The oil and gas industry is generally hungry for technical innovation. It suffers the boom and busts of being commodity industry so, either things are going well, in which case companies want to extract more, or they are in a slump in which case it’s imperative to save costs. Technical innovation is an answer to both these situations.When we founded Hycon in the opening days, we wanted to offer a design service to companies who were having difficulty in bringing products to market fast enough. It was founded on the field and engineering experience of the original partners each of whom had previously worked for Schlumberger around the world..
Almost all of our products have some sort of electrical or electronic component and we combine our expertise in mechanical and electronic design with software and firmware to make the products that we sell today. In the early years, we developed our own proprietary products to solve particular industry problems. These included flow-through real-time memory tools for coiled tubing, StringViewR software for the easy creation of well diagrams and two patented products, one for stripping the encapsulation of control lines and the other a ‘see through steel’ sensor for detecting downhole tools through the wall of a lubricator. All, these products are still in use and contribute to the wide range of products that the company makes. During this time we also offered a sub-contract design and manufacturing service. By picking up the phone to our network, we almost always came across someone who had a particular problem that they couldn’t solve fast enough. As a result, we were involved in the early days in the design of coiled tubing downhole tools, green burners, perforating debris catchers (our first product) and equipment for permanent monitoring. All products that were starting to gain a foothold in the industry. The 1998-99 industry downturn hit us hard and we found that our subcontract manufacturing service was the first to be affected. So, we made the strategic decision to concentrate almost exclusively on our own proprietary products and reduce our wide product range. Downturns, out of necessity make people think short term and short term thinking is the enemy of innovation. To take advantage of our strengths, we wanted to make products that were compelling in terms function, quality, specification or delivery. Our existing major product lines, wellhead outlets, coiled tubing tools and our coiled tubing drilling service are all a result of this change of focus.
Branching into CTD services, having previously sold only products, was a step change for the company but not as big as it might appear. We had already developed many components for a CTD BHA for other people and needed only a drilling orienter to complete the system. Using client requirements as a guide, we sat down with a clean sheet of paper and came up with a new design of drill-by-wire BHA which is now the most technologically advanced in the industry. One of the advancements was the development of patented downhole gyro technology and this led to the development of a GWD steered BHA which secured two world firsts on its field trials and formed the basis of the HDD gyro navigation system that we now offer to the trenchless drilling industry. Having technically demonstrated our technology by successfully drilling seven wells, our technology attracted the attention of Saudi Aramco and in 2013, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Calculus Capital invested in the company to help launch Hycon's services division. So, after over 25 years of innovation, we have built a strong portfolio of products backed by a talented and dedicated team of people who care passionately about serving our customers. Hycon is now the only company in the world whose services are 100% dedicated to coiled tubing drilling (CTD). Between 2008 and 2017, we drilled 45% of all, non-long-term contract, wells drilled with CTD and are regularly consulted by operators around the world that are looking at CTD as a way of revitalising old wells. Our products division is the leading supplier in each of the sectors we serve such as wellhead outlets for permanent monitoring, e-coil logging heads and through riser detectors. Since 1992, we have filed and been granted numerous patents and continue to generate new products and services to answer the needs of our industry. Every industry benefits from increased efficiency and our aim is to innovate to bring that benefit to oil and gas.