For business partners Dee Moorhouse and Kathy Rodriguez, a moment of truth in 2015 would completely rebalance the scales of where and how their company’s services were applied. For years, Midland-based Omni Air & Nitrogen primarily served the upstream industry, where 80% of its business came from E&Ps needing onsite air foam and nitrogen for wells with bottom hole pressure that required drill-outs, cleanouts, dewatering, air drilling, or freeing stuck pipe. Then suddenly, everything changed.
Omni Air & Nitrogen
Omni is a leader in the development of the upstream industry’s most advanced underbalanced systems; including drilling, completions and workovers. They also serve the midstream industry by specializing in pipeline and plant purging and pressure testing.
When commodity prices tanked, budgets dried up, and the phone stopped ringing, both Moorhouse and Rodriguez realized they had to make a serious shift in strategy. And they did. With the demand for new oil and gas infrastructure, Omni Air & Nitrogen swung into action delivering a mighty punch and earning a beyond-stellar reputation for tackling every size of job, no matter where the location. Today, 90% of Omni’s services are applied to midstream operations where the company offers the latest nitrogen membrane technology for pipeline purging, pigging, pressure testing, inerting, commissioning/decommissioning and drying pipelines, and plant purging and pressure testing.
“Our advanced membrane technology is a huge cost savings over liquid nitrogen for pipeline operators and downstream operations because our units produce nitrogen on-site and on-demand at the required volumes with pressures up to 5000 psi,” Moorhouse says. “Our units also offer computer-controlled sensors to monitor purity and 02 levels, so we can adjust on the fly.”
In contrast, liquid nitrogen must first be processed, trucked to the site, then extracted via a tank that pumps the liquid into a heater and returns the nitrogen into gas form. “That gets really expensive,” Moorhouse says. “When you’re talking about large jobs that require high levels of nitrogen, that means multiple transports bringing the liquid to the site, increasing the cost, as well as creating potential logistical issues due to a disruption in the supply chain.”
And Omni knows well about those “large jobs.” When the company recently received a call from a pipeline contractor whose client looked to convert a 525-mile NGL line to a crude line that would require 25,000 SCFM of nitrogen at 600 psi, Omni deployed 16 trucks with equipment, sub-contracted 12 trucks hauling liquid nitrogen, and completed the project several days ahead of schedule.
With a crush of projects ahead for oil and gas infrastructure expansions, hydrocarbon conversions, and pipeline maintenance, Omni Air & Nitrogen serves all producing basins across the U.S. with a fleet of 21 trailers and eight high volume/high pressure membrane systems.