Lee Noble, owner and operator of Viro Rentals Inc., has been working in the oil industry for 20 years. In 2013, when he was General Manager of JTL Industries Ltd. —an agriculture and oil manufacturer of steel bins and tanks—Noble was front and centre to see classic prairie innovation at work. Lester Thiessen, JTL’s owner, had a problem when it came to equipment for his 1,500-head bison operation. He needed some bins and while researching the products available, found that nothing was affordable or adequate on the market. With 20 years of steel manufacturing experience, Thiessen saw an opportunity. He began designing and manufacturing steel bins that eliminated many issues farmers were having with grain storage. From there, he went on to design storage tanks for the oil sector.
As JTL developed and expanded its scope of business, new opportunities arose and the company branched into two arms: a manufacturing division and a business and rental division. Having worked with JTL for many years, Lee understood the business and technology and jumped at the opportunity to head up the business/rental side with his partner Jack Biensch.
In the Canadian oil sector, there is an ever-present level of competition that breeds innovation and pushes producers to constantly adopt and use the best and most efficient technology and practices. Viro Rentals Inc. is no exception. In fact, their mantra is, “Why aren’t you using this?” The patented horizontal tank design from Lester Thiessen is a simple design that has greatly improved on the conventional method of storing oil/produced fluids. Viro considers their approach something of a rebellion against the status quo.
Instead of the many oil tanks one may see dotting the prairie landscape around places like Estevan or Lloydminster, Viro’s design is horizontal instead of vertical. The tank lies on its side with the top 13’ off the ground. Conventional tanks stand 32’ off the ground. That is the innovation. Because the tank is on its side, it creates a multitude of efficiencies in its operation. Most importantly, it eliminates the hassle of moving and assembling a vertical tank. Moreover, there is no cleanup required and the environmental containment is built into the design. The whole unit is remarkably adaptable for mobilization. Plus, set up and dismantle time is substantially less.
Customers claim that switching to Viro’s horizontal tank system has reduced their costs of setup and transport by a margin of $5,000 – $8,000 each time they move a tank. With this knowledge, Noble asks why more people are not using their product. The volatility of oil prices in the past 18 months has proven the rental units Viro produces are a viable way to do business. Whether it’s light or heavy oil, sweet or sour service, Viro Rentals has a growing and satisfied client base that appreciates the company’s products and services. “We’re grateful all our clients who have supported their business through the tough times, and they want to say thank you,” says Noble. “And, we’re always looking for new clients to assist with their business needs and their bottom line.”
To learn more about what Viro Rentals Inc. can do for your business, visit virorentals.com or call 780-808-4104.