Big skid and big plans to revive ALX pumping units

Estevan – On Sept. 17, Waterflood Production Systems (WPS) loaded out its largest skid package ever, a 27 foot by 55-foot skid heading west of Stoughton.

David Heier, general manager of WPS, said it was their largest skid ever, dimension-wise, if not weight-wise. It weighed in at 120,000 pounds.

That necessitated a lot of axles under the Bert Baxter Transport truck that carried it. The lift was performed by Skylift Services’ 245-ton Terex hydraulic crane. Multiple spreader bars were used to get the slings away from the building as it was lifted.

Heier said the skid had a 400-horsepower multistage centrifugal pump, and provisions for the eventual installation of a second, identical pump. There were two 25-bag filter assemblies installed, with provisions for two more. Access panels were placed in the roof to allow those eventual additional filter assemblies to be lowered in.

The project took about eight weeks to put together, Heier explained. It had a lot of four to 10-inch pipe, all 316 stainless steel. There were 10 to 12 people working on it, he said. Pipe welders started first, and the same week saw work start on the skid.

About three weeks before delivery, it all started coming together.

Heier said that one out of three of their packages are typically wired in-house as well, by their sister company PS Electric.

The project was welcome after a slower spring. Heier said WPS had been busy for most of the downturn. “From 2013 to March, 2018, we had a pretty good run,” he said. “We’re normally always full.”

He said on Sept. 20 that they are working on another big skid and hopefully more jobs will come through. However, Heier is looking to breathe life into something he had on the go several years ago – reviving ALX, a pumpjack company. Heier had sold off ALX, but has since bought back the drawings. The revival will be in conjunction with WPS.

They will start with finishing off 30 jacks that were nearly complete, but have been sitting for the better part of a decade. They will be sandblasted and repainted, and then completed during downtime in the WPS schedule.

“Some units were never finished,” Heier said. He intends on kickstarting new ALX pumping units in 2019, under the name Artificial Lift Werx Ltd.

“I sold it and got it back last fall,” he said. He also has new plans for future ALX pumping units.

Heier was the former owner of WPS, then known as Waterflood Service & Sales. Since selling the company to Harvey King, Heier has acted as general manager of WPS.

By taking advantage of slack times in WPS production, it will be beneficial for both WPS and ALX, he noted.

Two years ago WPS moved to the former brickyard on the southeast corner of Estevan into a new, leased building. That’s where the work on the pumping units will take place.

Heier said he has a partner in Vancouver to handle castings for new pumping units. He’s trying to bring in suppliers as partners.

The net result will be the final units being manufactured in Estevan. “I put the puzzle together,” he said.

Showing growing confidence in the industry, Heier said, “I think, going into 2019, we’ll see some real stability. It won’t be feast and famine.”



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