Unexpected trucking and disposal costs, wait times, difficulty quantifying greenhouse gas emissions and documentation errors are just some of the problems that plague the inefficient waste disposal market. It is a problem for many oil and gas producers in Alberta, one that Galatea Technologies in Calgary is helping to solve by optimizing and digitizing oilfield disposal and transportation logistics.
Clients want to send waste to the disposal facility at the lowest price. But they are not able to easily assess all the factors that contribute to the overall cost and efficiency of a load. For instance, the cheapest facility isn’t always the closest, and can result in additional trucking costs and increased GHG emissions. As well, capacity issues at a facility can result in additional idling time costs. The Galatea founding team’s experience in trucking, logistics, waste disposal, and oil and gas operations make them well-suited to finding a solution.
“Oil and gas producers were often making decisions in the dark without the ability to access the information that could help them make better decisions,” says Will Grisdale, Galatea Technologies leader of sales and marketing.
Galatea Technologies created its “Waste Coordinator” platform to increase workflow transparency, cost accuracy and provide insights into the $4-billion Canadian waste disposal market—starting with oil and gas producers in Western Canada.
The team developed the platform with $200,000 in funding from the Alberta Innovates Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) program. The platform can be accessed from any device and does not require the downloading or installation of software. The proprietary platform uses intelligence and optimization algorithms to provide waste disposal clients with accurate information about the most cost-efficient facility for each trucked waste load.
“Our platform finds the cheapest option on every load, digitizes all of the important information and creates virtually error-free documentation,” Grisdale says. “It can also select the waste disposal option with the lowest greenhouse gas cost, which is another thing that no one else can say that they do.
“It is very important in the oil and gas industry to be able verify that information,” he says. “Our platform can accurately identify greenhouse gas emissions and provide the associated emission costs.”
The Waste Coordinator platform also helps operators better understand waste classification while collecting the necessary data for documenting what kind of waste is in every load—something that has become increasingly to clients who are required to submit yearly waste manifest reports to the Alberta Energy Regulator. A waste manifest is a shipping document used to track the movement of hazardous waste.
Galatea Technologies is currently working with producers in Grande Prairie, Rocky Mountain House, Drayton Valley and Edson areas of Alberta, to lower their disposal expenses and provide workflow automation. This allows their clients, the producers, to manage more assets with fewer people.
The company’s expansion is focused on helping oil and gas producers in Western Canada, but Grisdale says there are also opportunities to move the platform into other industries including agriculture and commercial waste.
“At the end of the day we are trying to help people make better decisions using market intelligence,” Grisdale says. “There are various jobs that need to be done in the waste disposal workflow, and we have optimized these in terms of digitization, automation, predictions and cost-cutting.”