Calroc’s new lift saves money, jobs

Lloydminster – Calroc Industries Inc. is launching a new linear artificial lift that is easy to install, operate and maintain in this current low oil price environment. The new Fox 1-120-10 hydraulic pumpjack is being manufactured by Calroc and marketed as a simple, cost effective improvement to existing linear lifts for light and heavy oil.

A sample of the Fox lift was rolled out in front of Calroc’s Lloydminster shop on Jan. 13 with Conway Vidal, the shop manager and design consultant Perry St. Denis on hand to explain it. “It’s a hydraulic pumpjack to replace the traditional style pumpjack you see in the field,” said Vidal who worked closely with St. Denis during the design and build.

The finished product is simple, streamlined and aesthetically clean with a rugged industrial design built to handle the stress of handling, installation and operation. With linear lifts, a linear actuator replaces the pumpjack on traditional beam pumping units to drive the reciprocating pump to lift oil to surface. “It’s just a basic hydraulic cylinder lifting a rod up and down. There are so many ways to build that,” said Vidal about the new linear lifts on the market.

“We’ve taken that same concept and just cleaned it up a bit – got rid of some safety concerns and made it very user friendly both for installing it and for operation.” The research and development of the Fox lift was led by St. Denis who does work for Calroc out of his Blue Fox Motion Inc. company.

He is the also the former owner and head of ICI Artificial Lift in Lloydminster and called the sleek style and functions of the Fox pump jack an improvement to existing technology. “I looked at other hydraulic units that were having issues and decided to make it a little bit simpler,” he explained.

“There’s always the next step of building something better. That’s what we did.” The new lift was introduced during the Lloydminster heavy oil show last fall to what St. Denis described as a “highly energetic” market reaction. He listed safety, environmental and access for slant well applications as some of the issues plaguing existing lifts that he and Vidal sought to correct with the design of the Fox.

“The safety features are no moving crank arms and no moving weights. You don’t have bridle cables – no cables, no straps to fray or break,” said St. Denis.
“The large and accessible lifting lugs on the mast assembly are very robust.” It has built-in feet for transport and storage in the horizontal position. The safe working load is 10,000 to 20,000 lbs., depending on the model.

“The environmental footprint is the size of the wellhead,” noted St. Denis. The Fox hydraulic pumpjack works with any existing hydraulic control units which reduces costs when replacing existing pumping units. It can be purchased in a maximum stroke length of 144 inches and is designed for universal applications and all well types. All of the parts for the Fox pumpjack are locally built by different companies and assembled at Calroc’s shop for shipment worldwide.

“We’re looking at 50 plus units in the first six months,” said Vidal. The new Fox pumpjack will further diversify Calroc’s equipment and service offerings in a low oil price market from its field locations in Lloydminster and Medicine Hat. Company president Dan Echino is confident the new Fox pumpjack will help overall sales in this market downturn. “I am very excited by this new product line because it’s sexy,” he said.

“Sometimes in this oilfield market you have to have something sexy, not just bricks and cement.” He said simplicity is the main selling point of the new pumpjack with its one piece assembly for easy installation. The rod sticks out the top making an easy connection for a flushby to service the well. “I used to be an operator myself so I know it’s nice to have something that’s simple to set up, simple to maintain and simple to operate because when you’re in the field you have a lot of wells to look after,” said Echino

“You don’t have time to spend too much at each well.” Echino said the advantages of the new pumpjack should make it a good seller internationally and domestically
too. “There’s no reason why we don’t sell a lot of these in Canada. Typically, the U.S. Australia overseas and Mexico are where we’re focusing on,” he said.

“Your lifting costs per barrel are going to decrease slightly if you have no maintenance to do on your equipment.” “That definitely benefits companies because now they are making less money, so they have to do everything to cut costs.

“Plus we offer rentto- own and leasing equipment so now the oil companies instead of making one big capital purchase can make little payments every month.”
Echino said the new pumpjack fits Calroc’s diversified business profile which keeps employees busy if one part of the business slows down.

“Diversification is very important – different product lines, different services – the trucks even. I move people around all the time, and this way we want to keep people
working,” he said. “The less we can layoff in this slowdown in the industry the better, so I am trying to keep everybody working.

“I don’t say we are busy, we are steady, but we are keeping the people working. We’ll keep going limping along until the economy and the oil prices
stabilize.”

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