Making a splash: Bowman native invents modular water containerA former Bowman resident said he is on his way to revolutionizing the way oilfield companies store water.
By: April Baumgarten, The Dickinson Press
A former Bowman resident said he is on his way to revolutionizing the way oilfield companies store water.
Inventor Allen Stein, the co-owner of Quick Pits, a Grand Junction, Colo., created the company that manufactures above-ground plastic-lined container used to store anywhere from 30,000 to 1 million barrels of water. Stein said the pits make storage easy, cost-effective and environmentally safe.
“The in-ground pits are being outlawed because when they leak, they get into the ground,” Stein said. “My system is double containment. If there is a leak in the primary system, it can be caught in the secondary system.”
It all started when Stein developed a 30-inch-high steel-frame structure for Energy Services in Grand Junction, Colo. The frame was used to hold up the edges of plastic liners to contain spills.
During the process, Stein decided to expand on the idea by making it bigger, which sparked the birth of Quick Pits.
The pits are modular and can be rented for $2 per barrel a month.
The pit can also be operated via smartphone or laptop, Stein said. A person can get real-time updates on temperatures and water flow from anywhere in the world.
Stein said the project took three years to design. After receiving patents for the product, Quick Pits held a demonstration in Grand Junction, Colo. That was two weeks ago. Though it does not have any formal clients, the company plans to start production early next year.
Stein said the company is also waiting on six international patents in South Korea. He plans to build company branches in Europe in 2013.
Co-founder Kari Gray said Stein can look at problems through a different perspective.
“I feel like it is an opportunity to see the world through his eyes,” Gray said. “I would never have thought on the volumes or mass that Allen has thought of.”
Starting a business can be stressful, Stein said. The two owners have spent more than $3 million to make the prototype.
“I have everything I own riding on it,” Stein said. “I’m just a small-town boy from Bowman trying hard.”
Stein isn’t the first person in the family to start a business. His sister, Connie Cormier of Portland, Ore., said her father, Leroy Stein, also started a road construction business in Bowman.
“It’s no surprise Allen started his own business,” Cormier said. “It is in his genes.”
Gray said she is excited to continue her work with Stein. She added the demonstration is a good sign of things to come.
“I do believe this product can, and most likely will, revolutionize the way water management is handled in the oil and gas industry,” Gray said.