Rhinokore Composites Solutions LP: Engineered Tough

Rhinokore Composites Solutions LP (RCS) is an internationally renowned manufacturer of composite solutions. In 2011 the company opened its Houston, Texas, location, which serves as the headquarters for U.S. operations, as well as a hub for rentals and service of the company’s innovative products.

RCS designs and manufactures materials for construction and transportation industry leaders at a facility in British Columbia. However, Blake Ducharme, president of RCS’ U.S. operations, has established relationships with businesses in Texas after working for over a decade in the oil service industry. A majority of RCS’s American business is in supplying massive tanks to oil companies for drilling operations. These companies use a technique referred to as hydraulic fracturing, more widely known as hydrofracking. For this process, RCS has developed products using a lightweight and incredibly strong material that is easily transportable and can hold upward of two-and-a-half million liters of water.

The Ducharme family has been in the oil business for a long time. “My father was in this industry his whole life, too,” Ducharme explains. “I started working on rigs up in Canada and worked my way up.” Ducharme has served as a company executive in several oil industry supply companies, most recently acting as president at Infinistar Oilfield Service in Houston. His team discovered Rhinokore under its previous ownership while searching for the ideal flow-back tank. The team was so impressed at the innovation that they decided to make the big purchase.

Ducharme’s group bought out the company in November 2011. Graham, Ducharme’s uncle and president of RCS’ Canadian operations, also boasts extensive experience – and success – in the industry. Though the two have only been running the business for about a year, the team has made some significant changes in products and introduced new lines.

Tanks a Lot

RCS’ standard high-capacity insulated composite frac tanks are 160-feet long and 40-feet wide by 12-feet high, while boasting capacity 20,000bbl for standard Oasis tank system. A smaller insulated 9,200bbl Wellspring tank is also available. The tanks are made up of composite panels 100-percent manufactured by RCS. The company manufactures panels at its Canadian facility, rents them directly to oil and gas companies and performs full set up in-house.

With such an involved build process, Ducharme says, “You’ve got to have good quality control.” These systems are modular, meaning the tanks are assembled from panel components onsite. The transportability of RCS products saves time and money for the business and its clients while simultaneously reducing the environmental effects impacted by extensive transportation. The built in insulation on the company’s tanks dramatically reduces heating and chemical requirements for both fracturing and other applications, enhancing the cost savings for RCS customers as well as environmental advantages.

The composite RCS uses to create both its tanks and mats is an ultra-strong material made of a combination of composite materials. “It’s like a titanium plastic,” explains Ducharme. “Our product is stronger than steel and one-seventh the weight.”

Composites have been around for a long time, but Ducharme says it is a growing trend in the construction and oil industries. Like many plastic products, RCS composite tanks are built using a mold to form panels. The process also turns out mats used as stabilizing platforms, ground covers and protection applications. Other applications include marine docks, bridge decking and flooring for vehicles, aircrafts and trains. “It’s an incredible product, there’s no doubt,” affirms Ducharme.

Special Features

Frac tanks are available in a number of sizes and materials, but Ducharme claims that his product is the best on the market; and he has facts to back it. The team mainly works with oil companies with drilling operations in Texas and throughout the United States, as Rhinokore is the only insulated composite frac tank on the market. Beyond being lightweight and super strong, the company’s products have a number of advantages over the options offered by competing tank manufacturers. These adaptable systems save time, money and environmental impact. An RCS tank’s size, weight, strength and modularity improve the efficiency, safety and cleanliness of oil field drill sites.

During cold winters, many drilling operations using standard steel tanks lose enormous amounts of money keeping water supplies heated. RCS tanks offer a significant larger amount of insulation and often require no heating energy at all, while also reducing the amount of chemicals used to keep water from freezing. The same design advantage that offers insulation also adds durability. Additionally, RCS tanks use a liner, meaning that if any individual panel is compromised by accident or by vandalism, the tank continues to hold water. Even with such a complex design, set-up time for these composite tanks is one day and they can be dismantled and hauled off in half the time. Providing additional adaptability, RCS tanks can be set up in either a series or parallel multitank systems to suit each customer’s unique requirements.

RCS serves all of North America, but, as the team’s services expand and composite frac tanks catch on in the industry, Ducharme believes being a customer-focused and team-based mentality is beneficial to the business. “We’re nimble,” he explains. “We’re more able to react better to our market as opposed to being too large and disconnected.” Ducharme’s angle must be working, as the company is a leader in high-tech oil field solutions. “We’re constantly developing and re-engineering our products,” elaborates Ducharme. “It never stops.”

Ducharme credits his employees with the company’s success. It is clear that RCS is committed to its team as the greatest resource available, and Ducharme says, “We treat them like part of the family.” His philosophy is that happy employees make for a happy company, which in turn makes happy clients. “We’re very in tune with our employees’ needs,” Ducharme says. The company produces smiles all around, as the positive corporate atmosphere has proven lucrative for RCS.

Using nontraditional materials and a patented process, RCS’s products offer strength-to-weight ratios well in excess of industry standards. This lightweight strength, combined with an unprecedented insulation value of up to R40 and an extremely durable nonabsorbing exterior, makes RCS the first choice for improved efficiency, greater versatility and reduced ecological impacts. Rhinokore Composites Solutions LP is revolutionizing products, processes and operations across the resource, manufacturing and environmental sectors and continues to identify and develop new applications and products at every turn.