addicted to oil

17 April 2008

Even though the Bush Administration has pledged to stimulate the development of alternative energy to help wean the country from its insatiable “addiction to oil,” chances are that oil production will not slow down any time soon.

Virtually every sector of the nation's oil and gas sector – both upstream and downstream – is operating at full tilt. Consequently, where there is seismic activity, oil field drilling and pumping and petrochemical processing, there also is a demand for cranes of all sizes and transport services.

Demand for boom trucks in the Gulf Coast area and in the Canadian oil fields has never been higher. These machines, with various lifting capacities, are ideal for wireline work and servicing wells. In Canada, boom trucks large and small are in demand as “rigger trucks,” outfitted especially for work in the northern oilfields.

Todd Elkins, boom truck product specialist for H& E Equipment, says his company's boom truck sales and rentals are “outstanding” and close to 50 percent of H& E's boom truck sales are to the oil and gas industry. “Oil field service is big business for us,” says Elkins. “Mainly, the boom trucks are used to service wells, wire line work and coil tubing.”

Elkins points to National's and Manitex's 26-ton and 30 ton rear-mount boom trucks on which auxiliary wenches are mounted onto the bottom of the boom, especially for the oil and gas market. “These units are particularly suited for wire line and coil tubing work,” he says.

Manitex builds a 40-ton boom truck especially for oil field work.

All along the US Gulf Coast and at plants scattered throughout the country, petrochemical plant turn-around, or maintenance work, is in high demand. With many petrochemical plants running at capacity, refineries must take out time to service these facilities in order to keep them operable.

While clean-up after last summer's hurricanes is still a mainstay in the Gulf Coast region, oil exploration is picking up steam with cranes needed to set up drilling rigs and then take them down. For these operations, transport services are also needed, with an average of 30 to 40 truck loads for one oil rig and the cranes needed to erect them.

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