In less than seven years, STEP Energy Services (‘STEP’) has become a leader within the pressure pumping sector of the oil and gas industry. This position is due in part to their ability to see possibilities for their clients, supported by a commitment to safety, their dedication to building and maintaining trust with their clients and through their efficient execution of their services.
Exceptional Client Experience (ECE)
Servicing western Canada and areas of the United States, STEP provides specialized coiled tubing, fracturing services and associated support equipment to the deep horizontal well market; however, it’s not just their services that separate them. It’s how they engage their employees, whom they refer to as professionals.
“We are so focused on delivering our clients an elevated level of service, “says Todd Rainville, STEP’s vice president, sales and marketing. “It’s what we call the Exceptional Client Experience – the ECE. By calling our field and office people professionals [and not employees], they are empowered to provide our clients the ECE.” With this small change from employee to professional, STEP’s people are the backbone of the company, responsible for developing consistent customer loyalty.
Dedication to the ECE is evident in all aspects of company interactions from speaking with STEP professionals to the execution of their services. It is undoubtedly what sets STEP apart from its peers—the consistency in their quality of service—all while remaining efficient and effective. Constant communication, both internal and external, a robust preventative maintenance program and a commitment to safety support STEP in achieving a high level of trust and loyalty with their clients.
In particular, over the past year alone, STEP has seen immense organic growth within the company without compromising the quality of the services they provide. Part of what creates this strong, engaged team of professionals at STEP is the company’s dedication to ensuring high employee satisfaction. “You can’t have a good company unless you have happy [professionals],” says Rainville. “Ultimately, they are the foundation that has allowed us to enjoy the success we have.” To keep up with the high demand, STEP continues to increase the size of its company with passionate, dedicated individuals who can execute STEP’s services while maintaining the ECE.
Improve Production Performance with STEP-PLEX™
As a part of their deliberate focus on providing the ECE, STEP looks for new ways to help clients maximize operational efficiencies and project economics. Most recently, the company introduced a distinct diverting agent called STEP-PLEX™. This solution was developed to isolate flow areas in a wellbore, redirect proppant and fluids to a new section of the reservoir, increase the number of fracture initiation points and ultimately improve the production performance of a well. “One of the benefits of adding this complexity to the well is that it allows our clients to reduce offset wellbore frac hits,” says Bailey Epp, STEP’s vice-president, engineering and technology. “This is important because frac hits can prematurely affect the production capabilities of a well and can be costly for operators.”
STEP-PLEX™ is a uniquely customized diverting technology that can be used in both new completions and refracturing operations. “We put engineering in place to match our fracturing model,” says Epp. “We don’t just pump product and hope it works. We separate ourselves with upfront engineering. Engineered equipment on the surface allows us to deploy STEP-PLEX™ at full rate, on the fly; this is something our peers are unable to match.”
Multi-faceted in its use, STEP-PLEX™ is reflective of STEP’s commitment to their clients by finding customized solutions – possibilities – that work.
Precisely Monitor Downhole with Fiber Optic Coil
As STEP continues to develop, they are also expanding the horizons of fiber optics in the energy sector by accommodating the long reach horizontal wells their clients are drilling. “Ten years ago, everyone thought that 5,000 metres was going to be the deepest well. STEP has reached over 7,200 metres,” says Rainville. “These depths contact more of the reservoir, which delivers more production and is more efficient.”
There are two primary technologies used with fiber optic coil – Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). Not only can the fiber optic coil measure temperature, it can also be used to “hear” where the flow is coming from, quantify it and identify the source of it. “When you understand your wellbore, you can engineer solutions to increase production or increase injection for optimal frac design,” explains Epp. Fiber optic technology is proving to be valuable with respect to the quality of real-time wellbore information one can capture.
“The versatility of using coil tubing with fiber optics is beneficial in that the string can be used in multiple wellbores as compared to using one costly, permanently installed string that, once cemented downhole, cannot necessarily be guaranteed to provide data all the way to the toe of the well,” says Epp. “That’s why we believe [in] deploying fiber optics inside a coiled tubing string; we can run in an offset well and listen to a frac nearby or perform injection tests and monitor temperature differentials to ensure the producing well is operating optimally. And we can use that string multiple times, which reduces capital requirements for our clients.”
Whether energy producers come to STEP for their ECE or unique technologies, one thing is clear: clients will receive effective, sensible, customizable solutions, delivered in a consistent manner that focuses on their safety, trust, execution and possibilities. As the company tag line says, “The essence of our difference is in our execution.”