Brian Chastain Brian Chastain is the President of Dynamix Engineering and Services Group, which supports businesses in the gas storage, utility services, and energy industries with project management solutions. Dynamix has been helping clients for over 45 years with site maintenance, replacement, and repurposing assets like wellheads and casing production tubing to remain compliant with industry standards. The company’s mission is to help others operate at their peak efficiency while minimizing their environmental impact.

googke podcast

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Brian Chastain explains some of the services they offer at Dynamix Engineering and Services Group
  • Brian talks about in-person onsite evaluation scenarios with their clients on gas well sites
  • What’s the importance of onsite evaluations?
  • What challenges might a brand face if it does not do an onsite well evaluation?
  • How do wells impact the environment if not evaluated correctly?
  • Brian explains how they complete surface analysis and run logs for wells

In this episode…

Are you lacking the ability to perform the necessary well work to improve working conditions and adhere to the regulatory and safety standards? If so, it’s vital that you seek solutions right away.

If you have a gas well, you need to put your employees’ safety first and understand how those wells impact the environment. You also have to maintain those wells to meet today’s regulatory standards. This is where onsite evaluations come into play. Consistent onsite evaluations of your wells are crucial to analyze any possible damage and understand what needs to be improved. Why else are initial onsite evaluations so important?

In this episode of the Project Dynamix Podcast, Brian Chastain, the President of Dynamix Engineering and Services Group, sits down with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, the Co-founder of Rise25, to discuss turnkey management solutions through onsite evaluations of gas wells. Brian explains the importance of onsite evaluations of gas wells, the challenges a brand might face if it does not complete onsite evaluations, and the impacts of unevaluated gas wells on the environment.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Dynamix.

Dynamix is an engineering and services group on a mission to help companies achieve peak operational efficiencies with the smallest environmental footprint.

At Dynamix, we make sure the companies we work with do NOT make the news. Nobody wants their name in articles due to mishaps, but sadly, it happens all too often.

We have a team of experts that have been in the field for over 45 years. We take care of our clients and get them back up and running as quickly as possible by providing expert turnkey consulting services for their security needs.

Basically, if you are in the gas storage, utility services, or energy industry, we are your turnkey project management operation.

We fix, update, and repurpose assets like wellheads, casing, production tubing, site repair, and replacement. We bring clients above the industry standards and help them avoid regulatory penalties.

To learn more, email or give us a call at 724-716-4111.

Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:04 

This is the Project Dynamix Podcast Hosted By Brian Chastain, where he features top leaders in the energy markets to talk about innovation and impact.

Brian Chastain 0:17 

Hi Brian Chastain here host of the Project Dynamix Podcast where I feature top leaders in the energy markets to talk about innovation and impact. I have Dr. Jeremy Weisz here at Rise25, who has done thousands of interviews with successful entrepreneurs, CEOs. And we have flipped the script here, he will be interviewing me.

Jeremy Weisz 0:40

Brian, I’m excited because every time we chat, I learned something new. And we’re going to dig into some of the things that you’ve seen some of the crazy things you’ve seen. And before we do this episode is brought to you by Dynamix, and at Dynamix you make sure companies you work with do not make the news. I remember you were telling me you read this article of a company that got a $53 million fine, and people do not want that, they do not want to be in the news, they do not want to even get something like that. So basically, if you’re in the gas storage, utility services or energy industry, you are a turnkey project management operation. I know you fix, update and repurpose assets like wellheads casing, production tubing, site repair and replace. You bring clients to and above the industry standards. And Dynamix is an engineering and services group on a mission to help companies achieve peak operational efficiencies with the smallest environmental footprint. You have a team of experts that have been in the field for over 45 years, Brian, so if people want to learn more, they can email or give you a call at 724-716-4111. So Brian, I wanted to start off, we’re going to talk about some crazy stories. I’m gonna stuff that you and your staff have seen on-site, but just talk about, what do people call you for? What are some of the services they asked you to do?

Brian Chastain 2:12 

Yeah, thank you, Jeremy, I appreciate that. We get called really to do a number of things. We do on-site evaluations, we get pre-audit surveys, we’ll come out and do things for our clients that are regulated by FEMSA, or DOD in general, or any other normal transmission or industry, any of the industry metrics that people get judged on? The other thing that we get called for is on-site supervision and turnkey operations. We have found that our clients really, they struggle, one of their biggest hurdles, has been trying to find that one person or a one call, right? That everybody’s like, “Well, I got to call this guy because he knows this other company.” And then they’re really good at a piece of the puzzle. Well, we have focused on trying to be good at the puzzle as itself. We work with hundreds of third-party contractors, and we bring them in and we offer a single source, where our clients feel confident that they’re not going to have to meet new people at every single meeting. They deal with our project manager, they deal with our project engineers, and we get them going. And that’s really our claim to fame is we’re just a single source, project management and turnkey solution for everybody.

Jeremy Weisz 3:33 

Brian, a lot of times people probably say, “Hey, can you just come to the site and take a quick picture, and give us kind of an overview.” Talk about those times you got in there was more than meets the eye.

Brian Chastain 3:49 

Yeah, so part of our initial contact with the client, especially if it’s a new client, or if it’s a new location with an existing client, is we like to go out there and kind of see what we’re getting into. I mean, a lot of people or a lot of instances, in the past, it has been a blind bid opportunity where they open up the floor and say, “Okay, anybody wants to throw their hat in the ring?” Sure, here’s RFP, please go ahead and submit something. But then when they get to location on day one, or for the kickoff meeting, they discovered that it’s not only a much bigger task than what they originally had been for. There’s a lot of things that no one even knew about. In one of those cases where we were sent out to just do regular wellhead, cataloging for potential work in the coming years. They knew that there was a chance that we may be doing something for them, but they just didn’t know what. So part of their rough record updating was getting new photos, new CAD drawings, new schematics, new cataloging of the equipment that was on-site, and when we got out there and started doing some light digging around the surface valves and stuff, what we discovered was not only did the well need work, we actually had to backup and take some of those photos, more of from a disk, it was to the point where we had to recommend to the client that not only did no one else need to go out there, but it was actually an emergency case. It was completely rusted, one of our employees suggested that you could have potentially just pushed the well over. And they were just asking for a catastrophic event. Which, like you said in the intro, this definitely going to make the news. And this was an active location. They were actively using it during production season. And they were actively making withdrawals and deposits into this well, but no one had caught it because no one went out there to go do the research. What we found is, you get a lot of help, that they’re not necessarily trained to look for certain things. If you got somebody that’s just tying into a line, or he’s going out there to go check surface pressures, for instance, well, he’s not going to go out there and start digging for five, six inches down around where the wellhead meets the surface of the ground. And a lot of times, that’s where the most variation control is, you’ve got multiple elements that you have to worry about there. And for this client, it went from, hey, Dynamix, do you think you guys can come out here do some real quick analysis work for us do a little cataloging, take some new pictures, so we can put it into the well file and it turned into a middle of the winter absolute emergency. It was a nothing will get done until this one gets done. So we were able because we were already working for the client at that case, not far down the road, we were able to mobilize some of the equipment that we were using for a different project that was wrapping up for the year, we were able to move it over get onto their well source all of the equipment, arts pieces, labor, all of the logistics, within a matter of about a week or so draw up new engineering schematics, get a PE stamps, everything ready to go. And within a couple, probably about a month, that well was back up and running again, is back in operation except this time it was safe. It was safe to go to, it was safe to operate with. And surprisingly enough, that’s not the only time that we’ve actually been in that scenario did some.

Jeremy Weisz 7:57

Brian, what can happen if something like that is not fixed? Okay, let’s say a company never called you. They’re like, oh, they assumed it was fine. What’s the scenario?

Brian Chastain 8:09

I would say that the scenario for something like that, or really anything similar to that, they’ll be lucky if it’s a $53 million, fine. That’s one of those where you read about it, and you’re talking about property damage. In that case, it was farther out into farmland, so you would have had a huge environmental impact if something had gone wrong there. You could have potentially had, livestock could have been injured or their own employees, because it was actively being used. So they could add just a routine drive-by my weekly pressure checks or something. And if it was the right day in the right time, that employee possibly could have never went home that day. At least, not without some medical attention span. It’s really as much as I would like to say, oh, it’s super terrifying, I look at it more as it’s an alert. It should be a flag to really anyone. I was reading an article that was talking about 300 wells, near the Cleveland area that just haven’t, they don’t even know where all of them are. I mean, so you’ve got wells that are considered orphaned abandoned. Well, and that’s fine, but we’ve been on orphaned and abandoned jobs that were abandoned, but they still have pressure on it. And so when you’ve got legacy assets like that legacy wellheads legacy, inactive or active, it there’s a reason why. There’s reason why you’re supposed to go back and check on that stuff. And there’s a reason why they’re updating the standard to make people go back and plug these things. correctly, because the old version of drop a bag, a sack creek down there just it isn’t working, and it’s causing some environmental concerns. It’s causing leaching. It’s causing some fairly serious things. Now, luckily, a lot of these, what we also have found, though, Jeremy, is that, realistically, we’ve never had a client that said, “No, we don’t want to do that.” Every one of our clients have been extremely proactive once they do about it. The reason why I want to talk about it today is because we’re finding that a lot of them just they just don’t know. They don’t know, because it’s not part of their day-to-day inspection. And it’s not a part of what they would consider a typical analysis. Some of these wells have changed hands, company to company to company. In some cases, a new owner inherits problems that they may not have even been aware of. And so we go out there and we help them take a look, this is what you’re getting into. This is what you’re looking at, this is a potential cost that you’re looking at, this is a good timelines within the timelines right now or miss, trying to find a service rig that’s not own a weight right now is a serious hurdle for a lot of our clients. Then you got to have the staff to run it in expertise to know what they need to be doing.

Jeremy Weisz 11:28

I’m trying to visualize, how does it affect the environment? For someone like me who’s not sure, you said there’s still pressure on these things. And it can be environmental and livestock issue. What does that look like to the environment?

Brian Chastain 11:43 

What it looks like is it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re in a strictly dry gas area within the environment, the environmental impact may or may not even be something that you would notice. Okay, the issue at that point would be, let’s say that it is under pressure. And it’s more of a dry gas well, and it’s just venting gas. Well, to the common individual, it’ll never be an issue, to the kid that thinks that he’s in an abandoned field, and he doesn’t have a spark arrestor, and he’s riding his dirt bike. Well, it could be an explosion of some version, right? I mean, it could vary, it could spark up and flare. If it’s not a dry thing, let’s say you’ve got oil and other brain mixtures, all sorts of different things that are supposed to stay in the ground, or at a minimum, they’re supposed to stay contained within the casing. And the production pipe that was put in place originally was some of that is damaged or leaking. Well then, if it’s leaking to the surface, in some cases, some of these wells are only getting checked. I mean, if it’s an inactive field, it might get checked once every five years. I mean, it’s not something, so I mean, just think about it, it doesn’t have to be a lot. You’re talking about just a small, just a little bit of a seeping there. This going back into in this case, it was close to agriculture, right? I mean, it was near farmer’s crop. And luckily, it was not leaking. There was no environment, impact on that one, we were able to stop it before something happened. But it could very easily could have been, I mean, if it’s a disposal well, or something like that, well, those are put in place to dispose of the excess. Well, you don’t want that coming back out. You know what I mean? Like it is supposed to stay down there for a reason. And because of that, you have to run logs, you have to run surveys, you have to do surface equipment inspections, you have to keep cataloging up to date, you have to keep your well records up to date. Some of these wells, they don’t even know really what it is, because some of the equipment was put in 40s 50s 60s. No one that installed that was around.

Jeremy Weisz 14:15

No. Yeah, I mean, one small bark or something could set off a whole chain of events in that situation. I could see that. There was another one, Brian, where someone was asking you just to run a standard log. Talk about what that means and what happened there?

Brian Chastain 14:34 

Yeah. So again, one of our services is we’ll go out there and we’ll supervise and we’ll set up a project to update everybody’s record. So part of their record-keeping process is to log all of these wells, right? So we’re running logs, and we’re trying to figure out the integrity of the well and the downhole. But a very common issue is what I just said a minute ago there is that where the top doing of the casing is right there at the surface, it deteriorates really bad. We have found that those logs need to be ran under pressure, we have found that those logs can change from year to year. And so there are certain thresholds that are set in place, by the regulation, and within our different clients, they have set protocols and threshold. So we had an incident, or potential incident, just a couple about a year ago. Now, when we were with a client, and they brought us out said, hey, we got a batch of Wells from out here, do some surface analysis, run these logs, and they thought they were just going to sign off and be done. So six out of those, were only number seven, and everything’s going good, but we get the lock back from number seven, and it was really close. Okay, so the threshold, in this case, was 80% variation, before it becomes an emergency. Meaning you got to plug it in, and it has to be fixed. So we get to the seventh one and it was that 72, 75%. So we alerted the clients that, hey, this is within your threshold, but it’s very close. And we recommended that it needs to change. And they said, okay, well, we’ll probably just plug that one, go ahead and do the next one in line. So we get to the next one we set up and we send it back to get the logs analyzed and everything. And it had been deteriorated so bad that it actually wouldn’t read. Which the equipment is designed to read up to 80% because that’s as far as we can direct the material, this downhill, right. So anything above 80%, it’s literally it’s a guess, at that point. So when we got this one back the pitting and the erosion to the material, a casing was so bad that the very expensive equipment would not actually read it. So that turned into another situation where we were able to quickly mobilize, we worked with that client, we were able to work with their environmental team, we were able to immediately dispatch extra supervision extra equipment, we were able to work with our contractors and our own internal staff who knew which regulatory environmental regulatory needed to be notified. And again, normally very much active well, but we were able to get it plugged, get it repaired, get everything done, actually update the equipment while we were out there. Instead of just logging it moving on, we went ahead and updated it to a more current setup. And they were ready to go again for their peak draw season. So we were able to get that end customer up and running and everything ready to go. Plus we found several other kind of discrepancies and proper signage. The location wasn’t blocked off directly to where the public couldn’t access it. So we were able to get several things taken care of while we were out there.

Jeremy Weisz 18:30

Wow. Brian this is crazy. So I’m sure you have many, many crazy stories. People should listen to other episodes of the podcast and check out and, Brian, thanks for having me.

Brian Chastain 18:46

Absolutely. Thank you, Jeremy.

Outro 18:52

Thanks for listening to the Project Dynamix Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.