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Oil conference gives businesses opportunity for exposure

By Nick Smith, Bismark Tribune 

Vendors set up Tuesday at the Williston Basin Petroleum conference, hoping for the chance to make contacts and sales.

There were more than 500 vendors registered for the conference, twice as many as last year.

DXP, short for Distribution Experts, was at the conference for the first time promoting its pumping systems.

“If it’s liquid we pump it,” said Pat Trentler, area manager for the company.

The Houston-based company has three offices in North Dakota.

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Brian Stanley, who does outside sales for the company, said DXP has made a name for itself in North Dakota for its safety systems. He said the conference is a chance for the company to show off the other things it does, letting people know the “safety guys” also do pumps.

“We haven’t touched all of the oil and gas people yet,” he said

For the oil and gas industry, the company offers pumps with meters and boost stations for pipelines. Stanley said he is hoping the conference provides leads and contracts in that area for the company.

Also at the conference was RAE Systems, which sells personal and wireless hydrogen sulfide gas monitors. The company’s toxic gas monitors are used in all of the major shale plays around the country, sales manager Ron Unruh said.

The foot traffic and customers it gains are what have kept RAE Systems coming back to the conference.

“It’s been a good event for us,” Unruh said.

RAE Systems’ products can be used at all steps of the oil and gas development process, from drilling a well to the refining stage. If a person wearing one of the company’s monitors becomes incapacitated from inhaling hydrogen sulfide, the monitor alerts a manager using the wireless system. It also informs emergency personnel to wear respiratory protection when they respond, Unruh said.

Another company, Go Wireline of Williston, was an exhibitor at the conference for the first time this year. Five of the owners of the company have been in the oil and gas business for 35 years, said Roger Stout, who works in sales for the company.

Go Wireline brought inert examples of its explosive devices used in the fracking process. The devices are sent down wells as far as 4 miles to blow small holes through the shale to allow fracking fluid to get into the formations.

Stout said the company is a North Dakota Petroleum Council member. That came to the conference for exposure and networking.

Mike Carbaugh, North Dakota Operations Manager for Quality Mat Company, said the company has been attending the conference for the past several years.

Carbaugh said the Beaumont, Texas-based company primarily rents its wood mats to customers. He said it saves companies money on providing stable surfaces for their well pads. It also saves on the cost of hauling and assembling mats through rental, he said.

“We make it so they can get into the drilling locations safely,” Carbaugh said.

Not only is Quality Mat Company networking, he said it has an on-site demonstration at the Civic Center.

Because construction of the Bismarck Civic Center expansion isn’t yet complete, he said the company was able to use its mats to provide a stable surface for the outdoor exhibits this week.

“We have a 50,000 square foot demonstration right outside,” Carbaugh said.

Emerson Process Management account manager Terry Worm said it was his first time at the conference but was finding it to be a good experience so far.

Worm, who works out of the company’s Mandan office, said his goal was to strengthen relationships with current customers and hopefully find a few new contacts this week.

“I (also) want to make sure I see Sean Hannity,” Worm said.

The Fox News television host is slated to give a Thursday morning speech in the Civic Center arena.

Emerson Process Management specializes in data processing. Data such as production, flowback rates and pressure are recorded and accessible digitally.

“You can sit down in Houston, type in the well and see what’s going on up here,” Worm said.

Account manager Ross Ready said Emerson is in a competitive area of the oil industry.

“It’s friendly,” Ready said. “There’s a lot of business out there for everyone. We just want to get as much of it as we can.”

Tamara Leher with Metcalf Archaeological Consultants said the conference was a good opportunity to see old friends and clients and work on finding a few new clients.

Metcalf Archaeological Consultants works with companies in ensuring they comply with laws relating to preserving cultural resources such as historical artifacts.

“We’re out there helping companies before they ever break ground,” Leher said.

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