This article is featured this week in The Daily Oil Bulletin.

Dallas Lenius, President of HIVE Innovations and Gemini Fabrication, is a successful entrepreneur and business owner in the Canadian energy industry. Dallas has a knack for partnering his business strategy skills with other industry leaders’ big vision, to bring innovative companies to the industry, focused on challenging the business of energy.

The Current State of Innovation in the Energy Industry

DL: It’s easy for companies to stop focusing on innovation when the economy is strong and business is booming. But when there’s a downturn, we are forced to look for ways we can improve how we do business. The need for new efficiencies inevitably catalyzes innovation. Realistically, innovation should be the key priority of the energy industry, always.

Key to Innovation

DL: I think innovation happens when we are open-minded to new ways of doing things. We don’t just innovate our designs, but we get creative in our business models, in how we market and brand ourselves, how we finance our companies. We can’t hold too tightly to the way things have been done in the past, we constantly stay open to new ideas, new connections, new ways to solve problems. This is something I think we do really well at HIVE. We aren’t just innovative in our technology designs, we offer an innovative commercial model, dramatically decreasing the financial risk for our clients. We are also innovative in the role we play in the energy industry. We are looking for synergies with social enterprises and local and international charities, as well as companies making headway in the renewable and cleaner energy spheres, focusing on how we can contribute to solving problems.

Removing Barriers to Innovation

DL: We find at HIVE, that a lot of our clients are open to innovative thinking, but are restricted when adopting new technologies based on the high cost of implementation. We believe the essential response to this is to reduce those barriers and make new technology accessible to more companies. HIVE recently utilized this approach to develop the first commercially available Pad Level Solvent Recovery System (PadHX-SR). The use of solvents in heavy oil recovery has proven to improve economics, decrease GHG emissions substantially and decrease water usage in SAGD production. However, solvent recovery typically happens on a large scale at the CPF level and needs to be built upfront or it’s an enormous cost to the producing company. Our Pad Level Solvent Recovery System is a small-scale system that can be utilized on individual wellpads. This reduces the cost significantly and allows companies the flexibility of trying out different solvents at different times in the production cycle. We have had great success at reducing the cost of wellpads by designing repeatable modular solutions so we are always looking for ways to use these learnings on other technologies. We continuously ask ourselves, where else can we invest in long-lead items and design our technology in such a way that it is repeatable and available quickly?

Blending Repeatable Design with Customization

DL: At HIVE, we don’t see custom work and repeatable modular designs as exclusive of each other. Quite the opposite, we see these two concepts working hand in hand. Where it’s possible to save money by not redesigning work that has already been designed, we then pair this with custom solutions so that our clients have the care and focus required for their specific projects. We don’t want to be prescriptive, limiting our clients to one solution based on the technology we have available. Instead we stay open minded and creative in our problem solving. How can we develop a solution unique to this specific challenge? We recently paired repeatable design with customization on a 2 evaporator package expansion project we executed at the Osum Orion central processing facility. This custom project was designed specifically for the unique challenges of the site, most notably integrating new equipment into a legacy facility and performing a series of complex large equipment lifts within an operating facility. Yet the project was executed on schedule and on budget because of our commitment to pre-purchasing the long-lead materials required for an evaporator expansion project. We believe the success of this project was because of our commitment to blending repeatable design with customized design.

What’s Next For HIVE?

DL: HIVE Innovations continues to expand in the industry, providing full turn key solutions to our energy industry partners. We recently acquired the operating assets of Gemini Corporation, a company with 35 years history in the industry and have evolved it into Gemini Fabrication, allowing us a fully integrated approach to project development: engineering, management, fabrication, construction and execution. We are continuing to expand our capital development portfolio so that we can partner in funding our clients projects. Finally, we are committed to being part of the solution to the clean energy production challenges we face in Canada and globally. Whether by investing in renewable energy production technology or helping our oil and gas producing clients produce cleaner energy with a reduced carbon footprint, our commitment to innovation is at the forefront of our vision.