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This Water Hauler is Ready for the Recovery

This Water Hauler is Ready for the Recovery

Permian BasinOn Sunday, I flew into El Paso, Texas to visit with one of our customers, a water hauler in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  The drive took several hours and cut across Texas through Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  As I approached Carlsbad at dusk, I decided to take a chance and head into Carlsbad Caverns National Park around 7:30 PM to see if the famous Brazilian free-tail bat colony had landed for the summer.   I was in luck; the colony arrived early this year, and I witnessed hundreds of thousands of bats flying overhead at dusk as they escaped the caverns’ limited food resources to hunt moths over the course of the night.

Carlsbad is on the edge of the Permian Basin, the second largest oil and gas producing region in the US.  In recent years, Carlsbad’s infrastructure struggled to keep up with the oil boom as the city’s population grew significantly through 2014.  Unfortunately, the supply of jobs and wealth have been declining with the price of oil since 2015. Now the city is dealing with new problems such as poverty and homelessness.  I ate lunch with a local pastor who told me they had opened several shelters in the last year to accommodate the growing problem.

I spent the day with a customer who has been using ROVR, our fleet safety and GPS vehicle tracking solution, and fieldTICKET, our paperless workforce automation solution, since 2012.  They are a water hauler with a fleet of around 100 semi trucks between New Mexico, Wyoming, and North Dakota, and have reduced accidents and increased efficiency dramatically by utilizing ROVR, fieldTICKET, and worldVIEW, our geospatial dashboard.   ROVR is easily installed in 18-wheeler’s, or any vehicle type, and every truck in their fleet is equipped with a device.   Every driver has a smartphone with fieldTICKET installed; the app helps them to reduce paperwork, errors, and time spent in the field documenting the work that was done to produce an invoice at the end of the day. I learned quite a bit about the local oil and gas market as well as the issues that water haulers face in the field.water hauler in Carlsbad, New Mexico

Water hauling is a fascinating and often overlooked aspect of the oil and gas production process.  For every barrel of oil produced, approximately 3.5 barrels of water are used.  This water has to be transported, disposed of, or treated to prevent pollution and allow for the water’s reuse in the production cycle.  Today’s system requires a tremendous amount of paperwork and trust between the transporter, the production company, and the salt-water disposal facility.  I watched as our customer was able to set himself apart from his competition by using fieldTICKET, and providing data instantly, with an audit trail of the time and place work was done.

Our customer’s business has slowed down, but thanks to the efficiencies they achieve with fieldTICKET and ROVR, they have stayed busier than most of their competition.   As the oil and gas market continues to recover, his business and the city’s economy are sitting in wait for the return, much like the bats returning to the cavern in the morning.