Anyone can come up with a vision, but only a few will actually develop a plan, and even fewer will put that plan into action. Titan PetroServices is the result of one man saying “In a perfect world …” and then going out and creating that perfect world. Owner and general manager Marselo Barriga had worked in the oil and gas services industry for 20-plus years, for two major oil and gas production contractors. Over the years, Barriga observed best practices in the industry as well as things he would change if he had the power. In 2010, he finally took his opportunity to create Titan PetroServices, his ideal of how oil and gas production contractors should operate.
“By the time I started my company in November 2010, I had a well-known name and had proven myself in the industry, so I was able to get money from backing partners and we have been growing since then,” Barriga says. “The vision I saw was to be a one-stop contractor for a whole job location. In a traditional job, you have one coil tubing company, a different nitrogen company, a different fluid pumping company, a different flow-back company and a different motor company.
“If one of those companies went down, the whole operation would go down. But if it’s one company, you know what shape your equipment is in and if the employees have been pushing too hard. I’m able to control the whole operation.”
From Start to Finish
Though that was its vision from the start, and indeed the reality of the company today, Barriga says there was some ramping up involved to reach this point. It started with thru tubing, flow back services and completion plugs first while its heavy equipment, such as fluid pumps, nitrogen pumps, coiled tubing units and cranes were being manufactured. By 2011, the company was ready to take on its first project, or spread, as Barriga calls it. The company provides coil tubing, nitrogen, fluid pumping, thru tubing, flow back and completion plug services to clients. All the clients have to do is provide water to the site and Titan PetroServices will cover the rest.
“The operating companies we work for really like this idea and so more clients have been getting on board with us,” Barriga says. “We got a second spread in December 2011 and we got a third spread in June 2012. We will have a fourth spread coming August 2013. The fourth spread that we are getting is interesting, because there are only about 10 companies in West Texas that have equipment and pipes big enough to handle the deep horizontal depths required.”
Titan Petro Services’ concept has distinguished it from the many competitors in West Texas. The company focuses on the Permian Basin and surrounding areas and its fast recognition is evidenced by the jobs the company consistently has to turn down – at least one a day and sometimes two a day, Barriga says.
“It’s a really hot market out there,” he says. “The growth is really expanding because of the technology and horizontal fracturing to achieve more oil play. When I started Titan, there were seven coil tubing competitors here, and now there are 22-plus. I haven’t had availability since January of this year. Because of this, our competitors in the past year have begun to model our business and provide packaged services, as well.”
Even though the market is growing, the company isn’t necessarily focused on hastily ramping up its capacity – though Barriga does see it growing to operate seven spreads at once in the long-term. But for now, Titan PetroServices is focused on ramping up its quality to serve those existing contracts to the highest degree possible. First, that means having the right equipment. The company works with manufacturers to custom-make its field equipment and has acquired a specialty tool company and nitrogen services company to expand its capabilities.
It’s also streamlined some of its equipment, and only uses BICO’s Spirostar motors. BICO’s line of thru tubing motors is designed specifically for the harsh conditions Titan Petro PetroServices encounters every day. The motor’s unique sections offer improved performance in extreme temperatures, chemical, nitrogen or other environments where aromatics have hindered motor performance in the past, the company says. This technology uses a thin layer of rubber over a steel lobe to overcome hysteresis, which could lead to chunking or premature failure.
Keep it Safe
Keeping up with equipment maintenance is also a part of the company’s safety commitment. “We have a safety rep and we have a matrix of 40 to 50 different safety orientations that we have to go through on an annual or two-year basis,” Barriga says.
Titan PetroServices operates by an 80/20 rule. The company’s staff is made up of 80 percent veterans who have at least three to five years of experience in the field but often more. The other 20 percent is comprised of newbies eager to learn the industry.
“We treat our employees with the upmost respect,” Barriga says. “I don’t have a turnover rate at all compared to my competitors.”
That’s because Titan PetroServices is a company that manages to keep both employees and clients happy. Rational thinking says that one side must suffer in order to serve the other, but after two decades spent in the industry, Barriga has learned that what’s good for employees is often good for clients and vice versa.
For instance, being a one-stop-shop creates consistency for the customer and gives Titan PetroServices greater control of the project’s quality and costs.
“I came from the bottom up in this industry,” Barriga says. “I took the pros and cons of what I’ve seen in this industry and the things I liked I held onto. The things I didn’t like I got rid of.”