Oil Show opens with beaucoup new technology

Attendees come by tens of thousands to biennial exhibition

The big, wide, wonderful three-day Permian Basin International Oil Show kicked off with a bang Tuesday morning inside and outside the Ector County Coliseum with 750 exhibitors and as-yet untold tens of thousands of wide-eyed, jovial attendees who work in the energy industry.

Show President Larry Richards said this biennial exhibition that began in 1940 is particularly notable for its array of the latest oilfield technology.

“The biggest thing is the amount of new technology,” Richards said. “I have been coming here since 1992 and I’ve been on the Oil Show board for 20 years and it’s amazing to see the technology and integration of technology with the dual fuel 2,500-horsepower engines and four-megawatt gen sets that use 80-percent natural gas.

“We are seeing the first real explosion of engines that use stranded natural gas versus diesel and eliminate flaring.”

The show continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

One indoor exhibitor was Josh Poole, vice president of sales and marketing for Catalyst Energy Services of Odessa, who said his fracking company had made the innovation of using helicopter turbines instead of diesel engines to help drillers break up shale formations and enhance oil and gas recovery.

“We use natural gas to power the turbines,” Poole said. “The oil in diesel engines has to be changed once a month using 50 gallons of oil, but the oil in our helicopter turbines only has to be changed once a year with seven to 11 gallons of oil,” Poole said.

Partnered with the SPG Co., he said, Catalyst Energy Services has been in business since 2018, working throughout the region near Big Spring in Howard County, in New Mexico in Lea and Eddy counties and numerous other locations.

“The fourth quarter has been a little slower than we’d like, but the first quarter of 2024 is looking really good,” Poole said.

He said the company is running two 10-man frac units but plans to have eight to 10 units working next year.

Poole said a frac unit consists of a truck that stays at the well site with a pump, a gear box, a drive shaft and the turbine with a 10-man crew.

DistributionNOW Marketing Director Steve Jackson of Casper, Wyo., said his company supplies and helps build upstream, downstream and sometimes midstream production sites with heater treaters, vapor recovery units, produced water disposal and other equipment.

“We partner with customers to help them work through this whole process,” Jackson said.

It was United Filters International Operations Manager Debi Ferguson’s 10th time to participate in the show and Ferguson said her company manufactures and sells filters that take the sediment and other impurities like small rocks out of oil and water moved in pipelines.

UFI General Manager Angie Arriaga said her company has 15 employees in Amarillo and 45 in Sun Valley, Calif., who make what’s called “pleated” filters to work where pipelines start in conjunction with metal coalescent filters installed by other companies.

APT Oilfield Solutions Outside Sales Representative Lucas Walker and Vice President of Business Development Nina Warron said their Houston- and San Antonio-based firm is constructing a building at 1105 West County Road in Midland and it will be hiring machinists, warehouse people and salesmen in less than a year for the manufacture and sales of valves and seats for fluid ends, which pressurize the fluid that’s pumped into wells for drilling and fracking.

“We’re just getting started making our own elbow room in West Texas with high quality products and fair pricing,” Walker said, adding that APT currently has 25-30 employees. “We send supplies to offshore and onshore rigs worldwide.”