Joe Hickey
Kodiak Services International
Luis Díaz
Luis Díaz
Country Manager Mexico and Colombia
Kodiak Services International

Opening Doors Through Innovation

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 12:18

When an emergency strikes and tools urgently need to be retrieved from a well-bore, companies require a quick and efficient response from slickline providers. Canadian wireline and slickline company Kodiak hopes that its innovative and flexible approach to technology will aid its ongoing transition into the Mexican market, so it can start fulfilling this industry need as soon as possible. Pointing out his company’s aptitude for designing pioneering solutions, President Joe Hickey is keen to discuss the range of ventures Kodiak is undertaking in Mexico to capitalize on the opening market, among them trialing their Quad Neutron product with PEMEX.

“The Quad Neutron is a tool for defining formation in relation to a pipe,” Country Manager for Mexico Luis Díaz explains. Additional features of the new product such as real-time data collection, memory mode and the ability to function on several pipes simultaneously gives the Quad Neutron a distinct advantage, he adds. Obtaining certification for the product’s use in Mexico involves working with a technology scalability department, procuring nuclear licenses and executing wells to validate the data, a lengthy process that demonstrates Kodiak’s dedication to growth in the Mexican oil and gas industry

As the Quad Neutron undergoes trials with the NOC, Kodiak is also interacting with Mexico’s technology board CONACyT, together with partner Scarlet. “We are waiting for funding from CONACyT, from its Innovation Stimulus Program,” Díaz explains. “It has the resources we need for our R&D efforts, such as project management specialists, 3D printing machines and manufacturing experts.”

Although Kodiak is making its first step into formal research and development in Mexico, coming up with innovative ideas is nothing new to the wireline service providers. The firm has a track record of quickly developing tailored technologies for clients struggling to find a solution, and often tells clients to come to them when they’ve tried everything to solve a problem. “We change the solution to match the needs of the client,” says Hickey, highlighting the flexibility of Kodiak’s product line and service portfolio. “Being a large, privately owned company we can really cater to the client’s needs and customize the service we offer them.”

As well as its ability to tailor technologies on a case by case basis, Kodiak adds speed to its competitive advantages. Citing its good relationships with machine suppliers, Hickey says Kodiak can “skip the line if there’s something pressing, allowing us to be very efficient when needed.” As efficiency becomes more and more important in the industry, the downtime Kodiak can help companies avoid is critical.

“Another efficiency-enhancing product we provide are combination units, which have electrical and slickline technologies together,” Hickey says. “This means that in the event of a blockage there is no waiting on additional crew or extra equipment, because it is all in one.” Kodiak’s focus on efficiency and time-saving extends to the way they train their staff. “Supplying well-rounded personnel, who are not just loggers but also know completion, means the need for sourcing additional staff for different tasks is greatly reduced,” he adds. “Integrating different skills in a combination unit is a great benefit for companies,” Díaz says.

In light of the technologies Kodiak is investing in, their intention to grow their business in Mexico is clear, and this is further supported by their enthusiasm for developing local talent. Hickey assures Mexican nationals will be Kodiak's main recruitment focus. “Typically, we draft in an ex-pat to oversee how we run business but we always focus on training local people,” he says. Although they want to keep the Canadian culture of the business, both executives hope to employ Mexicans as they move toward their vision for Kodiak in the country, which Hickey hopes will be a welldiversified wireline service company, with lots of local talent.

Kodiak is one of the largest privately owned wireline companies in Canada, with operations spanning its native country as well as the US, Colombia, Ethiopia and soon Mexico. The global wireline logging service market exceeded US$16 billion in 2014, and gains in real-time data gathering and more global E&P activity are predicted to inflate this figure even more.