Q. Where is Epoch Well Services located? More than one location?
A. The corporate office is located in Houston, Texas. We have field offices in Anchorage; Bakersfield, Calif.; New Iberia, La.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Williston, N.D.; and Rock Springs, Wyo. We have three offices in Oklahoma — Hartshorne, Oklahoma City and Weatherford; and in Texas we have offices in Alice and Odessa.
Q. When was the company founded, who founded it and what was its original name?
A. The company was founded in 1979 in Bakersfield, Calif., as Epoch Well Logging Inc. by Steve Appleton and Bill Anderson, who were at the time new undergraduate geologists from California State University at Northridge. Upon our merger with Nabors Industries in 1996, the company became known as Epoch Well Services.
Q. Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?
A. Chris Papouras is president of Epoch and also serves as president of Canrig Drilling Technology Ltd. Mark Carey is vice president of operations, Scott Boone is vice president for technology and Pradeep Aniyappa serves as vice president of software development.
Q. Describe any partnership arrangements and when they became effective.
A. Epoch merged with Nabors Industries in 1996 as a technology-oriented subsidiary and retained the original company name to maintain and enhance an already well-recognized industry brand.
Q. What is the company’s primary business sector? What services does the company offer?
A. We provide drilling focused services consisting of Digital Mudlogging (DML), RIGWATCH Drilling Instrumentation, myWells.com Web Based Live Data Delivery and Rig Report Morning Report Software.
Q. Who are the company’s main clients?
A. Anadarko Petroleum, BP Exploration (Alaska), Chevron, ConocoPhillips Alaska, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Co., Pioneer Natural Resources, Savant Alaska LLC and XTO Energy.
Q. How many employees does your company have? How many in each of its locations?
A. Epoch has more than 400 employees nationwide, with 18 employees based in Alaska.
Q. Describe your essential equipment in general terms. Purchases planned?
A. Epoch provides advanced digital mudlogging, geological evaluation, digital drilling instrumentation equipment, leading edge software applications and live data delivery equipment and services to the drilling market in Alaska. In response to anticipated market growth in Alaska, Epoch has completed the rollout of fourth generation E-Series ™ FID gas detection equipment and is in negotiation with various suppliers for new Arctic grade logging cabins.
Q. Is your company expanding any of its operations and/or locations?
A. Epoch has established a service facility in Deadhorse, Alaska, with the cooperation of our fellow subsidiary, Nabors Alaska Drilling. Epoch is now poised to provide improved service and support response to our customers located on the North Slope.
Q. Is the company changing any of its services?
A. Yes. Epoch has upgraded our real-time data portal, myWells.com by converting to Plumtree enterprise portal to more efficiently manage and display real-time drilling data to our customers.
Q. What is your company’s main strength, i.e. its edge over the competition?
A. We have had a continuous 19-year presence in Alaska with highly experienced, competent employees. These employees have a significant understanding of Alaska geology, local management well-versed in the logistical challenges, and a top-down management dedicated to the growth of the Alaska market.
Q. What new markets, clients and/or projects did your company attract in the last year?
A. Epoch was chosen by Chevron to provide mudlogging, instrumentation and data delivery services on several critical wells for Chevron on the Kenai Peninsula and on the North Slope. In addition, Epoch was also chosen to provide mudlogging services on Savant Alaska’s first exploration well on the North Slope this year.
Q. Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?
A. Indeed we have: We have placed an order with a vendor for four new Arctic grade mudlogging cabins to meet the forecast demand in Alaska for the remainder of the decade. In addition to new units, we are also investing heavily in our Fourth Generation E-Series ™ FID Gas Detection Equipment, MotoSat™ Self Aiming Satellite Systems, @Road™ GPS Tracking, Plumtree™ Web Portal Application for myWells.com.
Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken?
A. Each individual project in Alaska presents its own unique set of challenges, so it is difficult to isolate one single case as being the most challenging. However, the efficient planning, logistics, support and execution of remote winter exploration drilling projects in NPR-A typically present us with our greatest challenges. To date, we have met those challenges with a very high rate of success.
Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?
A. The largest challenge to market growth and expansion is by far headcount and staff growth. Attracting quality professional employees has been a significant challenge in the oil service sector for nearly three years now. Epoch has responded to this challenge by hiring a recruiting and training manager in Houston, Texas and exploiting numerous internet-based recruiting methods to attract technically-oriented applicants.
Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?
A. The big picture challenge is in the realm of technology. In an “on-demand” business world, this year’s technology is next year’s obsolescence. Researching, evaluating and deploying new market-focused technologies will be our largest challenge due to the ever accelerating rate of change in technological advancement. Epoch senior management clearly understands this challenge and constantly recalibrates our business vision to meet future technical realities and market demands.
Q. What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from events such as long-term weather fluctuations, resource development, etc.?
A. Clearly, the greatest opportunity for Epoch in Alaska would be the construction of the Alaska Gas Pipeline. Allowing this vast stranded resource on the North Slope an outlet to market would encourage drilling activity and provide additional work opportunities for us. Additional, more immediate opportunities exist for our company with the entrance of new operators into Alaska, and we warmly welcome all the new entrants into this exciting market.
Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark eve coming up?
A. The 20th anniversary of our presence in Alaska will take place in November of this year.
Q. What is the average length of time employees work for the company? Are you hiring for any positions?
A. The average length of service for Epoch employees in Alaska is well over five years. Several Alaska based employees including the division manager have been with the company over 10 years. Epoch is currently recruiting qualified candidates for the position of logging geologist in Alaska and elsewhere in the Lower 48.
Q. What is your company’s safety record?
A. Epoch holds an outstanding safety record in Alaska, with a YTD Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.0 and a Lost Time Accident rate (LTA) of 0.0.
Q. Does your company maintain its own Web sites?
A. Epoch maintains two key Web sites, one for general company information and one as a real time data delivery portal and well information repository.
The general information Web site is www.epochwellservices.com.
The live data delivery Web site is www.mywells.com. We gladly invite Petroleum News readers to visit our Web sites at their leisure.