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Web Date: September 9, 2008

Nalco Teams With Stepan

Firms say they will provide a wide range of chemicals to oil-field customers
Department: Business

Surfactants producer Stepan and water treatment chemicals maker Nalco are forming a joint venture, called Tiorco, to market their combined line of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) chemicals.

Tiorco will be equally owned by the two partners. It will have a structure somewhat different from customary joint ventures, where each of the parent companies contributes assets and the venture operates like a stand-alone company. Instead, Tiorco will act as only an agent for each of the companies, which will retain separate operations.

For the EOR industry, Stepan makes surfactants such as sulfates, sulfonates, and betaines. Nalco supplies polymers for the industry. The venture will also be in charge of marketing Nalco's BrightWater technology, developed with BP and Chevron and launched last week. BrightWater products consist of small particles that expand to many times their size upon activation, clogging pores in rock, and directing oil toward wells.

"Polymers and surfactants will help the oil industry maximize production from existing fields," Stepan Chief Executive Officer F. Quinn Stepan Jr. says. "We are confident this partnership will contribute significantly to the growth of the surfactant market."

J. Erik Fyrwald, Nalco's CEO, says the EOR market will benefit by having so many products under one roof. "Prior to creation of the Tiorco joint venture, customers assembled components of their EOR projects on a piece-by-piece basis," he adds.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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