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Company Reports - Sure Flow Consulting Services  

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Sure Flow Consulting Services

Providing top talent and expertise to Big Oil leaders

Laura Clapper

Providing top talent and expertise to Big Oil leaders


Sure Flow Consulting was created in 1992 to supply experienced well site supervisors to the oil and gas sector that operates in Western Canada. Eighteen years later, the company has expanded their repertoire to include drilling, construction and environmental supervision throughout the industry. In 2004, Sure Flow President, Steve Jessome and Vice President, Warren Lamb joined with Barry Chappell, Business Development Manager to create Sure Flow Oilfield Services Inc. in order to diversify and provide field and plant operations personnel.

Sure Flow is headquartered in Bonnyville, Alberta, where Jessome and Chappell carry out their roles as well as a field office in the Cold Lake area, which is maintained by Lamb. Management strongly feels that a business will only succeed by integrating key personnel within the client base, including placing a Sure Flow representative in Calgary to ensure their existing client’s needs are met and to pursue additional business opportunities. Though located in different offices, Senior Management, Jessome, Lamb and Chappell are in constant communication with one another to ensure they are meeting the expectations of all of their clients. Taking advantage of today’s technology, senior management’s communication has recently been enhanced with the recent expansion of their head office in Bonnyville. The office now serves as a single in-house training centre upgraded to include video and teleconference technology.

Both Lamb and Jessome were well site supervisors in the past. “When we got together, we said ‘How can we be successful in this business and not have the people that work with us looking over their shoulders for a better opportunity,” says Jessome. The duo devised a three pronged approach: lowest overhead, additional support and transitioning personnel into different areas during down times. As a result, a significant amount of their staff has been with the company since its inception in 1992.

Sure Flow Consulting and Sure Flow Oilfield Services work together to supply contract personnel to supervise and operate oil and gas wells in the field and work in the plants to generate steam and process the oil. “We’ve become a major supplier of well site supervisors and operational personnel throughout the primary and heavy oil divisions in North Eastern Alberta and North Western Saskatchewan, as well as the Western Provinces and overseas, including the Middle East,” says Lamb.

SAFETY FIRST

Sure Flow has spent a tremendous amount of energy, money and time to ensure that they have the best safety record in the industry. “The biggest determining factor in the success of our business is to ensure that we have the best possible safety record in the industry,” says Jessome. “We look at it as an investment not an expense.” The company comprehensively trains each employee to prepare them for the job site and follows up the training with safety meetings and contact on a regular basis.

The Canadian government required key stakeholders in the oil industry to come together to create occupational health and safety standards in response to onsite injuries. Under the guidelines, each company is required to devise a Health, Safety & Environmental Program that meets the strict criteria established by Enform, the oil patch industry regulator who along with industry establishes the Industry Recommended Practices (IRP’s). Once the program had been developed, companies are audited annually, with a comprehensive audit every third year.

Major oil companies developed relationships with specialized safety service providers which handle the reporting and tracking duties which can be accessed by many different clients. Companies would register with this company, who would track the safety and company information including insurance, man hours and other pertinent information. Over time, several service providers were formed, including ISNetworld, ComplyWorks and CanQual to track the compliance of companies like Sure Flow. In turn, Sure Flow is required to register with each service provider to ensure that the clients have access to the same information. In the end, Sure Flow is audited by each tracking company in addition to Enform.

Sure Flow developed an OHS manual that is state-of-the-art and hired a Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Manager to assess and enhance the company’s existing policies during the economic downturn. Management chairs monthly safety meetings and make regular documented trips to the field. “Our efforts have paid off and we’ve brought in new customers because of our full compliance with the service providers,” says Lamb. In addition to attracting new clients, Sure Flow was one of only seven hundred companies to be awarded a BEST SAFETY PERFORMER designation by the Alberta government in 2008. Sure Flow also has established relationships with Occupational Health and Safety and the Energy Resources Conservation Board, further enhancing their reputation within the oil industry. The company is in the process of revising their health and safety program, putting their manual on CDs and uploading it to their website for easy personnel access anywhere, anytime.

COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Sure Flow is not only dedicated to their workers, they are dedicated to the environment as well. “There’s a strong focus here in Canada about protecting the environment,” says Lamb. “It’s just good business to develop policies that meet or exceed the government and oil companies’ expectations.”

Sure Flow has become specialists in North Eastern Alberta in dealing with thermal well kills or down hole well control problems which requires specialized mud and kill procedures. They assist their clients in designing well control procedures and provide their personnel to supervise the well kill operations. This experience coupled with a quick and efficient response eliminates and or greatly reduces any chance of creating any damage to the environment. The company’s attention to developing effective well kill procedures solidifies the expertise that their team brings to the table—expertise that their clients have come to rely upon in the oil field and in the office.

ON THE HORIZON

The oil industry is facing a few challenges, namely the reduction in skilled labour. Due to the significant and rapid growth of our companies over the past few years, one of our challenges has been to continue to acquire skilled labour that meet with our high standards and our client’s needs and expectations. Sure Flow is facing this challenge through relationships with colleges, trade schools and universities in Alberta.

Sure Flow’s highest level of activity primarily is located in North East Alberta. When the bottom fell out of the price of natural gas, fortunately the activity level remained steady, unlike other areas in Western Canada. “The area is making a profit, as opposed to most areas in Western Canada where the rig utilization has been the worst that it has been since the 1980s,” says Jessome. The majority of Sure Flow’s business is in the heavy oil sector of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the tar sands and SAGD projects have made the news recently. In fact, tar sands and SAGD projects will probably sustain the area for the next 20 to 50 years. Major oil companies are conducting projects in the area to tap into this resource.

Sure Flow is in the midst of revising their business plans to focus on diversification and expansion of the services they provide. Ideally, they would like to find a niche in the marketplace to prepare for when the market rebounds. “We feel we are positioned, both geographically and personnel-wise, to really take advantage of the resurgence in activity in heavy oil and tar sand territory in Alberta and Saskatchewan,” Lamb says.



 

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