In The Oil Patch – Episode 127: host Kym Bolado and her cohost Alvin Bailey welcome Gordon Nameni onto the show! Gordon is the COO of Platypus Technologies, a cutting edge company that develops sensors for dangerous gases in the oilfields. Their technology is being outfitted for more than oilfield work, so listen closely to see how their sensors can help save your life one day!
Alvin: 00:01 Welcome to In the Oil Patch presented by SHALE Oil and Gas Business Magazine and sponsored by STEER. In the Oil Patch is where together we learn and explore topics that affect us all in oil and gas, business, and in your community. Every week our host Kym Bolado along with me, Alvin Bailey will visit with the movers and shakers in this fast-paced industry. You’ll hear from industry experts, elected officials, and many more right here on In the Oil Patch.
And welcome to this week’s In the Oil Patch, my name’s Alvin Bailey here with your host Kym Bolado. Kym, it’s been a while since we’ve both been in the same studio in fact we’re in a new studio.
Kym: 00:39 That’s right. It’s a while because you’ve been traveling and I’ve been traveling and we’ve had a couple of things happen; illness and you got sick and then I got sick, and so now we’re back in studio again.
Alvin: 00:51 And I’ve been all over the country and you’ve been all over the country and you know now we’re back in a brand new studio and I love the acoustics of this room. It’s so quiet in here and it’s so comfortable and the air conditioning works. Shale studios, we’ve arrived Kym!
Kym: 01:08 This is a much nicer studio I agree. We’re stepping up our game!
Alvin: 01:13 Hey, a couple of things before we get to David Blackmon, the latest issue…
Kym: 01:17 I’m so excited! You know we’ve had a partnership in place since we actually began SHALE Magazine – STEER. And it always has been a goal of mine to put them on the cover and it has always been Omar Garcia like, “wait we’re almost there, we’re almost there we’re almost there”.
Finally he agreed to get on our cover, him and his team. You know there’s a lot of case history now that he has wins. They were a fairly new organization too, under five years old. So it was a real honor for us to bring to our readers and our listeners a different type of oil and gas organization. It’s beautifully written by, of course, David Blackmon. And you know this group really knows how to do what they do very well and that is talk to the media, advocate on behalf of the oil and gas industry, and also advocate on behalf of the community. It’s a great fit; great model.
Alvin: 02:17 You will never ever meet a finer bunch of people than the folks who work for STEER.
Kym: 02:20 I couldn’t agree with you more. We’ve had such a pleasure having a partnership and friendship with them over the years and it makes me feel good to be able to tell their story in a way that I think that we probably are the only ones who could. I think sometimes all the work that they do doesn’t really get noticed. And we wanted to make sure that we were able to capture this organization, it’s leader, and it’s employees. It’s team is just dynamic.
Alvin: 02:55 You know and one of the things that I’ve noticed about STEER functions is: everybody that works for STEER likes working with each other. It’s just such a great organization and it’s gonna be a great story so you can check that out online at www.shalemag.com and read about our friends at STEER. Kym, the Texas Energy Advocates Coalition…
Kym: 03:21 We are still going and growing. We are prepping for next year, of course we’ll have an energy day as well. We’re looking forward to participating with the Consumer Energy Alliance out there in Houston for their Energy Day in October. We are active and if anybody wants to join a group of advocates that care about energy – oil and gas specifically – I’m encouraging them to come and join. Go to shalemag.com, click on TEAC and sign up. It’s free to join! We do hold different events throughout the year and we’re looking to grow our membership.
Alvin: 03:56 Well it’s time now Kym to catch up with our resident energy expert and Associate Editor of SHALE Magazine, David Blackmon, David welcome to the show today!
David: 04:05 Hey thanks for having me!
Kym: 04:08 No problem! Hey, I want to jump into things because we have a lot of activity going on and oil and gas. What is going on? Suddenly WTI is on the rise. What do you think is causing that and now is it here to stay?
David: 04:22 Well you know it’s it’s been a nice bump up. We were over $51 on Monday on the WTI price and Brent was trading at $56 and that’s as strong as those prices have been since January. It’s a combination of a lot of things but mainly it’s due to the fact that traders are realizing that the market is growing much tighter now. The the global surplus is now a few hundred thousand barrels a day, where a year ago it was a million and a half barrels a day and just steadily falling every month.
I think everyone is coming to a consensus that unless OPEC decides to scrap their production limitation agreement, the market will rebalance here sometime early in 2018. And so it’s causing some upward pressure on the price which is great. It’s still not where it really needs to be for everyone to be able to drill wells in all parts of the country, but it’s certainly a lot better situation than we were in six months ago.
Kym: 05:37 Well, it kind of shores up the crystal ball, if you will, that you used when you were talking to us in the early part of the year. You kind of maintain [that] “we’re going to stay in this price until probably sometime in 2018”, so that was a good call because it looks like it’s coming true. But at the same time that things are rising in the way of pricing, we’re also seeing some rig count slowing down, so tell me a little bit about rig count winners and losers for this week. What’s going on and why are we losing rigs still?
David: 06:14 Continuation of the same story since June. The rig count did fall by a few rigs last week and was down by five rigs overall, but we had seven new rigs activated in the Permian Basin because that’s where the economics for drilling are the best.
The Eagle Ford held steady, which it has continued to do throughout this very slow fall in the overall national rig count, and that’s because the economics in the Eagle Ford are pretty much better than anywhere except the Permian. So, the good news for Texas is that our drilling activity in this state is going to remain strong throughout the rest of this year.
I think there’s just virtually no question about that. But in other parts of the country where the economics are not as good, the D.J. Basin in Colorado, the Bakken in North Dakota, and even the Scoop Stack economics are not quite as good as they are in Texas. The Scoop Stack in central Oklahoma is still a hot play area but the economics just are not quite as good as they are down in Texas. So, God bless Texas!
Kym: 07:31 There you go! And we definitely use the revenue and the resources to help build our rainy day fund. But I want to go back and visit the scoop and stack because they’re going into special session. Tell me what you think is going on in that area and why is this a very important time for the Scoop and Stack in Oklahoma?
David: 07:53 Well, it’s a critical time, and one of the things that’s holding the Scoop and Stack back from being even hotter than it already is is the uncertainty within the state government on taxation of the industry. The Oklahoma State Government has run a very significant budget deficit the last three years since the oil price collapsed in 2014. And they have been unable to enact reforms that resolve the structural funding issue that they have.
In the industry, there’s a high level of uncertainty because people are concerned that the state is going to come after the oil and gas industry for more taxes. When you have that kind of uncertainty, it makes it more difficult for these businesses to plan their cash flow, their capital allocations and drilling levels in particular. One of the reasons it stays so strong in Texas is because we have such a stable situation on regulatory and tax from our state government. Whereas in some of these other states like Louisiana, nobody is drilling in Louisiana right now because the state government is in such an uncertain situation we see the same thing happening in Oklahoma.
As long as that uncertainty exists, it’s going to reign in the exuberance for the Scoop Stack even though they do have a world class resource up there. Hopefully after this special session, things will become more stable and people will feel more secure in allocating capital up there.
Kym: 09:36 Right. Now, why is it that the elected officials in Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma as a state doesn’t look at the model that’s working obviously in Texas and move towards that understanding how important these resources are for the overall well-being of their state? What is the issue there?
David: 09:55 Well actually, of course I’ve been around a long time, twenty years ago I can remember talking with the speaker of the house at the time up there in Oklahoma about the need for the state of Oklahoma to have a rainy day fund. They’ve never established a rainy day fund like Texans did in 1981.
At the time we were having that discussion, Oklahoma was pretty flush and they were getting lots of revenues in from the oil and gas industry, a lot of natural gas drilling was going on there. It would have been a really good time for the state government to build themselves a rainy day fund for just exactly the situation they’ve been in the last three years. They chose not to do that, and they never have done it since, and here in Texas we’ve got over $10 billion in our rainy day fund thanks to the oil and gas industry. That stabilizes your budgetary situation.
Kym: 10:52 Exactly, especially understanding this is a commodity that is going to go up and down and fluctuate all the time. You would think that they would understand that and be a little bit better prepared. Every single year is not going to be a great year, especially in this area. You should be prepared for when those times come.
David: 11:19 Oklahoma’s term limits and their legislature exacerbates this problem. I know a lot of people are really very much in favor of term limits, but you’ve got this 12 year mandatory turnover. So there’s nobody in the legislature today that remembers 20 years ago when I was having that conversation with the Speaker then.
Nobody remembers past 2005 because nobody had been there since earlier than 2005, and so you don’t have that institutional memory about, “what could we have done back then that would have helped us now?” That was just one of my pet peeves about Oklahoma State Government. Just my opinion, but i think it’s a pretty educated one at this point.
Kym: 12:11 Well David, thank you for the energy update. We do have to take a quick break and we’ll be right back with more of In the Oil Patch radio show when we return!
Baptist Healthy Solutions: 12:20 You know, great companies take great care of their employees. Ensure the well-being of your workforce with Baptist Healthy Solutions, your answer to convenient and affordable health care that comes to you!
Our mobile health unit delivers on-site, state of the art, comprehensive care that keeps your employees healthy from the day they’re hired til’ the day they retire.
From pre-employment screenings to routine immunizations to on-site injury care and more, trust Baptist Healthy Solutions with your workforce health care needs. Health care that comes to you. Call 866-334-2485 today!
Alvin: 12:59 And welcome back to this week’s In the Oil Patch. My name’s Alvin Bailey, here with Kym Bolado. Kym, we’ve got a great guest on the line today, a very interesting company. Gordon Nameni, the Chief Operating Officer for Platypus Technologies, take it away Kym!
Kym: 13:16 Well Alvin, glad to have you back. You’ve been gone for a little bit.
Alvin: 13:19 I’ve been traveling a little bit.
Kym: 13:20 You have, and so I’m glad to have you back in studio with us and yes I’m very excited to introduce our guests this week Platypus Technologies. Gordon welcome to In the Oil Patch radio show.
Gordon: 13:31 It’s a pleasure to be with you, Kym.
Kym: 13:47 Well, one of the things that we pride ourselves on is our oil and gas magazine, Shale Magazine, which you guys are a partner of. We really do try to promote awareness and education for companies that are going above and beyond in really trying to help the energy sector become more energy efficient, more efficient with their technology, and more cutting edge. There so many great companies that are on the forefront of that, and Platypus is one of these amazing companies that are working towards excellent technology to really help the energy industry as a whole.
So tell me a little bit about the company, its heritage, where it came from, and let’s talk a bit about Platypus before you get into the oil and gas sector.
Gordon: 14:36 Sure! Platypus Technologies was founded in 2000 by three University of Wisconsin-Madison professors: Nicholas Abbott, Chris Murphy, and Barbara Israel. And since then, we’ve been working to develop the liquid crystal-based sensor for gas detection. And so we originally started off with focusing on molecular analysis, but time and through trials we’ve figured out that the actual target for the technology was gas detection. That’s what we’ve been commercializing the technology for.
Kym: 15:18 Okay. Now you guys have also hit a milestone. You guys have been around for a very long time, right? How many years are you celebrating being in business? You’re definitely not a newcomer.
Gordon: 15:29 Definitely not. We’ve been around since 2000 so this is our 17th year of operation and I’ll tell you that through those years we’ve had a number of various grants. We’ve had DARPA grants, DoD grants, and what those grants have done was allow us to actually develop our technology. Only three years ago was when we actually came out with our first commercial liquid crystal-based gas detection sensor.
Kym: 16:00 Okay, so it’s fairly new in the way of oil and gas but I want to back up just a little bit because it’s hard to understand. Alvin and I were always talking about how the general perception of oil and gas – and I’m sure you’ll recognize this – is that it’s blue collar, it’s oil, it’s a very misunderstood industry, but it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s not just blue collar and anyone can get a job and do the job in oil and gas it’s extremely technical.
Alvin: 16:34 And today’s rough necks really have as computer literate as an astronaut. The technology that these guys are dealing with on a daily basis is just mind-blowing.
Kym: 16:48 Exactly. Gordon, what I want to talk about is also recognize and agree with us that there are some definite key-changers when you look at how the oil and gas industry does their work, but it makes sure that it is safe for the community, safe for their workers, safe for the environment.
One of the things that you guys at Platypus come up with is some technology that really helps move this forward or continues to help the energy industry stay affront of what is commonly known as a toxic gas. I want to talk a little bit about the gas itself and the sensors that you guys are known for.
Speaker 11: 17:27 Right. So we have just recently commercialized our Hydrogen Sulfide Platypus Dosimeter. In the oil and gas industry, the main concern has been exposure to H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide). For the last several years – I would say probably for quite some time now – the common way for measuring exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide has been the use of Sorbent Tubes.
Now the way the Sorbent Tubes works is it’s a little patch where a tube would then be adhered to the lapel of a worker’s jacket or whatever have you, and that worker walks around with the Sorbent Tube for about eight hours or whatever that work shift is. After that, the Sorbent Tube gets packaged and sent out and it takes 10 to 14 days to get the results back.
Well, the Platypus sensor is based on liquid crystals. The liquid crystals are the same sort of liquid crystals that are inside your phone. We take that, we repurpose it with some chemistry, and that liquid crystal then becomes sensitive to reactions with the specific toxic gas. Now, in this case our first commercial technology is Hydrogen Sulfide.
We have a number of sensors currently in development for Nitrogen Dioxide, Chlorine, Formaldehyde, and so forth. With our specific focus on Hydrogen Sulfide, the sensor allows the users to be able to get a measurement value without actually having to wait for 10 to 14 days as with the Sorbent Tube.
Alvin: 19:40 So is it a realtime reading that whoever’s wearing the sensor is getting?
Gordon: 19:42 That’s right. It actually ends up being a cumulative realtime reading. Let’s say it’s an eight hour shift, or even a 12 hour shift – It doesn’t really matter. When the worker is done with their shift, in this case an industrial hygienist or whoever it is that is reading the device can now get a realtime value right away without having to wait for a period of 10 or 14 days.
You could say this “getting your results faster” may actually cost more, but because we’re working with these liquid crystals that are pretty ubiquitous in this day and age, “who do you know that does not have a smartphone?”, is the real question. And so we’ve been able to get access to a very low cost of raw material that we’re now able to then convert to a sensor, so we’re producing this technology at a very nice competitive price point that allows our target users to actually save money. So we’re not only saving time but we’re also saving money, and of course with exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide, we’re also hopefully saving lives as well.
Alvin: 20:58 …and much more humane than carrying a canary around in a cage with you all day.
Gordon: 20:58 Exactly.
Alvin: 21:04 Well, Gordon we’re at the end of this segment we do need to take a quick break. We’ve got more in the next segment with Gordon Nameni. He is the Chief Operating Officer for Platypus Technologies. You’re listening to In the Oil Patch, my name’s Alvin Bailey here with Kym Bolado and we’ll be right back!
WEN: 21:25 The vision of the Women’s Energy Network is to be the premiere organization that educates, attracts, retains, and develops professional women working across the value chain. Also known as WEN, our mission is to develop programs that provide networking opportunities and foster career and leadership development of women who work in the energy industry.
Thousands of women are breaking ground in energy industry careers, every year and 4,000 of them are already members of the Women’s Energy Network across our 14 chapters! Members receive exclusive access to mentoring, job boards, group discussions, member-only networking events, expert speaking engagements, and more.
Join today by visiting WomensEnergyNetwork.org/Houston or call 1-855-390-0650. The Women’s Energy Network: Empowering Women in Energy!
Alvin: 22:12 And welcome back to In the Oil Patch, my name’s Alvin Bailey here with Kym Bolado and our special guest today with Platypus Technologies, Gordon Nameni. You’re the Chief Operating Officer for Platypus and in the last segment, Gordon, we were talking about your crystal sensor technology and I want to take just a step back and let’s talk about Sulfur gas. Now, driving through the oil fields in the Permian Basin and even some areas in the Eagle Ford you get that sour gas smell. Is that the product that the sensors are finding?
Gordon: 22:49 Yes. In fact, that is the product that the Platypus H2S Dosimeter would measure. OSHA has a requirement that individual exposure to the gas should not exceed a hundred parts per million. Above that level, it’s immediately dangerous to life and health, therefore OSHA requires that all oil and gas operations as well as some manufacturing operations maintain an exposure level below that for their workers and as a result these companies and operations have to demonstrate compliance with that, and so they use Sorbent Tubes.
They also use color metric tubes which are a little lower cost but are not very precise and they use four gas monitors that are really expensive and realtime but they don’t really allow every single worker to be outfitted with an exposure measurement device. So the Platypus sensor actually is not only low cost in that it would allow every single worker to actually wear and expose your monitor, but it’s also realtime. It takes away that 10 or 14 day waiting period for the Sorbent Tubes, and it allows a very precise reading which is something that the color metric tubes do not offer. Because it’s lower cost, you can outfit every single worker with one as opposed to groups of workers that would ultimately wear the device if it was a four gas monitor. With that respect, H2S is something that’s very well known in our industry and now it’s a question of how do you measure the gas and still be compliant with the government at a price point that doesn’t create a bankruptcy? The Platypus sensor can be there to fill that gap.
Kym: 24:52 Well you know safety is is vital, and I speak because I’ve been around the oil and gas sector for so long. There’s a major importance in how they feel about not wanting anyone on their team to ever be exposed to anything that might harm them, or take them to the hospital, or worse. All of the oil and gas companies and service companies start with what they call a “safety moment”. And so it begins; every one of their days is “safety is the priority” and the utmost importance. When you talk about oilfield workers and the importance of doing their job while avoiding H2S gas over exposure as well as exposure to other gases, obviously it can be quite hazardous.
Monitoring and making sure that companies invest in the best technology available to keep their employees and the community safe as well is the most important thing, in my opinion. It’s not widely known how far they go with really taking this stuff as seriously as they do. The product and looking at H2S gas which is odorless, you can’t see it, and yet it can be extremely harmful if not deadly if you’re exposed to it is very important.
One of the things that I am aware of is that you’ve been evaluated and you’re working closely with OSHA and they do look to work with companies that develop technology to help ensure that the environment, as well as safety regulations are being adhered to. You’ve had the opportunity to work with OSHA I want to get into the data with you here, but we’re going to have to take a quick break. You’re listening to In the Oil Patch radio show, but when we return we’re going to get back into that data with Gordon Nameni of Platypus Technologies.
Texas Alliance: 26:54 Have you heard of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, the largest state association in the country? Eighty seven years strong serving independents and it’s right here in Texas! Offices in Houston, Austin, and Wichita Falls.
Over 3,000 members of all ages like you who are in the oil and gas industry, or who have family members and friends who are. Company members range from one employee to large independents. Lobbying, networking events, and saving you money!
For a membership tailored just to fit your budget, contact Sandi Simon at SandiS@TexasAlliance.org or call (281) 997-7223.
Alvin: 27:55 Shale Oil and Gas Business Magazine is the one stop shop that will keep you in front of the customers that you need to grow your business. So let’s start growing your business in Texas, email us: info@ShaleMag.com.
Kym: 28:18 You’re listening to In the Oil Patch radio show! Our guest today is Gordon Nameni, COO of Platypus Technology. Gordon, before the break we were discussing H2S gas and I wanted to come back and visit that topic because in between break you had talked to me about how sometimes you can smell H2S gas and other times you can’t. Can you clarify what specifically H2S is as far as can you smell it or can you not smell it and detect it?
Gordon: 28:45 Sure. Essentially H2S does give out this rotten egg odor at concentrations that are low in air. So, you will initially smell it but what happens is that there is a quick olfactory fatigue where just after a little bit of exposure your nose can no longer pick up that odor. That’s what makes it particularly dangerous.
With a short amount of exposure over time, your nose can’t smell it and then you could potentially walk into areas where there are high levels of H2S and then that could certainly be dangerous to health. That’s why it’s particularly important that you have good monitoring technology for H2S.
Kym: 29:32 There’s a lot of listeners that either have loved ones and or family that are working in the energy industry. I think it definitely was worth clarifying that the industry is safe, and that these are some of the technologies they utilize so that way they’re not exposed to it. If they are, it goes off and lets them know, “hey this is not a good situation! Get upstream or get out of the way of the air cycle in which it’s coming down that way you’re not exposed to any type of H2S gas”.
Gordon: 29:32 That’s right.
Alvin: 30:06 Gordon, you mentioned earlier that you guys have worked with OSHA and had them evaluate some of your data. Let’s let’s get into that a little bit. What is that all about?
Gordon: 30:15 Sure. We’ve been quite fortunate, Alvin. We’ve had above $8 million in federal grants over the last several years that’s allowed us to develop this liquid crystal-based gas detection technology.
Over the last two or three years we’ve been working with NIOSH to evaluate the Platypus H2S Dosimeter and at two separate oil and gas operations in the Dakotas. They’ve come back to let us know that our dosimeters are actually equal if not better than the OSHA method for determining H2S.
We’ve been encouraged by the results and we are continuing to invest in commercializing our technology. Right now, OSHA and I would say particularly NIOSH, rather, is in the throes of evaluating our sensors and other oil and gas operations.
Kym: 31:19 Gordon, another interesting product that you guys have is the Platypus Dosimeter. Tell me a little about what is that designed to do and help with the government standards.
Gordon: 31:29 Sure. So basically the dosimeter is the format in which we can measure cumulative exposure to H2S. The dosimeter allows any sort of gas exposure to be measured over time and there are dosimeters for multiple types of gases, in this particular application we’re interested in measuring H2S. The Sorbent Tube can serve as a dosimeter.
We have the color metric tubes that also serve as dosimeters. The realtime monitors, such as the four gas sensors and single gas sensors, are all being outfitted to be able to record the amount of gas over time, therefore they can serve as a dosimeter as well.
What sets the Platypus technology apart is that the Sorbent Tube, to extract what that dosimeter value is, you have to send it into an independent lab that takes 10 to 14 days to get your results back. By the time that you get your data back you may not know if your workers were in fact exposed to H2S, so that’s not any good.
The color metric tubes that are being used as dosimeters, they don’t really offer good precise exposure information. It’s rather diffuse, it’s kind of hard to tell. With a Platypus sensor, not only do we offer that information in realtime, but it’s a very precise value. I would say that that’s based on all the amount of R&D that we’ve put into the development of our brand of dosimeter.
With respect to the four gas sensor and other direct reading instruments that also alarm, they’re just quite expensive. We’re talking about in the range of $1,800 to $3,000 for a four gas monitor whereas the Platypus system costs about $65.00 and you don’t have to wait 10 or 14 days to get results back.
Kym: 33:52 You also don’t have a lot of fees that are attached them too like lab analysis and different fees for shipping out and waiting for the evaluation to come back. Right now, Gordon, the name of the game is efficiency especially at $50 a barrel. Not only is this technology amazing and cutting edge, it actually is saving the oil and gas industry money as well as saving lives.
Alvin: 34:19 This is a tool that’s being brought to the industry. This is the equivalent of a field sobriety test versus a breathalyzer. Which is going to be more accurate?
Kym: 34:28 Exactly. That’s why I’m so excited to have him on the show because this is cutting edge technology that not a lot of the oil and gas industry is familiar with, and I’m glad we have them on the show to talk about it.
Alvin: 34:37 Well Gordon we do need to take a quick break. We’ve got another segment we want to delve in a little further to some of the technologies that Platypus Technologies is bringing to market. You’re listening to In the Oil Patch, my name’s Alvin Bailey here with Kym Bolado and our special guest Gordon Nameni with Platypus Technologies. We’ll be right back.
Young Women Energized: 34:55 Young Women Energized is a free one night annual event on October 10th for high school girls to learn more about energy and stem careers and prepare for college. We have programs designed specifically for freshmen sophomores, juniors, seniors, parents, counselors, and educators. We have hands-on exhibits, mentoring tables from companies like BP, Baker Hughes, GE, Cheniere and many more! Registration will be live August 25th and we are currently accepting Women’s Energy Network college scholarship applications through September 25th. Feel free to contact us at HouYWE@WomensEnergyNetwork.org, or you can find more details at WomensEnergyNetwork.org/Houston/Community-Initiatives. You can follow YWE directly at @YWEHouston on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. For more information go to ShaleMag.com and click on the Women’s Energy Network banner ad.
PESA: 35:54 PESA is the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association who is the unified voice for the energy industry’s service, supply, and manufacturing organizations advocating and supporting continued achievements in job creation, technological innovation, and economic stability. PESA provides corporate membership opportunities in two categories: industry and allied.
Over the years, a lot of amazing companies have become members of PESA but don’t take my word for it, click on the directory on their website and see for yourself. In order to become a member of PESA, all you need to do is go to PESA.org, click on the membership tab and fill out an application.
Oilfield Experts: 36:26 From the auto repair shop to the pump jack, call us to get the right part right now! Here’s the number so write it down: Oilfield Experts (210) 471-1923.
Alvin: 36:45 Shale Oil and Gas Business Magazine is the one-stop shop that will keep you in front of the customers that you need to grow your business. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alvin: 36:52 And welcome back to In the Oil Patch! My name’s Alvin Bailey here with Kym Bolado your host, and we’ve got on the line with us today some very interesting technology, Platypus. Gordon, we’ve had a great time talking to you today, you’re the COO for Platypus Technologies. You guys have brought to market some very interesting technology that is really good for tracking the exposure to different types of gases. Not just the sour gas but all different types of gases, correct?
Gordon: 37:24 That’s right. Right now you could say we have some technology developments in place for ammonia sensing, nitrogen dioxide, pesticides, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, chlorine. All these sensors are on a development path to get to market in the next couple of years. But the one technology that we actually have out there that people have been purchasing and using has been our H2S Dosimeter.
Kym: 37:54 I don’t know about you, Alvin, but that makes me feel really good because there is so much out there that we get exposed to, or have the potential of being exposed to, in our first responders and people that are working in the science field. This is good to know that there’s new technology coming onboard to try to help catch exposure early before people get sick.
Alvin: 38:17 Absolutely and with an emerging oil and gas industry, especially in the state of Texas, the port of Corpus Christi is going to be one of the largest export ports in the world at some point. These guys are really on top of it. With the industry booming like it’s about to, and with all the drilling and whatnot going on, this is a great idea for not only our oil and gas service companies and our drillers, but our first responders. They should be able to monitor exposure to these different types of gases. In cities, municipalities and schools, the market is really endless for who could use products from Platypus Technologies.
Kym: 38:17 Exactly.
Gordon: 39:07 That’s right, Alvin. It’s not a lack of technology that’s out there in the market right now, it’s a question of cost and price. There is realtime technology that can measure some of these gases that are out there but some of it is just in-exorbitantly expensive. Because we use liquid crystals, the same technology that’s inside your phone, It’s everywhere. So because of our technology, we’re able to take those existing liquid crystals, put it into a format that can allow the sensing of these different gases, but we can do it in a way that’s low cost and easy to use. That’s the main differentiator that we think we’ll be able to enable people to do gas measurement in areas where they were not able to before because it was too expensive. That’s why I think that Platypus Technologies is going to be able to make a difference in the market.
Kym: 40:02 I want to talk about some developing technology that you guys have coming up. Talk to us a little bit about Platypus spot sensors and then we’ll get into the electronic monitoring.
Gordon: 39:10 Sure, so the spot sensor is our answer to working with the color metric sensors. The color metric sensors, as I said before, are very diffuse. It’s really hard to tell what’s happening there if you look at the results of the color metric sensor it’s a blind man’s guess as to what the reading really is.
The spot sensor from Platypus; because we’re working with liquid crystals, we’re able to get very precise readings and at a price point of around $65 for our dosimeter, we feel that that’s much lower than anything else out there in the market. We are attempting to go even lower with the spot sensor. We have been able to gauge our price point at around $8 to $10 for this technology, so it’s almost the same thing as the dosimeter – very precise, very accurate, very realtime – but the difference is at a much lower cost and it would then also enable individual readings for individual workers. That’s the main difference with the spot sensor and the dosimeter.
Kym: 41:28 The electronic monitors, tell me a little bit about the wearable electronic devices with alarms that you guys are creating. Is it the clip-on that detects toxic gas?
Gordon: 41:38 Exactly that, Kym. We actually are the benefactors of a nice grant from the Department of Homeland Security where we’re now taking our spot sensors and we are converting them into an electronic signal. So, where exposure to a specific gas occurs the electronic monitor would produce an audible alarm, or even a vibratory alarm, or even a signal (red light) to indicate so that others can see that in that specific area there is in fact the presence of a toxic gas. That technology has already been demonstrated to the Army Research Office. We did that demonstration last year in our offices in September and it’s also been demonstrated as a tool for mine safety. So we’ve been able to move the technology along in a really short fashion. We expect that by the end of next year that technology should also be available to the public.
Alvin: 42:38 The canaries are going to be real happy to hear that that’s come into the mines.
Gordon: 42:43 I don’t think that our competitors are going to be too happy; again we cut the cost of the sensor technology by about half.
Alvin: 42:52 Wow! Gordon if somebody is listening and they want to get more information about Platypus Technologies, how do they get in touch with you guys.
Gordon: 43:08 Okay, it’s simple just go to PlatypusTech.com. And for our sensors you would simply click on our “Products” and “Chemical Sensors” link.
Alvin: 43:13 Very good. On the worldwide web it’s PlatypusTech.com. Gordon Nameni, thank you so much for joining us, this is very interesting technology! This is one of the most high tech industries, if not the most high tech industry in the world today. That’s saying something with computer technology like the Apples of the world, and the Microsofts of the world, but I think the the oil and gas industry is probably the highest technology industry in operation today.
Kym: 43:51 I agree. Well Gordon, it was so nice having you as a guest and we look forward to having you back on when you guys come to market with the monitors as well as the sensors.
Alvin: 44:00 Please keep us abreast of new products that you come out with and we’d sure love to talk about it.
Gordon: 44:05 Absolutely. It’s been my pleasure. Thank you guys for the time.
Alvin: 44:09 Well Kym, it’s time for trivia and I think we need to make Platypus Technologies the focus of today’s trivia question! Hey be the first person to email the correct answer to the following trivia question to Radio@ShaleMag.com and you’ll win yourself a $100 gift certificate to Fogo de Chao, an amazing Brazilian steakhouse.
Today’s trivia question is: earlier in the show, Gordon Nameni with Platypus Technologies talked about a specific crystal that they use sensors for their H2S sensing technology. All you need to do is tell me what kind of crystal that is.
Be the first correct answer emailed to Radio@ShaleMag.com and you’ll be the winner. Well Kym, that about puts this show in the books until next week. Be sure and like us on Facebook that’s Facebook.com/InTheOilPatchRadioShow, on Twitter @ShaleMag and Kym until next week…
Kym: 44:09 Adios!
Alvin: 45:18 In the Oil Patch is where together, we learn and explore topics that affect us all in oil and gas, business, and in your community. Every week our host Kym Bolado along with me, Alvin Bailey will visit with the movers and shakers in this fast-paced industry. You’ll hear from industry experts, elected officials, and many more right here on In the Oil Patch.
Please note that the trivia question and prize have already been submitted and claimed. Listen each week following this schedule for your chance to win:
Saturdays from 8am-9am
KSIX 1230AM, 95.1FM & 96.1FM
Sundays from 8pm-9pm
Newsradio 740 KTRH 740AM
Simulcast on the iHeartRadio app
Houston / Worldwide
Connect with In The Oil Patch
-Originally aired on 09/30/2017 – 10/01/2017-
Photo Source: www.linkedin.comClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine