What is “Combustion Efficiency?”
By: Casey Beeler, Vice President, IES, LLC.

In terms of oil field combustion equipment, combustion efficiency can mean a variety of things. In the world of natural draft combustors, the term usually refers to how “efficiently” the combustion device removes a target compound in a waste gas feed. Those target compounds, typically hydrocarbons, can range from low BTU (BTU/ft3), predominantly methane mixtures, to high, 3500 BTU or greater gas containing rich mixes of methane through C6+’s (Hexanes and larger hydrocarbons). The seemingly simple and often overlooked waste gas combustor is a workhorse in the field, required to meet the most complex and strictest regulated specifications.

“Remove” is really a misnomer. In 100% efficient combustion reaction (typically known as: Ideal, Theoretic, or Stoichiometric Combustion), the combustor should convert all of target contaminant hydrocarbon, say, methane (CH4) into Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Water (H2O) and Nitrogen gas (N2) plus heat – nothing else, nothing more.

This works very well in the theoretic world, but as any experienced hand will tell you, things are usually far from the ideal in the oil patch. Long chain hydrocarbons that should be liquid; but somehow stayed in a vapor state, exotic cyclic and double- or triple-bonded hydrocarbons, sulfur containing compounds, higher than expected oxygen levels, and entrained liquids are all (just to name a very few) situations that can influence how efficiently your combustor is combusting. These types of situations only take into consideration the feed gas stream; external factors can also turn a combustion device from an extremely efficient piece of equipment, into a soot-laden, smoke-belching, fine-inducing nightmare faster than you can say “what inspector?”

Most oil field combustors, also known as enclosed ground flares – are natural draft stacks. This means that the air required for an efficient combustion reaction is drawn into or “induced” into the stack through air intake ports at the bottom of the combustor. A pressure differential is created in the stack by the temperature difference between the base of the stack and the top of the stack creating this air flow. Clogged flame cells, air pressure inversions at the top of the stack due to high winds and flame cooling can cause a lack of induced air, which will lead to a rich combustion, a condition that can lead to smoke or significant noise from detonation.

Obviously, a maintenance program is extremely important to ensure that your combustors remain efficient. Choosing a combustion manufacturer who stands behind their equipment, providing warranty, service and even maintenance agreements is a good step in the right direction. Probably more importantly, choosing the right vendor involves assessing whether a manufacturer has performed and passed mandated state and federal testing guidelines.

Each state air quality agency require combustors meet specific destruction efficiencies and regulate the amount of emissions opacity or smoke a combustor can have in a given period of time. These rules are designed to be difficult in an attempt to guarantee that a combustor will operate efficiently under field conditions. Federally mandated EPA standards are separate, but very stringent guidelines that a combustor manufacturer must prove its products can pass. If a combustor is placed in the field and it hasn’t met EPA NSPS (Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources), 40 CFR 60 Subpart OOOO, known as Quad O, the purchaser is responsible for a monitoring and testing schedule as described in the regulation, which can be an undue and costly burden.

Quad O can be a very expensive and difficult test to pass and often takes multiple days of testing to complete. It is a much more detailed testing protocol that a straight forward DRE test that shows a snapshot of a combustors operating efficiency. Manufacturers may try to bypass this requirement; however, the regulation is enforced nationwide by the EPA and, depending on the location, may be a state mandated requirement for permitting a wellsite. Either way, it is not a regulation that can be ignored by the manufacturer or producer. A combustor manufacturer that has performed and successfully passed Quad O testing is one that has demonstrated that its equipment meets or exceeds the strictest emissions standards required by law.

So, what are the takeaways? Combustion efficiency seems like a simple concept, but in reality, combustion of waste gas on a wellsite can entail very complex reactions, which are extremely sensitive to inputs. A regular maintenance program and a manufacturing partner willing to stand behind its products and have an established warranty and service agreements. Producers require combustion equipment that is engineered to the strictest specifications and can meet complex and ever changing inlet gas compositions, which have also been proven to meet stringent state and federal testing requirements. This is the most important requirement, and is why I left it as a parting thought: combustion equipment must be safe and follow best practices. Equipment that takes into consideration the human aspect and keeps operators safe and provides for easy field maintenance through good design should be at the top of any purchasing decision.


The theme of the 2013 conference is New Energy Horizons.

When the very first Williston Basin Petroleum Conference was envisioned back in 1993, it was planned as a meeting where researchers and industry leaders could sit down and discuss the latest technologies and science to help improve oil production in North Dakota and Saskatchewan.  That first conference in Minot, North Dakota – spearheaded by Dr. Malcolm Wilson who at the time worked for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Industry and Mines, as well as colleagues across the border at the University of North Dakota – sent out 70 invitations.  Over 160 people showed up.

From the get-go, Wilson and the original planners knew they’d come across something big.

“What can you say when you get almost triple the number of people you initially invited to the first conference asking to attend?” notes Wilson, now the CEO of the Petroleum Technology Research Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. “As the conferences progressed – and began to be managed by the North Dakota Petroleum Council, the Saskatchewan Geological Survey and the PTRC – they expanded to include more and more companies.  It developed a significant tradeshow component, but it’s been very important to keep the technical and scientific sessions expanding as well.”

The conference now alternates, in even and odd numbered years, between North Dakota and Saskatchewan respectively.  In 2012 over 4000 people registered and attended the Bismarck incarnation (no mean feat, for hotel owners and restaurants in a city of under 60,000) and the 2013 event in Regina is expected to attract around 2500 attendees.

The exponential increase in numbers at the conference speaks to the rise of Bakken exploration and development – a formation that contains often difficult-to-access but high quality oil.  The Bakken has become the backbone of the explosive growth in oil production in North Dakota and southern Saskatchewan, and holds enormous potential for additional growth in southwestern Manitoba and Eastern Montana.

What’s in the works for the 2013 conference, which runs April 30 to May 2nd at Regina’s Evraz Place?

“We’re excited by the technical presenters, and special guest speakers we have lined up for this year’s conference,” noted Melinda Yurkowski, assistant Chief Geologist at the Saskatchewan Geological Survey, the Government of Saskatchewan group that has been setting the technical program. “Aside from presentations on important emerging technologies, and  the latest in enhanced oil recovery happening in the Williston Basin, our first day of the technical sessions will also report on the latest news from industry and government players.”

To attend the presentations requires registering and paying a fee of 300.00 (this rate goes up on the day of the conference to 500.00, so register early!) but there are also a number of public presentations that don’t require conference registration and are open to everyone.  One of those, on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) hopes to provide all the basic information on the technologies employed in this process and discuss in a frank way what it’s all about.  The conference also has two special workshops planned for the conference delegates for a small extra fee – one on core sampling and a second on rock mechanics.  Check out the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference website below for more information.

The some 300 tradeshow booths have been sold out since January, and the tradeshow itself will highlight the best in oilfield technologies.  Special events, a host of receptions, and conference lunches with special-guest speakers will also be provided.

The conference runs April 30 to May 2nd at Evraz Place.  Visit www.wbpc.ca for full information.

Every year the popularity of online video is increasing, doesn’t matter the platform (tablet, smartphone, smart TV, or computer) or the length (while short videos are still most popular, there is a huge potential for long form video) by all measures, popularity heading straight up with no indication of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the popularity of online video increasing so much that there are more advertisers who want to place ads in videos than there are videos to place the ads on. If you’re not planning on using video yet this year, here are 6 reasons why you will (or should) use video in 2013:

“User Curated Content Networks” Love Video

You can read “user curated content networks” as Pinterest right now, but Pinterest is just the first network of its kind, not the last. Pinterest users are adding more than just photos to their boards now and video is right up there with photos now in popularity. Now that brands and companies can have their own Pinterest accounts and boards (officially), using video to not only profile your company but to show off products, how tos, and demos is a great way to leverage user curated social sharing. Keep in mind, sites like Pinterest often let users cross-post to Facebook, so when your content is pinned on one network, it often jumps to other networks as well.


According to Marketing Profs, Google and YouTube aren’t just favoring sites that have video, but also sites and publishers who have videos that are watched more and watched longer:

Google and YouTube are always changing their search algorithms for video (and for everything else), seeking the best ways to present information that searchers will find relevant. In October, YouTube announced that it would rank videos based on “watch time,” giving prominence to videos that are watched for a longer stretch of time than those viewed for a few seconds.
-Via Marketing Profs

Creating a video that people watch all the way to the end can be tricky, but videos in the 3–5 minute range are the most watched videos and videos between 30–60 seconds have the best completion rates (watching the entire video).

More Than Just YouTube: Newsletters and Other Material

Vimeo and YouTube are the two leading sites for publishing your videos and both have excellent options for embedding your videos in places other than just your website. How about a video intro in your next e-newslettter? Providers like MailChimp make embedding videos as easy as copy and paste. Not a bad way to engage newsletter subscribers right off the bat.

eCommerce: Videos Help Sell More Stuff

Telling people about something is one thing. Showing them a picture is another. Showing a video of something is class of its own. Having video as part of your ecommerce strategy has shown to increase sales over 90% compared to not having video.

Product Videos Are Engaging and Sharable

When you see a product demonstrated in a video it makes more of an impact than if you just show a picture alone. Tied in with Pinterest-like sites and ecommerce, using video to show your product or service can have a tremendous impact on customers and clients. Don’t relegate “products” to just physical items either, think about a short video profiling your business as a “product video” as well. Engage and connect with people by telling them more than what words and pictures alone can say.

Mobile Video is Exploding

As mobile networks are getting faster and devices are getting more powerful, people are watching more and more video on their mobile devices. Almost 60% of all mobile data traffic in 2012 was for video and mobile comprised 13% of all Internet traffic last year…and it’s still growing. The amount of video consumed on “non-PC devices” grew 6 times from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.

Bonus: It’s More Affordable

Maybe the biggest reason you’ll start using video this year is that it’s more affordable than ever. Don’t relegate having a video to the “nice to have” list, put it at the top of the “need to have” list in your marketing plans. Learn more about SoMedia’s ScalableVideo and VideoBuilder services and how they can help you use video in all the ways above, and save you money too.

Photo from Flickr by jsawkins.

The inaugural Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards will be held in Denver on Tuesday 12 March 2013 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The senior industry executives judging the Oil & Gas Awards have had a busy December reviewing almost 300 entries from around 200 different companies and casting their votes.

The awards celebrate the achievements of upstream & midstream companies, service providers and suppliers, twinned with the industry’s commitment to H&S, Environmental Stewardship and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Congratulations to the following companies that have been voted as finalists in the 2012 Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards:

  • A&W Water Service, Inc.
  • AbTech Industries, Inc.
  • Ames Savage Water Solutions
  • Antea Group
  • Aon Corporation
  • Aqua-Pure Ventures
  • BeneTerra
  • Black Hills Exploration and Production, Inc.
  • Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc.
  • Bradsby Group
  • Brady Trucking, Inc.
  • Burleson LLP
  • Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc.
  • Cobra Manufacturing & Sales LLC
  • Coldsweep Inc.
  • Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP
  • Davis & Davis Company
  • Ecocion, Inc.
  • Encana Corporation
  • Enviro Voraxial® Technology, Inc.
  • Frank Henry Equipment USA, LLC
  • FTS International
  • Gold Spur Trucking
  • Herbrick Agency
  • High Sierra Energy, LP
  • Honeywell Analytics
  • IMA, Inc.
  • KLJ
  • Marquis Alliance Energy Group
  • McPherson & McVey
  • Nexus Staffing Solutions, LLC
  • ONEOK, Inc.
  • Precision Placement Services, Inc.
  • Produced Water Solutions, Inc.
  • PTI Group USA
  • QEP Resources, Inc.
  • Questar Pipeline Company
  • Ryckman Creek Resources, LLC
  • Savage
  • Spartan Engineering Inc.
  • Stellar Recruitment
  • Target Logistics
  • TaxOps LLC
  • TETRA Technologies, Inc.
  • Vacuworx® Global
  • Venoco, Inc.
  • Westcon, Inc.
  • Zavanna, LLC

The winners will be announced at the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Awards gala dinner ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver on Tuesday 12 March.

The list of all finalist companies can be found at www.oilandgasawards.com as well as information about table bookings for each gala event. For information on sponsorship opportunities and to reserve your table for what will be a fantastic night of celebration please call Marc Bridgen on +1 (210) 591 8475 or email marc@oilandgasawards.com.

URTeC, 12-14 August 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver


The University of North Dakota today announced $14 million in private and public partnership funding that will greatly enhance UND’s efforts in petroleum geology and related fields. The announcement also included the naming of the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the UND College of Engineering and Mines.

The total project of $14,000,000 includes $10,000,000 provided as a gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc., which will create the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering. Another $4,000,000 from the Industrial Commission/Oil and Gas Research Program will fund the proposal entitled “Public-Private Partnership to Support Geology and Geological Engineering Education and Research at UND’s College of Engineering and Mines.”

“With the discovery of the world’s largest oil field in more than 40 years, Continental Resources and North Dakota are changing the world,” said Harold Hamm. “The Bakken Play is one of the primary fields making North American energy independence a reality, releasing us from the grip of foreign oil and serving as a model for unconventional oil production worldwide. Establishing the School of Geology and Geological Engineering is a vital commitment to continuing North Dakota’s national and global leadership in energy.”

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said, “We’re proud to be partnering with Harold Hamm and Continental Resources to provide funding through a private-public partnership for this major expansion of UND’s geology program. This is a perfect example of what can be done at our research institutions to enhance educational and employment opportunities for our state.”

UND President Robert Kelley said, “This is an exceptional day for the University of North Dakota. We are delighted to announce the naming of our School of Geology and Geological Engineering for Mr. Harold Hamm in honor of this very generous gift from Mr. Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc. This is the largest-ever gift to UND from someone who is not an alumnus of the University, and adds a significant dimension to North Dakota Spirit — The Campaign for UND.

“I also want to thank the North Dakota Industrial Commission for their very important portion of the private-public partnership,” said Kelley. “This is a perfect model of private dollars and public resources working together for maximum benefit. The combined funding will enhance the education of future petroleum geologists and engineers, which is key to the ongoing development of the Williston Basin and the nation’s petroleum resources.”

Said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the UND College of Engineering and Mines, “As an essential part of the UND College of Engineering and Mines, the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering will highlight the importance of geology and geological engineering in the state, not only in terms of North Dakota’s financial well-being, but also in terms of employment within the state. The School will help attract high quality faculty members and the best and brightest students to North Dakota.”

“Our goal is to produce future generations of petroleum geologists and engineers who can contribute to building a better world through professional service and research for safe, reliable, and affordable energy production,” El-Rewini added. “We also aim to increase the research efforts currently conducted by faculty members and students in petroleum related fields, which will create new opportunities for collaboration with industry in North Dakota and elsewhere.”

“This generous funding will give students at the University of North Dakota access to technology and resources that will better prepare them for engineering and energy-related jobs here in North Dakota and around the world,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, a member of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. “It is our hope that this is only the beginning of what we can do, partnering with industry, to educate our future workforce.”

“We already have one of the best core libraries in the United States housed at the Wilson M. Laird Core Library on the UND campus. These dollars will help us leverage the information in that facility and improve the opportunities for students and others to better understand the geology of North Dakota’s natural resources,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, a member of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

Gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources Inc.

The $10 million private gift from Harold Hamm and Continental Resources, Inc. will be made available over the next four years, and the endowment portion will continue to return funding on an ongoing basis. Designed to enhance education and research at the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering, the gift will have an impact on the entire College of Engineering and Mines for many years.

The gift has been designated as follows:

$3,750,000 – Endowed Professor of Petroleum Geology
$3,750,000 – Endowed Professor of Petroleum Engineering
$675,000 – Salary and benefits for the two Endowed Professor positions
$1,325,000 – Endowed Leadership Scholarships
$500,000 – Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library

Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Program Funding

The $4 million funding from the Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Research Program will be used as follows:

$1,500,000 – Equipment to establish Advanced Laboratories
$1,500,000 – Continental Resources High Resolution Virtual Core Library
$720,000 – Student scholarships and graduate assistantships
$280,000 – Students experience fund


Office of University Relations
Twamley Hall, Room 409
264 Centennial Drive, Stop 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144
Phone  701.777.2731
Fax  701.777.4616

www [dot] where can i get,… how do i find,… who’s hiring now,… a place to live ?

March 26, 2012 – LIVINGSTON, MONTANA.

For most of us in the “upper western” midwest, the term Bakken has become a household name. And for those who think it’s a reference to their morning breakfast of eggs and …; no, we’re not talkin’ BACON, we’re talkin’ BAKKEN, /′ba:kən′/. A quick recap for the “bacon” folks. The Bakken is an oil formation in the Williston Basin, underlying a significant portion of North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan. Get this, it was named after a farmer, Henry Bakken, who owned the land in Williston, ND where the formation was intially discovered in 1951. So, why is everybody talkin’ about the Bakken now? One word, technology. Rock fracturing technology that is.

Geologists, state agencies and other industry experts have given us numbers from 2.1 billion barrels of significant producible oil in the Bakken, to recent figures of 18 billion barrels. “New rock fracturing technology available starting in 2008 has caused a recent boom in Bakken production. By the end of 2010 oil production rates had reached 458,000 barrels (72,800 m3) per day outstripping the capacity to ship oil out of the Bakken. The production technology gain has led a veteran industry insider to declare the USGS estimates are too low.”1  “…energy companies in January 2012 fracked more wells than they drilled for the first time in five months, suggesting oil output could grow even faster than last year’s 35% surge as a year-long shortage of workers and equipment finally begins to subside… “ 2  REPEAT: for the first time in five months, more wells were fracked than were drilled in January 2012 — this was the middle of the winter, when fracking generally slows down.

In a nutshell, the Bakken is experiencing a phenomenon of exponential growth. All this, in an area of the U.S. that is more than sparsely populated by layman’s terms; with the necessary businesses and services to support this growth only starting to come out of the woodwork. The state of North Dakota now has a billion-dollar budget surplus, and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.2%. 3  Many equate the booming Bakken to a Modern-Day Gold Rush  with people coming from all over the U.S., and the World, for work / business. It is that fundamental element of disconnectivity to “place” that the breakdown occurs for finding businesses or services in the Bakken. Where can i get,… how do i find,… who’s hiring now,… a place to live ?

Well, we’ve got the answer… www.bakkenoilbiz.com, and it’s supporting print partner, the Bakken Oil Business Journal. The website is built to provide that “right now” connectivity with vendors, business associates and services in the Bakken… It’s like the “YELLOW PAGES” of the Bakken. Anyone that’s anybody doing business in the Bakken will want to be on the website. Delivering news, resources and information that is readily available to digest with your morning cup of coffee; via smartphone, laptop, tablet, or good ole fashioned, tried and true,… print magazine in hand.

The Bakken Oil Business Journal is a win-win combination of web and print; with a direct mail distribution built from grassroots connections of Local and National Companies doing business in the Bakken, Government Officials, Energy Expos & Petroleum Conferences, Petroleum Clubs and Associations, Oil Industry Career Fairs; coupled with a top-ranking SEO website complemented with Social Media Marketing.

The print journal and website offer an essential venue for Prime Editorial positioning on Political energy discussions, State Policies, the booming business of the Bakken, Product Introduction, etc… acting as a Bulletin for the oil industry at large.

1.  Wikipedia editors (2012-3-21). “Bakken formation”. Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-3-23.
2.  “Insight: Natural gas pain is oil’s gain as frack crews head to North Dakota” (2012-3-19). Selam Gebrekidan Reuters. Chicago Tribune Business. Retrieved 2012-3-23.
3. “State Unemployment Rates for January 2012” (2012-3-13). U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Retrieved 2012-3-23.