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Case Study: Spirit Energy Services, LLC Doubles Down on Safety, Logistics and Production Capacity Investments During Pandemic

March 14, 2023

In December of 2019, leaders at Spirit Energy Services met for a forward-looking strategic planning session at its offices in Bruceton Mills, WV. Some of the items discussed between ownership and management were; completion of the new treatment and storage facility in northern West Virginia, enhancing safety devices and controls and acquiring and adding its own brine disposal injection well to the service portfolio.

On what was, unbeknownst to the world, the eve of the pandemic, final touches were being made to our new treatment and storage facility. Features for this state-of-the-art plant included; intrinsically safe lighting, electronics and enclosures, vapor recovery to a centralized vessel with a filtration system and electronic tank gauges with continuous level measurement, as well as visual and audible alarms. The facility was finished as designed and on schedule in early 2020 and has been operational since.

Soon after Spirit opened its new facility, COVID-19 changed how the world conducted business and Spirit changed to rise to the challenge. Offices were temporarily closed, while safety training and new pandemic related policies were communicated remotely to handle changing circumstances and information. Though there were a lot of unknowns, especially at outset of COVID-19, Spirit pushed forward with all the pre-Covid initiatives discussed in that fateful in-person 2019 year-end strategic planning session. We pushed forward despite the pandemic in very uncertain times because the growth initiatives were critical in order to maintain our high safety and service standards and to remain true to our core values and mission statement.

New safety devices and controls were added over the next two years to upgrade the trucking fleet’s Electronic Logging Devices to include front facing and driver facing onboard cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to measure distracted driving. These devices also monitor harsh braking, harsh turning, following distance and speed. Other enhancements include adding equipment to mechanize filter and drum loading for greater labor efficiencies and to reduce the risk of injury due to manual handling. All these enhancements were added because of employee feedback, incident reporting and root cause investigation in order to reduce incidents and injuries. We are proud to announce that our AI measured driver scores (which started out very good) are now EXCELLENT and exceed national averages by a whopping 25%! Training videos were added in 2021 for tank truck and the newly acquired oil filter bin truck operations to enhance ongoing hands-on training such as defensive driving, powered equipment, and Confined Space Entry procedures.

After two plus years of searching, Spirit acquired a saltwater disposal well located in a strategic location to its own and customers’ operations. The disposal well is less than one mile from Interstate 70. The well’s capacity is 2,000 barrels per day and capable of being expanded to double that capacity. The well operation is supported by excellent software, security, computer monitoring systems and very experienced operators and managers.

Spirit was able to expand and upgrade its fleet of specialized vacuum trucks in 2022 by ordering the equipment at the outset of the pandemic. When other service providers contracted and defensively retrenched their businesses, we doubled down on ordering equipment and hiring top notch personnel.

Spirit has presented at various oil and gas associations to promote the safe handling of condensate and flammable liquids and continues to be best in class in energy infrastructure services. As a result of the team effort to forge ahead, invest and grow Spirit during unprecedented times, we are now uniquely positioned to expand our revenues and earnings and help our customers with their environmental services needs for years, even decades, to come.

by: Chris Veazey, CSP, EH&S Manager

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