New technology is Oil Show's hallmark

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Oct. 3—The fast-approaching 2023 Permian Basin International Oil Show is generating a lot of anticipation as the bounceback exhibition from the pandemic and the greatest biennial display of important new technology that the energy industry has even seen.

With the national emphasis on protecting the environment being greater than ever, the technology that's on its way to the Ector County Coliseum Oct. 17-19 reflects that. The theme is "Where Innovation and Technology Meet Permian Grit!"

"The significance of the Oil Show to me is the tradition and love for our industry that our board and attendees exemplify every other year when it is put on," said Odessa oilman Kirk Edwards, who was the show president in 2002. "I can remember as a young kid going to the show and seeing and grabbing as many things as I could so I could show them off at school the next day.

"Little did I know at that time that this show attracts some 40,000 visitors and educates them on the latest and greatest technologies along with reacquainting old friendships and starting new ones. My dad Bill was on the board some 70 years ago."

Edwards said the exhibition has grown in stature and importance over the years and it makes a big economic impact "on all our West Texas communities when it's going on.

"I hope everyone involved in the energy business will take the time to come out on one of the three days we are having the show," he said.

President Larry Richards said the PBIOS "has such an incredibly rich history of introducing new technologies and innovations to our industry.

"Dating back to the 1940s the show has been the premier showcase of the latest and greatest products and services for the onshore oil and gas industry," he said. "The past decade has seen the Permian evolve into the epicenter of innovation and productivity for our entire industry and this year's show Oct. 17-19 puts all that new tech into one place.

"About 750 exhibitors will showcase their latest innovations over 25 acres from electrification of the big iron to water management to the reduction of emissions. As I speak to exhibitors, I'm amazed at some of cool new tech we'll see."

For example, Richards said, Cimarron Inc. will highlight its new partnership with CleanConnectAi and show how the companies have coupled their flares, vapor recovery units and emissions control equipment on well sites with camera technologies and machine learning.

"Their cameras watch a flare and then use an algorithm to ramp the variable frequency drive to increase or decrease the air intake on the flare based on how clean it's burning," he said. "It uses machine learning to determine how each action affects the flare burn and it can modify the intake in real time.

"Their new cameras can be used for both detection and quantification and they create a digital twin of the well site that is monitored 24/7 for emissions and compliance. AI is also used to compare how a VRU or flare is working versus expectations and to drive predictive maintenance and run times."

Richards said the Odessa-based Slater Controls will showcase its latest generation-leveling technologies that eliminate the need for high-cost installation equipment on site and effectively capture data real time for better management decisions on tank levels and tank maintenance.

"With their new flexible probe technology the need for cranes and cherry pickers has been eliminated," he said. "Warren Cat is converting the industry's big iron from diesel to natural gas and they will display Caterpillar's new 2,500-horsepower dual fuel engine, which uses 80 percent natural gas."

Richards explained that the big iron are truck-mounted hydraulic fracturing units of 2,500 horsepower and above along with drilling rigs, big construction equipment, huge pumps and big engines.

"It's pretty easy to use natural gas or electric power on equipment below 1,000 horsepower," he said. "Anything bigger has historically used diesel due to the high energy density of diesel when burned. These breakthroughs using dual fuel with 80 percent natural gas and 20 percent diesel for up to 4,000 horsepower on demand are a really big deal."

He said the industry is now seeing the big iron of over 1,000 HP convert to using stranded field gas or electric power with the electric power often driven by stranded field gas converted to electricity in the field by monster new mobile natural gas generation sets.

"The emission reduction for a typical frac spread of 18 to 26 engine-driven pumps is huge, not to mention the benefit of using stranded gas and the reduction in fuel cost," Richards said, adding that the Dragon Products Co. will show its new four-megawatt natural gas generator set.

"Many of our remote sites in the Permian struggle with no electric power infrastructure or 'dirty power' that can damage sensitive electronic equipment," he said. "This monster 60-foot enclosed gen set is the next generation in clean field power and it is a great example of the type of innovations that this year's attendees can explore."