E2Terra, LLC, launched in early 2017 and set-up shop in the Bakken. From their central facility, in Williston, management of the company is being driven by a collective of young, innovative concepts which recently turned the corner for the company through the launch of new product that has quickly gained the respect of industry insiders.
Inside their state-of-the-art facility, a well kept workshop of electrical machinery and bustling staff are backdrops to a growing success that has seen the company take the industry by the roots -- sugar beet roots, to be specific.
What makes E2Terra, LLC noteworthy is that they gladly stand behind their environmentally friendly solution to solidification of liquid waste -- and so does much of their clientele.
“We are committed to providing an economical, innovative and environmentally friendly method for solidification of waste” Chris Calva, Sr., chief executive officer of E2Terra, LLC, said. “We have found that the processing, transportation and disposal of oilfield and other industrial wastes in an eco-friendly manner is a challenge faced by many industries. By making use of a natural by-product of agricultural processing, E2Terra has been proven to pose no long-range effects to the environment while also providing the most cost effective product on the market today.”
E-Series Terra Sorb, a solidification agent, works to provide and environmentally conscious and cost saving product that is both user friendly and effective.
Standing in stark contrast to Fly Ash, their chief competition, the E-Series Terra Sorb has a lower bulk density with a chemical make-up that is not corrosive to equipment. The product came to market in August of 2018 on the heels of years of consistent unbiased research.
Calva Sr. is gregarious with his work, even more so, with his vast knowledge.
Despite never attending college, and holding no educational titles, his hunger and curiosity has led him down a path of self-learning. Always having an interest in soil and mineralogy, the life-long learner and a reader of countless books on the oil industry and other complex topics, now heads E2Terra, LLC.
In his office, a massive row of books on a variety of topics serve as a little library which Calva Sr. doesn’t let go to waste.
“It keeps me sharp and allows me to communicate in the distinct lingo of engineers and others collegiate level positions that I have to collaborate with on a daily basis,” Calva Sr. said.
Raised in Texas, Calva Sr. comes from a military lineage dating back some three generations, a fact evident in his military like dress and demeanor. Himself on the path to follow this tradition when it became apparent the need to be around his father stricken with pancreatic cancer, until his passing while Calva Sr was still in his teens.
It was in 1984 that Calva Sr.’s older brother got him started in the oil field, launching the future company founder into a remarkable story which continues to this day. According to Calva Sr., A an old black & white 1950 photo of his parents, prior to his father's departure to the Korean war , serves as a source, in his words to keep himself grounded and drives him each day to leave something substantial for all of his children and grandchildren before his time is done.
“Credits any of life’s accomplishments to the regimented work ethic of his late father, whether it be working with farm animals at home, or the defense plant he retired from’ that it was infectious”
Chris Calva, Jr., has partnered with his father on this new endeavour and expressed high hopes for the future success of E-Series Terra Sorb.
“After all of my past achievements that have helped bring me to where I am standing now, I know my fathers company’s potential lies between what we’ve already accomplished and what could be.” said Calva, Jr., production manager for E2Terra at the Williston Facility.
Companies using the product
Lucus Dunlap, CEO of LDI Energy Services LLC, used E-Series Terra Sorb for three months as an oil field service company with a focus on battery, facility construction and maintenance.
Dunlap first first met Calva Sr., over coffee -- the way that most transactions on the Bakken happen. The topic of conversation started with backgrounds in their industry and quickly turned to solutions to problems. Dunlap soon realized they shared work values, especially in the areas of health and safety. Sometime after, Dunlap went by E2Terra in Williston to pick up a sample of the solidification product.
“[Chris] is an excellent, trustworthy guy that knows anything and everything there is to know about his product and what it can be used for ...I swung by and took a look at his facilities which are the most clean, efficiently run facility I’ve ever seen,” Dunlap said. “ I was very impressed by the people that were there, I was impressed by the facility itself and how well managed it was.”
Dunlap said that his company has only had to use a minimal amount the new solidification product, but has kept the five gallon bucket version of the E2Terra on their trucks. He openly talks to other operating companies about E2terra’s properties and what its capabilities are in comparison to Fly Ash -- both in the solidification properties and environmental benefits.
“I think there is a small group of what we like to call ‘Primo’ companies in the area that place HSE concerns as their top tier priority versus money or production. I do believe 100 percent, without a shadow of doubt, that Chris & E2Terra is one of those ‘primo’ companies,” Dunlap said. “They have developed a product that mitigate's some of the safety issues of using Fly Ash or other materials for solidification purposes. E2Terra is not just for solidification, it can be used in a broad spectrum of the service industry and I think he’s paving a path that a lot of people are going to want to be driving on.”
Larry Medhurst, the director of corporate development at Secure Energy, received samples of E-Series Terra Sorb eight months ago to compare the product with the previous solidification product the were using, Fly Ash. According to Medhurst, Secure Energy is marginalizing recovering of expenses of 15 to 20% with the E2Terra product.
“The biggest thing for us at Secure was the environmental aspect of [E-Series Terra Sorb]. It is a much more environmentally friendly product than what fly ash is…” Medhurst said. “Secure started testing E2Terra and found that it didn't work quite as well initially and then over three or four months as E2Terra further developed their product, it actually works better than fly ash does, its reasonably less expensive than fly ash is and its environmentally safe compared to the aspect of corrosivity with fly ash.”
Corroding instruments and mechanical parts is an issue when dealing with fly ash as a dry agent according to industry experts. Medhurst spoke highly of Calva Sr. and felt confident in his product because of his vast knowledge in the industry and his connections.
“Part of our process is throwing up solids that we strip out of liquid flurries and it's very time consuming to get all the free liquid out to a dry specification,” Medhurst said. “I talked to my operation team and they love it, they like it way better than fly ash, of course, it's a lot easier on all the equipment as far corrosivity, it keeps everything a lot cleaner and tidier, much more user friendly.”
According to Medhurst, Secure Energy used to blend fly ash, using heavy equipment to roll wet solids. The dust of fly ash would attach to the equipment and cause corrosion problems as a result of its high pH levels -- which studies show could be as high as 11. Levels of pH with the E2Terra products range from 9 to 9.8.
Medhurst said that there will be more internal testing of the E2Terra product and the mitigation of radioactivity. As a company, Secure Energy, is very familiar with NORM and are more than comfortable with the proper handling techniques of these types of materials.
“As far as any other benefits, considering radioactive material will be a plus because, right now, our whole team just loves E2Terra and their product it is just fantastic.”
Calva Sr. divulged, that E2terra has been conducting rigorous field testing, and compiling product data results, in regards to a new developed strain of material that has in fact dropped
TENORM levels in applications to date. And that while it may seem like an easy undertaking in bringing a product to market, developing the original products and amp; Patents proved to him that it can be anything but.
“I, myself, am exchanging information with Dr. Martin Foote at the University of Montana’s Labs, and with the Senior Tech. Executive for R&D activities and Radiation Protection, David Perkins, in order to create a conceptual interaction of matter in the form of charged particles, Ionization and Linear Attenuation/Co-efficiency under the four known types of radiation, in conjunction and Terms of Article 3 of the IAEA statutes.” Calva Sr. said
According to testing done by Excelsior Technical Services, E2Terra solidification agent reacted rapidly and produced a strong reaction when mixed with the wasteform. Wasteform consisting of a water-based drilling mud with approximately 33% moisture level and a quantity of petroleum hydrocarbons.
The two types of testing conducted were Paint Filter Testing and Liquid Release Testing.
PFT testing determined the fast reaction from the E2Terra agent when mixed with the wasteform, specifically within 50 seconds. It also verified the presence/absence of free liquid in the final wasteforms. All samples prepared with the E2Terra agent, having waste–agent ratios above 0.83 to 1, were able to pass the PFT.
To test the limits of the E2Terra solidification, the Liquid Release Testing determined the stability of specific mixtures of wasteform with the E2Terra solidification agent. LRT also passed at the low waste-agent ratios of 0.83 to 1.
The U.S. Department of Energy uses LRT criteria to establish if waste products including radioactive materials can be landfilled -- E-Series Terra Sorb can according to the results of the studies.
The testing was done to determine the functionality of the product to solidify wasteform but also provided evidence that the composition of the material can vary depending on the specific needs of the customer. Testing of Excelsior Technical Services were completed under the supervision of Martin.