The sound of a siren rose above the murmur of the many conversations and deal-making that was going on all at once during the Bakken Oil Product and Service Show in Williston. It was the sound of a brand new product, born right here in Williston, stealing the show.
The Spartan Safety Alert System was developed by Darin Burau and Nathan Robertus. Burau owns a welding shop and Robertus a trucking company. Both men have been living in the Williston area since childhood.
“We had an oil company asking for something to muster everyone on location with,” Burau said.
That was an interesting problem, because hydraulic fracturing sites are generally loud, noisy, and well spread out.
What the two came up with is akin to a portable light system, but it’s a sound tower instead with a tall, pole that includes a flashing light. It can be plugged into any 120-volt source.
There’s a “quiet” siren, which can be used to test the device or to call a safety meeting, and was the siren used during the BOPSS show.
There’s also a louder siren, with adjustable volume of up to 143 dB, that can be used to signal an emergency. The alarm will sound for three minutes.
The Spartan Safety Alert System can be staged anywhere it’s needed, and it can be moved easily and quickly to a new location.
Burau and Robertus have since added gas detection to their warning system. The unit can detect gas down to 10 parts per million, in which case it will trigger an alarm automatically.
The product is already doing very well, Burau said. He and his partner are in the process of hiring a half dozen people in Williston, with high hopes of growing from there.
“We are looking at expanding this to Texas,” he said. “We have done some demonstrations there. But have not really pushed for it yet. Personnel is always the issue.”
The alert system was one of several interesting products appearing the first day of the Bakken Oil Product and Service Show on Wednesday, Oct. 2, which continues on Thursday.
The event is free to oilfield workers and features a wide array of new products for the oilfield, as well as many networking opportunities and educational seminars, such as the Loadpass Workshop, which was well-attended.