Energy Service Companies in a Post COVID Environment

The emergence of the energy service provider in the 1980s was nothing short of a wild surge up in the case of demand. Energy service providers cover a broad array of energy sector services. An ESCO is a company that provides specific energy solutions to their clients, which includes auditing, improving and developing changes to the ways the customer consumes energy, the definitive target being boosted efficiency.

Relating to the newest reports and headlines by energy media outlets, heading to 2022 we’re positioned to see historic high big oil prices. Considering though that several nations have promised to become carbon neutral in the years to come, this creates complications for energy generating countries. Alberta, a Canadian province, is a good example of this whereas the province produces the bulk of it’s oil reserves but the government continuously obstructs advancement of the industry through that province by refusing to approve projects.

As the world emerges from the gripes of the COVID we’re witness to the development of the ESCO. Technologies plays a sizeable role in the energy market and intrinsically ESCOs have adjusted to serve this now technically sophisticated field.

energy service company
Image used with permission: The Energy Report

Typically energy service companies focus on decreasing energy expenditure and saving organizations on energy spending by a variety of ways which includes regulatory energy consumption and low priced rate agreements regarding energy consultants. With deregulation in the United States energy market in the ’90s, the energy solutions business experienced a swift boost. Utilities, which for a long time experienced the shelter of monopolies with guaranteed revenue on power-plant assets, now were forced to compete to supply power to several of their biggest clients. Three years in to the Trump presidential term we’ve observed a considerable sweeping deregulation in the energy sector which obviously benefits energy service companies.

A worthwhile assessment between the United States Of America and Canada displays the contrasting variances with a deregulating government like the USA is at the moment, and the progressive government of Canada. If truth be told, as of writing this article Total has revealed they’re going to be writing off over $6 billion in Alberta oil sands resources in Canada.

With such a assortment of OandG services these companies provide, it’s difficult to list only a few whilst excluding lots of other important varieties. but it’s really worth remembering that amongst this industry, technology has played a top role in helping the sector advancements. A couple other services include boiler rentals, water treatment, transportation, pipeline screening, automation, midstream & downstream solutions and leak detection and repair (LDAR).

Consulting and negotiating energy costs is an additional in-demand service as energy management companies have-been springing up all over Canada and the US to fill the demand for low cost rates. The primary focus of energy consultants is to always save their customers dough by reducing energy rates and making existing functions more cost effective. The first step any energy management firm will carry out is a full and comprehensive energy audit in an effort to recognize a starting base line. Working with a recorded starting position after a company executes its energy audit is fundamental. Organizations that hire energy management companies realize the relevance of these reports by these energy service firms and thus often work closely with each other. The importance of the close working relationship amongst the energy consultant and the organizations top executives can not be understated given during any energy audit it’s vital to have corporate leaders readily available.

Some of the service providers these firms perform might include things like turnarounds, fabrication, environmental impact studies, meter proving, mobile boiler trucks, transport and others. You don’t have to look very far to see the devastation created by COVID19. Tens of thousands of jobs in the energy sector were lost in the first half of 2020 throughout the US and Canada.

mobile boilers
Image used with permission: The Energy Report

We spoke with Broderick Culbreth, an operations executive with Barton Energy service providers and here’s what he had to say.

“While it’s correct that we’re seeing a paramount shift within the energy sector since COVID, we’re also experiencing the introduction of new technologies and standards of how we behave ourselves on the job. Energy service providers is definitely taking a blow while on the other hand will re-emerge sturdier than ever.”

ESCOs are privately owned firms, either independent or an integral part of a large conglomerate, state-owned, non-profit, jv partnerships, manufacturers or manufacturers’ subsidiaries.

Market guidelines and government and industry regulations are the prime focal point to which all energy service providers must function. They are experienced in refining and simplifying the entire project to provide maximum efficiency and energy savings.

Long ahead of COVID we’d already began to see utility firms begin to reinvent themselves and make themselves more pertinent by grouping solutions you may not of previous thought they could offer. Things like internet providers now offering bundles with TV and home phone on top of the internet service. In Canada we commonly see energy providers partnering with government so they’ll further increase their scope with customers which includes the principal natural gas company in Canada called Enbridge, Enbridge has worked diligently to grow their service and products to capture more of the energy consumer sector. Basically as this happens, energy providers become energy service organizations offering a broad range of solutions versus concentrating on just supplying it.

You’re likely asking yourself that if this indeed is taking place then would not that make independent ESCOs obsolete? That said we hope that 2021 brings much prosperity to the energy sector and we can look back at 2020 as a year of lessons.

The Role of Energy Service Providers Across North America

Probably the swiftest growing segments of the entire oil and gas markets is energy service. An energy service company (ESCO) are organizations that provides a broad range of energy solutions which include plans and implementation of energy savings jobs, retrofitting, energy resource efficiency, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power creation and energy supply, and risk assessment. An ESCO is a company that boasts specific energy solutions to its clientele, this includes auditing, redesigning and applying adjustments to the ways the consumer consumes energy, the main objective being considerably improved efficiency.

After their inception in the 1980s, energy service firms have evolved and expanded. Since COVID enveloped the world we’ve seen probably the most radical changes to this sector while trying to remain relevant. One other version of energy service providers was the technological part where sophisticated measuring instruments and other diagnostic devices have emerged as common in this swiftly developing industry.

Oil & Gas Software by Intricate

It’s somewhat obscure outside the sector but energy costs and efficiency can be much better and the reality is that is the principal challenge for most energy solutions company. With deregulation in the U.S. energy markets in the nineties, the energy providers business enjoyed a rapid rise. Utilities, which for a long time valued the shelter of monopolies with certain earnings on power plant investments, now must compete to supply power to a number of their biggest customers. At the present time we are witness to probably the largest deregulating governments the U . S . have ever seen which is only improving with recent remarks from the Trump Administration made in Texas this past week.

The huge differences in between the right leading government of the US and the left of Canada is drastic in that one trusts in wholesale deregulations whilst the other regulates the energy sector so much they hinder progress.

Each ESCO differs in their own technical expertises while others address the entire spectrum of services which includes measurement & regulatory, project planning, integrated solutions, commissioning & startup and more. A few other services include water treatment, transportation, pipeline tracking, leak detection, midstream & downstream solutions and energy savings and administration.

System Integration by Intricate

Energy consultants are on the increase as prices fluctuate we see a demand for energy consulting agencies to obtain cheaper energy prices. For energy consulting firms as they’re also referenced as, the chief focus is always to save their clients in the energy expense department. The initial step any energy management firm will undertake is a complete and specific energy review in order to establish a starting base-line. What this does is it develops a quantifiable start line in which everything moving forward could be assessed from to establish energy savings efficiency. Organizations that hire energy management organizations understand the usefulness of these reports by these energy service organizations and subsequently often work closely together. Whilst energy management firms function separately of the organization employing them, it is a reality that energy consultants work intimately with officials for a multitude of reasons.

Energy solutions firms encompass a wide array of different service and products. You don’t have to look very far to see the devastation created by COVID19. Tens of thousands of jobs in the energy sector were lost in the first half of 2020 throughout the US and Canada.

For the purposes of this blog post we opted to ask Mohammad Michand senior executive of operations of Bloom Consulting what his thoughts were on the industry moving forward after the virus.

“The energy market has experienced many strikes throughout the years and if I’m to be frank, although this pathogen is harmful and in a wholesale fashion, the market will rebound. Our corporation as an example has taken the past few months to strategize on how we need to progress in 2021.”

Turnaround providers is another component to the variety of services by energy service companies that involves project administration for the duration of operational turnarounds of plants during maintenance. This type of service can cover a number of other providers within it which includes regulatory, measurement, testing and others. Depending on the scale of the job, these jobs commonly last from 2-4 weeks.

Market guidelines and governmental and market regulations are the fundamental focal point that all energy service companies must operate. The company of energy service can mean many things but the one commonality with them all is the common objective of lessening energy expenditures and making current systems more economical.

Energy utility providers began to evolve even before the pandemic when they began to see the intrinsic value in grouping different service providers together like Internet, TV and phone. But beyond that you now see utility firms also offering home and commercial alarms and smart home solutions. In Canada we commonly see energy providers partnering with government so they can further grow their reach with customers which include the principal natural gas company in Canada called Enbridge. Enbridge has worked diligently to diversify their service providers and products to capture more of the energy consumer market. Effectively as this transpires, energy providers transform into energy service firms offering a wide variety of services versus concentrating on simply providing it.

You’re most likely asking yourself that if this really is occurring then would not that make independent ESCOs outdated? In closing you should note that energy providers is a growing company that incorporates a myriad of different job specific service providers whether in the oilfields or on the rig.

Meter Proving & Testing: A Deep Dive

Quite simply, meter proving where the precision of a meter is analyzed. The facets for Meter Proving also, the expected outcomes can change per the diverse kinds of meters using unique functions. For instance a propane gas meter prover checks the correctness of the propane meter. Lots of meter provers choose to confirm their results against a preset array as shown in the guides..

It is now essential to get aware of that though meter proving and meter testing could very well to-be the same thing, they are not and the dissimilarities are critical to get aware of also.

When a skilled professional is validating the accuracy of the meter this is whats called meter proving. Things like verifying the appropriate amount of disbursement to the meter outcome itself. Meter proving is done by comparing the service meter versus accredited prover (master meter, dynamic or tank prover) which is traceable to a national meteorology institute similar to NIST. Proving meters of hydrocarbon is very common with pipelines. In lots of cases provers will coordinate with meter station personnel to compare and contrast outcomes.

Meter Testing and Installation Instructional Video

There are several design requirements for calibration systems used by energy management companies. These can include, but are not limited to volumetric methods, gravimetric methods, and master meter comparison. These methods can produce results with a doubt of better than 4-to-1 as weighed against the meter become tested.

In addition, there are requirements that govern and incorporate the calibration system that is entire. NIST and ISO 17025 define criteria and needs with varying amounts of complexity for calibration facilities and procedures. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies, or NIST, defines requirements for traceability that real time utilizing the lab that is individual maintenance or self-compliance. ISO 17025 is a more rigorous, third-party official certification. This standard takes into account the whole calibration system and produces metrics for the calibration rig elements, administrative systems for process operations, workers proficiency, and paperwork giving support to the traceability and total dimension doubt for the calibration center that is entire. ISO 17025 standards ensure the level that is greatest of confidence in accuracy and repeatability.

Curiously, for longer than 100 years the standard continues to end up being what is acknowledged as “bell provers” which is certainly also littered with insecurities on to on its own.

And then we have got the prevalent gas meter proving expert whom checks and confirms gas meters. Municipal and public works are without question the most common employers of meter provers.The process wherein meter proving contractors examine the correctness of a meter is by passing air through after which evaluating those outcomes to the meter’s own interior displacement. After that is complete the prover (meter) then takes the data he/she documented in the percentage of air moved to compared to the value depicted on the meter’s own.

The bell is ultimately a vertical internal container having an external protective exterior. There are two layers and while the external layer is normally loaded with oil, the interior layer is known as the bell. The fluid could there be to behave as a air-tight seal for testing. Bell provers are generally counterweighted to provide positive pressure through a hose and valve attached to a meter. We regularly see rollers on the bell that allows for soft linear motion without likelihood of ruining the pressure level created by the bell seal moving.

Photo of meter proving truck at Intricate taken by Energy Services Marketing

Errors in proving by operators is believe it or not common and has to be regarded and adapted. Temperature inconsistencies involving the bell air, meter and binding hoses could explain many meter proof inaccuracies. There are a laundry list of things to go wrong that has to be regarded like human error and mechanical issues.

As we earlier revealed, each gas type features its own system of meter testing. Natural gas for example demands a couple of visual inspections just before the PACs are used. There are a plethora of other testing methods outside the scope of this article. One exception nonetheless is the hardly ever utilized orifice meter testing which does require checking against primary devices against the field data obtained from field provers.

There you have it, that’s exactly how meter testing is carried out and the subtleties of the work involved by meter provers in the field and inside machine-controlled devices.