Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.
All right. Today, we’re in Houston and it’s cold for Houston, it’s like 50 degrees outside. And we’re sitting here with Charles with Hanby PetroAnalysis.
How are you doing, Charles?
Charles: Good. How are you, Mark?
Mark: I’m doing awesome. So y’all do some really fascinating stuff that would actually affect the entire industry, but you have a very cool story about one of the major independents.
Charles: Yeah. It’s a story where we had Hess Oil asked us if we could tell the difference in the Bakken and the Three Forks. That’s two formations up in North Dakota and that’s primary part of their business. And we told them absolutely we could, but they had told us that they’ve been told that by numerous companies and nobody’s been able to produce the results. So, we said, “Well, just go ahead and give us the 2-inch plugs.” And so, they gave us 32-inch plugs and gave them nothing but a number and said, do your analysis of them and come back and tell us what you find.
So, we did so and we grouped them based on the way the spectra looked and we went and gave a presentation to thirty geologists which was scheduled for an hour in downtown Houston at their office. Well, our one hour meeting turned into two-and-a-half hours because we blew their mind that not only spectroscopically could we tell the difference on the Bakken and Three Forks, but more importantly they took us down to the basement where they had a sidewalk core laid out and beneath it they had all their fluorescence data.
And right off the bat, we are looking at the fluorescence data and it showed that the source rock of both the Bakken and the Three Forks was not fluorescing and that’s the big tool that everybody uses in oil and gas is fluorescence. And we said, that’s interesting, you know, because our findings were there was five times more hydrocarbon in those source rocks of both the Bakken and Three Forks and they had focused their efforts away from it.
And the geologist was like, “How could that be? That doesn’t make any sense, you know, it did fluoresce.” And at that time, we said we didn’t have the answer, so we went on with our presentation and just showed them, but we told them in our presentation that we actually had to dilute the samples from the Bakken and Three Forks source rocks five times just to bring the spectra in range with these other spectra from the upper and lower Bakken and the upper and lower Three Forks.
Forty five minutes later we got back to laboratory after our two-and-a-half-hour presentation and my grandfather pulled out a textbook and found the answer, there was graphite in the source rock of both the Bakken and Three Forks which massed its ability to fluoresce. And so, we said, you know, at one-seventh the cost of drilling a new well, you guys should go revisit some old wells and some cores that you have stored in warehouses around the country because you are looking in the wrong spots. So, that blew their minds.
Mark: Yeah. So, you spent a lot of stuff that maybe only geologists or petrochemical people understand. So, you’re actually able to tell the difference in the actual oil that came out the two source rocks?
Charles: Absolutely. In fact, oils from oil are called crude A, B, and C, the only thing that makes crude oils different from each other is the level of aromatics that are present in them. And, even from say if you gave here in Texas the big thing is Eagle Ford shale, if you gave me ten samples of Eagle Ford shale, we can literally tell you which well it came from because 98% to 99% of the curve shape is going to be the same, it’s that 1% to 2% difference which will actually tell you which formation it’s from or which well it’s from.
Mark: Now, in this low crude price, you ran over something that seen kind of minor, but I think it’s major. So, in this low crude price everybody’s worried about efficiencies especially the operators. You can actually go back and tell them where is the more productive areas to drill versus the less productive areas to drill. Is that true?
Charles: That’s absolutely correct and we can tell you where the formation is. So, it can be done post, so where you go revisit old wells or it can be done real time too. We could actually by testing the mud in and out while drilling, steer will guide you to keep you in the formation so you know you when you’re in the formation and when you’re not. Or, like you mentioned in this low oil prices, we can go back to these stored cores that you have all over the country and warehouses doing nothing, we could do those and tell you where you missed where you’re looking in the wrong spot and where you should have been and you can go revisit those wells.
Mark: So, this is like huge, right? So, right now they’re out there either spraying and praying when they’re drilling, right? Or they’re doing geo steering which is expensive. You can actually guide that drill bit to stay in the hydrocarbon rich rock?
Charles: That’s right by just testing the mud on the way in and on the way out and correlating it for mud lag or the time for the mud circulation. And the interesting part is as the mud is circulating, you’re constantly picking up more and more crude oil in your mud as it’s circulating. That’s why it’s important to test the mud on the way in and on the way out and then taking the delta and correlating it to depth level and you know exactly where you are in the formation.
Mark: So, folks, you know, we’ve talked a lot about this low crude price driving a lot of adaptation and new technologies. If you’re an operator out there, did you hear what he just said? This is a new technology which is actually not that new.
Charles: Well, that’s the interesting part is for the last 29 years, we’ve been an environmental company, we’re Hanby Environmental. And so, this chemical reaction that we do, we’ve been doing for 29 years, it’s time- tested and proven. It’s just we’ve replaced it with a visual method in our environmental company and we’ve replaced the human eye with a UV/Vis spectrometer to read that color now. So, it standardizes it and gets that unique spectral curve shape and we use that as the identifier and then we do an area beneath the curve calculation to get the concentration level.
So, it’s not new, it’s time-tested and proven from our environmental company. We’ve been documented by the EPA, the US Army Corps of Engineers. We’ve been published by the EPA over a hundred times, so it’s definitely time-tested and proven. It’s just we’re just now new to the oil and gas industry and that’s why when we first approach the oil and gas industry as Hanby Environmental, they gave us the cold shoulder, so we rebranded ourselves to Hanby PetroAnalysis and that’s why we’re just now focusing to the oil and gas industry.
Mark: Yeah. So, old technology, new application.
Mark: Yeah. And this is an application that drives dollars, folks. So, if people want to find out more about what you do, where should they go?
Charles: They can go to HanbyPetroAnalysis.com or they can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find us on LinkedIn, find us on Facebook, just google Hanby and you’ll either find the environmental company or the Hanby PetroAnalysis.
Mark: Yeah. And, folks we’ll put a link in the show notes so you don’t have to taking any notes.
Look, thank you so much for your time today.
Charles: All right. Thanks, Mark. I appreciate it.
Mark: Folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.