Fishbones – Global well stimulation with norwegian technology
Eirik Renli, CEO at Fishbones
Eirik Renli, CEO at Fishbones
Q: Could you briefly tell us about the history of Fishbones and its involvement with the oil and gas sector?
A: The inventor Rune Freyer is responsible for the creation of Fishbones. He invented and patented his well stimulation technology about 10 years ago based on his own experience in the oil and gas industry. He saw an opportunity in the oil and gas market because he believed that services can be provided in a simpler and more efficient manner, hence the invention. Between 2007 and 2011, he worked hard to sell the idea to oil and gas companies and won the first contract in 2010 with BP Norway, thus promoting the use of his technology.
As the business idea began to form, he recruited me in 2012 in order for me to transform his invention into a company. Since then, we have completed the research and development programs to create two main Fishbones products and we have gradually entered the market and built up our customer portfolio. During this period, we have had ups and downs, but, in summary, the company is growing.
Q: Fishbones has been involved in different global oil and gas markets. Which major success story would the company like to share?
A: Currently, the main market for Fishbones is the Middle East because the formations found in the region are quite compatible with our company’s technology applications. Our company provides assistance to different countries to increase their production by using our technology. One of the main positives of the Middle East is that companies are willing to test new technologies; therefore, we have contracts with five different countries in the Middle East. I would consider these contracts with the countries in this region to be an incredible success story of the company.
Q: What are the company’s current goals in the Norwegian oil and gas market and where do you see the biggest opportunities?
A: We have three main clients in Norway and the goal is to successfully provide our stimulation technology for them by the end of 2018. There is no specific area for Fishbones, but we see opportunities in tight formations that require stimulation in order to get sufficient production or to justify the development of projects and wells.
Q: Which of the Fishbones’ solutions that are applicable to upstream oil and gas activities are most attractive?
A: Fishbones offer two main technologies to the market: Fishbones Jetting and Drilling. The difference between the two is the implementation and application. The solutions we provide are connecting the well to the reservoir, thus increasing the area for draining. Fishbones Jetting technology uses acid and pressure to jet channels and Fishbones Drilling technology uses drilling fluid and turbines to perform operations on all the laterals. The method is different, but the end result is the same.
Q: How can Fishbones support the maturing Norwegian market to optimize its performance and improve oil and gas recovery?
A: What we have learned about the Norwegian market is that Fishbones, compared to other solutions that are currently available in the market, is capable of stimulating wells with lower costs by providing a more efficient and accurate system. With our technology we can reduce costs and make projects that could be on the borderline of profitability more attractive. Fishbones can support the industry by providing cost-efficient solutions and commercially attractive solutions that allow companies to increase the production of wells.
Q: What are the impacts and improvements of using jetting technology in oil and gas activities?
A: The main impact of using jetting technology is represented in an essential reduction of costs. Secondly, stimulation work is distributed better throughout the reservoir; the idea behind our jetting technology is to stimulate the entire reservoir instead of just one part of it. Thirdly, the stimulation is carefully controlled, thus avoiding getting in contact with unwanted
elements such as water. The jetting technology is accurate, efficient, and low-cost. The combination of these characteristics allows us to provide stimulation services that are attractive to our customers.
Q: What are Fishbones’ strengths that have allowed the company to secure more contracts than ever?
A: There are two key points: we have a unique patented technology that has never been seen before and a very strong team with highly qualified people that are willing to go the extra mile in order to seek opportunities around the world. Technology and people are the key words.
Q: What have been the main challenges the company has faced and what lessons can the company draw from its global operations?
A: From 2014 to the present, we have experienced a difficult period of the crisis in the sector that in turn has impacted our operations. What we have seen during these challenging times is that the interest from the industry to discuss new technologies has decreased. One would think that during hard times the industry would be on the lookout for better solutions, but that has not been the case. People are mostly focused on protecting their jobs and reducing spending; therefore, there is very little time to discuss the matter of new technologies.
In addition, the willingness to take risks and test new technologies has decreased considerably; therefore, we have had constructive and successful discussions about technology with our clients. The effect of the discussions we held in 2015 and 2016 can only be felt now because it usually takes some time before these discussions can yield results.
Q: Do you see any potential improvements in the market and where do you think the market is heading?
A: We have seen that the market has changed in the past six to nine months. In comparison to 2016, a year in which we had very little activity, 2017 has proven to be more positive and we have been adding projects to our pipeline. Our sales team is also much more successful compared to 2015 and 2016. We have recently signed a few contracts and we have many upcoming projects for the rest of the year. I believe that we have been able to turn the ship around.
Q: What are the expectations and ambitions of Fishbone in the coming years?
A: The ambition is to become a global player in the stimulation market and strengthen our presence in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Americas, and Africa. We want to expand to the entire world, doubling our revenue every year. For example, we have participated in a qualification process in Mexico and we are a certified supplier to Pemex. Fishbones is working with Pemex on future applications but, unfortunately, they have no upcoming projects for now. However, we are in close communication with the Mexican company.
Q: In which other countries do you see the possibility to enter into promising contracts?
A: The United States is very promising, although we are not going to enter the shale gas market. Fishbones will keep providing quality services regarding conventional activities. Compared to traditional fracking, Fishbones is providing a more environmentally friendly approach. We have prospects in California; a major company is considering using our services because they are not allowed to perform fracking activities in the state. Therefore, our drilling technology is a suitable alternative; there are no additional fluids because we use the same technology and materials as in drilling activities.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: I believe that it is important to mention our aim to preserve the environment. I will be meeting with one of the main operators to discuss the possibilities of geothermal drilling since they believe that we can assist them in increasing the efficiency of their wells. We are looking for ways to contribute towards renewable energy and perform activities in a more environmentally friendly way.
We see that the carbon footprint of our operations is lower compared to traditional stimulation solutions. If operators wish to cut emissions, they are more than welcome to contact Fishbones. We carried out a study on the carbon footprint in order to apply for Horizon 2020 and it was reviewed by a third party. They have concluded that emissions can be greatly reduced by using Fishbone’s applications.