Category Archives : Ulterra News


Ulterra CFO Maria Mejia Featured in Article by Hispanic Executive

Recently, Ulterra CFO Maria Mejia was featured in an article by Hispanic Executive.

The article Bit By Drill Bit first appeared on https://hispanicexecutive.com

by Kelli Lawrence

CFO Maria Mejia sees Ulterra’s lively pace and culture as key to continued growth and expansion

Though she started her studies in her hometown of Medellin, Colombia, Maria Mejia had a fascination with international trade that took her to Dallas in 1999 for a six-month internship and then on to University of Texas–Arlington in 2000. Her education, as well as her career, has kept her in the United States ever since. But as CFO for drill bit manufacturer Ulterra, she finds herself at a company that’s ever more eager to tap the international side of her expertise.

Founded in 2005, sales were already at $110 million when Mejia came on board as corporate controller in 2010; four years later, those numbers topped $300 million. And the 120 or so employees that made up Ulterra back then? That number increased to 600.

“We’ve had to learn to act quickly; to change and react faster than all our competitors,” Mejia says of her team. “We’re comprised of people—especially in the operations and engineering side—that came from those big competitors that thought there was a better way of doing things. Our way is much less bureaucratic and much more fast-paced . . . we’re a group of people that care for each other, and are accountable to each other.”

That mind-set is easily reflected in Mejia’s management style, which encourages autonomy from her team of twenty-nine. As long as they keep her in the communication loop, all is well.

“I’m a financial advisor, not a scorekeeper,” Mejia says. “I just don’t want to be studying a report three months down the road and have to say [to my team], ‘Okay, what did you guys do?’ Before you pull a plug somewhere, just let me know in case I need to tell you you’re going to disconnect everybody. We have ‘operationalized’ accounting, pushing the true fiscal responsibility to operations by working as a team, not by keeping score at the end of the month.”

Mejia is quick to mention the culture of communication and collaboration at Ulterra, pointing to departmental successes such as the anti-vibration tool known as Counterforce. This 2013 invention for the drill-bit industry, which helps preserve other equipment by reducing vibrations, was designed by a small team of Ulterra engineers as the solution to a long-standing customer issue.

It’s not just technical issues at Ulterra that are customer focused. The development of a centralized inventory system that allows a customer’s specific drill bit needs to be met quickly fits the same model. The process has boosted inventory utilization to record levels, Mejia says. “It’s about determining what a customer needs quickly, and coming up with the perfect product for the perfect application every time.”

Ulterra’s efficiency and precision was initially very concentrated on operations in the United States and Canada. During Mejia’s tenure, the company has made considerable headway in international locales such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Colombia. Such rapid expansion has kept Mejia on her toes setting up legal entities, checking infrastructures, and balancing FPA concerns by ensuring they operate within a legal and ethical framework wherever they’re at.

Her international experience—which includes, especially in the case of her homeland, a deep familiarity with the language and currency—definitely gives Ulterra’s accounting side the upper hand. “My being from Colombia, and having the experience with its workforce framework . . . it certainly has helped us do it correctly and properly from the get-go,” Mejia says.

Market shares tell the story of Ulterra’s success in terms of global representation, with highlights including its standing as the number-one drill bit supplier for both Colombia’s Ecopetrol and Thailand’s PPT. “Saudi Arabia is our biggest international customer, though,” Mejia reports. “There’s still a lot of drilling activity there, even during a downturn.”

“I’m a financial advisor, not a scorekeeper. Before you pull a plug somewhere, just let me know in case I need to tell you you’re going to disconnect everybody.” 

Maria Mejia

That downturn, which sent still-recovering gas prices plummeting in the last quarter of 2014, left Ulterra with the same difficult downsizing decisions as the rest of the oil industry’s top businesses. But unlike their competitors, Mejia says they made all their cuts quickly—eliminating the worry of “will I have a job tomorrow” for remaining employees, and leading consequentially to higher morale and higher market share.

“Those that stayed were very conscious they’d been selected to take the company back to full growth mode,” she notes. “They’re really excited to be here. I don’t think they’re excited about the cuts, but we reacted quickly to the situation, made the cuts, and just moved on from there.”

A more ongoing challenge can be found in Ulterra’s ownership history: a merger in 2008, three years after its founding, a sale to ESCO Corporation in 2012, and another sale to private equity firm American Securities in 2016. Each shift is felt profoundly by the financial teams in place at any given time, but Mejia speaks of her staff’s adaptability from a place of pride. “That change in ownership . . . I think it shows how resilient our culture is, and how tight this company is,” Mejia says. “It’s definitely been challenging from the outside looking in, but then again, people here just thrive on change.”

With international expansion becoming even bigger for Ulterra in the next five years—particularly in Asia—an ability to embrace change is more imperative than ever. As might be guessed for Mejia, that ability is one of her most valuable strengths. “It will be a challenge learning new territories, culture, and so on,” she admits. “But it’s definitely a challenge I’m excited to face.”

At this point, she has her own history with Ulterra as proof of what she’ll be able to do in the future. “I guess expertise is more than actually saying that I can build infrastructure on my own,” Mejia says. “I can assemble a team to get us through a process. That’s why I’m here.”  

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Ulterra’s Leduc Manufacturing Facility Has No Recordable Injuries for Three Years

According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta, the manufacturing, processing, and packaging sector had the highest injury claim rates in 2016. In this sector, the odds of being injured were about every three out of 100 workers. Ulterra’s Leduc Manufacturing Facility has beat those odds, and are proud to announce that their Leduc manufacturing facility has had no recordable injuries for three years.

After completing a successful Health and Safety Management System audit, a certification of recognition (COR) was issued to Ulterra. This COR ensures that Ulterra’s safety standards are in compliance with Alberta’s audit standard for health and safety systems. Ulterra’s health and safety management system is a process that’s in place to eradicate injury and maximize safety. Although their safety standards meet the requirements of their provincial legislation, their desire for a safe workplace is what drives the effort to work incident-free.

The key to their success is the commitment of everyone at every level — from plant managers to their latest new hires. Another effort that has helped ensure safety is monthly inspections. An internal team composed of both plant managers and shop employees conduct these inspections. Manager of HSSE, Bryce Cook, said: “Everyone understands the importance of safety, both for their own welfare and for business operations.”

This is a huge accomplishment for the entire manufacturing team in Leduc, Canada, and for Ulterra as a whole. Ulterra’s Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) team works hard to ensure a safe workplace for all employees. This is all made possible by managing business operations through an HSSE Management System that is consistently improving, as well as the continuous effort of employees to be compliant every day they come to work.

On behalf of the entire Ulterra team, congratulations to all employees at Leduc.


Drilling At the Sharp End: Ulterra Featured in North American Shale Magazine

Born in the shale oil fields of Canada and the U.S., Ulterra Drilling Technologies emerged from the latest oil downturn stronger than ever. The Fort Worth firm is now a prime source of where drilling efficiencies come from.

North American Shale Magazine Article

In military circles, the soldiers in the field who see their enemies eye-to-eye and engage in fierce close-quarters combat are known as the sharp end of the spear. If there’s an oilfield technology equivalent for shale operators, it’s the drill bit.

The well-known challenge with shale oil and gas is to drill vertically through thousands of feet of hard rock and then transition to horizontal drilling through a formation where the drill bit is directionally steered to create the lateral where fracking occurs. A drill bit problem can compromise the entire operation.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Ulterra Drilling Technologies LP has described itself as “the rock destruction company.” It focuses on the sharp end of drilling technologies by designing, manufacturing and renting polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits for oil and gas drilling operations around the world. It was formed in 2005 by combining two companies—Canada-based United Diamond located in Leduc, Alberta, and Ulterra in Texas.

“If the drill bit doesn’t work, you don’t make holes, you don’t drill,” says Aron Deen, Ulterra’s director of marketing and business development—who also has an engineering background. Since its founding, Ulterra has remained what Deen calls a “pure play” company, steadfastly focused on providing the industry with improved drill bits and downhole tools to drill faster and more efficiently while lowering costs. “It’s really about making sure we have the technology on the end of the drill string that allows all the rest of the technology in the string to do its job,” he explains.

“Something that costs so little in relative terms has a huge impact on the overall cost of drilling the well,” Deen notes. “It’s gotten a lot of attention the last couple of years, especially as everyone has become cost-conscious and as drilling engineers have really been able to focus on performance improvement.”

More to the point, the last couple of years is in reference to the low-oil-price environment which severely impacted the North American shale oil and gas industry.Ulterra not only weathered that storm but also emerged from it as one of the fastest growing drill bit manufacturers in the world.The company has continued its expansion into international markets, increasing its manufacturing output by 60 percent and last year doubling its workforce.It’sworkedwithmore than 600 different operators in the past year and has customers in 25 different countries.

According to Maria Mejia, Ulterra’s chief financial officer, this can be attributed to a company culture that stresses finding solutions for every customer individually, no matter how big or how small. Those customers range from national oil companies in the Middle East and Latin America to major global producers to top technology-focused, independent E&P companies in North America to companies that occasionally operate a drilling rig in one county of the U.S.

“Our only interest is to drill faster,” she explains. “We don’t have daily rental rates coming from anywhere else in the drill string. We have no other interest other than to help customers reach their goal faster and drill faster. That’s what helped us during the downturn. Capital efficiency and drilling efficiency has increasingly become a focus for all our E&P customers. Making sure they remain competitive has allowed us to become one of the market leaders, especially in the U.S. shale plays.”

Another aspect that’s helped Ulterra through difficult times has been maintaining low product inventories, which means it isn’t stuck trying to sell products the industry no longer needs. This enables the company to remain flexible and focused on developing new technologies specifically tailored to meet customers’ needs and solve problems as they arise.

“In some cases, the most forward-looking operators don’t come to us with a predefined problem,” Deen explains. “They come to us with a goal of wanting to drill faster and wanting to know what we think. Being primarily a drill bit company, we work collaboratively with directional companies and with mud companies. We’ve worked with a whole host of companies that are trying to develop more rotary steerable options that make sense in North American shale plays. We’ve become the drill bit of choice.”

Not all Ulterra solutions involve technology. “Some of the innovations that have popped up industry-wide in North American shale are new to the rest of the world,” Deen says. “We worked with an operator in another country to implement a rental model into their procurement method to really change the way they do things. They now rent drill bits and save millions of dollars annually because we converted them from a purchase model to a rental model. We really look at innovation holistically. It’s not just technology driven, it’s value driven.”

Using the latest in social networking and IT technology enables Ulterra to use its global reach to its advantage.

“Our engineers in Thailand can talk to our engineers in Fort Worth who are talking to people in the Delaware Basin or talking to people in-house working with engineers at Chevron,” Deen relates. “They can work on a

problem such as trying to drill an 8 3⁄4 inch hole with an AC top-drive rig through15,000PSI carbonate with dolomite collaborating with anyone who has dealt with these kinds of things.”

Bit Building

Ulterra has manufacturing centers in Fort Worth and Leduc. The company offers a suite of products that includes: Matrix PDC, a proprietary mold technology; steel PDC shankless, single-piece bits; TorkBuster, which reduces bit-related torque and stick-slip problems; and Tru-Gauge, a short,near-bit stabilizer that reduces hole spiraling and increases directional control.

Deen says Ulterra’s technology is developed to address drilling dysfunctions identified by its engineers and customers. Some of the most common problems relate to drilling vibration, lateral vibration and bit whirl. “We have applications engineers in most of the major basins around the world who really understand everything from the geology to the drilling application to the experience and abilities of the drilling engineers and the directional drillers,” he explains. “That’s key to unconventional shale in North America.”

Designed specifically to address drilling vibration, CounterForce is one of Ulterra’s more recent technologies. “Drilling vibration is a destructive energy loss that causes damage to expensive downhole tools and potential damage to the wellbore,” Deen says. “We designed and built a drill bit that actually harnesses otherwise wasted drilling vibration energy into proactively making hole and reducing vibrational damage on downhole tools. That’s been our showcase technology.We’re right at the threshold of drilling 100 million feet with CounterForce technology.”

As the speed of drilling continues to increase, another disfunction Ulterra identifies is cuttings evacuation from the well bore. “Shale laterals are being drilled at such fast penetration rates they’re at nearly an order of magnitude faster than they were ve or 10 years ago,”Deen relates.“Where they were drilling 20 to 40 feet an hour, now they’re drilling instantaneously at 200 or 300 feet per hour. Getting all those new cuttings and formation out of the hole requires new thinking.”

To deal with the problem, the company recently introduced its SplitBlade technology. “SplitBlade is completely focused on cuttings to increase the rate of penetration (ROP). We’ve seen case studies in multiple basins now where we’ve been able to increase instantaneous rates of penetration by 30 to 50percent—in some cases just by making sure the cuttings being generated are exiting the bit and removed from the hole efficiently.”

Dealing With A Downturn

As Deen notes, the oil price downturn that hit the U.S.shale oil and gas industry primarily in 2015 and 2016 had a negative impact on producers and related businesses around the world. But it wasn’t the first time Ulterra had to cope with a downturn.It was around for and survived the oil price collapse of 2008 and 2009. The most recent downturn provided the company with an opportunity to demonstrate how its approach was not only different but also better.

“What a downturn does in oil and gas is separate the wheat from the chaff,” Deen says. “We were able to keep doing what we were doing. It’s a little bit of a different take on risk aversion.” In other words, rather than going the route with drilling solutions from what Deen refers to as “the big-box brands,” E&P companies began looking to the faster and nimbler Ulterra for solutions.

“One of the things that happened that we’re most proud of is that as we grew through the downturn, drilling engineers started to see us in a different light,” Deen notes. “These are individuals whose jobs may have been on the line when they had to make decisions based on what was best for them and what was best for their company. That’s when things really started swinging toward Ulterra. When drilling engineers had to make decisions, every single decision counted, and they started trusting us more.”

Mejia says it was Ulterra’s decentralized decision-making culture that enabled it not just to survive, but to thrive.

“If you look at our market share and financial performance through the downturn, that’s when we made our biggest strides,” she states. “It happened when it became important to realize efficiencies, drill faster and bring new products to the eld. When the majors were dealing with stopped production, layoffs and trying to sell what they had to conserve some cash, we were innovating and bringing the latest technologies to develop some economic value for the customer.

“The downturn was definitely helpful to us,” Mejia continues, “because decision making became a question of ‘Who can make a difference for me now?’ and not ‘Who can make a difference for me two months from now?’ When we could realize efficiencies faster and save money faster, that’s when we became one of the market leaders. We became a true partner with our customers to help them deliver efficiencies and savings at the local level.”

Last year’s uptick in oil and gas activity in North America helped Ulterra to further expand its business to overseas markets. “It’s made sense for us to do that in international markets where we sowed seeds up to 10 years ago,” Deen says. “A lot of that grow this really just a response to this. We’ve been very excited, not only keeping up with the market rebound and drilling activity in North America, but growing significantly faster in our own right.”

But, as Deen also notes, Ulterra’s success has provided it with new and different issues. “One of the things we’re struggling with is to scale up as fast as our customers are demanding while maintaining our culture. That’s really the biggest challenge that we’re facing right now.”

Mejia describes Ulterra’s new challenge as both fun and exciting. “The challenge from an administrative perspective becomes trying to keep up with the growth and trying to build the legal framework and infrastructure that we need to service the client with the same level of speed that we do in NorthAmerica,” she says.“That’s the goal. Once we penetrate a new market, we don’t want to sacrifice the quality. We want to make sure our manufacturing capabilities have the same ISO and API certificates in Saudi Arabia that we have in North America.”

Providing solutions to technical problems is the easy part because, according to Deen, it’s how Ulterra is hard-wired to operate. “The subterranean lithology doesn’t know the political boundaries that we’ve drawn up top,” Deen relates. “What’s harder to deal with are the corporate and geopolitical cultures. How do we do business with Saudi Aramco or the Kuwaiti Oil Co. or the Chinese National Oil Co. and do business with XTO and a small company that has one rig running three months out of the year? How do we serve each one of those clients in a way that makes sense to them and still be true to who we are? We struggle more on the side of dealing with really big, bureaucratic companies and very small companies and the challenges that go along with those.”

For 2018 and 2019, Deen says Ulterra plans to continue moving forward as the oil and gas markets catch up and recover from the most recent downturn. “We plan on doing more of the same,” he says. “To us, that means continually changing and evolving and solving the problems of today that didn’t exist yesterday.”

However, Deen’s also realistic about the future, knowing that it’s a matter of time before the industry experiences another market slump. Once again, he believes operators will look to Ulterra’s experience and technology to deliver the drilling optimization that’s yet to be done.

Author: Patrick C. Miller
Staff Writer, North American Shale magazine 701-738-4923 pmiller@bbiinternational.com

Download a PDF of the original article here.

 


Ulterra Completes the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recertification Audit of their Quality Management System (QMS)

On February 16, 2018, Ulterra completed the American Petroleum Institute (API) Recertification Audit of their Quality Management System (QMS) in Fort Worth, TX. Ulterra’s first API Certification was issued in 2012 and is set to expire in March 2018. Their 2018 audit of their QMS resulted in two minor findings and one opportunity for improvement. This audit was the most successful API audit that Ulterra has completed to date.

Customers can be reassured when working with quality-certified vendors, which is why Ulterra holds both certifications for quality management and quality products. Ulterra’s standards are in compliance with The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and The American Petroleum Institute (API). Ulterra holds three quality certifications: ISO 9001:2015, API Q1 9th Edition, and API 7-1.

  1. Ulterra’s API Certification guarantees that they are meeting the standards specified in ISO 9001:2015. ISO 9001 is a universal Quality Management System (QMS) standard for all industries to ensure that products and services are consistently meeting customer’s requirements and steadily working to improve their quality. The ISO 9001:2015 has replaced the ISO 9001:2008. This upgraded version has placed a major emphasis on risk-based thinking. It has also placed an importance on guaranteeing companies’ objectives align with the context of their organization. The new QMS also highlights a leadership commitment, making sure top managers and business leaders are involved in planning and implementation of the QMS in their organization.
  2. Ulterra’s QMS also conforms to the requirements detailed in the API Q1 9th Edition API is the governing body specific to the Oil and Gas industry that dictates the requirements needed to be an API registered organization.
  3. Ulterra’s manufactured products conform to the technical requirements specified in API 7-1 for both Matrix and Steel body PDC bits. This certification also allows Ulterra to stamp their product with the API monogram.

Shortly following the audit, Ulterra was recertified to API Q1 and API Spec 7-1. Additionally, Ulterra’s certifications for ISO 9001 are now upgraded to the enhanced 2015 version. These certificates became effective on March 15, 2018.

Ulterra’s Quality Engineering Manager, James Stevens, said: “Maintaining our QMS to these API/ISO standards enables Ulterra to utilize consistent, repeatable processes in order to deliver the best quality product to our customers.”

Ulterra PDC Bits are the most reliable PDC Bits in the industry because they are the only ones designed, manufactured, and repaired at one API registered facility. All Ulterra PDC Bits go through a thorough inspection process, including at least five separate quality inspections between runs. Every single cutter is inspected, photographed, and dispositioned on every repair.

The combination of these certifications differentiates Ulterra from their competitors and guarantees dependable quality for manufactured and repaired PDC bits. The implementation of an ISO 9001 QMS has provided Ulterra with internal benefits that have led them to better operations, improved performance, and increased profitability. The implementation of API Spec Q1 has provided Ulterra with the minimum requirements to effectively manage processes, prevent defects, and minimize any variations and waste in manufacturing. Ulterra’s QMS and product certifications help communicate to their customers their continued commitment to quality. Furthermore, some international customers require these API/ISO Certifications as a prerequisite in order to enter into a business relationship.

James Stevens, Quality Engineering Manager, was particularly impressed with the entire team at Ulterra and their ability to utilize consistent, repeatable processes in order to deliver the best quality product to their customers. Stevens said: “I am thankful for and continually impressed with the talent, experience, and hard work put forth by the entire Ulterra team.” Said James, “This is a huge accomplishment for the entire Ulterra team.”

 


Ulterra’s Leduc Facility Achieved 1,000 Days with No Recordable Incidents

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, marked 1,000 days since a recordable incident within Ulterra’s Leduc Manufacturing Plant! This milestone is a reminder of Ulterra’s hard-working team, safe working environment, and effective Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) policies.

“Phonebook size safety manuals don’t make a safe workplace.” Said Bryce, Manager of HSSE. “The choice we make every day to work safely and look out for our coworkers as well as quickly and effectively addressing hazards when they arise creates a solid foundation that allows a culture of safety to be created.”

Ulterra has pride in achieving a shared vision of excellence, by managing business activities through a fully integrated Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Management System. This vision includes properly inspected and maintained premises, plant, and equipment to ensure safety to all employees. It is also Ulterra’s vision to ensure that we provide our team with a suitable environment by providing adequate information, training, and the required supervision. We also make it our obligation to be constantly improving our HSSE processes by reviewing and revising policies, as well as monitoring the compliance and performance of our employees using our HSSE Management System.

At Ulterra, we work to empower our employees to immediately stop work when they encounter any unsafe working conditions and to immediately seek help to correct the problem. We also consider ourselves as responsible corporate citizens and we actively work to minimize our environmental impact.

On behalf on the entire Ulterra team, thank you to our HSSE Team, as well as all employees at the Leduc Manufacturing Plant. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this milestone possible. Here’s to 1,000 more days!


Ulterra Featured at Fort Worth Mayor’s International Luncheon

Ulterra Drilling Technologies is based in the heart of downtown Fort Worth which is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Fort Worth has continued to grow within the last two years making it 7th in U.S. population growth leaving tons of room for economic development. There are many big name companies that call Fort Worth home like Ulterra. With Fort Worth being centrally located between DFW Airport and Alliance Airport, it makes international business on logistics for local businesses a lot easier. There are currently 56 international flights out of DFW every day making it convenient for business leaders to have better access to international markets. Alliance airport is the only international commercial airport in the area which opens the door for quicker import and export practices.

It’s predicted by the next census date that Fort Worth will become the 12th largest city in the United States. As Fort Worth’s population grows it’s vital that business in domestic and international markets continue to rise and create job opportunities to support the increase in population. A luncheon was organized by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to discuss how companies in the Fort Worth area are contributing to the success of international business and making Fort Worth an international business hub. The Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price looked to Ulterra to sit among other key players in select industries to discuss the potential for Fort Worth to become an international hub of innovation. Mayor Betsy Price remarked “Ulterra represents both Fort Worth’s history in energy and our future in technology.”

Ulterra was called on by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to discuss their experience in doing business not only on a domestic level but also in international markets. The Chambers main business function is to recruit and retain business, provide a skilled and educated workforce and provide resources for business owners and employees. Mayor Betsy Price talked about the importance of making Fort Worth a destination for global business development, attraction and retention. Fort Worth has a very diverse workforce and many have chosen to operate their corporate headquarters in the heart of it, such as BNSF Railways, Pier1imports, American Airlines and Ulterra Drilling Technologies. “We are much more than just the aviation, defense and energy industry. We are a very multicultural and multinational city with major corporations with huge international presences,” said Mayor Betsy Price.

Ulterra’s CFO Maria Mejia was among a few selected to join Mayor Betsy Price along with Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America and Phil White, Co-Founder of Cervelo Cycles for the annual international luncheon. Maria sat on a panel in front of 250 plus attendees and took a deeper dive into the success stories of companies with an international presence that are local to Fort Worth. The Chamber looked to Ulterra to gain insight on how to successfully attract international business and retain healthy business relationships in international markets. Ulterra is currently the leading PDC Bit Company in the United States having the most market share driven from innovation, solid work ethic and the resilience to win.

Many of the attendees at the luncheon were top players in their industries looking to gain insight on how to drive their business’s into international markets. The goal is to make Fort Worth a more attractive place to do business on an international level. Fort Worth has a cross-industry workforce and is full diverse cultures, businesses, and lifestyles making it an attractive place to not only live but also to do business in. “International employees, partners and customers appreciate visiting our facilities in Fort Worth. Hosting international oil and gas conferences such as the SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) and the IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) allows us to showcase our home turf to the entire industry,” Said Maria Mejia, Senior Vice President and CFO of Ulterra Drilling Technologies.

Maria continued talking about some of the obstacles as well as the triumphs Ulterra has faced going into new markets beyond the United States. “When expanding globally it can be hard to replicate Ulterra’s culture. Our business model requires a deep understanding of the customer, their needs and the culture in which they operate. We have to prove that we are able to deliver value internationally just as much as we can deliver locally,” says Mejia. Understanding international markets and how they differ is a key to gaining market share internationally. There are times when consumer education has to be put into play just to market your products in other countries, it’s all about the hierarchy of effects when it comes to selling in international markets.

The Mayor touched on key initiatives that have the potential to make Fort Worth stand out in DFW as its own entity. Idealistically the larger business community could come together to better define Fort Worth’s commercial brand both to attract like-minded businesses and startups and to help them market themselves by association. Having stronger business relationships within the Fort Worth area could make international business ventures more collaborative and less daunting. The Chamber strives to develop country targets for new businesses based on current industry clusters, skill set and local relationships. “I was very intrigued by the Mayor’s determination to bring more international business ventures to the Fort Worth area. As Fort Worth gains more recognition good things will happen for the people and businesses in our area,” Says Angela Schlemmer, Vice President of Tax and Treasury of Ulterra Drilling Technologies.

Ulterra is recognized for its unique culture, which consists of doing things better and faster. International success depends on the ability of a company to meet the demands of the customer and being able to efficiently adapt to the changing needs of customers across borders. The future of international business depends on being competitive on a global scale, this means Ulterra would have to continue dominating in the U.S. and continue gaining new market share through technological advancements and innovation in the oil and gas industry as a whole. For customers to adopt new companies and products in international markets you have to adapt to the culture of purchasing in those areas. “It’s a combination of relationship selling, technical ability, know-how, backup, and support function. It’s normally something cool and established that people can latch onto like our CounterForce® technology,” Says Chris Gooch, Application Engineering Manager of Ulterra Drilling Technologies

In the oil and gas industry, Ulterra is known for its speed, quality, technology, and trustworthy business acumen. This has led to Ulterra achieving better business relationships internationally as well as in the U.S. Being a successful entity in international marketplaces is not an overnight process. Ulterra takes the time to assess cultural differences and align them through technology and innovation all while delivering what the customer needs and keeping Ulterra’s competitive advantage, which begins with their speed of delivery. Ulterra started in the U.S. with the belief of becoming viable and is now thriving in the most competitive market on the planet making them the fastest growing drill bit company in the world.


Ulterra’s Showcase at LAGCOE 2017

Ulterra was pleased to attend and showcase at the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition, or LAGCOE. LAGCOE is one of the world’s premier oil and gas expositions featuring innovative equipment, services, technology, and presentations from worldwide leaders. This event happens biennially and Ulterra was able to make their first attendance a groundbreaking one.

The Ulterra team traveled to Lafayette, Louisiana, from October 24-26, 2017. They were amongst the 17,000+ visitors from 43+ countries and approximately 420 exhibitors that came together for this event. Visitors had the opportunity to attend daily keynote sessions, as well as dozens of technical and international sessions. LAGCOE hosted a notable group of international visitors and exhibitors, including the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Ukraine, Brazil, and United Arab Emirates.

LAGCOE awarded five companies as New Technology Showcase Winners to present on their innovations. The winning technologies that presented an overview of their innovation included:
• Louisiana CAT — Product Health Connect® Panel
Ulterra Drilling Technologies — PDC drill bit cutting structure: CounterForce®
• Frank’s International — Combination Drillpipe/Casing Spider & Elevator
• HydraLIFT — Rod string lifting device
• Expro — 30,000 psi perforating and drill stem test tool package

Ulterra at LAGCOE 2017

Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition Ulterra Drilling Technologies at LAGCOE

Ulterra was honored to be picked as a New Technology Showcase Winner from a large group of submissions. Ulterra felt that attending LAGCOE and showcasing their technology would help boost their offshore presence and increase awareness of their already proven successful technology. International Engineering Manager, Matt Case, presented on CounterForce to help further increase their awareness of the technology, particularly the deepwater offshore market. CounterForce was chosen to be the entry of choice due to it meeting the criteria needed to be considered as a submission. CounterForce has been around since 2013 but is still new to the offshore market, and has a proven track record, which made it a largely considerable nominee.

Mitch Dunham, Regional Sales Manager, Eastern US, raved about the success of this event. “Having everyone together there, representing Ulterra, made this event so successful,” said Dunham.
Mitch also believes that Ulterra’s attendance at LAGCOE made them gain positive recognition, especially with potential customers from the Gulf of Mexico and internationally.

Ulterra’s CounterForce technology is designed to take on hard and abrasive geology. The design of the bit causes less vibration on the PDC cutting structure, which allows the bit to be more durable and long-lasting, while improving efficiency, saving drilling time and money. This CounterForce technology is incorporated into many of Ulterra’s PDC bit designs and has very successful field results. As of October 30, 2017, CounterForce has drilled enough footage to go through the planet twice, which is 131,477,280 feet.

During this show, Ulterra was also awarded 1st place for the First Time Exhibitor award. This award was presented to the team on behalf of the LAGCOE committee for their knowledge, engagement, and overall look of their booth.


Ulterra Drilling Technologies Promotes Cancer Awareness for Women By Partnering with Saving True Pairs

Ulterra Drilling Technologies is a Fort Worth based PDC Bit Company known for their iconic teal bits. For the past 4 years, Ulterra has been committed to spreading awareness within the oilfield by collaborating with the organization Saving True Pairs based in Midland, TX. Their mission is to raise awareness of women’s health issues and foster educational and service initiatives that positively embrace women’s health. In Midland County alone 4 out of 5 women over 40 do not get mammograms. This is a big concern and the reasoning behind the organizations motivation to raise funds and awareness.

Ulterra wanted to partner with a local organization where their movement started so when the opportunity arose to partner with Saving True Pairs it was a no brainer. In an effort to help raise awareness in the oilfield every October Ulterra paints their iconic teal bits pink in efforts to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “In 2014 only the bits in the Permian were painted pink but over the years we noticed how much of an impact it made so we decided to take it to the next level by painting all bits pink within the U.S” says Rocky Frazier, Vice President of Manufacturing.

The initial partnership between the two started in 2014 when one of Ulterra’s own was hit with the effects of breast cancer. With Ulterra being the big family they are everyone united around the family to shower them with support. “I am so delighted that this has become an annual affair, Saving True Pairs has helped so many women in the Permian Basin get those lifesaving mammograms. They are a great organization to work with, and we see their efforts go a long way.” says Bill Stark, Vice President of Western U.S Operations.
Saving true pairs also host’s an annual Pink the Basin clay shoot which Ulterra has proudly sponsored for the past 4 years. Saving True pairs uses this event to help raise funds to benefit women in the area whom may not otherwise have the resources for a mammogram. In 2016 the organization raised over $100,000 due to the immense amount of support they received. Ulterra hopes 2017 will be even better.

This year Ulterra will once again be sponsoring the Pink the Basin event to further support the cause and its efforts in raising awareness. All of the bits coming out of the Ft.Worth Manufacturing facility will be painted pink during the month of October to spread awareness all throughout the oilfield. The Ulterra family looks forward to the month of October every year. “The excitement has already began, we’ve already started getting pictures of the pink bits making an appearance onto the rigs. It’s awesome to see that our customers are excited to help support the cause too.” States Brittany McPherson, Communications Coordinator.

Ulterra continues to help spread awareness not only by painting their bits pink, but also with a monetary donation. Ulterra will be donating $25,000 this year just as they did in 2016 to help those who are in need of getting those lifesaving mammograms. “It’s always good to know that you can help someone in their time of need, at Ulterra we are one big family so it’s nice to extend a helping hand beyond the oilfield when we get a chance.” says Aron Deen, Director of Marketing and Business Development.

Everyone loves getting together to support great causes at Ulterra. John Clunan, CEO, says “Over the years it’s been amazing to see everyone in the Ulterra family and beyond come together to raise awareness for the cause. It’s a very rewarding feeling being able to see the impact our efforts have made over the years, and we look forward to supporting causes like this in the future.”