Customer Story
Oilfield services company builds customer confidence with frac tank level monitoring

Read how DHI, an innovative water transfer company, elevates its service offering and reduces risk for its customers by partnering with WellAware.

About the Customer

DHI provides a range of equipment solutions and environmental services focused on water management. With one of the largest frac tank fleets in the United States, DHI offers services in 12 states. Their best-in-class equipment is engineered to optimize and simplify operations, providing customers with the quality and performance today’s market demands. Customers trust DHI and value their focus on delivering innovative solutions that provide cost savings, safety enhancements, and operational efficiencies with unparalleled service, reliability, and responsiveness.

dalbo holdings inc dhi logo

The Challenge

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Frac operations require a lot of water

While most minds gravitate towards crude oil and natural gas as the predominant fluids in the energy industry, the importance of water – both as a resource and a waste stream – has exploded since the mass adoption of hydraulic fracturing in the last two decades.

 

The average horizontal well drilled today will require almost 5 million gallons of water for frac operations. It would take the average American family over 45 years to consume that much water.

frac operations water consumption
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The main things we bring to our customers are a dynamic ability to be responsive, a willingness to provide a bespoke solution, and the flexibility to satisfy the ever changing needs that occur in the field.

– Gary Coates, Chief Executive Officer at DHI

water transfer service workers

Operators need innovative partners

Because of the volumes of water required to complete a well, oil and gas producers are constantly looking for innovative partners to help them manage their water usage, reduce their reliance on freshwater, and recycle produced water that emerges during flowback, the period of initial production.

Dalbo Holdings, Inc. (DHI) is one such partner. A leader in oilfield water and environmental services, DHI is continually looking for ways to partner with oil and gas producers to manage the precious resource critical to drilling operations, helping their customer achieve both financial and sustainability goals.

Managing tight schedules and risky operations

One such way that DHI helps its customers is by managing water transfer services for frac operations. The company rents frac tanks, large temporary storage containers that can hold thousands of gallons of water to be used for frac operations, and places personnel on location during completions activities to manage water transfer into these tanks for use by the completions teams.

“The main things we bring to our customers are a dynamic ability to be responsive, a willingness to provide a bespoke solution, and the flexibility to satisfy the ever changing needs that occur in the field,” said Gary Coates, Chief Executive Officer at DHI.

Its customers’ drilling schedules are always tight, and delays can be costly, so DHI must be prepared to flex to their customers’ needs at a moment’s notice while staying safe and efficient. 

Drilling and completions operations in the oilfield tend to occur in hyper-remote regions, and the temporary nature of completions works means that DHI can’t afford to invest in heavy infrastructure to create efficiencies.

As drilling activity and demand for their services increased, DHI needed new ways to nimbly respond to customer demand while maintaining its well-earned reputation for being safe, sustainable, responsive, and flexible.

The Solution

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Affordable & reliable frac tank monitoring

DHI partnered with WellAware to rapidly deploy a customized, affordable frac tank level monitoring solution that delivers reliable, real-time information about water transfer activities both to DHI’s personnel and their customers.

WellAware’s frac tank level monitoring solution is designed to rapidly convey changing water levels in frac tanks used for drilling, completions, pump down, flow back, or any other operation where reliable, high-resolution frac tank level data is required.

frac tank level monitoring solution
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WellAware provides us device-by-device visibility of the parameters we need to see, and lets us view these conveniently while also providing our customers peace of mind.

– Gary Coates, CEO at DHI

Components of the solution

The solution WellAware provides to DHI consists of the following:

  • Purpose-fit frac tank level sensors, which the WellAware Solutions Team helps DHI specify and procure based on specific application requirements.
  • The WellAware CONNECT, a wireless industrial gateway certified for oilfield use that transmits real-time frac tank parameters both to onsite and remote personnel.
  • The WellAware Field App, a wireless HMI that allows field personnel to view levels without a risky climb onto frac tanks.
  • WellAware Web and Mobile, a data visualization platform that gives remote personnel immediate access to live data streams and alerts on critical parameters.
  • WellAware Client Success, a team of full-time, USA-based support professionals who partner with DHI staff to assist adoption, monitor performance, and ensure results.
chemical pump control on a mobile app

Frac tank level monitoring keeps all personnel informed

With WellAware Frac Tank Monitoring, DHI has a light-weight, portable solution that monitors frac tank fluid levels on their fleet of mobile frac storage tanks at 2-minute resolution, providing visibility on critical parameters for both DHI and its customers.

One unique benefit to WellAware’s solution is that onsite operators can use the WellAware Field App to monitor frac tank levels in real-time without needing to manually strap the tanks. This not only saves time, it also keeps site operators out of harm’s way. Oilfield workers operate in all weather conditions, and climbing up frac tank ladders during rainy or icy conditions carries considerable risk.

“[WellAware] gives us eyes on the ground and, in some respects, inside the process equipment, even for the man on site,” remarked Coates. “For example, we are able to get visibility of different fluid layers that otherwise are very difficult to monitor. The site operator now has clear visibility he can rely on, and off-site engineers know when a more sophisticated process is working as expected or not, which is perhaps even more important.”

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I must call attention to the support we’ve had. It has been prompt, friendly, and very helpful. They interact with our teams at all levels, and when faced with a new challenge they have worked to find solutions quickly.

– Gary Coates, CEO at DHI

Guaranteed reliability to meet customer demands

The solution includes a Lifetime Equipment Warranty on the monitoring equipment, so if equipment is damaged or fails during normal use, DHI won’t have to worry about replacement costs.

Additionally, the solution comes with WellAware’s exclusive Data Availability Guarantee, ensuring DHI personnel and their customers get at least 99.5% of the data they expect. In a fast-paced business where reliability is key, this guarantee provides important assurance to DHI’s team.

“Sometimes there are a lot of parameters to monitor. Sometimes it’s just one, but a very critical one,” said Coates. “WellAware provides us device-by-device visibility of the parameters we need to see, and lets us view these conveniently while also providing our customers peace of mind.”

World class customer support

Beyond the technology, DHI has come to rely on WellAware’s supportive and knowledgeable Client Success Team, who supports DHI’s field and engineering personnel before, during, and after frac services jobs. The Client Success Team makes sure that each DHI user, both on site and remote, has the visibility and the tools they need to process and understand data streams to make critical decisions that support operations.

“I must call attention to the support we’ve had,” offered Coates. “It has been prompt, friendly, and very helpful. They interact with our teams at all levels, and when faced with a new challenge they have worked to find solutions quickly.”

wellaware client success team

The Result

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New efficiencies and unmatched service levels

For Gary and the DHI team, partnering with WellAware has enabled a new level of operational efficiency. Powered by simple, reliable, and affordable connections to their remote operations, DHI has continued to provide unmatched service to its customers while simultaneously mitigating operational risk.

The solution has earned DHI more trust with its customers, a scarce and coveted commodity in the oilfield services business.

“Customer confidence and trust in our service is the key to long term relationships, “ Coates asserted. “The technology [that WellAware has provided] improves our service quality and builds trust. The customer knows he is in the loop because he is now part of the loop.”

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The customer knows he is in the loop because he is now part of the loop.

– Gary Goates, CEO at DHI

Lasting customer relationships built on trust

Because of the trust that DHI has built with its customers, it is able to offer unmatched service levels that customers are more than willing to invest in.

“We are building relationships with customers that look at costs at a higher level, in terms of reliability and mitigated losses through quality of service,” said Coates.

Ultimately, he recognizes that his customers care more about getting the level of service that technology enables for DHI, and they are willing to partner with and reward DHI for maintaining these service levels and reducing their risk and exposure during critical operations.

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WellAware has been a tremendous benefit to us. For us to be able to get data telemetry on equipment in the field, at very short notice, and at an acceptable cost, is a great help. WellAware has changed the market.

– Gary Coates, CEO at DHI

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