Safety, Service and Reputation

TAR Energy Services
Written by Grace McDermott

TAR Energy Services is a Canadian empire in the making. The premier oilfield fluids transportation provider for Alberta and British Columbia has become an integral part of the Canadian resource sector…
In the last five years, the company has emerged as a trusted provider to Canada’s biggest resource companies. From a two-person operation, TAR Energy Services has cultivated a multi-million dollar enterprise, and according to President Tim McNeil, the future is looking bigger and brighter than ever.

TAR Energy is pioneering the shift toward integrative solutions.

TAR Energy’s success story proves that with the right amount of motivation, there is still room for new players to flourish in the notoriously competitive global resource industry. While the last few months have seen mostly bad news for the North American resource sector, this firm is an illustration of the growth and innovation which is continuing despite the downturn.

Before starting TAR Energy Services, President Tim McNeil had a nearly two-decade-long history in the resource sector, working in fluid transportation. He then set out on his own with the aim to serve the unique needs of the Canadian oilfields. With one tank truck and a lot of ambition, Tim McNeil and his wife created TAR Energy Services.

As the speed and size of the oil patch evolved, so did the demand for equipment and labor. Despite a turbulent oil market and a fluctuating demand for service providers throughout the sector, TAR Energy has seen growth year on year since its creation.

TAR Energy has emerged as one of the premier fluid transportation providers in the country and is valued at over thirteen million dollars this year, up from a few hundred thousand dollars in 2010. The president explained, “As we got going, our customers knew we were back in the business, and they drove us to go full steam with this. Safety, great service and a good name in the business is what we can offer clients.”

Today, the company provides comprehensive, engineered solutions to Canada’s most recognized oil and gas firms. With locations in Whitecourt, Swan Hills and Peace River, TAR Energy has become a pillar of industrial progress in Northern Alberta and eastern British Columbia.

When it comes to fluid transportation for the resource sector, it is hard to find a full-service company. Although the notion of comprehensive or turn-key solutions has been popular throughout other industries for years, centralized services are a relatively new phenomenon in the fuel services sector.

TAR Energy serves more than thirty customers daily by covering distances of over 1,000 kilometers. The business, which performs about 80% production and 20% service work, has the in-house technology and the existing knowledge base to self-perform each phase of the fluid moving process.

Service companies which specialize in pumping or transport are a dime a dozen. TAR Energy’s shining point of difference lies in its ability to bridge the gap between processes, thereby creating a seamless, affordable and timely solution for the fluid demands of a frack. “Our timelines and commitments for fluid have been untouched over the years. We can get to locations, pick up oil, have these big fracks filled in a timely manner and done correctly. That is our speciality.”

Anyone with experience in the wider resource sector knows that the real downfall of any project comes in the form of missed deadlines or miscommunication between subcontractors. In the current economic climate of the oil market, these costly shortcomings are simply not an option. TAR Energy provides the much needed alternative of centralized service and with it, the promise of efficiency. TAR Energy’s fluid management packages include not only fluid transportation, but pumping, and the inclusion of the large capacity C rings necessary to store the water. Additionally, TAR Energy has the capability to heat and even manage the pumping on the day of a frack.

There is no replacement for experience and this promise is, hands down, TAR Energy’s biggest selling point. The importance of experience, paired with technological innovation has recently emerged as a major concern for mining, oil and gas companies across North America.

As both a service and production firm, TAR Energy Services has worked diligently to build one of the most comprehensive fluid moving fleets in the country. “We are not afraid to put new technology into the equipment, and we have great training for our employees.” The company-wide commitment to providing the safest, highest-quality services, is backed by an ever-expanding fleet of cutting-edge equipment which McNeil says benefits clients and staff alike.

When TAR Energy Service started, hydrovacs (trucks that use pressurized water and a vacuum pump as a swift and non-destructive method of excavating), combo vacs (trucks with wash water and a debris water tanks) and fluid management transport were its main focus. Today, TAR Energy is home to over thirty units that range from combo units and hydrovacs to frack-fluid hauling, heaters and pumps.

McNeil explained, that the company’s capabilities continue to surpass the industry standard for fuel hauling, “We can add ten or fifteen trucks at a time rather than one or two. We have the equipment and the staff to do that. That flexibility is something our clients appreciate.”

When it comes to professional growth, the importance of technologically-advanced approaches is inarguable, but the significance of these advancements goes far beyond efficiency. Using these innovative technologies, TAR Energy has worked to develop a safer system of fluid transportation for its staff. With GPS tracking, speed monitoring and even geo-sense equipment, the company has used technology to ensure that each project is not only timely, but secure.

Sustainable growth has been a key focus of TAR Energy Services since its start. Through a series of acquisitions, partnerships and wise financial decisions, the firm has been able to bypass many of the complications so many other medium-sized resource firms have confronted in the last year. Through the tough times, we have made smart financial decisions, and that comes from having experience in the industry.”

In a sea of multinationals, TAR Energy is mid-sized. Committed to local knowledge, Canadian development and strategic, but responsible growth, TAR Energy’s expansion has been controlled. “We have been doing it a lot longer, and, instead of chasing the big-dollar stuff, we have stayed with the production base and kept our costs down. Even when things are booming, we know how to keep costs down which has allowed us to maintain longevity,” said McNeil of the company that has grown through word-of-mouth advertising and repeat clientele.

TAR Energy Services’ unmistakable success is the direct result of forward thinking. By staying ahead of customers’ needs, the service provider has been able to invest into the equipment and staff that are necessary to facilitate growth. In 2013, TAR Energy partnered with a private equity group, one decision of many which the firm has made to secure further growth prospects in the future. The firm’s equity partner, 32 Degrees Capital, has supercharged TAR Energy’s potential, and, together, there are plans to take on new ambitious endeavors.

Although TAR Energy Service’s climbing economic footprint is an obvious accomplishment, the president explained that sustainable growth starts and ends with ‘people power’. The staff at TAR Energy is an integral part of its swelling success. McNeil explained, “We have personalized relationships with every customer. It is something very important to us. The things we are proudest of are the people we employ and our family base. Everyone enjoys working here, and that reflects in their work.”

TAR Energy Services is projecting even greater gains this financial year, while simultaneously exploring the potential of going public. This might be the first time you have heard of TAR Energy Services, but it certainly won’t be the last. As the Canadian leader enters the next five years of development, it’s safe to say the only way is up.



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