Norwegian oil service company Cubility won the award for its MudCube; a totally new approach to address the separation of fluids and solids from drilling operations.
Founded in 2005 by Jan Kristian Vasshus and Trond Melhus, Cubility developed MudCube, a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional shale shakers. MudCube provides cost savings through efficient and effective two-phase separation of liquids and drill-cuttings, increased automation, as well as significant Health, Safety and Environment improvements.
The MudCube technology won the SME category of the ONS Innovation Award in 2008.
“The award meant a lot to Cubility. First of all, it was an acknowledgement that our investment and hard work was noticed. Winning the Innovation Award showed the industry that we addressed significant challenges. Our technology attracted considerable attention and propelled us into the commercialisation phase. Cubility’s global expansion started with the ONS Innovation Award,” says Cubility CEO Even Gjesdal.
In 2012 Cubility was designated as Proven Technology by Statoil. Since then it has secured contracts for the MudCube system in all major drilling markets, with clients such as Maersk Drilling, Statoil, Dong, Talisman, Saipem and Chevron. Headquartered in Sandnes, Norway, the company has opened offices in North America, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia in order to support customers on a global scale.
Upbeat about the future
The industry downturn has proved to be challenging also for Cubility. Depressed oil prices and industry uncertainty led to fewer projects and a reduction in activity for the Norwegian oil service company.
“The future of the international oil, gas and energy industry depends increasingly on its ability to develop more complex fields, faster and for a lower cost. Unfortunately, even products that would represent a quantum leap in efficiencies have suffered during the last 3-4 years. It’s a paradox, but our industry is more likely to invest in new products when times are good,” says Gjesdal.
As the industry enters a period of recovery, Cubility is optimistic but cautious. Oil companies begin to view new investments in cost reducing systems as more attractive, and Cubility has signed a number of deals the last year, with the company achieving record MudCube sales in 2017.
“10 years after the ONS Innovation Award, the MudCube has become renowned across a global industry. But these are still early days, and Cubility have ambitious plans for growth and further developments,” says Gjesdal.
An opportunity to be discovered
ONS Innovation Award Jury 2018 member Hege Kverneland, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at National Oilwell Varco with more than 20 years of extensive engineering experience said:
“Being nominated for the ONS Innovation Award for small and medium sized companies can really boost their visibility in the market, and gives them the opportunity to be “discovered” by potential customers.”
In Hege´s experience, also larger companies can benefit from such award.
“For larger companies, who already have sizable sales and a large market share in place, an Innovation Award nomination can help them further promote their product and can also be used internally to help promote more innovative work,” Kverneland says.