Frackers Use GPS to Save on Compliance

by | Dec 18, 2012

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Oil well fracking specialist Endeavor Energy is using the SageQuest GPS system to reduce its environmental compliance risk, the companies have announced.

Without GPS fleet tracking most companies have to rely on policies and human effort to prove compliance issues, Endeavor says. The company’s Patrick Martinez says that this simply is not enough – especially when it comes to false accusations, and working in an area where competitors also operate.

Around the time that Endeavor started using SageQuest competitors were “showing up and just dumping [waste fracking water] anywhere,” Martinez says.

Using GPS data, however, Endeavor could prove that company trucks were not in the area at the time. The EPA then caught the competitor dumping and shut them down.

Martinez says that his company could have easily been shut down if it could not prove its innocence. On another occasion, Martinez was able to spot a spill, report it, and clean it up before the EPA or Rail Commission even got involved, helping the company avoid a fine or citation.

“Honestly, there have been a few times SageQuest might have saved our company,” Martinez says.

The company also says that SageQuest can help with health and safety and saving money in other ways. Using the GPS, managers can see how long a truck is parked for unloading, which is important for monitoring safety in a job where, according to Martinez there are many ways to get hurt.

“We have snakes, the heat gets crazy, the wells are dangerous – say one of my guys goes out, he’s supposed to be at a location at 10 am. He arrives, and the job is supposed to be complete in a matter of one hour. We start watching from 10 am to 11 am on the map. If 11 am rolls around, 15 or 20 minutes go by, and we don’t hear from him, we can send someone out there to make sure he’s ok and that everything else is going all right,” he says.

The GPS can also be integral in getting the correct number of trucks to a well in time for a frack, which can cost up to $1 million.

A report released in November claimed that the trucking sector could save 624 million metric tons of CO2e by 2022 if US tractor-trailer fleet operators adopted seven currently available efficiency technologies including GPS routing. According to the Carbon War Room and Trimble report, investing in the seven efficiency technologies on a new truck can cost more than $30,000, but would save companies $26,400 per truck per year.

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