KENMARE As the old cliche goes, MW Industries isn't trying to reinvent the wheel.
What Tom Mau and Greg Wiedmer the "M" and "W" in "MW" are doing, however, is somewhat akin to making the wheel rounder, shinier and faster.
With the 2009 Williston Basin Petroleum Conference and Prospect Expo in full swing in Regina, Sask., Mau and Wiedmer are hard at work promoting this newest version of their "wheel" a smaller, easier to move version of the oilfield service rigs they have been producing, called the 300 Series. The first 300 has not yet been built, but Mau said two have already been ordered. The first 300 should be completed in July, he said.
MWI has been cranking out 400, 500 and 600 series rigs (the higher the model number, the larger the rig) to customers throughout much of the U.S. and Canada from its shop in north Kenmare since 2006.
Along the way, though, they began to discover that many companies were interested in smaller units that could be moved more easily, making "rigging up" and "rigging down" a more streamlined process, and thus increasing the number of wells a rig could work on in a given timeframe.
"It's a little smaller rig than we've been building in the past," Mau said Thursday. "It has a 96-foot mast and it's a 'guyless free' which means that there's no guy lines tying it to the ground.
"What we use instead of the guy lines is big outriggers on the rear. That's what keeps it stable."
To put it in a nutshell, Mau said, the 300 Series is "a more user-friendly rig."
"It's for shallower holes up to about the 10,000 foot mark, where some of these bigger rigs go a lot deeper," he said. "You really don't need the horsepower in some of these shallower fields. So they don't need equipment quite that big."
The 96-foot mast enables the 300 to do tubing or "rod jobs" the others utilize 104-foot masts.
"The company men like that," Mau said. "It's a faster rig up, and it saves everybody money in the long run."
The 300 Series will come in tandem-axle and tri-drive versions, providing the possibility of another selling point sure to make it more attractive to buyers.
"The tandem-ax, we're anticipating it's under 80,000 pounds," Mau said. "Which is a big plus to the DOT and to the road regulations and to us as well."
In other words, at fewer than 80,000 pounds, the 300 will rarely be a concern for road restrictions.
"It will make it sell a little easier. We're targeting California, North Dakota, Canada," Mau said. "We've got two of them sold right now. One is staying in North Dakota, the other one is going to Canada.
"We should be sitting in the driver's seat. To my knowledge, there isn't a rig quite like this out there. There have been some guys that have done some prototyping, and piece-parted different rigs together to make this configuration. But to my knowledge, we're one of the first ones to build, from the ground up, a totally guyless free rig, and do all the API specs on it.
"So we know it's certified, and it can go worldwide."
Mau is also hoping the timing is just right for the 300's rollout.
"With things slowing down in the oilfield, it's good to present this to the oil industry," he said, noting that the smaller size and smaller price tag will make it more appealing to companies eyeballing the bottom line.
"We're pretty excited about getting this first one out," he said.
For more information on the 300, 400 or 500 series rigs, go to (www.mwindustriesinc.com).