​CHOA Sharecase: A first-ever event connecting producers and technology providers

This article is part of the Spring 2018 edition of the Journal of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association.

The first ever Canadian Heavy Oil Association (CHOA) Vendor Sharecase was held on Feb. 22 at the University of Calgary's downtown campus.

Canada's heavy oil industry is on its way to achieve three million bbls/d, noted CHOA president Scott Rempel.

He said the association continues to play an important role for the industry by accelerating careers, knowledge and relationships.

Past-president Gerald Bruce introduced the speakers and the participating companies, commenting that these should be called “technology providers” rather than vendors.

The event attendance was around 130 people and provided great opportunity for networking among industry peers. Audience were kept interested throughout and asked many incisive questions of the presenters.
Here's a look at what the technology providers had to offer.

Tundra Process Solutions

Presenter: Andrew Brice

Tundra Process Solutions' SSI Artificial Lift Division has designed and built technologies for use on oil and gas wells. One technology is the Intelligent Lift System, which works on the principle of a long slow stroke.

The stroke length can be up to 372” and strokes per minute can be controlled down to a “jog mode” through the use of digital interface, and a patented algorithm that can vary pump speed multiple times during the stroke. It is believed that this system will reduce operating costs due to lower power consumption, and less failures due to rod and pump problems.

SSI has also developed a track-back system that allows the pump to be slid back for faster workovers. SSI claimed the pump can be moved within 15 minutes manually, and the tracks will allow precise repositioning very easily.


Presenter: Ryan Warrington

ABB presented its Ability system which is a unified cross-industry digital capability – extending from device to edge to cloud. ABB demonstrated how this digital platform can be applied across the entire hydrocarbon chain, and displayed phenomenal example dashboards that can be used in various facets of the oil and gas industry.


Presenter: Kyle Lagran

Kyle Lagan presented electrical resonating diaphragm (ERD) technology, which is a permanent downhole pressure and temperature monitoring solution from Promore. ERDs have been in use since 1994 and have been deployed on over 2,000 wells with a reliability of 94 percent.

The advantages of ERDs over other systems such as bubble tubes, fibre optics and piezometers were highlighted by Promore as a high temperature rating of 315 degrees Celsius, no downhole electronics, and resistance to vibration.

A case study was presented where ERD gauges were used to identify an opportunity to increase pump speed, which resulted in production gains. Promore is working on integrating these sensors with the ESP pump systems.

Blue Spark Energy

Presenter: Mike Perri

This presentation was about wireline applied stimulation pulsing (WASP) technology. This technology essentially stores electrical energy into capacitors and then discharges over microseconds into a shockwave at an amplitude millions of times greater than the source of power.

It is only for near-wellbore applications and is not designed for hydraulic fracturing. The demonstration videos were quite impressive with examples of scale removal and perforation cleanup. The technology video showed an equivalent of two AA battery power smashing a boulder into tiny pieces using WASP technology. WASP does not use chemicals therefore it is benign from an environmental perspective and effective for scales that cannot be removed chemically such as BaSO4.


Presenter: Amish Sabharwal

Amish Sabharwal presented Aveva's technology as the “Google of Engineering.” The concept is to have 3D virtual reality or digitized rendering of entire process/facilities, where operations, design and maintenance data is available in a few clicks interactively. This should result in significant gains during all stages of the process and simplify recording and accessing information.

Aveva claims that its visualization solution (Engage) can result in up to 10 percent savings in total installed cost, which is quite significant. A case study of Vista Projects claims 10-15 percent reductions in engineering man-hours during FEED, and 30-40 percent reduction in the detailed engineering phase.

Western Alliance Tubulars

Presenter: Larry Kryska

Western Alliance Tubular, which is an Aboriginal-owned company, is partnered with Hunting Energy Services to manufacture tubulars including vacuum insulated tubing (VIT), line pipe, process pipe, flanges, valves and fittings.

The company's manufacturing facility is in Edmonton and has capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes per annum. This facility has obtained API 5CT certification and is the only independent API pipe processing facility in Canada.

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