Tonae’ Hamilton: Can you share how RTI was established? What is RTI’s purpose in the oil and gas industry?
Cody Nath: Refined Technologies was founded and established in 2001 by my father, Bill Nath. It began as part of a sister company targeted to become the industry leader for chemical cleaning. Today, our company delivers value to process facilities through expert-level refinery professionals skilled in operations, engineering, and process supervision. At RTI, our cause is to help those who fuel the world, produce energy more effectively by delivering safe, fast and predictable shutdowns at refineries and petrochemical facilities through our innovative operations teams and revolutionary cleaning technologies. We provide refineries with the fastest, most predictable shutdowns.
TH: What is the importance of chemical cleaning? Why is it important for oil and gas operators to have clearing and cleaning plans as a part of their process?
CN: Refineries are set up to run and refine crude oil and finish products like diesel and jet fuel. They are not necessarily designed to shut down and perform maintenance activities which are routinely required. RTI comes in with our unique, environmentally responsible chemical formulation to remove all hydrocarbon from the inside of vessels which prepares the unit for safe entry and allows the refinery to begin maintenance in a timely manner. Turnarounds are frequent and when plants are not operating, they are not making any money. We are there to help them complete the turnaround process safely and quickly but also predictably so they can get back up and running again.
TH: What products/services do you offer to oil and gas clients, if you can name a few? How have your products affected the processes of oil and gas operators?
CN: Most of our chemistry and processes are targeted on the shutdown space. Whether a refiner or operator is shutting down for maintenance or just to remove fouling and improve process efficiencies, we come in and partner with those operations groups to streamline those steps. From the time that they take feed out of their processing unit to the time that maintenance begins on that unit, we eliminate steps by using a patented cleaning technique to do that process quickly and efficiently. We have different types of chemicals that are used to target different types of foulant and different types of processes and applications depending on what the inside of the vessels look like, the expected fouling, if there is packed media, and other process variables. We don’t rely on our clients to necessarily specify which types of chemicals we are using. We provide those chemicals as part of the service; we determine the right fit and the right application. We then come in with our team of experienced people who have 15 – 20 years of refinery experience each to work directly with their peers to design the shutdown process and put them in place. Our offerings include a field walkdown of the unit for detailed planning, safe action work plan, P&ID overlays, and a detailed final cleaning plan.
TH: Since 2005, RTI has secured three patents pertaining to the cleaning of oil refineries. Are there any other patents RTI is seeking to obtain?
CN: We are getting new patents all the time, but we only patent processes we believe will directly add value to the industry. We had two patents awarded in 2012, another couple around 2015, and another earlier this year for a new type of chemistry process used for cleaning heat exchangers and removing of fouling with a chemical we call UpperCut. We are going to continue to innovate on not just the chemistry side but also the temporary facilities services side where we have applied for patents on a stainless-steel hose design as well a certain type of blow down vessel. Our innovation is focused on adding value to our clients by focusing on improving efficiencies, faster turnaround time, and safer work environments. All our patents target at least one if not more of those objectives.
TH: Aside from chemical cleaning and developing better oil practices, RTI maintains a partnership with World Vision to bring clean water to Honduras. What inspired RTI to be a part of such a program? In addition, what impact has RTI’s efforts had for the Honduran community?
CN: Our partnership with World Vision is a super unique part of our culture. It goes back to our mission of inspiring people to serve others to achieve eternal impact. We believe having a higher purpose inspires excellence and drives performance. What we do when we go out and serve our clients totally matters – that work is invaluable; it helps our clients get home safely and helps them to be more profitable which in turn allows them to serve others. What we do with our profit is turn around and serve people who have needs. It’s the reason I come to work. My kids know that when I come to work, I help provide clean water for people in Honduras and I think that resonates with everyone on our team also. We were inspired to help once we really understood the need and figured out that within a 2½ hour flight from our headquarters in the Houston area, we can be just outside of Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula, Honduras where millions of people are living without access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. Once we understood that need, we realized there is something we can do on our side and that is WHY we do what we do. Largely what we do is just provide the resources, World Vision and the local communities do the hard work. Giving through RTI brings even greater meaning to the work we do every day. Each successful project completed means we can donate more financial resources to end the water-crisis in Honduras. In the last four years, we have provided clean water to 143,932 Hondurans through the RTI, World Vision and local community partnership. We are excited to share that impact with others. I think it’s a great program and RTI certainly is not a hero in this sense, the local communities are. They are empowered, they are the ones who dig multiple kilometers of trenches to bring clean water to their communities. We honestly just feel blessed to be able to participate in this work.
TH: Not only is RTI a part of humanitarian efforts, you are a member of the Board at Crosswalk Center. Can you provide some more information on this program and what you hope to accomplish being a member of the board?
CN: I was part of the early development of the CrossWalk Center, and it brings me great joy to serve on the board. CrossWalk Center is a 501(c)3 that helps people create a transition plan from when they leave incarceration and return to citizenship in the free world and then helps them execute that plan through coordinated housing, employment, coaching, and community. One way RTI supports the work of CrossWalk Center is by offering fair chance employment opportunities for these guys by hiring them as Shop Technicians in our Houston Distribution Center, which is where we do a lot of maintenance and work on our pipes, valves, hoses and temporary facility equipment. We have been able to give them a second chance by hiring 15 CrossWalk Center graduates on both a temporary and full-time basis and we are hoping to grow that number. Not only have we been able to impact them, but they have been a huge blessing to our business – we could not do the work we perform without them. One of the things we really love doing is sharing the stories of these guys, sharing the value and the gratitude they have for a second chance. I sincerely encourage other businesses to consider partnering with organizations like CrossWalk Center and hire ex-offenders. It has been a very rewarding experience.
TH: In addition, what impact has your work with Crosswalk Center had on returning families and individuals? What future goals do you have as a member of Crosswalk Center?
CN: Since beginning this redemptive partnership with CrossWalk Center, we have seen many of the guys open a bank account, purchase a vehicle, go to college, move out and sustain their own homes, receive medical procedures and we even have some who have either gotten married or are getting married soon. It’s been amazing to see how they continue to develop professionally and personally. Some have even gone on to pursue employment beyond RTI and others have been promoted to higher levels within RTI. We hope they establish independent and contributing lives and that they feel connected to both the purpose and meaning of work. We also hope they feel respected and loved by being a part of the Refined Technologies community. It is extremely rewarding to meet these guys and see the contributions they have made to building such an awesome team, delivering great results for our business. Reaching out to a part of the community that has been sidelined by most of society has made a significant impact on our business.
TH: Because of all your efforts, you were nominated for the 2020 YPO Global Impact award. Can you provide more details on this award, share what it means to you, and explain why more oil and gas leaders should strive to achieve a global impact?
CN: YPO has been a great organization to be a part of. I have learned a lot from many peers that are leading other organizations. YPO is an awesome organization both from a professional development standpoint and from a social aspect for my family.
I am honored that I was chosen to receive the YPO Western Region Honoree for the Global Impact Award which celebrates the amazing journeys of members who have made a difference in the world. One member from each of the 14 regions will be recognized for driving significant, sustainable and scalable impact through a business or initiative they lead. For me, this is extremely exciting because it tells the story and recognizes the work that our whole team has been doing by embracing the concept of impact. It was the theme of our company event in 2019 and as a leader I feel it is my role to give our team the opportunity to make an impact anywhere and everywhere that we can. Our team certainly has made a significant impact through our work with World Vision, Crosswalk Center and many others. Impact comes through our culture of servant leadership all the way through the organization and it is exciting to work in a culture where your primary goal is to serve others first. YPO’s recognition of that culture and recognition of the entire team I hope at least inspires others to ask what is going on there and why do they do what they do so we can respond that we do it out of faith and commitment to our Christian principles and obedience to our personal faith as well.
TH: Lastly, what goals do you have for RTI in 2020? Do you plan to engage your coworkers/employees more in humanitarian efforts as a part of RTI?
CN: The main goal is to serve our customers with increasing excellence. We want to be our customer’s primary choice for a provider for any type of plant shutdown. We want to continue to innovate what that means by concentrating on adding new services and value to our customers and we are focused on that every single day across the organization from chemical technology innovation to temporary facilities to additional digital strategy all wrapped up into what we are doing in 2020 and beyond. If we serve our customers well, we know they will help us continue to grow.
Humanitarian efforts, or what we call missions, are a part of the RTI DNA, it’s not necessarily something that we have to do additionally, it is just a part of who we are – I hope it is as natural to us as breathing. Whether we are doing “missions” at a customer facility by talking to someone who may be having a bad day or whether it is external missions like continuing to invest profits into Honduras, we want to find new and innovative ways to make an impact and we are certainly going to do that by learning from others who are on this journey as well.