By Brian Brus
Courtesy of The Journal Record
TULSA – Well Check Systems International recently completed a major round of funding and is already rolling out new license plate and face-recognition technology for its site-monitoring services, owner Bob Haefner said.
The Tulsa-based seed-stage company provides remote well site video monitoring, reporting, alerts and data storage for petroleum pumpers, owners and operators. The idea came from company founder Mike Hanes as he was discussing with Steve Richardson the challenge of visiting dozens of well sites each week to check on operations and security, Haefner said.
“They realized that a lot of times we just stare at our equipment, nod and decide that everything’s working, then move on. Other times we get hung up at one site and never even get to other sites. There’s got to be a better way to do it all,” Haefner said. “About the same time, Mike found a live video of a baby animal at a zoo somewhere in the world, and it all came together.”
Haefner came onboard to help incorporate SCADA, or supervisor control and data acquisition, systems that provide real-time data to show what’s happening in a well, with video. The company had to figure out how to collect a vast flow of information from far afield, filter it and present it in a useful form.
“We found out that it wasn’t as easy to put together as we thought. But that’s a good thing when you’re creating a company because it proves no one else will do it as well,” Haefner said.
Theft turned out to be a bigger industry issue than they anticipated, and oil wasn’t the only material disappearing. A thief ripping out just $600 worth of copper wire could cost an operator $60,000 to repair, he said.
Among its equipment and service offerings, WCSI will equip each site with a high-definition, military-grade infrared camera on a tripod with a 360-degree field of view. Video is saved online so that it can’t be tampered with on-site. Activity alerts are available in several modes.
The company has proven the efficacy of its concept with four major clients operating several surveillance sites across California, Texas and Oklahoma. Near Midland, Texas, drilling sites are sometimes shared by multiple operators behind a common gate. The company’s new system applications capture that gate activity to ensure that responsibility falls where it should as people come and go.
“It’s not uncommon for tank trucks to accidentally pick up someone else’s oil sometimes,” Haefner said. “We’ve created a video system that’s more sensitive to capturing license plates and faces and that sort of detail.”
Details of the fundraising round were not available. However, Haefner said the company is solidly on its feet now and is looking to expand its market outreach now.
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