Two Oklahoma oil-field manufacturing companies have teamed up to meet a challenge half a world away.
MH Industry, an oil drilling company in Kazakhstan, needed a tough rig able to withstand the strenuous environment of Central Asia.
The company found its answer in Oklahoma.
“Initially we were considering a lot of alternative proposals from major worldwide manufacturers,” said Nurzhan Atchibayev, deputy general production director at MH Industry. “We chose this rig because of its technical specs. The customizing of this rig makes it different from our existing fleet in operation.”
Enid-based GEFCO Inc. provided the rig, and Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Rig Fabricators outfitted it to protect its equipment and crew from the harsh Kazakhstan elements.
“It has to be able to withstand temperatures from 40 below zero to 140, and altitudes of 5,000 feet,” said Steve Jones, a salesman at Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Rig Fabricators. “Kazakhstan has all the challenges of working on the (Alaska) North Slope, in west Texas and in the Rockies.”
The Oklahoma City company outfitted the machinery with heaters and with steel and vinyl to hold in the heat if the rig is operating in cold temperatures. The walls can be removed in warmer weather.
The rig also has to be highly mobile, with the ability of moving from one drilling location to another in one day.
To accomplish that feat, GEFCO and Oklahoma Rig Fabricators had to find innovative ways to design and build the two 160,000-pound mud pumps.
“This rig has a smaller footprint than others of its size,” said Greg Jeter, international sales manager at GEFCO. “It is designed with that in mind to be able to go after the type of drilling they do today. The rig is totally portable. That makes it very rare.”
The rig will replace three of the Kazakhstan company's existing Chinese and Russian-made rigs. GEFCO said it plans to add another eight to 10 rigs in the next few years.
GEFCO has more than 300 employees and has been in business for more than 81 years. Oklahoma Rig Fabricators has 35 full time employees and has been in business since 2000.
The project is the first the two companies have worked on together.
“This is the first time we've built a portable rig. We joined together with their engineers to develop it,” said Mike Marshall, Oklahoma Rig Fabricators chairman. “We've done cold weather before so that wasn't a problem.”
Central Asia is becoming an increasingly important focus for the oil industry, said Firdavs Nazarov, sales director at Prom Machinery, an authorized dealer for GEFCO in Central Asia. Companies in the area increasingly are looking to American equipment, he said.
“In Kazakhstan, drilling costs and overhead costs are becoming very expensive,” Nazarov said. “Mobility and fast drilling can save the costs. The customer can drill more holes with this rig. That's absolutely important in terms of the overhead costs, savings and making better profits.
“The fastest drilling rigs today are in the U.S. market.”