JTL Industries Ltd.
With all of the work that goes into getting oil out of the ground, the casual observer might consider storing that oil an afterthought, but the reality is that storage tanks are an essential component of the supply chain for the oil industry. Producers require tanks that provide the highest level of security and safety as well as the greatest ease of use.
JTL Industries Ltd. of Saskatchewan was founded on delivering storage tanks that meet all of the industry’s needs and then some, and Sales Manager Lee Fairbairn says the company is on the leading-edge of technology, with the recent introduction of its new Viro Tank product line serving as a primary example of the value it brings to its customer base.
For the past 20 years the owners of JTL Industries have concentrated on building storage tanks engineered specifically for the needs of the oil industry as well as agricultural customers. On the oil side of the business, JTL Industries works with some of the largest and highest-profile companies in the industry. “We’re predominately trying to go after the actual producers, the people who pump the oil out of the ground,” Fairbairn says.
Although there is no shortage of companies working to provide the oil industry with storage tanks, Fairbairn says JTL Industries stands apart from the pack by holding some proprietary technology and continuing to develop new and innovative products that stand head and shoulders above the tanks produced by its competitors. In addition, Partner Tylan Thiessen says JTL Industries has some of the best people in the industry working in its shop who can translate customers’ needs into a finished product that serves all of their purposes.
Even though the oil market has been slow as of late, JTL Industries stands in good position for continued success over the next several years and beyond. The company’s new Viro Tank technology and entrance into the frac sand market are examples of the company’s ability to blaze new trails in the storage tank market.
The oil storage tank market is fiercely competitive and populated by both manufacturing and rental companies. It is at the end-user’s discretion whether or not to invest in the asset or just use it on a rental basis for their needs. JTL Industries caters to both business sectors and manufactures tanks to customers’ design and specs.
“We definitely have a competitive advantage in that we don’t just build conventional tanks like every other tank shop,” Fairbairn says, adding that JTL Industries holds several patents for its oil and agricultural divisions that allow it to produce tanks unlike any other on the market.
“A testament to that is our new Safe Heat System that goes hand in hand with the Viro tank as well as a safe option for conventional vertical tanks,” Fairbairn adds. “It helps eliminate potential fire tube hot spots and ruptures due to the fact that the actual fire tube is encased in a steel chamber and surrounded by thermal oil. The fire tube is never in direct contact with the air or vapors in the tank while the tank is being emptied.”
“We’re not stuck in a rut,” Thiessen adds. “We’re willing to take customers’ ideas and incorporate them into our manufacturing as well. We’re flexible.”
The company’s conventional storage tanks can be fabricated in sizes from 100 BBL to 5,000 BBL, and are designed to industry standards using API 650 and 12F design codes, according to the company. JTL Industries is capable of building tanks with either single- or double-wall designs for heavy oil production, water treatment, oil heating or facility and battery operation. JTL also offers all its products delivered to customers’ desired locations with its own fleet of trucks and custom trailers.
Thiessen says the reason JTL Industries is so successful in creating tanks that meet customers’ specific needs can be traced back to one critical element. “Our people, for sure,” he says. “We have a really good team, with experienced managerial people in the actual oilfield.”
Perhaps the most prominent example of JTL Industries’ ability to develop forward-thinking products for its customers in the oil industry is its new Viro Tank product line, which was introduced three years ago and had its patent approved at the end of last year. At first glance, it’s obvious that the Viro Tank is different from the traditional type of storage tank because of its horizontal construction rather than the typical vertical orientation. But there’s more to the Viro Tank than meets the eye, and its various innovative features add up to a product that stands apart in the marketplace.
The Viro Tank’s horizontal construction not only creates a smaller profile against the horizon for aesthetic concerns, but it also addresses safety by preventing operators from having to climb more than 13 feet for operation and maintenance of the tanks. Because the Viro Tank is built horizontally, mounted on its own skid base and set inside its own containment, it makes the product more mobile than the traditional storage tank system.
“The fact that our containment is built from steel and is part of the unit means our customers don’t have the worry about leaky or punctured plastic liners in conventional containment systems,” Fairbairn says. “This is another environmental concern that we have addressed and feel is of great importance.”
The company says the Viro Tank comes direct from the factory with valves, burners, stands and ladders already in place, so operators can simply drop the tank off in their location, attach it to the wellhead and begin producing. Moving the tank to another location is just as simple. “Disconnect from the wellhead, winch Viro onto your trailer and take it to the next location – there isn’t an easier process in the industry anywhere,” the company says.
The Viro Tank’s construction also provides the customer with easier removal of sand. A traditionally built tank has a flat bottom that makes sand removal time-consuming and costly whereas the Viro Tank’s contoured bottom allows sand to settle into a narrow space and with the help of the high pressure wash lines, the sand is washed toward the cleanout valve situated at each end of the tank.
The company says the Viro Tank also offers greater efficiency over traditional storage tanks for treating oil. This is due to the horizontal design of the tank as well as the length of the safe heat tube, which means the oil is never more than six feet from the heat source. Ever since JTL introduced the Viro Tank it has been collecting feedback from clients and incorporating those ideas into redesigns. “We are always looking for ways to improve,” he says.
Growing With Integrity
JTL Industries’ innovative products have helped it stand out, especially now as the recent drops in oil prices have tightened the market considerably. “It has made the market competitive, and with that we have come out with some innovative products that have caught the attention of customers,” Thiessen says.
The company’s agriculture division also has helped JTL Industries stay competitive as the oil market endures its current slump. Although many of the company’s competitors have lost qualified people because of the lack of activity in the market, JTL Industries continues to thrive and attract the best and brightest. “We can handle volatile market conditions through our diversity,” Fairbairn says.
JTL Industries continues to grow at a rapid pace, and Fairbairn says the company’s ability to diversify into new markets is a big part of the reason why. For example, the company recently grew into the frac sand market with new storage tank products for that market. “We feel there is a very big market in that, and it ties in well with our existing oilfield customers,” according to Fairbairn.
However the company grows in the years to come, JTL Industries will continue to live by the principles of honesty, service, quality and integrity that have served it so well so far. “We want to lead the industry by providing innovative solutions,” Fairbairn says. “We strive for perfection. Although we don’t always achieve that standard, we will keep trying and we want our customers to be a part of that goal.”