“AIM"ing for a New Horizon

With the increase in fracking of existing oil wells to increase oil flow, the need for a mobile fueling solution became a priority for the oil services companies.

In late January of this year, Doug Dunlap, CEO of Syn-Tech Systems, Inc., along with Pat Goff, Longhorn Regional Sales Manager, visited the Permian Basin in West Texas to view the progress of Fuelmaster’s mobile equipment and Heavy Duty AIM2.4 in wet hosing refueling operations at hydraulic fracturing “fracking” sites. The new HD module is the brain child of Pat Goff and Todd McDaniel, Sales Manager for West Texas Gas. With the increase in fracking of existing oil wells to increase oil flow, the need for a mobile fueling solution became a priority for the oil services companies.

Frack sites can require refueling of as little as eight pieces of equipment and vehicles, with some sites refueling 50 pieces. The fracking process can last from a few days to several weeks. During this time, the continuous supply of fuel is necessary to keep both the equipment and site operational. According to Goff, “historically, mobile fueling operations had very little accountability and with the amount of fuel being dispensed, the oil services companies need a solution.” That solution was to combine FUELMASTER’s  expertise in mobile fueling with the AIM module. “We needed to show the oil services companies we had a system that could withstand the harsh environment at the fracking sites and consistently give us the accuracy we needed on fueling transactions” After some preliminary testing and development, a number of oil services companies expressed a strong interest in the product. This was something that the oil companies had been looking into for a quite awhile, but the lack of success with other equipment led to a cautious approach. Test programs were initiated at several frack sites and the initial test results were mixed due to a variety of issues including durability of the AIM2™ which was designed for municipal fleet users.  Syn-Tech’s engineers soon went to work on the redesign. The effort, managed by Brian Pietrodangelo, Applications Engineer, and Bill Brooks, Director of Engineering, led to development of the Heavy Duty AIM module. Signal strength was increased; cables and connectors were redesigned for greater durability; and, potting material was modified for increased resistance to the elements.  Although satisfied with the initial results, we at FUELMASTER remain cautiously optimistic, “it’s a good start, but we still have a lot of work to do” says Dunlap. Part of that work will be continued testing in our state of art test chamber. We will continue cycling the module through various environmental stresses to assure the design is sustainable.  When testing and final design are complete, it will enable FUELMASTER to market the AIM2.4 HD to a variety of heavy industrial uses.