The TechRev Innovators list, sponsored by Innovate Calgary, recognizes technology innovators across a wide range of industries for outstanding technologies, applications, and stories. This year marks the awards in its sixth incarnation. The nomination deadline is on August 24, and the TechRev Innovators 2015 event will be held on October 7.
The criteria for the list states that the nominees must be headquartered in southern Alberta. Companies may be at any stage of development and must offer Showbox working products or services with tech-based commercial enterprises. They are then grouped into categories for pre-revenue and early-stage, growth stage, and leadership and broken down further into specific tech areas. Companies are evaluated on a number of factors such as financial performance, operational growth, and market viability. Nominees need to have the potential to achieve significant revenues and can be private or public ventures with external investors. For this reason, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and Lifestyle companies are ineligible.
One of the winners on the TechRev 2014 list was Packers Plus, a company that specializes in open-hole, multi-stage completion systems for horizontal, vertical, multi-lateral, and high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) oil and gas wells that present technical challenges. To qualify as one out of eleven names on the award list, Packers Plus had to compete with 600 other nominees. “We are honored that Packers Plus has been presented an award for TechRev Innovator 2014,” said CEO Dan Themig on reception of the award. “The competition from the other nominees was outstanding and we are proud to stand out as one of Calgary’s most innovative companies.”
Packers Plus was celebrated for being an established leader and innovator in the industry and recognized for developing the StackFRAC system. StackFRAC is the first ball show box system used to complete horizontal wells in multiple stages and enabled operators to maximize production in tight rock formations and mature fields. Packers Plus has revolutionized the industry through these horizontal wells and gas plays.
The Calgary-based company was founded in 2000 by Dan Themig, Ken Paltzat, and Peter Krabben with the focus to provide innovative completions solutions to operators in the oil and gas industry. In 2001 the StackFRAC system was introduced, allowing access to shale gas that had not been monetarily feasible to produce in the past.
In 2004, operators started evaluating the use of StackFRAC to tap natural gas from the Bakken play in Canada, which oil producers had long ago dismissed as inviable. That same year in Texas, Packers Plus installed the RapidMATRIX system—acid stimulation in carbonates using limited, entry to evenly distribute stimulation fluid across isolated intervals. In 2005, they opened a second office in Houston.
By 2007, Packers Plus had completed wells in Saudi Arabia, China, Mexico, Argentina, Romania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the prairies and for all of Canada, in 2009.
The company developed the QuickFRAC system in 2010, which uses limited entry to selectively stimulate multiple stages with a single treatment from the surface. The system was designed to evenly distribute batch fractures in a select zone of the wellbore. That year also launched the SF Cementor, used for cemented-back monobore completions to reduce debris issues and post-cement cleanout costs.
After opening new offices in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and China, Packers Plus moved into its MX Manufacturing Centre in Edmonton in 2013. The facility was the first of its kind because of the use of robotic assembly, and by testing a torquing system with a proprietary traceability method.
Today, Packers Plus continues to be an innovative leader in the oil and gas industry. In May, the company announced the launch of the ePLUS Retina monitoring system. The technology will be used to observe downhole events and their effects on the reservoir. “Uncertainty in downhole operations can lead to costly delays,” says Themig. “In the current context, the Retina system will allow operators to make on-the-fly operational adjustments with real-time data, ensuring a successful stimulation and maximum cost savings.”
This year, Packers Plus celebrates 15 years within the oil and gas industry. “Our future is innovation, a long-term focus, trying to anticipate where the industry is headed and then really be a key supplier and a good company to do business with for our customers,” stated Themig in an article published in 2013. “Our continued role into the future is to bring game-changing innovation to markets around the world instead of just in North America. We’re a strong force in the industry right now.” Packers Plus has more than delivered on that role, and will hopefully do so for many years to come.
From The OGM, Happy Anniversary Packers Plus, congratulations on your achievement, and thank you for your continuing insight and development of innovative technology in oil and gas.
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