Oil and gas production has created a business opportunity for Industrial Systems, Inc., which is building water holding tanks for fracking operations. The tanks have been shipped to the eastern plains of Colorado, as well as Utah, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and North Dakota.
The durable steel tanks are leased or sold to producers through a third party. The largest measures 178 feet across and holds 2.3 million gallons of water.
ISI has also built a process plant from the ground up for an oil shale exploration project in the Piceance Basin, as well as a variety of other projects involving fabrication with steel or mechanical piping. The firm installs metal buildings and repairs mine equipment, trucks and other vehicles.
Slowly but surely, ISI has been adding new equipment, expanding its shop and adding employees. Glenn Lewis, director of construction, said the Colorado Workforce Center has been a great help in finding employees. Through a state grant, Dale Ann Suckow, program manager for Empowering Dads for Hire Colorado, provides temporary employees at no cost to ISI. Then, if the employees are a good match, they're added to ISI's payroll.
"We accept the working dads as laborers/trainees, and when they prove out, we hire them full time," Lewis explained. "Almost all of the workers Dale Ann has signed up with us have been hired at the end of their initial time period. This has been a 'win-win' for all concerned."
"There is no commitment for the employer to hire at the end of the subsidized time period," Suckow explained, "but we do try to find the best match possible."
Lewis says he prefers to hire locally because area residents are more likely to stick with the job and less likely to be late for work because of car trouble or road conditions.
ISI has just under 50 full-time employees and augments its staff with welders, fitters and fabricators as needed.
During a tour of the shop at the base of Brickyard Hill, Lewis points out the steel panels that fit together to form the water tank. They're made of 3/8" thick steel which is curved. Each panel measures 6x40 feet. They're connected using a patented zipper system and stacked two high to create a 12-foot-deep well that's lined with heavy plastic. The tanks are movable, but with directional drilling a tank can remain in place for several weeks as crews drill 22 to 24 wells off one site.
It takes three to four trucks to transport the tank components, which is a huge improvement over other temporary storage tanks that can require up to 125 truckloads.
The tanks are filled with water that's typically trucked in from a well or river. The flowback water that comes back out of the well has to be treated. Lewis explains ISI is working with a company to put a system in place to clean the water so it doesn't have to be hauled and injected into deep wells. The goal is to wind up with water that's so clean it can be put back on a farmer's field.
Production water that comes up with natural gas must also be captured and hauled off. A treatment system would be an exciting development and a potential boon for farmers short of water.
To meet the demand for the water containment systems, ISI is adding new equipment and making plans to expand the main shop to improve work flow. First, though, crews have to finish a massive silo-type settling tank for Geneva Rock near Salt Lake City.
ISI was founded in 1991 by Bob Isom and has built a reputation for engineering and construction solutions for the mine, oil, gas and power industries across the U.S. But these days, ISI prefers to keep its crews closer to home. A trucking company is contracted to transport the tanks to the oil fields, where they're assembled by local roustabouts.blog comments powered by Disqus