On Thursday, August 22nd, 2019, Scott Van Vuuren, Executive Sales, Automated Frac Equipment,  was the 3rd presenter on the World Oil ShaleTech™ webcast.  Below are the Questions that were asked during the webcast.

Skip to 38:20 for Scott’s presentation.


Q: Is there a standard field “pressure testing” protocol for the AFE system once it has been latched to the wellhead, and does it require any specialized training or unique communications protocol with the pressure pumping crew?

A: The control panel and the hydraulic wellhead latch allows a quick test up to 15K. This process will test the latch making sure we have a good connection. Our specialists take a 40-hour class to get certified on the AFE. We communicate directly with the customer and frac supervisor once the latch is tested. At that time frac can pressure up through their iron and the AFE.


Q: From the slides, the AFE appears to be a single, trailer-mounted system. Is that correct, and where is the AFE operating console located in relation to the programmable boom?

A: The AFE is a single trailer that is 50 feet long and weighs approximately 88,000 LBS. The AFE has a remote control that is C1D1 rated and can be operated up to 200’ from the unit along with a backup remote on location.  In addition, the AFE has manual controls that can be operated if necessary. The remote allows our specialist to be close to the wellhead during programming to ensure the stinger is entering the latch fully.


Q: Scott, you mentioned the remotely operated, programmable boom. From an operations perspective, would you talk about the staging of the AFE on-site, how it interfaces with the frac pumps and manifold system, and how the programmable boom locates and interfaces with the wellheads

A: Prior to the frac, our specialist will meet with the frac coordinator to discuss what connections are needed from the missile to the AFE (Monoline or a goat head), then we will spot equipment in the proper area on location. At that time, we also make sure the hydraulic well connection is installed correctly and torqued up. We then program each wellhead 1,2,3,4 etc. During operations, our specialist remotely moves the AFE to the desired well. For example, if we are on well 1 and are done fracing and we need to go to well 4 our specialist has to hold down 2 buttons on the remote, one for the wellhead the other is a dead man switch. The AFE always returns to “home” prior to going to the next well, this is to prevent the AFE from possibly running into wireline or coil that is rigged up in between.


Q: What is the daily rental price of the AFE and HLWA?

A: It’s more affordable than you might think. We’ve designed AFE with cost in mind by making it compatible with equipment most operators are likely to already own. That being said, the rental price varies greatly depending on the circumstances of the site. We can schedule a meeting and discuss your needs and additional benefits with the AFE.

Please reach out.  281-603-9720


Q: Can one run a wireline lubricator on top of the latch assembly?

A: Absolutely, the latch is designed to accommodate wireline, coil injection head, and AFE.


Q: As a single point of failure how do you plan to support the FracLock with back up equipment?

A: All 60˚ and 90˚ can be replaced in the field within a couple of hours. We send additional 60˚ and 90˚ with the unit. We monitor real-time metal loss during the frac and are able to see when there is 20% wear. We also have a program where we can model the frac and predict possible blowouts.


Q: How would one deploy balls….. in the latch.

A: We have a ball drop system that attaches to the hydraulic wellhead assembly.

Please contact me directly for more details. 281-603-9720


Q: Scott, how AFE has been received in the field?

A: Several of our customers are waiting for units. They see this as the future of frac, with the AFE it is bringing much more value than just the ability to frac. The reduction of iron, needed manpower, NPT and keeping employees from possible injuries are just a few of the great benefits.


Q: Scott, Does the RFE include an isolation valve in the assembly?

A: No not currently.