Jaxon Caines, technology reporter, Hart Energy: I'm Jaxon Caines, technology reporter with a brand new Hart Energy Exclusive. I'm here at SPE’s Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference to talk with the SVP of Carbo, Max Nikolaev, on [its] 45th anniversary. So Max, how has Carbo stayed relevant after 45 years continuing to address needs of the market?

Max Nikolaev, senior vice president, Carbo Ceramics: Thank you, Jaxon, for having me today, and I think for 45 years we started strong and we continue to be a strong company. 45 years ago, we put something on the market that called CARBOHSP, which is still a golden standard of how the ceramic proppants of high strengths needs to be made. What we've done also, about 20 years ago we opened up the R&D facility which started populating and making more and better products with more value to our oil and gas operators that everyone can benefit out of. The relevance comes also with us being very close to our customers and understanding their needs, understanding the changing landscape, understanding the new head winds in the market. We listen to them very carefully and we take it back internally and we produce a new solution. We are a solution provider and we would like to stay that way, and that's why being close, being here at the conference and talking to the customers first place makes a lot of sense because we value that and we take it really, really, really close to our business and we divert and scale manufacturing really quickly for those who needs the new alternative and new solution.

JC: Okay. Now what are some of you guys' latest and greatest improvements in achievements? Because 45 years, you had to have something.

MN: Yeah, thank you. Last year we put on the market a technology, a tracing technology called Carbotrace, which actually got a couple of awards on the international award arena. We got an industry innovation award on an international business award committee, and we also got a spotlight on the new technology by the OTC in May of last year. This year we're launching CARBOISP LITE, which is bringing a lot of value to those customers who are still using the intermediate strengths proppant and they need higher strengths than the lightweight products. But now they can use less of the product, get the same volume of the fracture. The product that we are putting on the market has up to 80% less emissions compared to the regular ISPs. So we are kind of addressing a couple of things, is obviously cost of doing things and the CO2 emissions that comes with that as well.

JC: Now, what does the next five years look like for you guys as you'll be going to your 50th year?

MN: That's right. The pathway is basically to get to the 50th year and get to there very strong. I think what we're doing, we are investing in our people. I think the people is actually who made Carbo what it is today and continue to make those strides for the better. If you think, and if you look back at [whose] Carbo’s alumni is, we had people like Chris Wright working for Carbo. We had people like Mark Pearson working for Carbo. We had all those brands that are now very outspoken, very visible in new oil and gas energy, and we keep cultivating this culture inside our organization.

We invest in our people. We're hiring, retaining and motivating personnel that helps us to drive innovation. What we want to bring with the next five years is new solutions, staying relevant, obviously staying close to our customers. We never want to lose that, and what you're going to see is some of the new things we're going to put on the market in the next year. New partnerships, we're going to pop up in new places, something you guys haven't seen yet. Obviously this is related to oil and gas, but we’re more than the oil and gas, we also invest in agriculture and industrial markets, solar energy. So we're supporting the energy transition, and those applications and the products that we are making are really making a big, big, big change in those applications. So yeah, please keep in touch. We are here. We'll see you in five years.

JC: And that has been your Hart Energy Exclusive interview.