Jacam Catalyst’s expertise, innovation, and strategic network are fueling new market wins  

Headquartered in Midland, Texas, Jacam Catalyst is a leading manufacturer and full-service provider of oilfield chemicals. Strategically positioned with more than 50 locations across the US, the business offers a full range of oilfield chemical manufacturing, blending, formulating, and analysis, as well as research and development (R&D) capabilities.  

Jacam Catalyst combines the expertise and heritage of two businesses: Jacam Chemicals, which was founded in 1982, and Catalyst Oilfield Services, which was established in 2005. Following the merger of these companies in January 2021, Jacam Catalyst now employs over 1100 people in the US and is a subsidiary of CES Energy Solutions Corporation, which boasts an annual revenue of $2 billion traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).  

To learn more about the company’s recent successes and subsequent investments, Energy, Oil & Gas speaks to Vern Disney, President of Jacam Catalyst. Having co-founded Catalyst Oilfield Services in 2005 and later merged with Jacam Chemicals, Vern is well-equipped to share the company’s story and latest investment, as well as discuss ever-increasing market demand.  

“As the largest production chemical company in the Permian Basin and the second largest production chemical company operating on US land, we offer an extensive portfolio of more than 800 products,” Vern begins.  

Indeed, Jacam Catalyst’s innovative products include chemical applications for oil and gas production, drill pipe and completion, stimulation, pipeline, and midstream specialty needs, as well as deepwater applications for the Gulf of Mexico, meaning the company operates in all major oil and gas basins.   

Products and people 

Part of its commitment to be a leader in the industry sees Jacam Catalyst operate multiple laboratories, which are strategically located across the US to provide field engineers with rapid analytical and performance data. At over 50,000 square feet of combined space, the labs include state-of-the-art ICPs, GCs, scanning electron microscopes, dynamic scale loops, corrosion autoclaves, and product performance test equipment.  

With such comprehensive laboratory capabilities, Jacam Catalyst’s R&D team can quickly produce specialty products and focus on product development alongside providing established and proven chemicals. Its highly specialized chemistry includes chemicals made into solid balls and pellets, flowback defoamers, H2S scavenger chemistry and equipment, and SuperCorr (a binary corrosion inhibitor), in addition to many other products for all production related problems. 

Aside from products, the company prides itself on customer service, and its loyal customer base has remained with Jacam Catalyst through its evolution. So, it comes as no surprise that the business has received the highest customer loyalty rating in the industry for four consecutive years, according to Kimberlite Research’s 2023 production chemicals supplier performance survey.  

Considering the production environment, the business is equally passionate about protecting the health and safety of its employees. “Embracing the value that commitment to culture begins at the top, our leadership team work to create a culture where all individuals take ownership and responsibility for establishing a healthy, safe working environment for all personnel, including the public, property, and wider environment,” Vern explains.   

This commitment to safety also extends to fleet management. With over 900 powered units and 500 trailers, Jacam Catalyst has implemented a new Safety Management System to improve training assignments, vehicles inspections, and driver interaction, as well as a long-term partnership with Liberty Mutual to provide classroom training on the five principles of good driving. 

With the principles of safety, service, quality, and innovation at its core, the business continues to experience incredible growth, especially with market demand rapidly increasing in recent years. To cope with such demand, Jacam Catalyst has invested in a series of site expansion projects that extend its production capabilities. 

“The expansion to our site in Gardendale, Texas, entails adding 16 acres of land and 18,000 square feet of operational facilities, bringing the total campus to 65 acres with 90,000 square feet of production space,” Vern explains. “To keep up with the dramatic increase in market share in the Permian Basin over the last 18 years, we’ve purchased numerous tracts of land and bolstered our portfolio of manufacturing space.  

“This additional land will support a greater capacity of manufacturing, laboratory activities, and general operations for over 600 employees in the Permian Basin. Such expansion is testament to our increasing footprint and ability to deliver top-notch, cost-effective products to our loyal customers. We must ensure that we remain well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities as they arise.”  

Enhanced efficiency and capacity 

In addition, the business has also completed a chemical reaction expansion project at its Sterling, Kansas, site. “This project includes the implementation of a new system and the installation of several new blend tanks, which will increase the plant’s capacity for phosphonates by 50 percent while simultaneously lowering manufacturing costs,” Vern elaborates. “The new chemical reaction system includes proprietary temperature control and distillation and agitation systems that make the reaction more efficient and provide incredible high-quality products. 

“The system’s equipment consists of a 2000-gallon glass-lined reactor, condenser, heat exchanger, and a magnetically driven pump, all of which are connected by Teflon-lined piping. The materials for each piece of equipment were custom designed to withstand the harsh conditions of high temperature and low pH. Engineered by our in-house chemical experts and assembled by the fabrication team, the system underwent startup testing in August 2023 and later successfully produced an initial batch of phosphonate. The scale-up to full production is set for the coming weeks, with an anticipated additional production capacity of 400,000 pounds per month.” 

Sharing more details on the chemical system, Vern continues: “The phosphonate reactor was built immediately following the completion of a large blend tank expansion project, which included the installation of a tank capable of blending batches over 8000 gallons. These new tanks will assist in increasing our capacity while also improving the efficiency and quality control of our blended chemicals.  

“Our chemical engineers created a thermal system connected to the blend tanks to control system temperatures for optimal blending conditions. The innovative design not only facilitates waste reduction, shorter rinse times, and heightened efficiency, but also elevates production capacity by 1.3 million gallons per month.” 

As our conversation draws to a close, Vern shares Jacam Catalyst’s plans for the future. “We have grown considerably over the last ten years and our expectation is that we will see continued growth within our existing customer base, in addition to new market wins.  

“This year, we are anticipating a record year for market share and revenue, based upon our momentum in providing cost-effective solutions for our customers,” he concludes. “Further, we expect to be the largest provider of production chemicals in the North American market within five years.”