TEEMCO helps the oil and gas industries achieve their goals by providing one-stop shopping for all their environmental needs. CEO Greg Lorson estimates that up to 95 percent of the companies involved in the oil and gas industries obtain their environmental compliance services from independent companies and consultants.
Only five years old, TEEMCO has in that time grown to possess the highest market share of any company in its field, Lorson maintains – 18 percent. “We have several hundred competitors,” Lorson estimates. “The typical environmental engineering consultant’s profile is 10 or less employees and half-a-million or less in annual billing. We do that much billing in a week, and we’ve got 10 times the employees that the average firm has. We do not believe that being bigger makes us better, but we are bigger because we’re better.”
TEEMCO’s projects are turnkey. “We financially guarantee all of our work,”Lorson pledges. “If our clients get fined by the EPA, we pay the fine.” The confidence such a policy requires is obtained through the company’s hardware and software technology.
“We have an internal IT department, and we have developed a number of proprietary technology systems that have automated regulatory compliance,” Lorson reveals. “Within that automation, we create savings for our clients. We can do the work more quickly and accurately, and that translates into greater efficiency and fewer errors.”
Reading the Dashboard
Among the features that TEEMCO’s proprietary Envite™ software provides is an environmental compliance dashboard that enables clients to access all of their compliance documents and historic records. They also can generate new documents within that dashboard. “It’s all automated, so it works very quickly and efficiently and reduces errors by 99 percent,” Lorson maintains.
In many firms, field inspectors first write their data gathered at a site on paper, which then is entered into word processing software and spreadsheets. TEEMCO reduces human error by eliminating reentry of field engineering data. “During that process of reentry, a lot of errors can be made,” Lorson points out. “You get numbers backwards or just get the wrong number entered.”
Instead of recording the data on paper for later reentry, field inspectors enter it directly into software on their laptops. “That work is 99 percent finished the second they press send,” Lorson maintains. “Once that is done, it’s electronically relayed back to our office, where it is double- and triple-checked by our professional engineers. Once it’s finalized and has passed their scrutiny, they certify it as complete, and it’s delivered electronically with a hard copy to the client.”
Also included in the dashboard are satellite images on an intelligent mapping system of clients’ facilities. “We have a relational database built in, and all the documents related to that facility come right up,” Lorson describes. “So we have a lot of ease-of-use built in.” This feature is invaluable during a spill emergency. “Not only do you have satellite images of all the surrounding terrain, all your documents such as spill response protocols are at your fingertips.”
The software has a predictive tool that models where the spill is likely to go based on terrain and weather conditions. Methods to contain the spill can be tested in the software, and when found successful, the coordinates for construction of berms to contain the spill are provided.
The dashboard can notify the environmental manager of a facility when environmental inspections are due or a change in the facility necessitates changing its environmental documents. The software also alerts TEEMCO of changes in environmental regulations. “Our engineers review that change and make an assessment whether that change will affect the documents,” Lorson explains. “If it does, we can make all those changes through the system, and everybody’s documents are automatically updated.”
The TEEMCO Wireless Integrated Network can alert clients to any movement of their equipment through the use of bar codes or radio frequency identification tags. “When a client’s field staff moves that equipment, we know about it,” Lorson notes. “Any time you move equipment in or out of a facility, that can affect the regulations and the documents, and they have to be updated to reflect those changes.”
Via TEEMCO’s own integrated wireless network, this system can alert clients to possible thefts of their equipment. “This system will work in any part of the world – no matter how remote – because we have our own antenna system that can relay that data back to the client’s office,” Lorson maintains.
Oil Production Sensors
Additional information can be gathered from sensors installed on oil production equipment anywhere from the well head to the point of sale. “Those sensors will feed data in real time back to a client’s dashboard so the client can see what they’re producing, their pressures, temperatures, air emissions, when their oil is picked up, how much is being trucked or pipelined out and their fluid levels in their storage tanks,” Lorson says.
Such data allows an oil company to adjust its production. For example, with an accurate measurment of its air emissions in real time and its weekly, monthly and annual average emissions, the company can increase its production to the highest point at which it will not exceed air emission regulations.
This data also can be used to alert clients to the need to replace equipment that is nearing the end of its useful life. For example, if the bushings on a pump jack need to be replaced every 2 million times the jack moves, the dashboard counts each movement and can alert the client to replace the bushings before the jack reaches its limit. This can prevent oil spills.
Air Emission Modeling
TEEMCO’s proprietary software can model air emissions with higher accuracy than the software that’s currently available on the market, Lorson maintains. “We can tell very precisely what the air emissions are,” he asserts. “Most of the software that’s available grossly overestimates emissions.”
The company also provides 24/7 client service and support. “If there is a spill, we react like a fire department supporting our client,” Lorson emphasizes. “We’ve got a lab accredited in all 50 states. The lab has a lot of state-of-the-art systems that have reduced cost and increased efficiency for our clients. The protocols that we use in our lab are state-of-the-art that only a handful of labs can do because they don’t have the equipment or know-how to do them. Our gas and liquid analysis is about 1300 percent more accurate than what 95 percent of the labs our there are doing right now.”
That translates into savings for customers because if they have an accurate measurement of their emissions, they can use vapor recovery equipment to generate electricity with those emissions and turn them into a profit center. “But if you pick the wrong size unit, you’ll never make any money,” Lorson warns. “You’ll actually end up wasting millions of dollars on the vapor recovery unit because you have the wrong size. Knowing precisely what your emissions are is mission-critical. A lot of companies are wasting money complying with laws that they don’t have to comply with because they’re overstating their emissions.”
Agriculture and Marine
TEEMCO’s core markets are the oil and natural gas industries – they account for an estimated 70 percent of the company’s business – but the company is developing its agricultural business, which is approximately 15 percent of its sales, along with another 15 percent in marine industries. “As time goes by, we expect it to evolve where it will be about 70 percent agriculture, 25 percent oil and gas, and 5 percent marine,” Lorson predicts. The company serves all 50 states.
“Agriculture is a market that we have been in for three years now, and it’s a growing market,” Lorson says. “Farms and ranches now have to comply with the same rules that oil and gas companies have had to comply with for 20 years, but it’s brand-new to agriculture. Since we are dominant in the oil and gas market, we expect to be dominant in the agriculture market.”
TEEMCO is helping agricultural companies comply with environmental rules for the storage of the diesel fuel required to run modern farm equipment. The company expects eventually to offer environmental compliance services for agricultural fertilizers.
Lorson estimates TEEMCO – which was founded in 2008 – has several hundred competitors. “We went from zero to the top of the market within five years, and a lot of our competitors have been doing this for 20 years or longer,” Lorson maintains. “We are very pro-oil and gas, but we’re also very pro-environment.
“We believe that the world needs oil and gas, and will need oil and gas for hundreds of years to come,” he predicts. “But we also believe that the oil and gas should be produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. That’s our niche – to help oil companies achieve that end.”