level of experience is typical of the many years of experience to be found among the 150 full-time staff at Workstrings.

“The distinguishing factor with our company is that we hired experienced oilfield engineers from the very beginning,” says Tritz. Prior to founding Workstrings International, company President Greg Elliott served as an engineer with a major oil company for about fifteen years, gaining considerable worldwide drilling experience with every project.

“Greg saw where he thought the oilfield was heading in terms of needing more specialty pipe, higher torque connections, and all the things that were going to be required for deeper drilling, in particular, deep-water drilling.” With just a handful of employees, Elliott formed the company in 1997.

Today, the enterprise is a subsidiary of Superior Energy Services Company, created after the merger of Premier Oilfield Rentals and Workstrings LLC. Starting from scratch, Elliott built Workstrings into a highly successful service company before being approached by Superior about the purchase of the company. A mutual agreement was made to keep Workstrings’ management remaining intact.

The strategic move enabled Workstrings to offer more services and increase the number of its locations. The company has invested millions of dollars over the years while fostering and creating long-term relationships with the help of Superior, which has significantly helped the company to grow.

While maintaining its unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction, the company benefits clients worldwide with a diverse product inventory and unmatched technical engineering services. Workstrings has its Global Headquarters in Broussard, Louisiana; Engineering and Marketing headquarters in Houston, Texas; and a corporate office in Aberdeen, Scotland. Also, it has a network of twenty-four branch locations worldwide, including Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Ghana and Netherlands. No matter where in the world a customer might be, these strategic locations will enable Workstrings International to respond quickly and professionally to customer needs.

“Every time we send a joint of pipe out, it has to be inspected to ensure it meets or exceeds certain industry and customer standards. Often times, our customers will have third-party people witness the inspection to verify that this equipment meets or exceeds the industry or customer requirement for its use. Every time a piece of equipment goes out to the well, it has to be inspected for very rigorous standards, which have become much more rigorous since Macondo.”

The Macondo blowout happened in April of 2010. Eleven oil rig workers were killed by an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion and sinking of the rig led to the largest oil spill in history with millions of gallons lost and beaches and wetlands damaged.

There are not only stronger industry safety standards, but additional standards set by customers, and Workstrings is fiercely committed to quality and safety. “We have somewhere in the neighborhood of six million feet of pipe worldwide, and that’s pretty strong,” says Tritz.

Truly a pioneer in the oil and gas sector, Workstrings International was the first to have a two million pound landing string that could be used with conventional handling equipment, created around eleven years ago. Then, about two years ago, the company surpassed itself when it devised the first two and a half million-pound landing string.

The company will soon have the first 7 5/8” landing string on the market, which was planned three years ago. “We do a lot of firsts, working with our customers and working with our suppliers. We are not a drill pipe builder. We are not an original equipment manufacturer. But we are a very effective conduit to come up with the first product on the market,” he says of the company’s string of firsts.

This is an engineering-intensive company and supports customer needs worldwide through the design of well pipe for the future needs of the oilfield. Offering premium rental assets, value-added engineering, and operational support services, Workstrings has earned a reputation among its clients for its quality, reputation, engineering solutions, and commitment to safety and the environment.

Witnessing oil and gas companies drilling to previously unheard-of depths of 40,000 feet, Workstrings maintains its competitive edge through precise planning, coordination with customers, and anticipating needs.

To remain ahead of the competition and satisfied customer needs, Workstrings works in close collaboration with gas and oil companies and suppliers on the development of new products, particularly those moving towards previously unattainable depths in deep-water drilling.

“What will usually happen is that we will be challenged with a certain opportunity. Let’s call it the two-million-pound landing string,” states Tritz. “In all honesty, very few rigs in the world can support two million pounds literally, so why do we have a 2,000,000-pound landing string? It’s the strongest part of the puzzle when you have to lift or try to work these extremely heavy loads. For the most part, our landing string, in this particular situation, is more capable than the rig it is running under. We get there by finding out what these needs are going to be. We pay a lot of attention to today, but we pay an extraordinary amount of attention to what is going to be needed tomorrow, next month, next year, two years from now.”

Workstrings takes on all projects with dedication, passion for the industry, and commitment to the job. The company’s range of quality rental equipment is extensive and includes the FASTR® System which consists of a 6 5/8” FH Slip-Proof™ Landing String that is design-rated for a two-million-pound load and features a six-foot slip-proof section (to prevent damage) and a unique designed box taper to handle the rated loads with conventional handling equipment. The box taper provides increased elevator hoisting capacity for use with a 1,000-ton elevator.

In the oilfield, the term tubulars refers to casing, tubing, line pipe, and drill pipe. The company’s range of tubulars includes drill pipe and landing string, heavy weight drill pipe (HWDP), drill collars, and tubing. It supplies handling tools such as a range of elevators including air operated, hydraulically operated, manual, single joint and single joint open, and tubing elevators. One elevator can handle all sizes of drill pipe, saving customers time and money. Slips, bushings, tongs, stabbing guides, clamps, back savers, safety stands, safe transport baskets, and a range of related accessories are also available.

The company’s staff of highly trained engineers support both domestic and international projects and the company plans to open an office in the African country of Angola. It was also recently awarded a large contract with a major multinational oil and gas company in Newfoundland, Canada.

Engineers provide several critical services to company clients. These include not only drill string and landing string design, but analysis of connections, tubular performance, slip crushing, tubular stretch, and stiffness.

Instead of awards, the company’s engineering department has co-authored recognized papers for The Society of Petroleum Engineers. “I’m more interested in a purchase order than an award,” says Tritz, of the papers that have been presented at industry trade shows. “I consider that my award.”

“We do the best job that we can to ensure that our current customers get the best product available for their needs today, while we are looking at needs two to three years in the future so that we’ll be ready with our products when the customers need them,” states Tritz.



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