What We’re About
Upwing Energy is Bringing Gas Production to New Heights.™ We provide the only artificial lift technology that increases the production and recovery of gas from conventional and unconventional wells.
Our vision is to maximize the production and recovery rate of all natural gas resources worldwide.
Our mission is to increase our customers’ rate of return on natural gas production assets by increasing their production and recovery rates through our disruptive artificial lift technology for conventional and unconventional natural gas resources.
The initiative to develop an Upwing Subsurface Compressor System™ (SCS) began in 2011 under parent company Calnetix Technologies. The initiative was first inspired while analyzing the pressure of hot brine being produced by an oil and gas well for the installation of a Thermapower Organic Rankine Cycle 125MT system.
Proof of Concept
From 2013 to 2014, a proof-of-concept system was developed by Calnetix through a special R&D program. To accelerate the development and production times for this and other oil and gas programs, the company acquired and developed unique intellectual property for electric motors, power electronics and control software, which offered unique benefits outside of Calnetix’s existing technologies for oil and gas applications.
In 2015, Calnetix carried out component qualifications and subsystem testing for the proof-of-concept system. The complete SCS unit was built and tested in a specially constructed test bed to simulate well conditions, and a deployment process was created using existing deployment techniques.
First Well Trial
In 2016, Upwing Energy was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Calnetix Technologies to focus on the development and sale of subsurface rotating devices. The first SCS well trial took place in the first quarter of 2016 in a gas well located in Northern Texas, and was followed by design improvements and validation, leading up to additional trials in the fourth quarter of 2016 to successfully complete the proof-of-concept phase. Based on the lessons learned from the proof-of-concept field trials, Upwing engineers began modifying the SCS design for the future commercial unit SCS 425 v1. During the field trial, the team observed liquid ingress into motor and electrical lines, fouling of traditional ball bearings at high speeds in various environments, and debris at the suction of compressor. In addition, sucker rod deployment of SCS was deemed unreliable.
System Solution for Well Types
In 2017, Upwing Energy expanded its multidisciplinary team of mechanical, electrical and petroleum engineers, who have extensive experience in artificial lift solutions and applications. These technical experts provide advanced solutions from concept to design to testing under one roof. Also in 2017, the Upwing team started developing tools to analyze and predict well performance with SCS. After the field trials, the engineers concluded that a complete system level solution is required for end users, rather than just offering the SCS unit alone, and incorporating factors like well geometry, reservoir characteristics and existing topside equipment is necessary to analyze, predict and deliver enhanced results.
Funding, EPS and MDS
In 2018, Upwing Energy closed a funding round led by Equinor Technology Ventures and Cooper and Company to accelerate the development of our downhole gas compressor and expand our in-house testing capabilities. At the same time, we launched our unique Upwing Enhanced Production Simulator™ (EPS) tool that can analyze conventional and unconventional wells and calculate the incremental producible reserves based on key parameter inputs, such as wellhead pressure, bottom hole temperature, inflow performance relationship, etc. The information from EPS will be continually processed in real time by the system controller to optimize production without the need for operator intervention. Also in 2018, based on industry feedback, it became apparent that the topology utilized in the SCS, which was driven by the gas application requirements, had significant merits for existing downhole rotating pumps for liquids, and we began working on a system level solution to improve the reliability of electric submersible pumps (ESPs), which we are calling the Magnetic Drive System™ (MDS).
Leading the Way
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Artinian has over 25 years of experience in domestic and international business development/management and specializes in creating profitable business growth by identifying and developing disruptive technologies in the energy sector. He successfully formed and increased the shareholder value of multiple start-up companies while previously serving as the Executive Vice President of Calnetix Technologies. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Artinian was the Managing Director of Access Energy, a Calnetix subsidiary, where he was responsible for multiple global licensing deals. From 2006 to 2009, he was the Vice President of Business Development for Calnetix spin-off Direct Drive Systems (DDS), and played a major role in its acquisition by FMC Technologies in 2009. He holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Chief Technical Officer
Mr. McMullen has over 30 years of experience in the magnetic devices field for high-speed equipment. Prior to joining Upwing Energy, he co-founded parent company Calnetix Technologies, where he served as the Chief Technical Officer and was the key subject matter expert on all of Calnetix’s technologies and integration capabilities. He played a major role in identifying, evaluating, developing, acquiring and selling IP for all Calnetix spin-off companies, including Upwing. While at Calnetix, he also led the formation of VYCON, another Calnetix subsidiary, and served as its Chief Technical Officer from 2003 to 2013. Prior to the establishment of Calnetix, Mr. McMullen was the Vice President of Research and Development at Avcon, Inc. He is the author of multiple patents and publications in high-speed turbomachinery and holds a MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Kuo-Chiang (K-C) Chen
Vice President of Engineering
Dr. Chen has over 20 years of experience in engineering management and product development. Prior to joining Upwing, he was the Senior Technology Manager for Halliburton, where he managed new product development and sustaining engineering. Previously, he was VP of Engineering for China National Petroleum Corporation USA, where he created technology strategies and built an engineering organization for the new corporate start-up. Prior to that, Dr. Chen spent 17 years at Schlumberger advancing from an individual technical contributor to Technology Manager managing global organizations. He is the author of over 30 patents and multiple publications and holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from National Taiwan University.
Vice President of Corporate Operations and Communications
Ms. Frey has over 15 years of experience defining marketing and organizational strategies and evaluating emerging markets. She specializes in driving external communications efforts for early stage companies that effectively differentiate their market positioning, while building out and managing their internal operations infrastructure to support organic growth. Before joining Upwing, Ms. Frey served as the Director of Marketing for Calnetix Technologies and its subsidiaries VYCON, Access Energy and Direct Drive Systems (DDS) from 2008 to 2016. She was instrumental in the sale and transition of DDS to FMC Technologies in 2009. Previously, Ms. Frey held multiple marketing, operations and communications management roles in the oil and gas industry, including positions with venture-capital backed ORYXE Energy, Gulf Oil, Conocophillips, Tosco and Mobil Oil. Ms. Frey holds a MBA from California State University, Long Beach and a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Georgia.
Mr. Biddick has over 10 years of experience in product development and project management. Prior to joining Upwing, he was the Project Manager for Integrated Completions at Schlumberger, where he was responsible for managing mechanical and electrical engineering, manufacturing and supply chain teams in the U.S. and Europe and developing reservoir monitoring and flow control technology into the first fully electric integrated downhole system. Previously at Schlumberger, he was the Technical Champion for Core Completions in Asia and the Business Development Manager, Completions for Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Prior to that, Mr. Biddick spent 7 years on Schlumberger’s Completions Team in Houston, advancing from Design Engineer to Project Manager to Team Lead. He is the author of multiple patents and holds a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.
Director of Planning, Manufacturing and Facilities
Mr. Strouse has over 30 years of experience in the engineering, program management and manufacturing of highly reliable rotating machinery for power generation. Prior to joining Upwing, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Calnetix Technologies and Access Energy, a Calnetix subsidiary, where he was responsible for day-to-day management and commercialization of waste heat recovery systems. Previously, Mr. Strouse was the Director of Operations and Engineering of FMC Technologies’ Direct Drive Systems (DDS) business unit, and was the Chief Operating Officer of DDS when it was a subsidiary of Calnetix. Prior to that, Mr. Strouse held various upper management positions with large technology-based companies, such as AlliedSignal and Honeywell. Mr. Strouse is an expert in advanced manufacturing and engineering techniques and has received a variety of production awards. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University.