Wavefront Technology Solutions

Last updated
Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc.
Traded as TSX-V:  WEE
Industry Petroleum industry
Founded1997 (1997) by Brett Davidson
Headquarters Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Area served
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$1.53 million (2007)
Increase2.svg $7.252 million (2007)
Decrease2.svg $4.34 million (2007)
Number of employees
31 (2008)
Website www.onthewavefront.com

Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. (TSX-V :  WEE) is one of North America's largest providers of secondary oil recovery and environmental technologies. The company was founded in 1997 as PE-TECH by CEO Brett Davidson and University of Alberta professor Tim Spanos. [1] The company was later changed to Wavefront Technologies and Environmental Services and then Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. and is known for its patented technology that sends pulses through the ground to simulate the effects of the aftershock of an earthquake to aid in the recovery of stranded oil. [2] These technologies simulate the beating of a heart - when a heart pumps, it sends pulses through the bodies blood vessels, causing the network of capillaries to expand and contract. When a pulse is applied to the ground, it expands and contracts the porous rock, essentially freeing the trapped oil. [3] This technology is used for fluid flow optimization having applications in both the environmental and energy sectors. In the environmental sector the process is marketed as Primawave, while in the energy sector it is marketed as Powerwave. [1]

TSX Venture Exchange Stock exchange located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The TSX Venture Exchange is a stock exchange in Canada. It is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta and has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. All trading through the Exchange is done electronically, so the Exchange does not have a "trading floor". It was previously known as the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX), but in 2001 the TSX Group purchased it and renamed it.

University of Alberta public research university in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta, and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president. Its enabling legislation is the Post-secondary Learning Act. The university is considered a “Comprehensive academic and research university” (CARU), which means that it offers a range of academic and professional programs, which generally lead to undergraduate and graduate level credentials, and have a strong research focus.

An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that follows a larger earthquake, in the same area of the main shock, caused as the displaced crust adjusts to the effects of the main shock. Large earthquakes can have hundreds to thousands of instrumentally detectable aftershocks, which steadily decrease in magnitude and frequency according to known laws. In some earthquakes the main rupture happens in two or more steps, resulting in multiple main shocks. These are known as doublet earthquakes, and in general can be distinguished from aftershocks in having similar magnitudes and nearly identical seismic waveforms.


Powerwave technology has been put to use in more than 175 well applications throughout North America, including applications in California, Oklahoma and Alberta. [4] Powerwave has already been used in the field by EnCana, Penn West Energy Trust, Pengrowth Energy Trust, BP, Chevron and Apache Corporation, among others.

BP British multinational oil and gas company

BP plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the world's seven oil and gas "supermajors", whose performance in 2012 made it the world's sixth-largest oil and gas company, the sixth-largest energy company by market capitalization and the company with the world's 12th-largest revenue (turnover). It is a vertically integrated company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It also has renewable energy interests in biofuels and wind power.

Chevron Corporation American multinational energy corporation

Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation. One of the successor companies of Standard Oil, it is headquartered in San Ramon, California, and active in more than 180 countries. Chevron is engaged in every aspect of the oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy industries, including hydrocarbon exploration and production; refining, marketing and transport; chemicals manufacturing and sales; and power generation. Chevron is one of the world's largest oil companies; as of 2017, it ranked nineteenth in the Fortune 500 list of the top US closely held and public corporations and sixteenth on the Fortune Global 500 list of the top 500 corporations worldwide. It was also one of the Seven Sisters that dominated the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the 1970s.

Apache Corporation company

Apache Corporation is a company engaged in hydrocarbon exploration. It is organized in Delaware and headquartered in Houston. The company is ranked 438th on the Fortune 500.

Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has offices in Calgary, Alberta and Cambridge, Ontario. The company also has offices in Houston, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Edmonton Provincial capital city in Alberta, Canada

Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier has been Rachel Notley since 2015.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.


Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc., was founded in 1997 under the name PE-TECH Inc. (Pulse Enhancement Technology Inc.). [1] PE-TECH, a privately held company holding intellectual property operated three subsidiaries; Prism Production Technologies Inc., Wavefront Environmental Technologies Inc., and E2 Solutions Inc. (US subsidiary standing for "Energy and Environmental"). [1] In 2000 the shareholders of the privately held PE-TECH Inc., entered into an agreement with a publicly listed company (or in this case a shell of a company) on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Privately held company business company owned either by non-governmental organizations or by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members, and the companys capital stock is offered, owned and traded or exchanged privately

A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a business company owned either by non-governmental organizations or by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members which does not offer or trade its company stock (shares) to the general public on the stock market exchanges, but rather the company's stock is offered, owned and traded or exchanged privately or over-the-counter. More ambiguous terms for a privately held company are closely held corporation, unquoted company, and unlisted company.

Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Intellectual property encompasses two types of rights: industrial property rights and copyright. It was not until the 19th century that the term "intellectual property" began to be used, and not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the majority of the world.

A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company that is owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company, parent, or holding company. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a government or state-owned enterprise. In some cases, particularly in the music and book publishing industries, subsidiaries are referred to as imprints.

A reverse takeover of that entity transformed PE-TECH Inc., from a privately held company to a publicly traded company under the name Wavefront Energy and Environmental Services Inc. For consistency in name branding Prism Production Technologies was renamed Wavefront Reservoir Technologies Inc., Wavefront Environmental Technologies was rolled into Wavefront Reservoir Technologies Inc. and E2 Solutions Inc. was renamed Wavefront Energy and Environmental Services USA Inc. [1] Effective March 27, 2009 the company's name was changed to "Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc."

A reverse takeover or reverse merger takeover is the acquisition of a public company by a private company so that the private company can bypass the lengthy and complex process of going public. The transaction typically requires reorganization of capitalization of the acquiring company. Sometimes, conversely, the private company is bought by the public listed company through an asset swap and share issue.


Diagram of trapped oil in soil and rock Trapped Oil in soil.jpg
Diagram of trapped oil in soil and rock

Brett Davidson and University of Alberta professor Tim Spanos teamed up in 1997 to fulfill a need that they believed to exist in the onshore oil drilling industry. While working on oil well stimulation site in Alberta, Canada, Davidson heard from a friend in the industry that there was a need for fast, effective, and inexpensive stimulation treatment for oil wells. [5]

Onshore, when used relative to hydrocarbons, refers to an oil, natural gas or condensate field that is under dry land or to activities or operations carried out in relation to such a field.

Stimulation Providing something that rouses the recipient to activity

Stimulation is the encouragement of development or the cause of activity generally. For example, "The press provides stimulation of political discourse." An interesting or fun activity can be described as "stimulating", regardless of its physical effects on senses. Stimulate means to act as a stimulus to; stimulus means something that rouses the recipient to activity; stimuli is the plural of stimulus.

After using the most sophisticated oil recovery techniques, oil companies only retrieve a fraction of the crude oil at their sites. The oil well will become too uneconomical to continue pumping because most of the remaining oil is stuck in the nooks and crannies between the rock and sand. [6]

Even after all work is done, around 60% of oil is left in the ground. With more than 200,000 fields in North America alone, extracting even as little as 10% more oil would translate to billions of more barrels of oil recovered. [3]

Primary Oil Recovery Stage

During primary recovery, the natural pressure of the reservoir or gravity drive oil into the wellbore, combined with artificial lift techniques (such as pumps) which bring the oil to the surface. But only about 10 percent of a reservoir's original oil in place is typically produced during primary recovery. [6]

But petroleum isn't the only thing trapped in the earth. Water hides there too. Sooner or later, the reservoir begins producing water, along with oil, and it becomes uneconomical to continue. The oil companies will then re-inject the water back into the reservoir. This stage of production is called secondary recovery. [6]

Secondary Oil Recovery Stage

Water injection helps maintain downhole pressure so that oil can continue to flow. Water from the injection well is also used to sweep or push the oil towards the producing wells. But rock in the reservoir has varying permeabilities; the more permeable the rock is, the more easily the fluid can flow through. [6]

Water takes the path of least resistance when pumped into the ground Paths of least resistance.jpg
Water takes the path of least resistance when pumped into the ground

Unfortunately, water flows more readily than oil, and it always takes the path of least resistance. Once water creates a channel through the permeable rock to the producing wellbore, there is little benefit in injecting additional water. It only bypasses the oil instead of sweeping it ahead. The result is poor recovery from the reservoir. [7]

Products and Technologies

Wavefront Technology Solutions's patented technology was created to combat the "path of least resistance". In this way, the Powerwave and the Primawave share the same scientific principles. This technology, originally penned as "Power Pulse Technology", uses pulses to improve the liquid flow in the ground for improved oil recovery (IOR) in the energy sector and groundwater remediation in the environmental sector. These identical processes generate a fluid pulse that momentarily expands the pore structure of rock and soil. Liquid is then able to flow freely and more uniformly. [8]

Early iterations of Wavefront Technology Solutions's Power Pulse Technology were penned the "Premier Pulse Tool". The Premier Pulse Tool, or PPT for short, was a two-meter-long (6.6 ft) steel mandrel with a valve system on top and inverted swab cups on the bottom. [5]

Diagram of how Powerwave and Primawave's fluid pulses generate a more uniform flow of liquid. Water after powerwave.jpg
Diagram of how Powerwave and Primawave's fluid pulses generate a more uniform flow of liquid.

Using a standard well servicing rig, the PPT would be lowered to a location above the well perforations. The tool would then be raised up eight meters and dropped. This was done between 200-550 times over eight to 12 hours. [5]

This workover and field stimulation technique used steady, non-seismic pulse vibrations to knock out perforation blockage and create a tsunami-like wave effect that encouraged flow in the reservoir. [5]

This technology, utilized in both the Powerwave and Primawave, generates a fluid pressure pulse that causes a momentary elastic flexure of the pore structure. This pressure pulse moves fluid in and out of a larger number of pore networks, obtaining a more uniform injection front. [8]


In the energy sector, Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. has patented the Power Pulse Technology as "Powerwave." This process has been field-tested and proven to increase the amount of oil recovered from on shore oil wells, including low-producing or even abandoned fields. [9] Powerwave utilizes this technology to improve the flow of water through geological materials, including sedimentary soils and fractured rock. These materials are composed of a solid matrix and pore structure, which contain fluids such as gas and oil. [3]

The Powerwave tool generates a fluid displacement wave in the porous media akin to ripples from a stone thrown in a pond. These ripples generate high liquid accelerations in the pores facing liquids out, or treatment fluids in. [10]

In the ten plus years that the technology behind Powerwave has been developed by Wavefront Technologies and Environmental Services, it has evolved from a product that cost nearly $1 to make and had to be transported using two tractor trailers to one that can be shipped via courier. [3] The Powerwave tool now is only one meter high and eight centimeters in diameter. Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. leases the product to oil companies and charges around $3,000 a month for a minimum 12-month period. [3]

Powerwave's ability to improve uniformity in oil wells has translated to higher production rates, extending the life of a field, and enhancing its value. [9] In Texas, one recent field trial raised production rates from eight wells by 26%. A similar project in Alberta, Canada initially raised output by 18%. [9]


In the environmental sector, Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc. has patented the Power Pulse Technology as "Primawave." Primawave is used largely in the United States. It is licensed to service providers to use the process in conjunction with established methods to treat and eliminate hazardous chemicals from contaminated groundwater. [11]

NASA once used Primawave to clean up soil that had been contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (dry-cleaning fluid). In the 1960s NASA had used the hazardous chemical to remove the soot generated by rockets from the launch site. [3]

Years after using the chemical, the area was saturated with carcinogens. NASA knew that a mixture including iron fillings would decontaminate the soil. NASA then used the Primawave to get the fillings into the ground. [3]

See also

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