The “Lost Year”?

Jan 5, 2021 | Editorial

2020’s Impact On WaterFleet

Many investors and economists would like us to label 2020 as a “lost year.”

Although the past twelve months have been historic, and ones that some would like to forget, we know many stories are still being written.

WaterFleet, like most of the world, experienced unprecedented change, a few hard knocks, and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

These lessons shaped our perspective and influenced our overall view of 2020.

2020 started like any other year. Our economy was doing relatively well. People were happy and healthy. We had a budget and plan for 2020 and beyond.  

By mid-March, things changed.

Much of the country had shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, and with that, the oil and gas industry was brought to a grinding halt when most of the country reduced production and travel and the world stayed home.

Like many companies, we immediately faced an unprecedented challenge.

Rapid De-Mobilization

Because of the pandemic and the resulting lockdown order, our team had to get our equipment, and people, out of the field quickly.

We were navigating uncharted waters with numerous logistic challenges. Honestly, we were stressed.

Thankfully, our team prevailed, and we got our people and equipment home safely.

The Value of Lessons Learned

Never one to rest on our laurels, our team strategically utilized the slowdown to explore ways for our business to survive and thrive amid an unprecedented situation.

We were determined to make the most of the unexpected downturn in business.

We developed a new analytics software to capture and utilize our system data, moving us closer to AI applications within our business.

We rolled out another software to improve operations and communications.

We reviewed positions, structures and processes to improve efficiencies and more fully develop our team’s talents, strengths and competencies as the most talented and best team in the industry.

And we took on new challenges.

On August 29, 2020, Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 hurricane, roared into southern Louisiana. The area was devastated.

We were called in to provide support to utility workers, emergency responders, and critical facilities as they attempted to assist the communities brutally impacted by the storm.

WaterFleet always knew that our equipment, processes and talent could bring beneficial impact to the Emergency Response world.

But before the events of mid-March, most of our assets were usually deployed in the field, leaving us with limited capacity for a large rapid deployment.

However, due to the rapid de-mobilization earlier in the year, many of our assets were available and ready to be deployed on a larger scale.

And because we had engaged with our Emergency Response partners in the previous years, our team was prepared and we immediately dispatched thirty-two physical assets and eighteen people into some of the areas hardest hit by Laura.

We deployed Water Rigs, Refresh’R Rigs, Mini-Reliever Rigs, Reclaimer Rigs, generators, and more to provide remote workforce solutions in the disaster zone.

Those assets remained through September, and some are still there, in support of the recovery effort.

We also deployed assets to assist crews for hurricane Sally, and later, Delta, which shattered records as the 10th named storm during hurricane season in the United States. A record not broken since 1916.

We also recently deployed assets to support a mobile medical unit in El Paso, Texas.

El Paso has seen over 91,500 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, which has overwhelmed the city’s health care system.

What We Have Learned From the “Lost Year”

The pandemic is still raging across the country and around the world. Over 1.4 million lives have been lost globally, and millions more have had their health seriously impacted.

Jobs have been lost, businesses closed, and there is no historical precedent to tell us how long these challenges will continue.

As if a global pandemic was not enough, hurricanes, wildfires, and protests have made 2020 a year of grief, stress, and fear.

While many will refer to 2020 as a “lost year”, at WaterFleet we prefer to look at it as a year of challenges that made us stronger, a pruning that offered opportunities for new growth and fruit.

Our team has risen to meet the challenges encountered showing resilience, courage and creativity.

They  used this year’s downturn to implement changes that we can use to provide better service to our customers in the years to come, and that is fruit we can be proud of.