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Common Characteristics of the Oil and Gas Industry


Oil and gas is no longer the industry it used to be. With intense innovation and sustained demand, it’s important for all aspects of the industry to follow suit. Looking at the oil and gas industry from a broad perspective, many of its key components haven’t changed.

Here are the common characteristics of the oil and gas industry according to the experts at Western Pressure Controls:

Team Size

It’s well known that large teams are highly inefficient. Somehow, there always ends up being a few individuals who slack off while other complete the work. It also increases the threat of “groupthink” and other social phenomena. Recently, we have seen a shift towards smaller team sizes, with usually a group of ten people or less.

Cost Emphasis

In an industry where prices are highly flexible and vulnerable to changes in supply and demand, there’s a sustained emphasis on cost management. This can be seen throughout the planning processes and the general approach to business throughout the industry. Unlike large consumer packaged goods corporations (CPGs) or auto manufacturers, the oil and gas industry is more subdued and less extravagant in nature. Although every project is unique to some degree, the process by which it’s approached is fairly standardized.

Finding Efficiencies

Following the emphasis on cost management, the oil and gas industry is all about finding efficiencies. The project management process has clearly defined roles and relies on the specific expertise of every individual involved. Typically, there’s a project manager, who oversees the whole process, a discipline engineer, and an inspector for each discipline.

Low Threat of New Entrants

Due to the high upfront costs and long tail of knowledge required, the threat of new competitors entering the oil and gas industry is extremely low. That being said, there currently are thousands of companies within the industry itself. Rivalry among existing competitors is fairly high, which is credited to a low industry growth overall. The growth rate the industry has experienced is shared among all of these competitors leading to a smaller slice of growth for each.

The industry is changing, however, in the sense that buyers have more control than ever before. They are actively seeking lower prices and better term within contracts with suppliers.

Western Pressure Controls is the leading supplier of wireline pressure control tools and equipment. We can help you build your business with superior products, such as surface equipment, BHP equipment, and equalizing assembly. To learn more about the equipment we offer, call 780-437-3615 today!


The Importance of Cyber Security in the Oil & Gas Industry


When you think of the oil and gas industry, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t cyber security. With plenty of sensitive information, the oil and gas industry is more susceptible to cyber attacks than you may think. Most of these companies also deal with a lot of different stakeholders, making the consequences of the attacks largely dependent on the malefactor’s goal.

What Measures are Being Taken?

As a whole, the oil and gas industry is estimated to spend $1.87 billion USD on cyber security during 2018. This increased spend on security measures is largely due to the automation and integration within the industry. Stored in company databases is sensitive information about drilling spots and access codes to company machines. According to the EY Oil and Gas Global Information Security Survey 2017-2018, 60% of companies in the oil and gas industry have experienced a serious cyber threat, which is 19% higher than in the previous year.

Potential risks a company may face:

  • Plant shutdown
  • Equipment damage
  • Disruption in product quality
  • Undetected spills
  • Safety measures violation

Why Is it So Important?

Increased cyber security is important in the oil and gas industry because recently, the industry has gravitated to remote-based technology, such as drones. This is usually done for remote work and, by nature, requires information to be transferred digitally. If a hacker is able to gain access to a drone, they are able to complete tasks that an employee usually would, in addition to gaining access to other information without detection. To prevent this from happening, oil and gas companies have instituted strict protocols regarding the use of mobile devices.

An oil and gas company can experience a data breach along three key areas of the supply chain:

  1. Upstream

A cyber attack that occurs upstream affects drilling vessels, which are considered an extremely valuable corporate asset. These vessels use proprietary information when drilling, which is compromised in the event of an attack.

  1. Midstream

This part of the supply chain is when crude oil is transported from a production site to a refinery. The oil being transported is highly valuable and transportation is already considered a high-risk activity. A cyber risk could lead to outside sources knowing precise locations and protocols, threatening the security of the load.

  1. Downstream

During the final stage of the oil and gas supply chain, oil and gas is converted into other products, such as kerosene, aircraft fuel, and gasoline. A cyber security breach could lead to the hacking of monitoring equipment or surges in the pressure of transmission lines. If this happens, the product can no longer be used, resulting in a significant profit loss.

What Can be Done?

Oil and gas companies are already on the right track by investing in increased security measures. That being said, companies first need to understand where their vulnerabilities lie before being able to take protective measures. A multi-faceted IT protection system ensures that a company’s data is protected from various standpoints.

Western Pressure Controls has a complete line of wireline tools including surface equipment, shifting tools, testing equipment, and more! Check out our products or call 780-437-3615.

2018 Oil & Gas Industry Trends


Daily crude oil demand has increased just over 16% in the past 12 years, with 2018 predicted to have the highest daily crude oil consumption at 99.3 million barrels per day. Oil remains the single most important source of worldwide energy, being required for 35% of daily needs. The 2018 oil and gas market in Canada is expected to have similar results as 2017 with low prices and little capital investment. Because of this, oil companies are seeking innovative ways to reduce costs as a way to mitigate stagnant national demand.


Although there has long been talk about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the manufacturing sector, recent trends have been pointing to the use in the oil and gas industry. This aids in reducing labour requirements, the most significant cost in any industry. Robotics are expected to be used for repetitive, high-risk tasks, such as connecting drill pipes in the ocean. Not only does the use of AI in these circumstance increase efficiency through cost reduction, but enhances worker safety by removing employees from dangerous situations. This transition is expected to be slow, as currently, the only companies employing the use of robotics in the oil and gas industry are private.

Seismic Technology

Seismic waves are used to explore reservoirs of oil and gas deep under the earth’s surface and are already widely used across the industry. The technology works by radiating a wave, which bounces back and when repeated multiple times, provides a detailed image.  4D seismic technology differs in that it shows how an oil or gas reservoir will change over time. This provides key insights for executive planning purposes and reduces drilling risk. Operating costs are improved by decreasing the amount of dry holes and uncertainty currently experienced with oil sites.

Cloud Computing

By using cloud computing technology, companies are able to gain real-time access to information on the field. This is important, as information derived from data is at the core of the industry for exploration. With cloud computing, the data analysis process is enhanced and can be completed at a faster speed. Because much of the information used in the oil and gas industry is sensitive, cloud computing was initially controversial due to security concerns. The attitudes towards cloud computing have softened as companies are developing methods to enhance their security.

Wearable Technology

This is the latest technology to dominate oil and gas, as it’s linked to increased worker safety. By having employees wear monitoring devices in certain situations, companies are better equipped to track the environmental conditions where the worker is located. These insights help to prevent incidents and respond more quickly because the precise location of employees is known at all times. Wearable technology can also increase productivity by providing direct access to specialists and supporting information. British Petroleum is the industry leader in wearable technology with significant investments in the field.
Western Pressure Tools provides you with high-quality wireline and slickline tools and equipment. With 46 years of experience, we have the insights you need to ensure a multifaceted approach for your wireline needs. To learn more about our products, call 780-437-3615.

The Importance of Wireline and Wireline Tools

Wireline is a cable used to transport downhole tools and sensors. The benefit of using wireline is that it almost always delivers results on the spot and allows for electricity and data to be transferred between the surface and the equipment in the well. Western Pressure Controls manufactures tools to use with wireline, including fishing, shifting, and pulling tools.


It’s important to keep your equipment clean, especially when you’re using it to fish out objects that don’t belong in the well. Wireline is used for a myriad of tests, so by using the proper cleaning procedures before, during, and after use, you will prolong its life and durability.

Residual fluids, mud, and sediment will affect the wireline whether it’s been used in a dry well or a wet one. It should be greased and protected from the weather with Densyl tape when the wireline is in use, particularly on a winch.

Storing wireline in a dry and safe place does not ensure its good condition. It can deteriorate, so it must be thoroughly checked on a regular basis, which includes unspooling it. If consistent checks are not performed, you could end up losing a costly purchase since wireline is made from a high alloy geared for its specialized tasks.

Stuffing box packing, a tool that contains well pressure, helps clean off well fluids from the wireline as it passes through the stuff box packing. It is still necessary, however, to clean off the wireline again and to grease it if you are still using it.

The Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry, a global powerhouse that produces billions of dollars, is broken into three areas: upstream, midstream, and downstream. Wireline tools are only used for the industry’s upstream area (also known as the exploration and production sector of the petroleum chain) to drill in old wells or to create new ones. Wireline tools assist workers in recovering oil and gas.

Wireline tools and equipment endure some of these types of tasks:

  • Perforating to facilitate circulation to the annulus
  • Recovering unwanted objects or broken pipes
  • Locating free space when pipes are stuck
  • Evaluating pressure formation present in the well

Top-Quality Wireline Tools

The tools manufactured by Western Pressure Controls are essential in creating wells for access to gas and oil.     While we offer specialty tools for your wireline needs, we also perform other services, such as custom machining. For over 45 years in Edmonton, we’ve been working on improving industry standards. If you want more information about our wireline tools, see our products page, or contact our sales team for a quote.

Locking Mandrels From Western Pressure Controls

Locking mandrels are essential for the safe operation of any wireline operation. A lock mandrel is a cylindrical device that is placed inside a tube to act as a setting point for flow-control mechanisms like plugs and valves. A properly functioning and high-quality lock mandrel ensures that your wireline operation goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Here is some more information about a few of the most popular locking mandrels available from Western Pressure Controls.


S-Lock With Keys

 One of the most common locking mandrels is the s-lock. S-locks are designed to be run on a C-1 running tool. The S-lock from Western Pressure Controls has both upward and downward facing dogs that prevent movement once locked into place. This device is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches.


W and Z Locks

 These devices are equipped with a set of dogs that lock into place and prevents any movement. The W lock downward movement is prevented by a mechanism on the lock body, while the The Z lock downward movement is prevented by a locking mechanism on the equalizing assembly. This devices come in a standard size of 2.5 inches, and come with keys to unlock the devices.


D Locks

Another popular style of locking mandrel is the Otis-style D lock. The D lock is placed and locked into an API tubing collar to retain a pressure differential from above and below. The sealing element is mechanically locked in the collar and can be used in conjunction with pump thru valves, standing valves, or choke assemblies. The D locks for Western Pressure Controls are outfitted with a knockout kobes to equalize pressure differentials.


The key to safe and efficient wireline projects is high-quality and innovative equipment. Keep your worksite productive and safe with wireline tools and accessories from Western Pressure Controls. Browse our full catalogue of products and contact us today to order these products for your worksite.