MRO Magazine

Synthetic oil helps keep trucks running in extreme conditions


December 13, 2010
By PEM Magazine

For Silverline Coil, an oilrig service company that operates out of Slave Lake, Alta., reputation is the key to success.

“We’re a service company,” says Mark Bonafrenski, manager of services/operations at Silverline. “If our rigs break down, we lose money and it’s a huge loss. We can’t afford to let that happen. Our reputation is what is going to help us grow over time.”

Silverline is a company that operates coil-tubing trucks that service oil and gas wells in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and up to the border of the Northwest Territories. The company has six employees, and depending on the size of the job, uses a crew of two or three per truck. Its clients include CNRL, Pengrove Corp., Pioneer Resources and Paramount Trust.

“We clean out gas and oil wells with nitrogen and air,” Bonafrenski explains. “We pump different kinds of chemicals into formations to break down oils and gases that are down there, clean wells out, run different kinds of tools like packers, and deal with cement jobs in abandoning wells.”


Since it is a year-round business, Silverline has to operate in severe conditions and extreme temperatures. Temperatures can be as low as –40°C in the winter and up to 35°C in the summer. Plus, the equipment must be in excellent condition all the time.

“You never know what kind of job is going to come up,” Bonafrenski says. “We do emergency calls as well as regular service for our clients, so the trucks always have to be ready to roll. An injection well can go down in a field at any time, and if it does, they have to shut the whole field down. All the water coming out of any gas well can go into the injection well, and if the injection well takes on water, the whole gas well will shut down. The cost of something like that is mind-boggling.”

He adds: “So, we’re called to do an emergency cleanout. I’ve been on one that has lasted as long as 30 hours. Then you go on to your regular service call. The trucks sometimes work 24/7.”

That’s where the Traxon E Synthetic 75W-90 comes in. It saves Bonafrenski time and money, and provides extended drain intervals. In fact, as he put it, he can’t operate his business successfully unless he has a synthetic lubricant that enables him to lower costs. He has been using Traxon E Synthetic on his rigs’ rear ends and transmissions for as long as he can remember — and he says it always delivers.

“With Traxon E, the company is able to make a profit,” he says. “We only change gear oil once a year. Traxon E doesn’t break down; we check it regularly — weekly, sometimes even daily — but it hardly needs to be changed at all.”

He continues: “Traxon E is formulated to operate under a variety of load conditions all the time. It simply works so good we don’t have any problems with our rear ends. … There is less wear and corrosion on the gears, axles and bearings than with other products, and Traxon E maintains its viscosity. When you drain the oil after a lot of use, Traxon E is still fairly thick and holds up well; not like a lot of other oils. Traxon E also performs well in all weather conditions. All of this means that we’ve spent less on repairs and less on replacing equipment. Plus, there’s the added benefit of less downtime.”

Silverline has two units, and Bonafrenski says if both are down, the company can lose between $10,000 and $14,000 a day. However, he no longer has to worry about that.

“Traxon E is the best gear lubricant you can get and, in my opinion, everybody else should be using Traxon E,” he says. “It helps all the way around. I just can’t say enough good things about it from a performance and cost point of view. I’m sure going to continue using it.”

This is an edited article provided by Petro-Canada. For more information, visit