A bright outlook

Since its last inclusion in European Oil & Gas Magazine, Geokrak has continued to deliver a Western style of geological services to Poland, while expanding outward in to other markets globally.

The company continues to push into the oil and gas sector and its comprehensive portfolio of equipment and services has earned it a high level of regard.

Geokrak has enjoyed continued momentum since its formation in 1992, despite initially contending with a market that was slow to adapt to the services it offered. However, the company was awarded its first major contract in 1994 working on a coal bed methane project for Amoco, and its expert services have ensured that it has continued to be awarded new contracts with an ever-growing list of customers. More recently, in 2012 the company embarked on major work in the market of geological services related to shale gas exploration in Poland. Geokrak’s geologists were present on 29 of over 30 shale gas wells drilled in Poland in 2012, meaning that around 90 per cent of geographical service requirements were trusted to the company. Almost all the companies involved in shale gas exploration in Poland (Marathon, Talisman, ENI, BNK, Lane/Conoco, Orlen, POGC, San Leon) used Geokrak’s services, and at the same time the company was undertaking work for several other businesses globally including, OMV, Eni and Oxy Oman and Saudi Aramco.

The company’s history in working with Western partners throughout Europe has given it crucial experience and a unique perspective in working within culturally different markets. “At every stage of development in the company we have gained very good partners in Western Europe such as Petrolog in the Netherlands, GeoData in Germany and Kirk Petrophysics in the UK,” explains chief executive officer Jan Purchla.

“These partners introduced us to Western standards of service, which gave us an advantage compared to other Polish companies as from the very beginning we co-operated closely with other operators to learn from them and introduce them to the Polish market, and vice versa,” he adds.

Geokrak’s experience has continued to bolster the company and has allowed it to migrate its services outside of Europe, with 2013 seeing it expand its operations in to North Africa. Drawing on its years of experience Geokrak is able to deliver standardised service packs to even the most remote locations, meaning that engineers are able to begin work quickly with first-rate equipment and strong technical support. What differentiated the company in the project in Africa was that for the first time it was focused on training local personnel and was able to co-ordinate the operation using modern communication channels, including a Skype service. This allowed the business a combination of strategic flexibility and unlimited access to its core knowledge base from its headquarters in Poland.

The company’s growth into new markets is ultimately underpinned by its experience in its core services and the quality of the equipment at its disposal. It is able to provide geological services, mud logging, core analytical services, environmental studies, mapping, desorption, and well site services. Geokrak provides a complete package of services within the field of geotechnical engineering; it offers investigative designs, appraisals and evaluations, and in-situ testing procedures to provide complete sampling profiles. Complimenting these services, the company offers geological mapping and digital analysis solutions to its clients. By coupling archived satellite images and modern GPS technology Geokrak is able to produce results in accordance to the operator’s geographic information system (GIS).

The company’s desorption services have become highly sought after within the European oil and gas market. Throughout 2012 it worked with several companies to provide the service including Dart Energy, Talisman Energy, OMV, PGNiG, Wintershall, CSG Energy Limited, ENI and Marathon. Geokrak began its work with desorption in the 1990s based on methods it had learned while working with Amoco, and has since developed this technology further in the measurement of gas content in shale and coal beds. This is a crucial technology in making estimations of potential reserves. “Today we have our own state-of-the-art equipment and procedures, so this is something special that we can offer to the oil and gas industry,” explains Jan.

“We take shale or coal samples, place these into canisters which are then heated to reservoir temperature, and we then measure the levels of gas released. With the developments we have made in our equipment we can provide very accurate measurements to our clients, and are also working on our lost gas calculation method to further improve this.”

Geokrak also offers uncompromisingly high standards in its other areas like site geology and mud logging. To ensure that these standards are maintained the company continually invests in training and improving its laboratory facilities. Personnel often attend geographic courses within the UK in co-operation with Stag Geological, and the company’s own laboratory is supported by facilities in Germany (GEO-data laboratory) to ensure that Geokrak is able to deliver exceptionally accurate data analysis.

Moving forward, shale gas remains of key interest to the company. As operators like Shell and others seek to develop the possibilities of shale gas, Geokrak aims to provide the range of services necessary to this option. An important advantage to the company is Poland’s attitude towards shale, as Jan elaborates: “We are fortunate in Poland that there still remains a very good attitude towards shale gas exploration, backed by the support of the government,” he says. “We see shale exploration as a major opportunity, not just for Poland, but for Europe as a whole, for the geological sector and other areas of industry like pipelines.” At present shale gas exploration remains heavily regulated within Europe, however Geokrak believes that if managed correctly, shale gas exploration can be conducted in a way that is beneficial to the oil and gas industry and safe for the environment.

Services: Expert geological services