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SUBMITTED PHOTO There are various forms of installing FlexSteel pipeline from reels through varried topography.
A Houston-based pipeline manufacturing company plans to open a facility in Hobbs at the former Halliburton plant, 5801 N. Lovington Highway. The site has been idle since Halliburton vacated it in 2016 at the height of the last oilfield slump.

Leasing the industrial site owned by the City of Hobbs to FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies, aka FlexSteel USA LLC, is the subject of an ordinance to be discussed at the regular Hobbs City Commission meeting on Dec. 21.

“FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies is the global manufacturer of FlexSteel – a steel reinforced pipeline solution primarily used in the oil and gas industry that combines the durability of steel with the installation, performance and cost benefits of spoolable pipe products,” according to the company’s website.

Some details of the lease remain in negotiation, but the FlexSteel and city officials have agreed to the summary published in a legal advertisement on Dec. 6. Pending resolution of those negotiations, the company withheld details regarding a schedule for its move to Hobbs and projected staffing, but offered a statement.

“The Permian Basin is an important asset to FlexSteel’s distribution and operations,” Don Crawford, FlexSteel’s senior vice president of operations, said in a prepared statement. “Locating in Hobbs allows us to be centrally located to all of our customers in the area. We look forward to FlexSteel being a part of the community.”

Facilitating the negotiations were officials of the Economic Development Corporatixon of Lea County.

“Despite a difficult year, business operations and expansions are continuing in Lea County,” the EDCLC board chairman, Josh Grassham, said. “Lea County remains the heart the Permian Basin. As industry recovers, our communities are a natural attraction for business and job creation. We look forward to welcoming FlexSteel to Hobbs.”

The proposed ordinance specifies annual lease payments of $162,000, with a credit of $2,091.74 per month for the first two years “for making necessary repairs to the city’s buildings.”

The initial term of the lease is set for two years with four possible five-year renewals.

Appraised at $2,870,000, the property could become a manufacturing facility as the company grows, according to the lease ordinance summary.

The company’s website provides a history beginning with the development of the product.

“FlexSteel’s innovative flexible pipe technology was developed from the offshore roots of Well-stream International Ltd., a UK-based manufacturer of premium deepwater flow lines and risers for the oil and gas industry,” the website states.

“Now a GE company, Wellstream drew on more than two decades of experience manufacturing steel reinforced pipe for demanding offshore environments to pioneer the best possible solution for onshore and shallow water pipeline applications.

“Full production of FlexSteel began in 2005, bringing to market a product that couples the best features of flexible pipe with the durability of steel,” the web page continues.

Prime Natural Resources, a privately owned business headquartered in Houston, acquired FlexSteel in 2009 through its newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary, Prime Flexible Products, Inc.

In June 2011, FlexSteel announced the change of the company name from Prime Flexible Products, Inc. to FlexSteel Pipeline Technologies, Inc.

“Adopting the new name is a reflection of the company’s rapid growth, and further underscores the FlexSteel mission: to provide customers with the next generation of pipeline technologies,” the company’s website states.

In 2016, Halliburton shut down its yard in Hobbs, with at least 170 or more employees offered job transfers. Halliburton primarily moved its operation from Hobbs to Brownfield after operating at the Hobbs location for a number of decades.

Curtis Wynne may be contacted at reporter3@ hobbsnews.com.