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An inside look of the Entrepreneur life

Ken Miller interviews guest Dallas Scott from Gslogs where they discuss the trials and tribulations as entrepreneurs. Take a trip down memory lane with these two in our Entrepreneur Spotlight episode. 

***Thank you to our Sponsor Gibson Reports!***


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Episode Transcription

Welcome to the Erdos Miller new technology podcast, where I spend our nonproductive time talking about everything. Current tech. Today we'll be interviewing Dallas Scott from GS Logs. You can check out our podcast on Spotify or iTunes search for Eros Miller. Also, we can find our video podcast on YouTube. Our podcast is sponsored by Gibson reports. They have excellent NWD and Directional Drilling market share reports, and you can check them out on gibsonreports.com. Today's episode we'll be interviewing Dallas Scott from GS logs. We'll be discussing his journey as an entrepreneur in the oil field and how he's working to change the oil and gas industry. That can you go ahead and give us a brief introduction? You know, who are you, where'd you come from? What are you excited about?

Absolutely. My name is Dallas Scott. I'm 33 years old. I'm the owner of GS Logs. I've been in the oil and gas industry on and off for 10 years now. And then the MWD and LWD field for the entire time, I moved into the Remote Ops part of it in the last year and a half of being in the field myself and I saw the way that the industry was changing. And I wanted to go ahead and get ahead of the ball. And so I decided to start my own business.

Very cool. Did you do anything before oil and gas or did you go right into oil and gas out of college?

No, actually I was actually a bartender for 10 years.

Me too. Not for that long though.

Yeah. I was a bartender for 10 years. I had a child, so I decided I needed a real job. I couldn't be a bartender for the rest of my life. It can't be 21 forever, right. So I decided to get a real job and with the type of experience that I had and the education that I had, the oil field was the best bang for my buck. So I went around for probably about two years, actually driving all over the US knocking on doors. My brother-in-law is actually an offshore company man. So I originally went to him for help at the beginning. And he sent me on a wild goose chase for about a year. He didn't, have the confidence in me that I could actually do the work. He didn't think that I could do manual labor.

So a lot of people would think that about me too.

Yeah. I mean, it was the lifestyle that I lived beforehand. So he sent me on a wild goose chase for about a year. And finally, I just decided to do it on my own. And a company Wellbenders out of Conroe. Texas, was the first company to give me my break. So, that's where I got my toe in the door. And ever since then, it's been on like donkey Kong.

Right. There you go. So I am going to digress here for a second fun, little fact about Texas. Did you know that you can actually bartend at 18 years old?


You can't drink?

I was actually bartending before then.

Oh really? I had no idea that that was probably, [crosstalk 00:02:53].

It was illegal but I had the beard and the attitude that.

You stuck by. Right? I always thought it was funny, so. Yeah, I was making drinks at 18, but I couldn't, couldn't tell how they were doing a step basically. So, you got into MWD pretty early in your journey into the oil and gas, right? So most of it's been MWD LWD. Right?

Yes. My entire career has been MWD LWT work. And then the last year and a half of it was in the offices doing remote operators.

Was that all with kind of the independent companies, did you spend any time with the majors?

I did do. And 2014, I got laid off from NS energy. And during that time I did some contract Headhunter work for Halliburton and Schlumberger, just some 60 day jobs, 30 days here, there or whatever it was. I would just go out and just do the work for them.

So you had a good career with Wellbenders and then NS Energy and then you started GS Logs, how long ago?

Actually started GS Logs in February of this year. So just about 110 days.

110 days okay. So you're just getting started.

Way behind that is.

You're doing really well to get as much attention as you are 110 days and so congratulations. That's great.

Thank you very much.

So what inspired you to say, okay, "I'm ready to take an entrepreneurial journey and start a company", because that's a big league.

Absolutely. Yeah, it was a huge leap for me. I've always had the entrepreneurial spirit, my entire life. I've always had something pulling at me no matter what job I was into to be a leader and to strive and be the best of whatever I was doing. Whether it was bartending or manual labor, in the oil field, whatever it was. So I always had the entrepreneurial spirit, but what really led me to start the company was when I was brought in to Remote Ops and some of these other companies from the field. I was brought in because I was one of the best in the field. And I was brought in to make the Remote Operations Center perform better, not just me, but several other people were pulled from the field and brought into the office. And we were asked for input and, basically a consultation on how what's the field perspective.

How can we achieve greatness at this? And we would put in our input and upper management would seem like they were interested. But once the trigger was pulled on it, things went the opposite direction and being in the field and doing the job that I did, I was always looked upon for guidance to help other people. You know, I had a lot of coordinators asking me for my information, what I did with tools to keep them running, not to have failures. I was fished for a lot of information on how I was doing such a good job. And then when I was brought into a Remote Operations Center, I was treated like a child, very micromanaged. You did such a great job. We wanted information from you to better our tools. But when you come in here, your knowledge is no longer important.

It's more of what the corporate aspect of it. And a lot of people are leaving Remote Ops Centers do that. I actually have quite a few people interested in working for GS Logs that work in Remote Ops Centers. That's some of the majors and they want to work for me because I'm providing a field for you to grow, for you to show your talents, for you to strive. I'm not heavily invested in the automation algorithms of it. I'm heavily invested in the employee knowledge.

And so I guess you could say that, you know, you saw a real opportunity here to do this in a better way, to do Remote Ops, right?


And it sounds like you've got much more of a field culture when you approach this. Right. It sounds like what happened there, when a lot of the bigger companies tried to start up their own Remote Ops Centers, is that, they would be a little bit too much of the bureaucratic culture sort of getting into the real time operations. And some of that field attitude that get her done kind of stuff was lost.


And so, you know, by being independent, you're able to bottle that up and that greatness up inside of GS Logs and offer that out as a service.

Absolutely. That's the biggest thing and there's a lot of people trying to do the automation and it's more of an assistance right now. It's not replacing the human right now. I do foresee it in the future. Possibly once these automation systems can learn and then grow from the line of the algorithm. But right now they're more of an assistant to the human.

Are you one of those that just feels like a fish in water, completely comfortable with what you're doing or does it freak you out and you're up late nights worrying about how to make payroll and all that kind of stuff. How do you feel as an entrepreneur?

So I am comfortable in what I am doing, but I'm not going to lie to you ever since I started the company, I wake up every morning at 5 AM with a panic attack, honestly.

That's like a side of entrepreneurship they don't tell you about, right. Is that there's great highs and then like, just as bad lows. And you're like all over the place.

Absolutely, you see so much money going out and that it's coming in. I mean, especially during the beginning.

I've ever seen that payroll and that was a lot of money lot of money.

You henerging at the beginning. And it's like, "Oh my God, what's going on? I was used to bringing in $15,000 a month consistently and now $15,000 going out in two weeks." So I'm not going to lie. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I quit a job that I was making six figures.

And that's a big part of the transition as well, because a lot of people who do become entrepreneurs in the oil field, and this was the same for me. I was actually working at Texas Instruments. What'd you do to have to make that call, I've got a good job, it's nice and secure, to make that jump and say, okay, I'm going to jump into entrepreneurship, and one of the things that got me out of it was I had an entrepreneur to say, you know, I told them I didn't want to leave, right.

There got a lot of job security, yes I can't. What's job security. You know, it was there that doesn't exist anymore. Like a big company could start up and also I could have a big, you know, error in their business model or whatever else you're getting laid off. There's no loyalty anymore. So the only job security is what you make for yourself. Right. And so that was a transformative thing for me. So describe for me GS Logs business model, cause I think this is something unique that hasn't existed before. Tell me, tell me how it works.

So our business model is very liquid right now, but we are completely independent remote operations company for MWD and LWD service provider.

When you say independent, like why do you preface that word? [crosstalk 00:09:46].

I preface that Because we are not investor backed. We're not, everything is funded out of my wallet.

So you're bootstrapped.


Yes, its okay. That's that's the entrepreneurial term.

And we haven't, we haven't put ourselves in a proprietary box either to where we can only work with a certain company.

Okay. So you're not, you're not backed by a directional company or an operating company. So you don't have any bias towards any of those right? And then you guys also which is just shocking, don't own any tools, right? So you're not rooting for one system or the other or whatever else you're able to focus, you know without bias on delivering the service and making sure that the well gets drilled in the tools are operating.

Absolutely. So what we do is we focus 100% on the remote operations aspect of it. We're constantly, we're never stuck to one mindset or way of doing things. We're always looking for a new way to do things faster and more efficiently and provide a consistent and repeatable service. So our business model right now is we provide a remote operation service to MWD and LWD providers. We do everything that the MWD and LWD field hands do in the field besides hard troubleshooting.

How do you define hard trouble troubleshooting.

Hard trouble shooting change of transitions, surface skier rerun cables.

So you can't physically be there, right there?

Right We're not physically on location. We do have two facilities, one in Huntsville and one in Houston. So all my staff is as at those facilities, I do only run contract hands. I don't have any W2 employees and never will, simply because we are scalable. For instance, right now I don't have any work. I don't have any jobs going. So right now I don't have anybody on the payroll.

Next tomorrow, you might have four or five jobs going

Tomorrow, all I got to do is make a phone call. I got the hands right then.

Many of you would be flexible to do that. Right?

So we do remote operations for nighttime and daytime, we can provide man less operations.

My next question is it's not just nighttime, right?

Correct. so when I first speak to a client, though, I do recommend nighttime to begin with, simply for, to make sure everything is running properly and make sure that we have consistent connectivity to the rig, make sure that the tools are in proper working order, you know, Remote Ops is based on a lot of other things. I mean, again, we don't provide our own tools. We piggyback off of the directional company. So if the directional company is going through a string of failures, remote operations, isn't going to necessarily save that from happening. What we're really doing.

You guys might be able to provide some really good insight as to what's going on right. Independently. Right?

Absolutely. We can give our own independent information. We all have extensive knowledge and Vassar range of tools, logging system and decoding systems. So we can give our own independent input. We can provide our own event reports our own daily reports.

So, why was now the right time to start like what's is the something key that's happening in the industry?

Actually, when I got into the industry, when I very first started in '08, I saw companies, webinars was talking about remote operations. I didn't know what it was. I had no idea what it was.

From the buzz was kind of happening.

And directional. When I first went out to the rigs, you know, directional drillers were telling me you better hurry up and learn because you're about to be out of the game. You know, they're trying to outsource and I've.

As an NVD hand.

As an MWD hand doing remote operations, where I also saw operators trying to do the same thing with directional drillers, with the rocket systems and the sliders trying to church drillers, and it'd be directional drillers cross-train. So, you know, it's not only coming from the directional drilling service providers themselves, but it's also coming from the operator side as well. And it's only gotten more advanced since '08.

So this is like a key moment in the industry where like, you know, we've been talking about this for 10 years, really getting momentum. And I mean, that's just obvious in the way companies like yours are starting up. Right. So.

Absolutely. And you know, even look outside the oil industry I mean, looking at your banking systems, the banking systems are going moneyless.

That brings up two points for me. Cause I always like, with the whole man less thing. Right. It's interesting. Cause I always draw the parallel between McDonald's and Chick-fil-A right, because McDonald's is definitely on this man less path. Right? Cause they have a new kiosks and everything Chick-fil-A is not going that direction at all. As far as I can tell, they haven't talked about it. They don't have anything going there. And as far as I could tell Chick-fil-A is putting a lot more money.

Absolutely Chick-fil-A that's an amazing business model.

Well and then the next one is also, what's interesting. What's interesting with the aviation industry, is that a big transition that's going on there, is that the companies like, Southwest or United or where else they don't own the engines to the planes anymore.

And so they used to buy them and maintain them and all that kind of stuff and that's no longer happening. And so what's happening is so Southwest will own like a 737 or whatever they fly. Right. So they'll own the air frame and the avionics and like most of the plane. Right. But then they'll rent the engines from a Rolls Royce or GE whoever makes them, and it's like they call it the power by the our model. Right. And that's really interesting. And so what's, what's going on is they're running them out.

They only have to pay for them when they're working. Right. And then they're all remotely monitored 24-7 right. They've got these command centers where they're watching all the jet engines in the world operate and looking for any sort of issues or whatever else. And so I think that model is definitely on its way to this industry as well.

And I think you guys are a really good sign of that. And that's another thing too, when you speak of the McDonald's and Chick-fil-A aspect of it. Right? So there's-

We don't get in trouble with that analogy. [crosstalk 00:15:49].

It's a very good point though.

-other companies that are doing remote operations, right. There's a ton of different ways of doing remote officer's we meet, there's actually doing the job, there's just monitoring and there's automating the process. And again, a lot of people are trying to automate the process, but the operators don't really want it operate it. They want that human still responsible.

This is all about people and not technology. Right. You guys aren't saying, okay, I'm going to start this new remote ops company and then be able to put, to do that. I have to develop all this software to make this happen. You don't, you don't need that. Right. You're focusing on the people aspect and providing that good quality service. Right. Instead of training people that say, thank you and handover like a chicken sandwich, you're training people to send out logs really consistently and correct way and make sure that that service is quality. So, you guys were Remote Ops company, right? Maybe some of our listeners don't know, explain to us just like what remote Ops is, just give us the basics.

Okay. So remote operations for the MWD aspect of it is going to be basically we log into the computers on location, your decoding computer, your logging system, your pace on our topics.

You guys are doing this remotely.

Remotely, everything is from an office.

So traditionally people would have been on location doing these jobs. Right?

Correct. There would have been one guy sitting in a trailer with a directional driller and he's just sitting here watching gamma logs, taking a survey, every stand, or if you're on the curve, every 30 feet, whatever it may be. Right. And then he's just producing the logs, LAS files, resistivity, your gamma [crosstalk 00:17:25] and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, everything's right. He talks to the directional driller.

We talk about like big data and how a lot of it's actually bad data. And it, you know, I think a lot of it is all of these machine systems that are on the site, like are producing imperfect data and there's so much work that goes into making that usable. Right?

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, there's so many corrections that you have to do in some instances.

Not even like we're not even talking about wellbore corrections, like survey corrections, just like, Hey, the machine's not happening exactly what it should be up pudding. Right? Exactly.

Or where your, your tolerances are too wide.

And if you, if you don't know, you know, the process of directional drilling intimately, you can't do that. Right. This is not something that we could, you know, take somebody without knowing the construction of well and how that whole process works, that they could do that job. So you guys really have to have experts on board to do that.

Yes, absolutely. And so we have a particular way of training somebody, not every MWD hand can do this, right? Yes. You might be stellar out in the field, but you're only watching one rig, let me put five of them filling 500 foot an hour. And you're taking surveys every three minutes and you're having to produce Les file survey log-

Click on the flier, right.

-to a standard. Right. And so you're not just slapping stuff together and sending it off. I mean, you got to make sure that you're, I can't be drilling for NOV and EOG and send the wrong directional drilling companies data to the wrong operator.

You got to partition all that out and make sure that that's all secure and separate and everybody just gets their data. Right. So that's important too.

Yes. Security, QCing making sure no data's given to the wrong person. Then there's a very extensive program.

Clown, right?


I think the big thing you just to highlight there was just that big, that big migration of having those people going from the onsite jobs to the remote center and all that involves, right. That's a good definition of Remote Ops.

Right and not only them, so we have a huge pool of people that we can pull from because so many people, so many MWD hands have been laid off since, this slight little downturn that we had. And a lot of slight companies aren't recuperating, like they should.

And so we, have a huge, I have drilling engineers, I've got all types of people that I can pull from. And not only is GS Logs doing remote operations, but as we grow, GS Logs it's going to grow. Not only are we going to be doing remote MWD and LWD, we're going to be doing remote directional drilling. We're going to be doing remote GOC, right. Remote mud logging.

How do you see the market evolving in the future? Who's who, you know, we used to go have this mall where everything's under one roof, they got motors and NWD and hands, and, you know, directional drillers is a kind of a turnkey service kind of package. Right. And obviously, so the downturn we've seen a lot of businesses come up and say, okay, you know what? I'm just going to focus on MWD. Right. And there's been a few really good examples of that, where they say, you know what? I don't need motors. I don't need a directional drillers. We're just going to focus on NSBE and we're going to do the best job we can. Right. And I see you guys, and it kind of in that similar light where you're saying, I'm just going to focus on remote operations and do the best job I can. And you end up with these kinds of hyper optimized models, right?

How do you, how do you see this industry continuing to evolve for the next three to five years? And, and how are these companies going to stack up? Are we going to get more of this compartmentalization and optimization or we're going to go back to the, you know, as the market recovers, going back to the big turnkey kind of packaged stuff, like how do you see it?

Well, I see companies having more options to choose from now. So their business models can fluidly change as they see the market changing. So I see the oil industry making a lot of changes pretty quickly within the next three to five years. And I think the reason why a lot of these bigger companies are breaking up from the umbrella aspect of it of doing everything in house is so that these operators can go around and nitpick, you got the best motor I want motor, right? You got the best tools, I want your tools. You got the best hands, I want your hands.

Its as big a la carte buffet of services, right?

And it could be a logistical nightmare, but it might also work.

If the market demand is there and people are paying for it and there's customer validation of the ideas, then I think it's real. Right?

Absolutely, and a lot of these operators at some of these conferences and stuff that's what they want to do. They just want to go get the best motor and they want to go get the best kit box.

So it gives them a little bit more control as opposed to having to try and internalize everything right. When they have more options.

They are already Control the rig, why not control everything else? And that's the way some of them look at it. And that's who's providing the current business for the directional companies. And a lot of directional companies are bringing in remote operations within themselves, but they're not only focused on remote operations. They're focused on their motors, are focused on their tools. They spread themselves thin. So I think niche companies are maybe the future.

So last question, what's next for GS Logs.

So we're looking to grow and do a lot of different things. Not just Remote Ops, it's still going to be a niche of everything done remotely though. So, for instance, MWD LWD. We're also looking at providing a service to OEM manufacturers, provide them around the clock service. We're also looking to bring in house directional, remote directional drilling, remote geo steering, remote mud logging. When you have all three of those guys in the same room, and then you go to an operator or operator can refuse you. Right.

And then you guys ended up, you have a good handle on all the tools, but you're not tied to anyone, you know, you have a bunch of experts under one roof and you just, you just focus on being the absolute you can is like a Remote Ops kind of company. Right?


Okay. We good. Well, I wish you luck in your entrepreneurial journey. It's going to be a long one and it's going to be a lot of fun and it's going to keep you up a lot of late nights. And so, you know, I definitely recommend you for jumping out and taking that risk. Right?

Really appreciated.

You're welcome. Thank you Dallas, for joining me in today's show, this has been another episode of the Atlas Miller new technology podcast. If you have any questions, please write us at podcast address for a comment in my end show. Thank you.