Lawrence – CEO, John Woods – Technical Director, Scott Wooldridge – Operations Director, Ana-min – Malaysia
Ana-min’s management team offer an introduction to their company and its GeoMin technology, the only wellsite quantitative mineralogical service on the market.
What is the principal impact of Ana-min’s GeoMin technology on the oil and gas industry?
Mark Lawrence (ML): GeoMin is a first to market rig and laboratory-based mineralogical analysis technology that will redefine decision making at a senior management and operational level. Deployed at the wellsite, it obtains definitive, quantitative, mineralogical information and this information is incredibly valuable to an operator.
At the board level, directors are focused on establishing the internal rate of return and net present value resulting from drilling opportunities, and the key to making confident decisions is quantitative, accurate, measured data that reduces risk and uncertainty during the decision making process. This is especially critical in the current low oil price market.
Scott Wooldridge (SW): The key value of GeoMin to the industry is that it provides value at the rigsite for operational teams; in drilling, geoscience and subsurface through to strategic corporate decision making.
John Woods (JW): I see that one of the overriding values of GeoMin to the industry is the broad reaching and significant improvements in the realisation of asset potential.
In such a conservative industry, how is the market perceiving the new GeoMin technology?
JW: Recently I have found that although the industry has always shown resistance to new technologies, the clear potential and the scale of the GeoMin deliverables has proven to overcome initial resistance. It is our belief that this technology will become the accepted norm.
ML: The industry is conservative but GeoMin has had rapid uptake from the market, with industry professionals recognising the broad range of benefits for the company, from the boardroom through to operations. Ana-min’s technologies are based on methods that are well accepted and validated in other industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry, which is also conservative and has a similar appetite for quantitative data and quality information. The uptake has been very strong.
SW: I think Ana-min’s technologies are solving a big issue for the industry, at a time where operational budgets are constrained and increased pressures on decision making are present. Companies recognise our GeoMin technology as a way to save money and operate with more certainty. This is achieved by obtaining data from a single service and one technology that has, to date, required multiple service providers and less accurate technologies.
In my years’ working in the industry, I’ve not seen the buzz in the market created by a new technology that there is currently around GeoMin.
What is Ana-min’s internationalization strategy?
ML: In the last 12 months we have had unsolicited enquiries and uptake of this technology from operators around the world. While it is tempting to become worldwide overnight, Ana-min has a strategic plan in place to ensure we can deliver to our customers in a sustainable way, with an emphasis on maintaining the quality of the service.
SW: Our internationalisation strategy is in its early days, and we’ve recognised the need to partner with larger companies in order to deliver the service on the scale we’d like to. We are in discussions with established service companies who have the right technical competencies, established sales channels and streamlined delivery mechanisms. It’s important for us to maintain the quality throughout the lifecycle of delivering Ana-Min’s solutions, so we are carefully partnering with organisations that are the right fit us.
JW: Ana-min has already become established in the Asia Pacific region with representation in Europe, the Americas and Africa. We see ourselves developing an international portfolio within the next 12 months with further plans to enter the Middle East market going forward.
Ana-min’s vision is to be the ‘first to market’ with next generation mineralogical analysis. What has been your experience so far with achieving this vision?
SW: Clients have adopted this technology in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and as far away as Eastern Europe and West Africa. We are in further talks to expand the service with these clients, and we have been able to deliver great datasets to operators thus far.
Much of the work to date has been focused on legacy lab analysis and the feedback we are receiving shows the data is more comprehensive and more accurate than alternatives. Operators are recognising this as a ‘step change’ in quality, comprehensiveness and immediacy of mineralogical data.
ML: The key eye opening experience for us has been the applications that our clients have identified, which lead us to some very interesting analytical research projects that broadened the scope of the technology and opened up new services and deliverables we had not originally considered. One key area that comes to mind is the unconventionals market.
JW: Clients that have utilised the service have found it an information rich platform which has allowed them to make significant cost savings and make more intelligent decisions in asset acquisition. These tangible benefits have facilitated the development of product champions, promoting the service on our behalf purely from their own passion and enthusiasm for the technology.
Ana-min has currently been focused on implementing GeoMin in the conventional market. Are there any technology implications for the unconventional market?
ML: Yes, we have recently established a product extension known as StratoMin which was developed to cater to the unique requirements of the unconventional market. This market currently uses calculated interpretations to assess reservoirs and determine the productive plays. This method relies on analysing numerous logs that inherently build in error from the calculated methods, rather than utilising more accurate, direct quantitative analysis techniques such as provided by StratoMin.
With StratoMin, a vast majority of what an unconventional operator requires is measured and accurately determined through a single cuttings sample and onsite analysis. This is a unique opportunity to provide true value to an emerging market, saving both cost and time and decreasing the uncertainty in the decision making process.
JW: Yes certainly. Ana-min’s technologies are applicable to both the unconventional market and the conventional market. Indeed, StratoMin offers the potential to be the most effective technology available for understanding and developing unconventional reservoirs.
What are the strengths brought to Ana-min by your affiliation with R-Web?
JW: Our affiliation with R-Web gives us the capability of providing an effective software platform at the wellsite to deliver the analysis results without the need for detailed technical knowledge. A simple ‘one button’ analysis provides comprehensive deliverables. This integration also offers the strength of daily and final well reporting frameworks that incorporate the mineralogy information, which is a true first in the industry.
ML: R-Web offers a package known as R-Web Enterprise, which is recognised by many in the industry as the most comprehensive wellsite data capture software tool available for geocentric data, aimed at building the intelligence databank for operators and streamlining reporting to decision makers.
R-Web has experience in the oil and gas market spanning more than 17 years, and it was this experience that Ana-min wanted to leverage when seeking a software platform for product deliverables. By partnering with R-Web, Ana-min’s analytical processes for its products have been fully integrated into the daily workflow of well evaluation. This connection means that we are now able to deliver reports suitable for senior management and subsurface teams from the wellsite. Ana-min’s fit with such an end user focused company could not be better.
SW: Aside from R-Web’s vast experience in the market and the simplification of our technology delivery, R-Web’s capability to immediately replicate data from the wellsite to office means that the mineralogical data is now available for critical decision making whilst drilling. The timeliness of this information is a key part of Ana-min’s value offering, so partnering with R-WEB helped Ana-min execute this strategy rather rapidly.
Ana-min has also partnered with AIPC, a company that provides rigsite personnel. What advantage does this provide Ana-min’s customers?
SW: Whilst our technology is simple, GeoMin does require skilled personnel to conduct the analysis. Many operators will have their own in-house personnel and in those cases we will train their staff in the use of the technology, data acquisition and delivery of reports to the office. For those operators that choose to outsource their operational personnel, Ana‑min also recognised the need to deliver a high quality service. It was only natural that Ana-Min sought a partnership with a company that had a strong reputation for quality operational personnel and AIPC met that requirement. AIPC now provide a pool of skilled geoscientists well versed in the application of this new mineralogy focused technology at the wellsite.
Ana-min delivers accurate and immediate mineralogical interpretations to decision makers whilst drilling. How do you see Geomin as also helping in terms of safety and green consciousness within the industry?
ML: GeoMin is certainly an improvement in terms of safety, as this application uses no x-rays or harmful chemicals. Many previous geological technologies were not able to migrate to the wellsite as they brought serious HSE concerns, whereas GeoMin is benign at the wellsite and can offer immediate results without compromise to health, safety or the environment.
SW: Ana-min’s technologies, GeoMin and StratoMin, offer comprehensive and accurate mineralogical analysis providing immediate information on what and how to best complete a reservoir, well or field. So this technology could help to streamline drilling activities by lowering the required number of wells to be drilled for efficient and optimised production, subsequently reducing environmental impact.
Given your experience in the industry, why did you decide to take on the challenge of developing Ana-min’s technologies?
ML: My main motivation is to be involved in a serious step change within the industry. I have worked in the industry for almost 35 years, and I have seen many new developments, mainly in the geophysical world. However I have not encountered any other technology so innovative in the geological sphere over this entire period. The scanning electron microscopes and photomicrographs are the same today as 30 years ago, while the petrological and geological reports I looked at three years ago were generated with the same technology as the reports I read in 1980. Throughout my time in the industry, there has been nothing like GeoMin to move the ball so much further forward, and I am pleased to have the opportunity of taking this technology to the world.
JW: Although the technology has been available in other industries for some time, there was a clear gap in the market for making a significant technological step change utilising this service. This is the only technology which is able to simultaneously and directly ascertain the mineralogical and organic contents of geological samples. This technology represents an industry first and I’ve always felt a passion at being at the forefront of technology.