Interview

Alin Dumitrescu: Almost 8 years of successful operations performance in Romania

Alin Dumitrescu, Country Manager - NA Solid Petroserve, talks about the future of this business in Romania and in the European region.

NA Solid is a Canadian oilfield services company specializing in wireline and well production testing services for the oil and gas industry. As of 2010, NA Solid opened service operations in Romania, providing well testing, slickline/BHP data acquisition and early production facility installation and operating services.


 

Dear Mr. Dumitrescu, you have been quite familiar with the oil and gas industry since 1995. How did you get started in the well services sector? Where did you begin? Why did you choose to work for NA Solid?

I graduated from Petroleum and Gas University of Ploiesti in 1990 and started my career as an Engineer Trainee; I worked in the drilling sector with Bascov Drilling Company.

Then, in 1992, I moved on to the production sector working for OMV Petrom, within their Baicoi Asset.

In 1995, the well services division of OMV Petrom – BOSS Campina was formed, and I was among its first employees, where I worked until 2002 as Supervisor and Deputy Manager of Well Completion and DST/Well Testing Subdivision. I consider this period working in the well service sector to have been very important for my overall career development, as here the management imposed a way to work that was less bureaucratic, and where individual responsibilities and decision-making had to be assumed quickly due to the work environment. Technical knowledge accumulated on numerous jobs performed with a large variety of downhole tools and surface equipment, on different wells, from shallow to very deep, and on both on-shore and off-shore jobs also proved to be very significant for my professional development as a Petroleum Engineer.

In 2002, I joined NA Solid Petroserve Ltd., working in different positions, including Supervisor, Service Coordinator and eventually Operations Manager of the Company’s Tunisia branch.

Since 2014, I became Vice President Operations and Country Manager of NA Solid Petroserve’s Romanian Branch.

I chose to work for NA Solid as I saw an opportunity to develop an international career, working in the same sector for a young and very ambitious private company, where I could also learn from the Canadian expertise on well testing services. From the beginning there was a good collaboration with the Owner and top management of NA Solid, and I have seen that they had a good understanding of the Company’s needs in order to position it as a high-quality service provider in the oilfield services sector.

 

Focus on three areas of upstream operations

Which segment is your company’s core focus?

As an oilfield service company specializing in well surface production testing and slickline well servicing, our service capabilities focus on three areas of upstream operations.

The first of these areas relates to supporting rig operations (i.e. drilling, completion, well intervention/workover operations), involved in proving oil and gas reserves, and establishing related surface productivities. Here our services include surface equipment and personnel required for DST operations, well clean-up, short and extended-term production testing, bottom-hole pressure tests (both memory and real-time), and mechanical wireline-conveyed BHP surveys, plug and sleeve work.

Our second area of service capabilities relates to the design, installation and operation of early production facilities (EPFs). An operating company’s decision to utilize EPF services is typically based on the need to fully establish reserves and well/field production capabilities, and at the same time continue to generate production revenue while they continue to plan, procure and install permanent field development facilities. In such cases we find operators will typically request the option to purchase an EPF equipment installation that NA Solid has supplied, should its design, throughput capabilities and operating performance meet their longer-term requirements. Over the past 8 years of operating history here in Romania, three of the EPFs that NA Solid has supplied, installed and operated have ultimately been purchased by our clients.

Our third area of service capabilities lies in the provision of slickline equipment and services related to production operations. For such services work, Solid has three truck-mounted, fully-equipped double-drum combination wireline units. Our combination wireline units offer both slick and braided line service capability, as well as mono-conductor e-line capability for such operations as real-time BHP surveys. We have a broad range of slickline tools, equipment and PCE (pressure control equipment), along with highly skilled and experienced operators; enabling us to offer our clients safe, high-quality slick and braided line services.

 

According to experts, the oil and gas industry will continue its slow recovery, as upstream companies are going to increase production in 2018. How did this year start for NA Solid?

Like the rest of the oilfield services industry, Solid has witnessed over the past few years the sharp downturn in operating services activities related to low and unstable oil and gas prices. While the opening quarter of 2018 has been mostly the same story, over the same period we have begun to see what appears to be a slow, but gradual upswing in operations-related planning and activity for the current year ahead. In the same manner, for our services we are beginning to see some increasing potential for new work opportunities developing through this year and beyond. Certainly, the future for service companies such as ours will continue to rely on the motivation for oil and gas producers to maintain the existing production capabilities, as well as to invest in replacing the existing reserves and adding new ones. As such, we see continued caution on the part of producers for at least the next two years before any significant recovery affecting companies like NA Solid begins to take place.

 

More precisely, what is the strength of NA Solid as a Service Company on the Romanian market?

For all of our services we offer here in Romania, NA Solid is a very strong competitor. Here I would like to point out that the real key to our strength in delivering the high level of safe, quality services that we are known for is our people, and here’s why:

  • Clients that we have performed jobs for in the past, as well as for ongoing services work we continue to perform are routinely renewing their contract option to continue using Solid for their new jobs and projects, as well as for extending and/or diversifying jobs or project work already completed.
  • Our management team consists of well-experienced people with strong educational backgrounds; all of whom have shown their abilities and high level of competence throughout the work they do on the job every day. NA Solid’s management team consists of personnel of varied qualifications, training and competencies; providing us with strong coverage in all areas of our business (technical, economical, financial, HR, HSEQ).
  • We work hard to maintain lower costs than our competitors, while continuing to maintain the high level of quality we provide in the services we perform. Certainly, the size of our company, our streamlined organizational structure, efficient work solutions, good supply chain and an efficient logistics system are all key factors here.
  • Our organizational structure enables NA Solid to respond quickly to client requests. Both our equipment and work methods are standardized, providing us the flexibility and consistency to effectively manage and execute from initiation to conclusion all the work that we perform.
  • All NA Solid employees are highly skilled and qualified for the work they perform. Without exception, all of our operational staff are oil & gas industry professionals; well-experienced for the highly demanding work areas they are in (well servicing, procurement, quality, HSE, HR etc.). Our personnel competency levels are maintained at the highest industry standards through continuous training, both in-house and/or external.
  • Personnel throughout our organization maintain a high level of awareness of the importance of safe operating practice in everything they do. This is well demonstrated in our proven track record of accident-free, safe work performance throughout our operating history here in Romania.

 

What does NA Solid service fleet include?

Our well testing service fleet includes 3 equipment packages, consisting of:

  • High pressure 3-phase horizontal separator units, equipped with Vortex Cluster inlet, Coriolis-based mass-flow measurement systems for oil, water and gas phases, data acquisition integrated with ESD system for upstream and downstream parameters and flow rates, Hi/Low-pressure/level shut down and alarms system;
  • Indirect fired line heaters, 3.5 MMBTU capacity;
  • Choke manifolds 3 1/16” 10,000 and 15,000 psi working pressure;
  • ESD valves 3 1/16” 10,000 and 15,000 psi working pressure, including control panels;
  • Low pressure/high volume 2-phase vertical separators, single or dual compartment, 175 to 250 psi working pressure;
  • High pressure pipe packages 3” x 10,000 and 15,000 psi working pressure;
  • Low pressure pipe packages, different sizes from 2” to 6” ID;
  • Flare stack systems and knock out drums;
  • Land oil burner systems;
  • Pressurized storage tank system with a total capacity of 250 cubic metres, 80 psi working pressure;
  • Transfer pumps with a range from 80 to 500 psi working pressure;
  • Auxiliary equipment, power generators 30 to 190 KVA, air compressors, lab cabins and workshops.

NA Solid Petroserve’s wireline equipment fleet consists of:

  • 3 x truck-mounted Dual-Drum Combination Wireline Units equipped whit a front split drum for slick line 0.108” and 0.125” size, 25,000’ capacity, a rear drum for braided or e-line, 25,000’ capacity, BOP hydraulic control System, 10,000 psi On-Board Grease Injection System, 10 kW Hydraulic-Driven Generator, data acquisition system;
  • 2 x truck-mounted cranes 12 and 18 tons capacity supporting downhole data acquisition services;
  • Light weight pressure control equipment 5,000 and 10,000 psi working pressure, 3” to 4 1/16” size;
  • Large variety of slick line tools;
  • BHP data acquisition that include both piezo and quartz electronic memory recorders, downhole shut in tool for 2 7/8” and 3 ½” tubing sizes.

 

Keeping opex within budget

Your company also provides complete deliverability analysis services (oil well inflow performance relationship; gas well absolute open flow potential), including program design recommendations upon client request. What techniques do you recommend to maintain production on target while keeping Opex within budget?

NA Solid’s role for the most part is utilizing our surface production and slickline equipment setups to obtain and provide our clients with data they require in order to evaluate a production well’s reserves and deliverability potential. We are of course also prepared to provide our clients with advice on well testing program design aimed at determining a well’s stabilized flow potential under varying flow conditions.

Throughout the conduct of a well surface production testing job, our clients rely on us to employ the best operating practices in the setup and safe operation of our well testing equipment installation to achieve stabilized flow regimes. Our objective is to provide our clients with consistent, reliable production test data that enables them to optimize well and field production rates in line with their expectations for the producing property being evaluated.

With regards to keeping Opex within budget, utilizing an EPF approach for example provides an operator with the opportunity to fully evaluate reservoir limits, recovery and deliverability capabilities before committing to capital expenditures required to install permanent production facilities, storage and fluids transportation systems. The extra time provided by employing a temporary production facility enables an operator to determine optimal surface facilities design; thus, optimizing Capex required to develop a producing property, while continuing to generate production revenue up until permanent facilities can be installed.

Another example for keeping Opex within budget is offered with NA Solid’s fully self-contained metering-unit separators. Equipped with highly-accurate Coriolis mass-flowmeter liquids measurement systems, our metering-unit separators also come SCADA-equipped, are designed to provide in-line testing capability that can be rigged-in, pressure-tested and ready to work within a matter of hours. In-line production testing using NA Solid’s metering-unit separators offers substantial savings to operators in reduced peripheral equipment normally needed for produced fluids storage, pumping and venting/flaring required with conventional well test equipment setups.

 

Fundamental requirements for effective health, safety and environmental performance

The data acquisition system you mentioned provides all flowing system parameters, using accurate sensors placed on key points of the well test process. Based on this data, how can operators enhance operational quality, safety and performance?

Electronic data acquisition systems are an integral part of all NA Solid well testing equipment packages. The use of such systems enables the well test operating team consisting of both NA Solid’s operating crew and our client’s representatives, both on and off-site, in order to have immediate, real-time access to key production test operating parameters monitored at various locations throughout the well testing equipment setup. Such access provides the onsite crew with the ability to make flow control adjustments in due time, and our clients with the ability to make more timely decisions pertaining to the well testing operation currently underway.

The application of electronic data acquisition systems on surface production well testing setups reduces both testing crew time requirements for gathering well test operating data, and eliminates the possibility for human error during the data entry process. The quality, frequency and volume of well testing data gathered and stored as part of a surface data acquisition setup are also infinitely greater than data manually acquired through manual entry.

Centralized real-time access to key operating parameters enables our operators to quickly assess ongoing test flow performance and make critical flow control adjustments as needed to maintain stabilized operating performance. Such centralized access can also be extended to include real-time BHP data from downhole pressure recorders, should NA Solid’s e-line-conveyed BHP services also be utilized as part of the well testing equipment setup.

Providing quick access to and notification of key operating parameters, including information from strategically-located fire, fluid level and atmosphere monitoring sensors is also a fundamental requirement for effective health, safety and environmental (HSE) performance throughout the conduct of a surface well production testing operation.

 

Where are your tools designed and manufactured? What is your overall equipment capacity?

During our first few years of operations in Romania most of our equipment was provided from Canada, by our Canadian parent company. Since the establishment of our Romanian Branch, we began to source an increasing amount of our new equipment needs from within Romania and offsetting European countries. Sourcing is of course based upon particular application requirements, certification standards and associated cost and availability considerations.

As for equipment capacity, NA Solid’s Romanian Branch maintains 3 complete packages of well testing equipment to cover a wide variety of applications in oil and gas well production testing, the types of which are as summarized above. On the slickline services side, we also maintain 3 completely tooled and equipped combination truck-mounted wireline vans capable of servicing virtually any slickline servicing requirement from low to high pressure (15K), and either sweet or sour well conditions. Our combination wireline vans are particularly useful on new well completions, where changing between slickline and braided or e-line-conveyed downhole tools that often occurs can be done from the same truck, without the need to rig down and changeout wireline units.

 

Highly-mobile wide-area service coverage

The wireline services market is estimated to reach USD 14.84 Billion at a CAGR of 6.5% come 2020, says Research and Markets. How do you see the future of this business in Romania, as well as in the European region?

Over the past 8 years of NA Solid’s presence in Romania, while somewhat secondary to the utilization levels of our well testing services division, our slickline services division offers one of the most modern and well-equipped truck-mounted slickline service fleets in the country.

We are optimistic as to the future of our slickline services business both in Romania and offsetting markets in the European region, particularly in view of the dual slickline/e-line service capabilities that each of our combination slickline service vans present. Being fully-equipped, NA Solid’s truck-mounted units offer a highly-mobile wide-area service coverage. Both high-pressure and sour-service conditions are within NA Solid’s slickline service capabilities. Our trucks are equipped with 0.108”, 0.125” slickline, and either 7/32” braided line or mono-conductor e-line.

NA Solid offers a wide range of slickline services including conventional slickline-conveyed plug and sleeve flow control operations, both memory and real-time bottom-hole pressure surveys, and mono-conductor e-line-conveyed services including production logging and caliper tool surveys. We also offer heavy wireline services for fishing and swabbing.

 

Now, after more than 7 years in Romania, what are the milestones and achievements that mark NA Solid’s journey in our country?

NA Solid Petroserve is extremely proud of its nearly 8 years of highly successful and safe operations performance history in Romania. Ten key events and achievements that standout the most over this period to date are the following:

  • April 2010 – the first well testing operation performed by NA Solid in Romania;
  • November 2011 – first EPF facility installed;
  • October 2012 – first inline test performed;
  • November 2012 – second EPF facility installed;
  • March 2013 – first well testing operation on a critical sour well performed by NA Solid in Romania;
  • April 2014 – NA Solid Romania Branch opening;
  • April 2014 – third EPF facility installed;
  • November 2015 – first well testing operation on a HP/HT well performed by NA Solid in Romania;
  • December 2015 – NA Solid Petroserve Ltd Romania Branch received ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSHA 18001 Certification;
  • September 2016 – completed first well testing/EPF operation on high flow rate well.

 

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