We all hear about fossils and evidence of extinct life forms, but how many of us can say that we’ve been to a place where these types of things are not only present but fairly common? In the depths of the Niobrara Shale, scientists as early as 1870 have found sea turtles, swordfish, and plesiosaurs.
The shale, which covers several states in the Great Plains, including Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, is one of the multiple layers of a resource-rich rock formation. It should be no surprise that this area is also home to several natural resources. It’s the oil from northern Colorado and Wyoming that brought coatings applicator Hawkeye Oilfield Supply, LLC to the site. You can’t talk about the Rocky Mountain state without talking about the rocks after all?
The oil is purchased by Plains Marketing from local producers and shipped to this facility by trucks. To transfer the oil from the trucks, secondary containment areas needed to be built at the crude oil gathering terminal. For use during the oil transfer, Hawkeye Oilfield created and coated three of those secondary containment areas.
Grade A Work
A six-person crew worked to create each of the three containments for client Plains Marketing. The coatings crew erected, prepped, and lined each 50-foot-by-200-foot-by-45-inch (15 m x 61 m x 114 cm) steel containment.
Having the three projects be mirror images helped get this crew in gear. Instead of having to tailor make their process, they were able to approach each one similarly. And they approached the projects in a step system working in two three-person teams. For instance, once they finished prepping one secondary containment, that same three-person crew started prepping the next containment while another three-person crew started the lining stage.
But first they had to get the site ready. To start, they leveled and graded the sand and gravel where each secondary containment would sit. “We have to go in there with a laser leveler on the front of a Bobcat,” explained Mark Nulle, managing partner of Hawkeye Oilfield Supply of the attachment designed for the Bobcat skidsteer. They “worked it to grade,” which he explained leveled the entire area. “Once we had the ground prepped, we started bringing in our liner system.” To do that, they set A-frame posts around the perimeter, laid the liner down inside the frames, and put the steel walls up on top of the liners and against the frames.
The walls, which were G-115 galvanized steel, were supplied by Chief Industries, but it was the liners that completed these secondary containments. That’s because the polyruea-covered sheets, which came from Ultimate Linings, were what would actually contain any spilled oil from seeping into the ground. They come in 15-foot-by-100-foot (5 m x 31 m) rolls, and the crew can use them in any size they want or need. For this project, they used four uncut rolls per containment, which were pre-sprayed at the factory in Texas at 60 mils (1,524 microns) thick. So all the crew needed to do at that point was spray the seams together on the ground and seal the liners to the walls. The crew used a Graco spray gun and Ultimate Linings’ 100 percent solids UL 6012 polyurea.
Because this 10-day-long project was done completely outdoors, it didn’t hurt that the weather throughout was “great,” as Nulle mused. “Moisture and temperature were perfect between 60° F and 80° F (16° C and 27° C) while we were there.” He went on to say that they “were very lucky with this project. The weather was not a factor with the completion of this job.”
Although weather was not a factor, safety was definitely a consideration for the Hawkeye Oilfield crew. Just like on other jobs, they wore “usual” safety equipment. That included steel-toed boots, eye protection, fire-retardant clothing, and when applying the polyurea, air respirators. And even though this project was also done on a crude oil transfer station, because it was new construction, there was no oil or gas present while the crew was working.
Hawkeye Oilfield Supply, LLC has worked with this client before and has worked with Ultimate Linings now for two years, but it was the first time that they used both of these products at this site. “Everything went just right,” Nulle said. “Couldn’t have been any better.”
“The Hawkeye crews are excellent people to work with as they pay attention to detail,” explained Michael Rayner, who is director of Commercial Coatings for Ultimate Linings. “We have teamed with them from the beginning, and they are great partners.” When Rayner says “beginning,” he means just that. “We helped Hawkeye get started in the coatings business and continue to provide not only materials but ongoing training on a regular basis. These are things we pride ourselves at Ultimate Linings on doing regularly with our coatings partners.”
The combined efforts of Nulle and his crew with the Ultimate Linings team backing them has grown into something special. “We feel like Hawkeye is on the cusp of being one of the premier coatings specialty companies in the United States, and we are proud to say we are part of their success,” Rayner continued. “Mark, Lynn, and the whole company have been great to work with and we couldn’t be any more proud of them.”