Volant’s oil and gas field services solve problems and satisfy clients.
The challenges of the upstream oil and gas industry are wide and varied, so for Volant, its roots as an engineering consulting firm help the company develop solutions while its products provide the tools for client satisfaction. The products provide elegant and practical solutions with designs and test products for sale worldwide, developed by successful manufacturing operations fine-tuned with over a decade of experience.
“Our engineering roots provide deep technical expertise,” says Dan Shute, president of Volant. “Our focus starts with fulfilling our customers’ technical needs, and rapidly expands to consulting, new products and field services and includes the identification of the economic impact of the problem. We are proud of the efficiency gains we help customers find because time matters, and when we help customers do more with less, risk of injury is also reduced.”
The private company was founded in 2001 as a small machine shop manufacturing in only one product. The past 14 years has seen the company transform into a highly efficient vehicle for rapid technological development and commercialization. Volant’s success can be attributed to a small group of shareholders who are involved in the company’s daily business operations, personnel and strategy.
Volant boasts an impressive product portfolio that solves well construction problems that many companies may not even know they have. To reduce the chance of stuck pipe, Volant’s Casing Running Tool (CRT) allows the operator to reciprocate, rotate and circulate casing and liner strings, reducing nonproductive time and associated costs. The internal grip equipment (CRTi™) tool is extremely compact and efficient, allowing operators the ability to run a wide range of pipe diameters using a single base tool. The internal piece’s external counterpart (CRTe™) meets the need to run deep, heavy and small diameter casing strings. Both tools boast a modular architecture that is scalable, allowing future hoist, torsion and diameter capacity requirements that are driven by market demand. They are 100 percent mechanical and can be operated directly by the driller, which means more space on the rig floor due to less hydraulics and reduced manpower. This supports health, safety and environmental objectives on site.
“We are focused on delivering value to our customers, not maximizing each field ticket,” Shute says. “Our goal is to help our customers accomplish their objectives with our tools using their people who are already on location.”
One of Volant’s highlights in 2014 was bringing the Mudsaver Valve (MSV™) to market. It is the first time the MSV™ is fully compatible with the CRT. It is located as close to the casing seal as possible, making it powerfully effective in minimizing mud spillage and keeping the rig floor and surroundings safe and clean.
Volant’s HydroFORM™ Centralizers are another stellar product in their portfolio. The company has proprietary hydroforming technology that results in a high quality, high strength product. The company prides itself with developing equipment that is simple and easy to use and maintain.
“We have engineered and developed processes to precisionform tubular steel into a variety of shapes, resulting in a smooth unit-body shape perfectly suited to today’s complex well designs,” says Dan Sylvestre, director of field services for Volant. “With its record of no mechanical failures, it has become the product of choice for operators drilling extended reach horizontal wells.”
For customers requiring an increase in torque on API connections with a short lead time at a reasonable cost, Volant offers the new DeltaTORQ™ ring. These new rings provide customers with increased torque capacity compared to historical products. They provide the perfect fit for all casing connections.
The volatility of the oil and gas market is a fact of life for Volant. As the company’s leader, Shute keeps a close eye on the market’s current fluctuations, as well as an eye on the future and industry trends.
“Our geographic diversification is strong as we have customers in 31 countries on six continents,” Shute says. “By positioning ourselves with a product line that improves efficiency and safety while serving customers who are drilling complex and technically demanding wells we believe that we will be among the last impacted by falling commodity prices. We are proceeding cautiously, but optimistically, too.”
Sylvestre matches Shute in his close observation of the market.
“We are always aware of the ramification of falling prices,” he says. “If customers want to cut back to save money, we can help them with that, too, so we are a viable solution no matter where the market is headed.”
In May 2014 Volant’s oil tools division signed a cooperation agreement aimed to increase the use of the Volant CRT on Drillmec rigs; in particular the HH Series and the new AHEAD rig. The mechanical operation of the Volant CRT eliminates the need for a control panel, third party operator and separate hydraulic connection, which simplifies integration into the drilling rig and enables casing jobs to performed “hands off” with an unmanned rig floor.
In step with fulfilling customers’ needs, Volant invests in their people who make the products and processes that are behind their success. It shapes company policy to benefit employee stability in the long-term instead of mass layoffs during downturns and rapid hiring during economic booms. This benefits customers who enjoy technical continuity and long-lasting relationships with their employees.
“We recognize a slowdown as an opportunity to demonstrate value to our customers and attract good people as strategic hires,” Shute says. “Our strategy in the event of a downturn would be to shift resources from production to sharpening our processes to make us better. Teamwork is more than just an important word at Volant and it is my job to keep the teams strong for the benefit of our people and our customers.”