The “f” Word – OGGN HSE Podcast

Catalyst Co-founder, Seth Moore, and QHSE Director, Stan Boatwright, speak with oil and gas industry veteran and Houston American Petroleum Institute Chairman, Russell Stewart, on the Oil & Gas Global Network (OGGN) HSE podcast, episode 191.  Listen to learn how Catalyst’s newest innovation, VortexPrime™,improves HSE and operational efficiencies for frac operators and investors.

If you’re interested in reducing downtime days, reducing truck trips, lowering your waste stream and minimizing emissions in your frac operations, you can learn more about VortexPrime™ here.

The OGGN HSE podcast can also be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, the OGGN website.

Relevant links:

Seth Moore

https://www.linkedin.com/in/seth-r-moore-1b02908/

Stan Boatwright

https://www.linkedin.com/in/r-stanley-boatwright-08317563/

Russell Stewart:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/russell-stewart-podcast-host/

OGGN:

Oil and Gas HSE – Oil and Gas Global Network (oggn.com)

Nektor Media:

www.nektormedia.com


Transcription:

Russell Stewart:

Hey everybody. Thanks for listening to another episode of oil and gas HSE, and thanks to the show’s sponsor today, TechnipFMC. TechnipFMC is a leading technology provider to the traditional and new energy industries. Tell them thank you for sponsoring the show by going to their website at technipfmc.com, check out their iComplete system that optimizes fracing operations with 30% lower costs, and also see how their trademarked emission can give operators and producers real-time monitoring and control to reduce flaring while increasing production TechnipFMC, the future of the energy industry.

Speaker:

In a global industry where anything can happen, where mistakes cost much more than dollars. We bring you expertise from around the world to ensure that everyone goes home safe every day. The internationally acclaimed oil and gas HSE podcast starts now with your host Russell Stewart.

Russell Stewart:

You know, I really do mean it when I say every week on the show, I appreciate you listening. And I think one of the reasons that we do have so many people listen is because of the quality of our guests. We always have top-notch guests on the show today is no exception, except for the fact we don’t have just one top-notch guest on the show. We have two. So I’m very happy to welcome to our show today, Seth Moore and also Stan Boatright Seth and Stan. Thanks for coming on the show today.

Seth Moore:

Good morning. Yep. Thank you, Russell.

Russell Stewart:

Well, again, it’s my pleasure. So Seth, let’s start with you first. You are actually the co-founder and COO of a company that we’re going to talk about here in just a minute Catalyst Energy Services. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Seth Moore:

Well, Russell, I I’ve been doing this for 37 plus years now, been in the industry and had the opportunity to work in a lot of exciting places around the world. Work for some great companies. It’s been a fun career. I think I’m at a point now where I can kinda look back and see some of the areas that I’ve worked and a lot of the great people that I’ve been able to interact with and a lot of the great technology that I’ve been able to be a part of. And it’s exciting to be at this point in my career with where we are with Catalyst also recently in the last few years, I, you know, got to see from a personal perspective, got to see my family grow with grandchildren. That’s been a great thing to experience. So it’s fun times right now, just from a career and personal perspective, it’s been fun here. You know, you got a great team at Catalyst. That’s been something exciting to be part of and get to experience and something that I hope everybody gets to experience at some point in their career.

Russell Stewart:

I tell you what, let’s back up just a minute. You hit my hot button when you said grandchildren, and I can hear the audience groaning right now. You know, <laugh>, There’s that famous story. The guy said to Winston Churchill said, have I told you about my grandchildren? And Churchill said no. And I appreciate it.

Russell Stewart:

You know, it really is the reason why you have kids and you wonder why you couldn’t have been a grandparent. First I have five. And when my wife, many, many years ago, when she said we had to have children. So I asked her why she said, well, because we need somebody to take care of us in our old age. So anyway, we had two kids, they subsequently found that out. And so now every time I do something, they don’t like, they threaten me with what nursing home they’re gonna put me in, but they did gimme five grandchildren. So I figured out why you have kids. So Seth, you’ve been in here 37 plus years. I’m trying to do the math here. That’s gotta go back to at least the eighties?

Seth Moore:

1984. Yes.

Russell Stewart:

Okay.

Seth Moore:

I was a young pup and had the opportunity to hire on with a big red company and spend a big part of that. 37 plus years with them, it was fun times. We learned a lot and it was a great place to start a career.

Russell Stewart:

Big red. Okay. If you’re listening out there and you don’t know who big red is, I tell you what, just contact me via LinkedIn. And I’ll educate you on that. <laugh> but everybody should know who big red is. Okay. So Seth, did you go directly to work for big red outta school or?

Seth Moore:

I did, but probably not the school you’re thinking of. I went upon graduating high school at 18 years of age, went to work for Halliburton in the shop as a mechanic. Actually my father had shops and he had several businesses and he kind of taught us boys the ropes, so to speak. So I was a young mechanic learning my way and did that for some time. And I liked the field work. I had a brother that worked there at a different area, but he worked in the field. And so I followed a little bit in his footsteps. And then of course, 19 late 85, 86 happened. And

Russell Stewart:

Yeah, that’s why, that’s why I was, that’s why I was doing the math there. And of course we got some people listening to this show that weren’t even born yet then. So Seth, are you in Houston?

Seth Moore:

I am in Midland, Texas. I’ve been living here for eight years, my wife and several of my children, two of my four children. We live in Midland it’s um, of course, far West, Texas, I guess the name is the name implies. It’s the kind of the middle spot between Dallas and El Paso and just a size of scale. That’s about four hours to Dallas and about four hours to El Paso. You know, Texas is a, as they say, like a whole other country, it’s a big place out here. A lot of rural areas, a lot of ranching and Mesquite trees and some tumbleweeds. And so it’s actually a great, it’s a fantastic place to live.

Russell Stewart:

Well, Midland really does live up to us now. I mean, it’s 500 miles from everywhere. No matter which direction you go.

Seth Moore:

That’s right. That’s right.

Russell Stewart:

But were you in Houston at the time?

Seth Moore:

Well, I worked all over. I got to work in Houston and New Orleans and Denver and some of the surrounding areas around those cities, uh, worked, um, a big stent international where I had long-term and short-term assignments in many, many countries. So I worked with a lot of great people all over the world. It was a fun experience and something that I, I looked back on with a lot of pride and a lot of satisfaction.

Russell Stewart:

Well, the reason I ask about Houston, you talk about that 84, that 85, 86. I mean, Houston at that time became like almost a ghost town because of that particular downturn. Stan let’s turn to you real quick, cause it doesn’t seem like Seth has any experience in this business.

Seth Moore:

<laugh>

Russell Stewart:

So what’s your role at Catalyst?

Stan Boatwright:

So Russell, I am the director of QHSE but what I really like to tell people I do is I teach people how to get back home to their families the same way they saw them last.

Russell Stewart:

Ah, you are a man after my own heart. That’s the introductory theme of our show every week. So what’s your background, Stan, you got 37 plus years experience.

Stan Boatwright:

No I can’t claim to have near the tenure that Seth does. My oilfield life started back around 2012. I actually was introduced to the Oil and Gas Industry in central Pennsylvania. Spent some time in the drilling group with coal tubing, with the work over and now in completions prior to getting to oil and gas. I owned a business owned and operated a business in the Northeast for nine years. And then prior to that, I spent about 14 years with a fortune 500 company, enjoying variety of different roles. And so I am too a married, raised four children, two girls, two boys they’re grown and living their own lives now.

Russell Stewart:

They’re not living in mom and dad’s basement.

Stan Boatwright:

No, no, no, no, no. We told them when they got to a certain age, they had to go <laugh> <laugh> they had to go no grandkids either.

Russell Stewart:

Well, hopefully that will come. When my kids left, I said, what is this thing called empty nest syndrome? This is wonderful. This is like, it was when we first started, this is what I signed up for originally, you know?

Stan Boatwright:

<laugh> right.

Russell Stewart:

So, okay, well let’s jump right into this here, because today we’re gonna be talking about the F word and no we’re not gonna be cursing. Although some people have such a negative view of this thing and hopefully we’ll change that perspective by the time we get through today, because I think what we’re gonna be talking about is we’re gonna be talking about fracing because as I understand it, Catalyst Energy Services just launched a new technology in February for frac pumping. So somebody tell me about that.

Seth Moore:

Great. Yeah. Russell would love to talk about it. VortexPrime™ is our new technology. And when we launched Catalyst just four years ago, just a few days ago, we made our four year anniversary. But prior to that, conceptually, when we sat and looked at what’s going on in the industry, what improvements in efficiency have been made and what is left out there that can be improved upon. And I’ll tell you this, this was before a lot of the ESG talk that we’ve here gets thrown around a lot lately in the last few years, but we looked at the industry from a systems cost perspective. What is spent completing the well as it relates to frac, you know, after the drilling phase. And we looked at, you know, the efficiencies had been made with pumps and equipment and some processes. And when you look at the big buckets, one of the big buckets that really popped up for us was fuel, the amount, just the sheer volume of fuel that is consumed each day.

Seth Moore:

And we thought there’s a big opportunity for improvement in that portion of the spend. We also looked at, you know, the efficiency, the amount, the sheer volume of equipment, you know, frac is a very equipment intensive and personnel intensive endeavor. So is there some way to change that formula a bit? And that was what we sat down, you know, kind of with a blank sheet and started drawing out what we wanted to do. And like with any innovation, it takes time. And we’ve been been on the, out in the market since February we did some field trials, it’s successful field trials. We learned a few things. We tweaked a few things. And here we are today with technology that we’re really excited about our CEO and co-founder Bobby Chapman likes to say it checks all the boxes. So from our original meeting of, you know, how do we improve upon a fairly efficient process at the time? How do we improve upon that to a meaningful degree? This technology really seems to, you know, do that.

Russell Stewart:

Okay. So now as podcast hosts, see, I’m, I’m supposed to be the guy who kinda leads the conversation and asks smart questions, you know, and this sort of thing and, and like a good lawyer. I should know the answer to the question before I ask it, I guess that’s why I never became a lawyer. So, I’m gonna ask question and if it’s too dumb a question and we’ll just edit it out in the audience, we’ll never know, you know, but why is it called VortexPrime™? Why’d you come up with that name?

Seth Moore:

Well, you know, we had a little bit of a naming contest. I’ll say we had some help. One of our great partners that helps us with our marketing and advertising and branding Nektor Media, one of their great artists came up with that name, but it does really kind of hit home at what we’re trying to do in a, in descriptive, you know, you think of vortex and a swirl. And we like to think of the gas that we consume and the fact that it’s just, it’s at the top of the list. So I’d love to have a really great answer for you, Russell, you know, how that ties to so many other things, but at the end of the day, the name was cool. We felt it was representative.

Russell Stewart:

Well, actually I can see that when you think about the context of Vortex in fracing and in prime, I mean, as you said, what that means is you checked all the boxes, right? So a couple things about that, first of all, you talked about, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to be on a fracing operation, wow. That is quite the thing. And you are exactly right. When you say it’s personnel intensive and mechanical. I mean the machinery and the stuff that’s out there. So if you can reduce that, of course, now we’re talking about the improved safety, because fracing is such a Willy beast in the realm of the field, lots of moving parts and that sort of thing. And so I guess you’ve done that. You’ve developed a, it’s actually patent pending right now, but it’s a direct drive military grade turbine and it’s powered by natural gas. So how’s that better from everything else?

Seth Moore:

Well, there’s a lot of things to talk about on the better than everything else. Category. I’ll talk about a few I’d love for Stan, from his role in the sitting in the quality and health and safety and environmental seat to really expand upon it. But from,

Russell Stewart:

Yeah, I

Seth Moore:

Just perspective, you know, we’re gonna, and of thousands of dollars a month in fuel cost, maybe upwards of a million right now with the high cost of liquid fuel, such as diesel, that number is easily monthly number is easily in excess of a million dollars. So that’s a big savings, right? When you look at, from a percentage perspective, we’re consuming natural gas versus these liquids, of course, there’s all the secondary benefits of that. We’re not having all these trucks of diesels drive through areas and have to come to location. So there’s that reduction. We also, these pumps are very horsepower dense. We built them, we designed them on a body load chassis. So what that means is we don’t have a tractor or a truck and a trailer set that’s maybe 70, 74 feet long. These are built on a body load. They look small, they’re 48 feet from the nose to the tail.

Seth Moore:

So we take up a lot less room on location. There’s eight of ’em as opposed to 20 of ’em. So we’ve had a significant reduction in the count as well. Cause they’ve got so much horsepower. These, these turbines develop lots of horsepower and we’re putting that horsepower to use directly through the coupling of a drive train that allows us to there’s some other competing technologies that generate electricity and you have all of the switch gear and all the equipment that goes along with that. We don’t have that. It’s a drive we’re, we’re turning a pump, we’re spending a turbine, we’re driving some drive, train gears, gearing and shafts, and we’re turning a pump. So because of that, we have a much smaller footprint because there’s less units. We don’t have as many people associated with the operation. And we have less people that are there.

Seth Moore:

There’s less trips that we have to make from an efficiency standpoint, we’re able to gain a day, two days, maybe more of frac days each month. So we’re able to help customers get their projects completed sooner. And we have less, we call it dead space or white space where we’re not working as we’re moving this very volumunious amount of conventional equipment that it takes to move and to rig up and to maintain and to get certified and, you know, get licensing for, and all the many things that go into that. We have less of that. So it’s truly a case of less is more.

Russell Stewart:

Yeah, it sounds like it. And so Stan, so not only all those things that Seth just mentioned, you can see where that helps with your safety program as far as when you have less people, when you have less days. I mean, that’s just all less time that you’re exposed to risk. And that sort of thing, I guess though, from an environmental standpoint, Seth talked about, you know, not using diesel, so there’s gotta be some kind of reduction, you know, from the ESG or environmental side, that’s also a reduction in emissions too it?

Stan Boatwright:

Absolutely Russell, just because we’re going to natural gas, we anticipate up to 40% lower emissions. So that’s obviously great for the environment. We try to talk about this, what the technology does in terms that your average household can appreciate as opposed to, you know, pumping hours and barrels, permitted and what not, but it definitely has a significant impact in a good way on the environment. I do apologize ahead if I sound like a broken record, Seth, and I’ll be saying some of the same things, but, you know, just from an environmental impact, you know, Seth talked about 20 frac pumps versus going down to eight, that’s about a 55% reduction in the footprint. So we won’t have to disturb as much of the environment when they are building a frac or a frac pad for us to use this technology on talked about the emissions and waste reduction up to 40% lower emissions, but from a human safety standpoint, in terms of the employees, because that’s obviously what I’m very concerned about, you know, the technology’s super exciting and I’m certainly not a subject matter expert. So I can’t speak as intelligently about the technology, but the nice thing about safety, that’s very simple. So just a couple of things, you know, Seth talked about less pieces of equipment to move, even though we spend the majority of our time on a frac location. You’ve probably heard before that driving is the most dangerous thing we do.

Seth Moore:

That’s exactly right.

Stan Boatwright:

The less pieces of equipment that we have to drive on public roads. That’s less exposure for our drivers. It’s less exposure for the community. So that’s always a good thing. Moving from pad to pad, when you’re on location, there’s less iron that you have to rig up. So we should see a reduction in hands and back injuries. So you don’t have as many people that need to be handling, you know, heavier material. So there’s less connections. There’s fewer pieces to move fewer trips that are required. So all of these things, for me, that results in much less exposure for the folks that we have handling all this equipment.

Russell Stewart:

Well, that’s exactly right now, something else. And one of the big hits on fracing is, you know, how much water you have to use and your waste stream and all that sort of thing. How does this VortexPrime relate to that?

Seth Moore:

Well, from a waste stream perspective, it’s amazing the amount of reduction we didn’t realize early on. And honestly, Russell, it wasn’t part of our design criteria. We didn’t necessarily go into it thinking that, but when I look at how much fluids that we generate in maintaining a conventional frac fleet throughout a year, and I look at the gallons of fluids that we generate maintaining a VortexPrime™ fleet per year, it’s amazing the reductions upwards of a 95% reduction in terms of gallons and poundage, you know, less filters and filter waste that end up in the landfill or have to be recycled less gallons of oils and fluids of, you know, differing types from coolants that have to be disposed of.

Russell Stewart:

That sounds huge to me.

Seth Moore:

It’s incredible when we started putting it together and I had the idea one I’m like, you know, the guys are saying, well, there’s quarts of fluid versus gallons of fluid. I’m like, and that could be pretty big, especially when you’re talking eight units versus 20. So let’s put the numbers in a sheet and look at ’em. And when we step back and looked at it, we had to check our numbers because they almost weren’t believable. I’m like we’ve got something, something in the spreadsheet is wrong. And we started really going through it and like, no, this is incredible, incredible, say waste stream reduction. There’s the purchase side of it, right? There’s the cost, obviously there’s the savings of buying less filters and buying less fluids, but there’s also the cost, the human side of having to truck that waste to some facility.

Russell Stewart:

It’s just a, win-win all the way around from a HSE perspective. Again, I’m really glad you guys have come on the program today. Cause this to me is very exciting technology. I wish you all the best in the world. The cool thing to me is once again, the oil and gas industry is leading the way in HSE and we don’t get our due for that and that’s part of the purpose of this particular podcast. And it’s part of the purpose of all the podcast in the OGGN lineup. And it’s just, it’s a tribute, a testimony to people like yourselves in the oil and gas industry, because you know, used to the big deal about HSE was it was looked at as, you know, an expense and people didn’t wanna deal with the expense, you know, and what we’re learning here is we’re learning to be the best there is in HSE and it’s saving money. I think that’s great. And I think that’s the message that needs to be conveyed. You guys got anything else you wanna say before we close this thing down?

Seth Moore:Well, I’ll say this Russell, thanks again to the OGGN network for having us on. And we appreciate what you guys are doing from Catalyst. I’ll say this, this is the start we view ourselves as a technology company that continually looks for ways to innovate and improve things through efficiency and design changes. And we continue to look at this, to view ourselves that way we’ve got other things, other technologies on the drawing board that we will be releasing in the future and continuing to develop and hone the technology that we have. So yeah, I look forward to speaking with you again in the future.

Russell Stewart:

We’ll, we’ll do this again.

Russell Stewart:

We’ll do this again sometime. Hey, you mentioned kind of in passing when we were talking about the name VortexPrime, you talked about, I guess you have a marketing firm that you employ, who did you say they were?

Seth Moore:

Nektor Media is the company and they’ve been great.

Russell Stewart:

Nektor Media. That’s

Seth Moore:

Nektor media. It’s nectar, I guess is the way they say it, but N-E-K-T-O-R great group of very professional group. And I’ve, we’ve enjoyed working with Matt and Andrea and Julianne and Rebecca. And I’m sure I’ll forget some names, but that team has been very professional and we’re a bunch of, you know, operational minded engineering type, you know, somewhat frac guys, right? So we rely on the, the real creative people like Nektor to help us, but it’s been great working with them and, and getting to know them.

Russell Stewart:

Well, we’ll give them a little shout out. Maybe we’ll put their website info in the show notes again, Seth and Stan. Thank you. I wanna thank everyone for listening to another episode of the internationally acclaimed oil and gas HSE podcast, or production of the oil and gas global network. Please leave us a review on iTunes, Spotify, or whatever podcast platform you use like us on LinkedIn and use all your social media to tell your friends about us. And we’ll see you next time

Speaker:

Tune in next week for another engaging episode of the oil and gas HSE podcast, a production of the oil and gas global network. Learn more OGN com.


About Catalyst Energy Services

Catalyst Energy Services started with the idea that technology is the key to the future. We take the stewardship of preserving our world’s resources seriously and are dedicated to constantly innovating our sector of the energy industry to achieve cleaner, safer, and optimized production. Built by an accomplished executive team with over 100 years of hands-on experience in the field, engineering, and business management, we are an emerging stimulation service company specializing in hydraulic fracturing treatment.

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