Zenith Oilfield Technology

Peak performance

By enabling operator reserves to be produced in the most efficient and profitable manner, Zenith Oilfield Technology has rapidly become the independent world leader in downhole monitoring systems.

Greg Davie, managing director at Zenith, gives European Oil and Gas an insight into what motivates the company to keep moving forward: “As the cost of producing from maturing fields increases, artificial lift methods become ever more important. For six years Zenith has been driven by the challenge of advancing the discipline through the gathering and analysis of downhole data from electronic monitoring systems, and through the design of generic and bespoke mechanical completion equipment. Both product lines, inspired by industry needs, encompass leading-edge technology with unique specifications.”

This dedication to address customer challenges has resulted in Zenith experiencing rapid growth over the past five years. Greg noted that the company’s trading strategy has also been linked to this success: “We are 100 per cent focused on the international market. During the year to 31st May 2009 Zenith made sales to operators and pump companies in North and South America, Europe, North and West Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia.”

He continued: “Business has been dynamic for Zenith due to this international focus, and as an independent specialist provider, Zenith has the flexibility to design, source, supply or adapt the most appropriate equipment to customer specification.”

The global approach also requires extensive travel, as Zenith is constantly striving for face-to-face contact with the customer. All Zenith sales personnel are qualified engineers with significant international oilfield experience, and are comfortable working in different business cultures and practices. Greg explains: “Our extensive experience and an established team in the Middle East has driven 58 per cent of Zenith’s overseas sales and resulted in market leader status. Based on this model we aim to put locally-based, experienced operations engineers in place to support the customer and develop sales wherever we establish a new geographic market.”

This approach also requires extensive work in the back office, and Greg notes that the company works closely with a freight forwarding agent, the chamber of commerce, and its bank’s international trade department. “We remain up-to-date on all aspects of import/export rules and documentation, and can provide flexible options allowing competitive credit terms,” he confirms.

Meeting the needs of a diverse range of customers that are located all around the world means that Zenith has to commit significant resources to R&D. Says Greg: “Further to the recent acquisition of Ziebel Monitoring, we have created a standalone technology group that is solely focused on developing new technology based on our customers’ future needs.”

One example of a solution recently launched by Zenith is called Z-site. This is an innovative device that performs automatic ESP well surveillance and optimisation using a real time well model running at the well site. “Z-Sight gathers all the well site data from the ESP controller, downhole gauge and surface instrumentation and references the data against a comprehensive model of the well running in real time. The well model is automatically calibrated against the measured data and provides more comprehensive information on the well and pump performance. The output is similar to a detailed ESP design report, but in real time. From this the device will provide online tracking of flow, water cut, pump and well performance giving further information on bottom hole flowing pressure, free gas present at the pump intake, motor hp, pump hp and current operating efficiencies. As the well model is constantly being tuned against the real time measured data the information it provides has a high degree of accuracy,” says Greg.

“Z-Sight will automatically find the optimum operating conditions for the ESP based on well performance and equipment capability. The information is presented at the well site in a very simple manner so the operator can see immediately when their adjustments have a positive or detrimental effect on performance, without necessarily having a full understanding of ESP operation.”

In order to develop this sort of product, Zenith has to work very closely with its customers – furthermore, once the product has been released, the company continues to provide a complete service for the life of each contract. This includes ensuring equipment is correctly installed and properly maintained, as well as training clients’ staff to operate it safely and efficiently.

Zenith’s global business strategy is the cornerstone of its main ambition, which is to become the world’s leading independent supplier of data analysis to the artificial lift industry. By providing production optimisation real time solutions using innovative leading edge technology it has already established itself as a major contender within the market. Going forward, the company is preparing itself for increased activity during 2010, as Greg concludes: “We are due to move into our new premises in January 2010, which will enable us to extend our capabilities. We have built a reputation for providing solutions to customer problems that require something different, and it is our intention to continue to empower a worldwide customer base with the tools to produce reserves in the most efficient and profitable manner.”

Zenith Oilfield Technology

Products: Downhole monitoring systems

Zenith Oilfield Technology