A surge in oil sands development is creating sparks for Flint Energy Services (doing business as URS Flint). The company assists oil and gas production companies in North America by providing midstream services, and oil sands equipment fabrication. The group provides a range of midstream services: civil engineering, electrical, fabrication, infrastructure maintenance and monitoring, and oil and gas transportation and storage. It maintains a fleet of more than 3,000 pieces of heavy-duty equipment, including compressors, cranes, loaders, tractors, trailers, and trucks. URS Flint also serves agriculture, manufacturing, and other industrial customers. In 2012 Flint Energy Services was acquired by URS for $1.24 billion.
The deal enables URS to expand its presence in the North American oil and gas sector.
In the US URS Flint is active in the Rocky Mountain region, primarily in Wyoming and Colorado. It provides production services to natural gas exploration companies in the region, including key customers such as EnCana Corporation, EOG Resources, and Shell Oil Company.
In Canada URS Flint provides pressure and vacuum services to customers such as Imperial Oil and Suncor Energy. The company's facility infrastructure division is involved in large-scale heavy oil and oil sands development projects. A key part of its infrastructure work is its production method of recovering heavy oil. It has constructed all of the commercial SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) projects in operation. Its infrastructure work also includes refinery and upgrader projects.
In 2009 the company restructured into four business segments: Production Services; Facility Infrastructure; Oilfield Services; and Maintenance Services. This move allowed the company to close half a dozen underperforming locations. It has 60 locations across North America.
In early 2009, citing a poor market, preferred oil sands customer Suncor Energy announced a cutback in capital spending on Flint's goods and service. Despite this, in November 2009, Suncor Energy announced contracts for URS Flint to resume fabrication work on Firebag 3, a major oil sands project in Alberta. The company saw its revenues drop sharply that year as the result of the global recession, which curtailed oil and gas demand and production.
In 2010 the company moved into a new business line, forming a joint venture with Sub-One Technology called Flint Inner Armor, to offer a hard surfacing treatment to reduce wear and tear on oilfield equipment. That year it also acquired production equipment company PES Surface. Expanding its oilfield hauling services in the US, it also bought $36 million of assets in five locations; three in East Texas, one in Louisiana, and one in Oklahoma.
URS Flint also grew its Canada business in 2011, acquiring Saskatchewan-based oilfield equipment and services company Carson Energy Services for about $140 million.