Better Serving Clients with Vertical Integration and Strong Manufacturing Capabilities
By Gary Poole | Account Manager/Technical Advisor | January 21st, 2021
Driving Efficiency with Tailored Fluids and Dependable Supply
When you need completion fluids for unique applications, TETRA has your back. With in-house chemistry, chemical supply, and manufacturing capabilities, we can develop a high-quality completion fluid specialized to your well environment and deliver the volumes you need quickly while maintaining cost efficiency. We can do this because TETRA is the only vertically integrated manufacturer-service company supplying completion fluids to the oil and gas industry.
Vertical Integration = Greater Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness
Vertical integration begins with our comprehensive Completion Fluids & Products Division, specifically our in-house technical support of innovating completion fluids and additives to meet customer needs, sourcing the ingredients through our in-house Chemicals business, manufacturing and blending the fluids at our facilities, and maintaining well-stocked inventories of base fluids and additives in our Gulf Coast facilities, supplying operators with the fluids they need when they need them.
Our completion fluid development begins with a precise understanding of the client’s needs:
- the fluid’s target function and efficiency;
- compatibility with the formation and connate fluids;
- target specifications like density, valency, and crystallization temperature;
- production facility protection and flowback reaction;
- environmental concerns like being zinc-free, and;
- cost effectiveness — always a foremost concern but greatly amplified during market downturns.
On this last point, using cesium to increase fluid density, for example, is now quite expensive, so TETRA developed a suite of lower-cost high-density fluids for use in deepwater and ultra-deepwater environments.
Strong Manufacturing Capacity for Dependable Supply
In support of our broad fluids portfolio, TETRA makes calcium chloride, calcium bromide, zinc bromide, zinc-calcium bromide, and sodium bromide. For calcium chloride, we have eight manufacturing plants — four in the United States and four in Europe, with a massive per-year production capacity that ensures dependable supplies. Our manufacturing capabilities enable us to maintain inventories at the ready and quickly fulfill customer needs for completion fluids and calcium chloride.
Unwavering Commitment to R&D
Innovating customized fluids requires research and development, and our TETRA Innovation Group (TIG) scientists have pioneered several game-changing fluids and additives, including the family of TETRA CS Neptune® completion fluids that is setting a new industry standard. Using samples from the client’s wellbore, our scientists can develop a customized fluid system that meets or exceeds specifications and performs as designed with excellent efficiency. With a more in-depth understanding of the formation’s composition and connate fluids, TETRA fluid chemistry is formulated to be compatible with the application environment. And our zinc-free fluids enable client production engineers to safeguard their flowback facilities and avoid reaction-plate corrosion.
By blending different completion fluids and various additives, TETRA can tailor fluid composition, density, and crystallization temperature specifically for each client’s needs for a more precise and efficient outcome. To deliver even more value, TETRA can also reclaim and restore fluids for subsequent reuse, vastly reducing costly waste and environmental impact. Moreover, our vertical integration of completion fluid development and provision insulates us from the supply-chain disruptions that can occur following natural disasters, like hurricanes and global pandemics. TETRA is far less dependent on third-party chemical suppliers than most of its competitors.
Vertical Integration in Action: Responding to an Urgent Client Need
Illustrating the value of our vertical integration is a situation that recently arose for a deepwater operator in the Gulf of Mexico. A competing provider under contract with the operator had neither adequate supplies of high-density zinc bromide spike fluid nor blended calcium and zinc bromides to replace brine lost due to a downhole equipment failure.
Faced with these shortages during a critical operation, the operator turned to TETRA, citing our (1) ample inventory, (2) rapid turnaround of a specialized brine blend, (3) skilled personnel enabling the emergency relief vessel to rapidly take on brines and depart to the wellsite — functioning like a marine ambulance of sorts — and (4) relationships with both the operator and the competing provider, which assured them TETRA could match the specialty blend and seamlessly transition to the new system. By quickly providing the necessary brines, the operator was able to resume its well completion operation with minimal time and productivity lost.
When All Is Said and Done
The situation described above is just one among many instances when TETRA has engineered a specialized fluid and delivered the necessary volumes to the client, enabling the job to remain on track and realizing valuable efficiency. Today, with some supply chains breaking down and many service providers scaling back R&D, TETRA remains steadfast in its commitment to the industry, doing our part to ensure operators facing mounting obstacles get the completion fluids they need for their applications.