Brad Svoboda, COO of Chemical Injection Partners (CIP)

COO of Chemical Injection Partners (CIP), Brad Svoboda’s career journey has significantly influenced his perspective on effective leadership within the industry. With a background spanning diverse operational roles, he has garnered insights into the multifaceted challenges companies encounter daily. “Setting a vision while understanding ground-level realities is crucial,” he emphasizes.

With over 15 years in senior management at a major retail petroleum corporation, Svoboda sought an opportunity to apply his expertise in the rapidly expanding produced water industry. “The produced water space is the fasting growing segment of oil and gas,” he notes. Recognizing the escalating production volumes, he acknowledges the pivotal role of effective resource management. His decision to join Chemical Injection Partners (CIP) stemmed from admiration for the existing leadership team’s track record of success and innovation. “Their reputation for customized solutions tailored for clients resonated with me,” Svoboda remarks.

At CIP, Svoboda’s role allowed him to deepen his industry knowledge while collaborating closely with the field team and industry partners. This hands-on experience expanded his understanding of full-cycle water management workflows, proving invaluable as CIP undertook projects of increasing scale and complexity. “Leadership must foster collaborative problem-solving,” Svoboda asserts.

Two years into his tenure at CIP, Svoboda remains invigorated by the challenges and rewards of advancing the company’s commitment to quality service, safety, and client satisfaction. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made,” Svoboda states. In his role as COO, Svoboda’s objective is to cultivate a culture where team members feel empowered and supported. “Soliciting input from those with direct operational expertise is paramount,” he emphasizes. This approach not only fosters ownership over initiatives but also demonstrates leadership’s commitment to the team’s well-being.

The ambitious goal of tripling CIP’s size within two years necessitated seamless coordination amid rapid expansion. Regular communication ensured alignment as the organization underwent significant changes. Moreover, prioritizing training alongside growth facilitated sustainable development by nurturing emerging leaders internally.

As operational volumes expanded, establishing best practices for oversight and accountability became imperative. Streamlining processes alleviated pressure points, allowing field personnel to focus on delivering exceptional service. Maintaining transparency and approachability fostered open dialogue to address emerging challenges effectively.

Ultimately, facilitating CIP’s success hinges on a commitment to continuous improvement shared throughout the company. Svoboda aims to foster a culture of idea-sharing to capitalize on new opportunities collaboratively. “Our focus on positive attitudes, communication, teamwork, and innovation yields results,” Svoboda affirms.

The Cultural Backbone of Chemical Injection Partners (CIP)

CIP was founded by CEO Kyle Biery with a vision of delivering customized solutions tailored to clients’ specific produced water challenges. Recognizing the limitations of a one-size-fits-all approach, the company’s founders understood the importance of addressing the diverse water chemistry and output levels across various oilfields.

What distinguishes CIP is its commitment to genuine collaboration with customers. “Our goal is to understand each operation intimately,” notes Svoboda, emphasizing the importance of tailoring solutions for long-term performance rather than quick fixes. By partnering with field experts from the outset, CIP enhances solutions with practical, real-world insights.

At CIP, success extends beyond the treatment of barrels; it rests upon a robust foundation of organizational culture. “Our culture is built on pillars like Integrity, Positive/Solution Oriented mindsets, Team before I mentality, Communication, Service, and Results,” emphasizes Svoboda. These values are not mere rhetoric but deeply ingrained principles guiding every decision, action, and interaction within the company. This cultural ethos has been instrumental in propelling CIP to treat over 4.5 million barrels of produced water daily and underpins its ambitious growth plans.

Central to CIP’s approach is its investment in both people and innovations. The team’s blend of technical expertise and relationship-building skills fosters enduring trust with clients. Field teams operate as integrated extensions of customers’ own teams, fostering transparency and facilitating continuous refinement through two-way feedback.

The cultivation of CIP’s culture has been deliberate and sustained. From senior leadership to every employee, a steadfast commitment to upholding core values is imperative. “Integrity is non-negotiable,” asserts Svoboda. Open communication, dedication to service, and a shared pursuit of results define the ethos at CIP.

Amidst widespread turnover in various industries, CIP takes pride in its exceptional employee retention rate. “Our commitment to our culture has resulted in no voluntary departures over the past 18 months,” Svoboda reveals. This achievement underscores the strength of CIP’s culture and the dedication of its team members. Tough decisions have been made to ensure alignment with the company’s values and collective success.

Optimizing Water Management

CIP’s core focus revolves around optimizing various aspects of the produced water lifecycle, from initial production to ultimate disposal. “Our chemical programs are meticulously designed to aggressively separate oil and gas phases from water through rapid coalescence,” explains Svoboda. Tailored blends facilitate more effective oil and water separation, resulting in the recovery of higher commercial volumes of oil. One defining aspect of CIP is the emphasis on providing comprehensive data and analysis to customers. “We offer detailed insights into the issues we aim to address, recommended solutions, project scope and costs, as well as pre and post measurements of results,” Svoboda notes. This approach has yielded significant success, with some customers experiencing an increase in oil cut by over 150%.

For solids separation, CIP develops tailored blends that effectively flocculate and precipitate suspended solids. This enhances clarity, enabling more efficient downstream processes while preventing abrasive wear that could compromise injection integrity over time. In injection treatment, CIP leverages its profound understanding of reservoir chemistry to mitigate injectivity-robbing scales, corrosion products, and highly active acids. This results in improved flow rates and reduced pressures.

CIP adopts a holistic approach to each system, drawing on field experience to coordinate efforts at every stage for maximum cumulative effect. Comprehensive testing and data analysis ensure continuous refinement as conditions evolve. Through these integrated approaches, coupled with operational insight, CIP consistently resolves challenges to optimize water management operationally, financially, and environmentally.

Ensuring consistent monitoring of produced water infrastructure remains paramount to the success of CIP’s operational strategy. Through its integrated field execution model, the company employs dedicated experts to closely track each link in the value chain. “Our highly skilled field teams employ a strategic approach, providing real-time visibility into critical parameters such as flow rates, pressures, temperatures, gases, and tank levels,” explains Svoboda. This proactive monitoring enables the rapid identification of any deviations from normal operating ranges, allowing for swift action to address emerging issues before disruptions occur.

In addition to physical sensors, CIP utilizes a proprietary analytics platform to analyze streaming data, gaining valuable insights through multivariate modeling. “This predictive functionality alerts us to impending issues even before physical symptoms appear,” Svoboda notes. However, the value of such digitally enabled monitoring and dashboards relies heavily on the expertise of seasoned professionals to act upon findings. Field technicians are empowered with flexible capabilities to proactively address root causes, whether through adjustments to chemical programs or modifications to equipment.

Ultimately, it is the synchronized combination of advanced technology and expert human judgment that ensures the consistent, high-performance operations demanded by customers. By preemptively addressing potential downtime events, CIP delivers significant cost avoidance and productivity returns for all stakeholders in the water stream.

Field Experts Driving Operational Excellence

The field team at CIP plays a crucial role in the company’s success, bringing invaluable expertise in saltwater disposal and pipeline management. With backgrounds spanning operator, service company, and engineering roles, they offer a 360-degree perspective informed by hands-on experience across the full water life cycle.

“Our drivers and technicians possess firsthand knowledge of challenges like scaling tendencies, gained from years spent optimizing well performance,” explains Svoboda. “Above-ground, they’ve executed complex pipeline acid jobs and chemical programs to maximize asset integrity.” This comprehensive understanding allows CIP’s personnel to bridge the gap between surface activities and their downhole impacts.

Whether addressing an injection rate decline or ensuring flow assurance, the field staff at CIP leverage their intuitive grasp of produced water process flow. They discern subtle indicators in chemistry or flow profiles and relate them to emerging issues. Armed with this diagnostic acumen, they devise integrated solutions that extend beyond simple chemical applications.

Moreover, the team approaches each problem with a positive, solution-oriented mindset. “An open yet rigorous scientific method yields creative answers that circumvent constraints,” Svoboda remarks. They combine innovative thinking with prudent engineering to maximize value safely.

Offering Customized Solutions through Transparent Collaborations

CIP prides itself on providing genuine transparency to clients through its 100% customized chemical programs. These programs are designed to foster a collaborative relationship grounded in an open exchange of information. “Our approach revolves around understanding each customer’s unique challenges, constraints, and performance objectives,” explains Brad Svoboda. Rather than relying on proprietary formulas or one-size-fits-all treatments, CIP initiates a mutual learning process. The technical team offers explainable insights into fluid mechanics, mineralogy concepts, and proven best practices.

Clients have full access to real-time monitoring data from CIP’s digitally connected field assets, ensuring transparency throughout the process. “We proactively identify modification milestones to continuously optimize programs according to evolving downhole conditions,” Svoboda notes. These knowledge transfers empower clients to participate meaningfully in strategic decisions. Alternative scenarios are jointly evaluated based on scientific merit, establishing an iterative feedback loop where both parties contribute specialized perspectives.

Importantly, transparency cultivates the trust necessary for genuine partnerships. Clients understand proposed interventions because underlying rationales are explained clearly and methodically. This transparent approach instills confidence, ensuring that clients’ objectives and constraints are not compromised by obscure value propositions.

The culture of open-book collaboration drives CIP to exceed discrete project outcomes. “We view clients as long-term partners rather than transactions,” emphasizes Svoboda. CIP prioritizes establishing collaborative alliances based on mutual investment and long-term guidance. Open dialogue is key to understanding how CIP can best add value within its partners’ frameworks.

This approach fosters joint ownership over solutions, with programs co-developed to address symbiotic objectives. “Clients become empowered participants, optimizing strategies alongside our technical experts,” Svoboda notes. The continuity of trusted partnerships allows for constant refinement, with programs evolving fluidly to adapt to changing conditions and leveraging accrued institutional knowledge.

Building Trust Through Personalized Service

CIP recognizes that quality service is rooted in strong personal relationships. The company’s dedicated service teams and chemical consultants work diligently to cultivate open communication and hands-on partnerships with each client. “Every client is assigned a direct point of contact who becomes intimately familiar with their water streams, equipment, and operations,” explains Svoboda. Regular site visits and collaboration ensure that challenges are addressed promptly with a focused problem-solving mindset. Clients deal directly with trusted advisors for continuity and accountability.

CIP’s experts reside and operate within the Permian, Delaware, and Eagle Ford basins, providing an on-call local presence. Their industry-leading technical expertise is complemented by an innate understanding of local realities and constraints. Solutions are nuanced, respecting both engineering fundamentals and logistical practicalities. Service goes beyond pure chemical support. Teams actively engage alongside operators, whether optimizing batch treatments in the field or resolving maintenance issues on site. Candid feedback and monitoring data ensure that clients are fully informed.

Cross-communication among team members ensures a cooperative exchange of knowledge when necessary. Clients receive seamless guidance from specialists best suited to their unique situations, overseen closely by Account Managers to ensure service quality. Ultimately, CIP aims to provide personal attention akin to that of a privately contracted team. “Within CIP, we believe that the team is greater than any individual,” notes Svoboda. This hands-on partnership approach fosters loyalty through consistent delivery of proven value by familiar, trustworthy faces. Client success remains the company’s top priority.

Safety First

Safety reigns as the absolute top priority at CIP, influencing every aspect of its operations. “We begin every meeting and call with safety,” emphasizes Svoboda. Through peer-to-peer accountability, the team collectively sets the tone, leading by example with a diligent attitude and strict adherence to procedures. Account Managers then ensure compliance through coaching, observation, and frequent reviews, fostering a proactive mindset through constant monitoring and reporting.

CIP fosters a culture where learning takes precedence over punishment, encouraging openness about near-misses and minor incidents to improve protocols for the future. Thorough investigations leave no possibility unaddressed. The company spares no resources when it comes to providing proper equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training. Comprehensive standard operating procedures and rigorous auditing uphold consistent practices, while multiple hazard analyses catch vulnerabilities early.

Even decision-making at CIP weighs safety impacts, empowering teams to pause or adjust work as needed to address concerns, with work priorities never superseding wellbeing. Clients witness CIP’s strict focus on safety in the field, from tailgate talks before starting tasks to minute-by-minute job hazard analyses and reminders. Safety is emphasized through conduct, not just policies.

This unwavering commitment to safety permeates CIP as vigilantly today as when it was established, ensuring the protection of its people while responsibly managing clients’ interests through constant attention to both their operations and its own. Clients trust CIP’s judgment because of its steadfast focus on ensuring everyone goes home safely.

Balancing Compliance and Efficiency

As an industry leader, CIP upholds a steadfast commitment to compliance while ensuring efficient operations. “Our teams undergo standardized qualifications to ensure consistency,” explains Svoboda. However, standardization does not equate to inflexibility; training is tailored to each situation, drawing upon CIP’s deep operational expertise.

Real-time dashboards provide leadership with a comprehensive overview, allowing proactive identification and addressing of areas for improvement. Digital record-keeping streamlines audits and reduces paperwork, while intuitive analytics highlight compliance trends to facilitate continual improvement.

Regulations undergo thorough review to interpret intent and develop clear procedures. Field teams contribute to this process, fostering invested ownership and ensuring that standard work practices are adapted where necessary to accommodate field nuances.

CIP’s teams receive compliance education that emphasizes their role as advisors to customers, fostering transparency and providing valuable counsel on optimizing their management systems. Joint practices promote synergistic progress and strengthen relationships with clients.

Efficiency is achieved through organization and discipline within CIP’s integrated framework. Compliance is embraced as an enabling rather than restrictive element of successful operation at scale, allowing the company to maintain its nimble, client-focused approach.

CIP stands as a beacon of sustainability and environmental stewardship within the Produced Water sector of Oil and Gas. “Our commitment to sustainability is ingrained in every facet of our operations, from our tailored chemical consulting programs to our strategic partnerships with the leading operators in the industry,” shares Svoboda. CIP recognizes the imperative of water reuse for the future, and the company is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to maximize water reclamation and minimize waste. Svoboda adds, “We take our role as stewards of the land seriously, ensuring that our treatments not only enhance operational efficiency but also uphold the integrity of the environment.”

Navigating Growth and Responsibility

CIP is strategically positioned for continued growth, recognizing that responsible expansion comes with significant responsibilities. “Opportunities abound in our expanding expertise,” notes Svoboda. With anticipated increases in produced water volumes due to drilling activity, there is potential for increased treatment capacity. CIP’s capabilities in analyzing these volumes, along with flowbacks, allow for customization to meet varying customer needs. Staying abreast of evolving regulations through industry groups ensures compliance amid changing goals.

Geographic expansion offers access to new water sources, supported by CIP’s robust partnerships and reputation. Leveraging existing relationships helps lower business costs, while advances in analytical equipment may yield fresh efficiencies.

Challenges arise in balancing scale with service. Larger operations require concise communication to maintain nimbleness, while retaining experienced personnel amid competition necessitates creative solutions. Adaptability to disruptive technologies is crucial to prevent obsolescence.

Most importantly, prioritizing a safety culture as teams expand is essential to prevent complacency. Ongoing education counteracts employee turnover, while responsible stewardship maintains stakeholder trust, fundamental to CIP’s core values.

By agilely seizing opportunities while diligently managing challenges, CIP can continue providing exceptional service and pioneering solutions to maximize efficiency for customers. The company’s experience provides the staying power to navigate short-term fluctuations in the industry.

Svoboda’s Vision

As COO, Svoboda’s goal is to guide Chemical Injection Partners (CIP) with a balanced, results-oriented approach that navigates both challenges and opportunities responsibly. “My experience developing high-performing teams across expansive operations provides insight into maintaining an organized, transparent structure as our footprint grows,” notes Svoboda. Clear communication of goals and priorities ensures seamless collaboration among crews. Standardizing training while allowing for regional adaptation fosters safety and compliance, with each team member understanding the critical role they play in the overall success of customers and CIP.

CIP maintains a relentless focus on innovation through partnerships, cultivating fresh solutions to address evolving needs. Field expertise combined with a flexible mindset allows for the analysis of continuous improvement in Enhanced Oil Recovery, facility efficiencies, and pipeline treatments. Adapting proven methods while scaling growth ensures service quality remains paramount.

Financial discipline governs CIP’s expansion plans, with rigorous auditing and value-engineering projects driving decision-making. Data-driven metrics assess performance holistically against balanced goals, while responsiveness to disruption comes from diversification in services, geography, and strategic alliances.

Leading by example strengthens a culture prioritizing both safety and client satisfaction at CIP. Mentoring emerging talent mitigates turnover risks, preserving institutional knowledge, while transparency builds trust with regulators, communities, and partners.

Svoboda’s vision sees CIP enabling efficient water stewardship industry-wide through pioneering solutions and exceptional service. Practical experience in steering complex operations, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, will navigate the mix of challenges and opportunities in the coming years. CIP’s partnerships, expertise, and values ensure continued success in benefiting customers.

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