Always keeping my ear to the ground, I recently caught wind of a supposed breakthrough technology within the oil and gas sector. After sixty years of literally no innovation related to increased oil production, the name Scott Rettberg came to life—so I took a further look. Touted as disruptive, which always gets my attention, I soon found my way to Rettberg, who is the Founder and inventor of ProFlow, a unique and highly effective production stimulant for the oil and gas industryAt first impression, Rettberg comes across as a larger than life. His peers describe him as a cross between Wyatt Earp and Tony Stark, Rettberg’s arrogance supplants confidence like a brick through a windshield, but perhaps his bravado has been earned like all the great innovators of our time. My first question to Rettberg was, “What makes this technology disruptive?” His answer, “You’re looking at it,” poised in his cowboy boots, diamond watch, and a mouth full of tobacco.
But don’t let Rettberg’s, old west, good ol’ boy descriptor fool you. Rettberg holds his own, and then some, when it comes to pitching his wares. Rettberg’s self-taught sector expertise is turning heads while challenging the most skeptical production engineers from the most powerful oil companies in the world. He claims never to have walked away from an engineering team that wasn’t eager to prove him wrong; it all begins with contempt initially, and then the engineers’ eyes glaze over. The data is indisputable. I asked Rettberg what his close ratio is. True to form, he retorts: “There is no ratio at 100%.”
Hans Franke, who began his corporate career as a laboratory scientist in chemistry at Chevron Chemical Company, following on to become a corporate executive as President Director General (PDG) of Chevron Chemical SAF, headquartered in France, comments that:
Scott Rettberg is a brilliant innovator. He has found a way to break through the Chinese wall in our industry and demonstrates that he not only understands the inefficiencies (of the industry) but has a solution that is simply something I have never seen or believed possible in twenty-five years.
Rettberg is no stranger to inspiration, who has long been associated with the development and innovation of many technologies, along with renewable resource-based business models. An expert in mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, tuck-ins and rollouts, Rettberg seeks to successfully integrate synergistic and complimentary technologies while including inventions to revolutionize industries.
But Let’s Put Some Perspective Behind All This Hoopla
Most oil well production is based upon methodology developed in the early 1900s, and little has changed since then. Technological advances have made improvements, but the basic pump jacks we see scattered throughout small towns in America have the same characteristics—an arm moving up and down, pulling oil out of the various substrates below via metal sections of rod, traveling inside thousands of feet of steel tubing that lines the well bore.
There has never been an economical way to lubricate this metal-on-metal grinding. The oil industry hasn’t looked upon this grinding as a “problem,” per se, but more as something the industry has to deal with. For instance, when the tires wear out on a car, the tires are replaced, so when a rod wears out the tubing, or a rod breaks, the industry just shuts down the well, loses days of production, and repairs it—over, and over, and over, again, at the cost of thousands and thousands of dollars, per occurrence. ProFlow is the paradigm shift that ends this insufficient cycle.
Rettberg goes on to explain:
No one can predict whether a product is effective unless it has proven its worth in real-life circumstances. AWT (American Well Technology, LLC.) has taken the steps needed to validate ProFlow’s effectiveness and the potential for cost savings by working with the largest oil companies in the industry.
These oil producers have tested and assessed ProFlow independently, on their own wells, without AWT’s influence, and have found the product to be highly effective, to say the least. CRC (Occidental Petroleum) in California had two problem wells that showed, after the first day of testing, an immediate increase of over 160 barrels of oil per day respectively—amazing results by anyone’s standards.
This industry relies heavily on the production of raw crude oil, which is a scarce material due to inefficient extraction techniques and limited supply. The lack of sufficient crude oil drives the cost of production higher, which has a direct impact on the cost of oil and gas in the economic market. There is ample room in this sector for improvement, but there hasn’t been significant innovation for many decades, until now. Big oil is ripe for a revolution, and Rettberg has the Jesus Juice—meaning, Rettberg’s solution fixes the problem of massive production obstacles, which are caused by antiquated methods of extraction that create exorbitant maintenance costs.
Partnering with ProOne
ProFlow was born when Rettberg and his partner, Tim Volk, began working with ProOne, Inc., a company that had developed a highly effective polarized drilling lubricant, which reduces friction, torque, and drag in drilling operations. All Volk simply had to do was point Rettberg in the right direction (toward the production side of the industry) and let Rettberg loose. Volk recounts the day Rettberg had his “ah-ha” moment. Rettberg realized that a well hole is drilled once, but that well can run for years; needless to say, there is a huge consumable play waiting to be exploited here.
Rettberg and Volk provided input to ProOne, which developed and tested the various formulas in their lab and reengineered the technology to work in oil wells. As the modified formula for ProFlow materialized, Rettberg realized that a strong IP protection was his first line of defense and quickly began the process of writing and filing a provisional utility patent. Subsequently, Rettberg and Volk took to the oil fields of Bakersfield, CA, for comprehensive field testing. They then formed American Well Technologies LLC. (AWT), and negotiated a long-term deal with ProOne. AWT has now presented to over 250 engineers, production foreman, and the management of forty-five mid to major oil producers from Texas to North Dakota. After fighting through the disbelief attributed to AWT’s test results, getting past the we-already-know-all-there-is-to-know mentalities that are barriers to any new technology, ProFlow is an unstoppable freight train as major oil producers are now confirming, and validating, AWT’s test results for themselves on their own oil wells. Soon thereafter, they are sold.
Green is Good
Almost as unbelievable as ProFlow itself, ProFlow goes even one step further by being completely earth friendly. It is biodegradable, contains no sulfides or chlorides, and is safe to handle. The California EPA has blessed ProFlow, an almost impossible distinction to achieve, and has approved it for use offshore.
Catch Him if You Can
Rettberg has already met with many major oil producers to validate the effectiveness of ProFlow and its application. Companies such as CRC, AERA Energy, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Exxon subsidiary XTO, Marathon Oil, Anadarko, Energen, E&B Resources, QEP, Linn Energy, Hunt Oil, Continental Resources, EOG, Permian Resources, Sampson, and many others, are in various stages of testing and implementation with their oil producing fields in West Texas, North Dakota, and Bakersfield, CA. In the future, AWT aims to expand into all the North American oil producing zones by partnering with exclusive territory licensees. In the meantime, Rettberg is fast selling out territories by positioning his company to be a major disruptive force within the industry, already taking available space by storm. At the same time, Rettberg is creating applications for ProFlow in other areas of the oil and gas sector.
To sum it all up, Rettberg is vivacious, ebullient, and a sharp individual. Rettberg and ProFlow appear to be quite a tour de force. Poised for ultimate disruption, ProFlow is an exciting and promising applied technology. AWT’s business model is big money with 1.7 million active wells just waiting to be treated in the United States alone. And best of all, AWT is one of zero negative cash flow; it’s renewable, and requires little to no operating complexity.
A Gracious Kickoff
Rettberg is hosting, in his inimitable style, an all-out extravaganza at the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield, California, on November 17th, for the who’s who of the energy and gas market. This roughneck soiree will include great live music from Monty Byrom of Big House, delicious food, an open bar, and prizes, including some gifted handguns.
Rettberg looks forward to thanking everyone that gave him a safe place to run trials for ProFlow, thus allowing him to lay the groundwork for his vision. Rettberg tells me, “Anyone who is anyone will be there.” He was gracious enough to extend me an invitation.
Rettberg and AWT are finishing up its Series A Offering at a $75M post-money valuation, led by his oldest and most trusted friend, who he refers to only as Adam. I wanted to know more, but Rettberg cryptically grinned and curtly replied, “You’ve got enough disruption here, let’s stick with this.”