Quality of life and safety won the day for Hobbs again.
The Permian Basin oil and gas boom drew Spinnaker Oilfield Services LLC to expand from its El Reno, Okla.-based facilities last year and Hobbs became the bull’s eye.
Mark Crowder, president and CEO of Spinnaker, said he heard the pleas of his oilfield company customers who told him they were moving to the Permian Basin and they would do business with him if he brought his company to the Permian, too.
“So, we made a big step about a year ago,” Crowder said, noting he sent two representatives to the Permian, telling them, “Don’t come home until you find us (a home), and they did. They came and said Hobbs is the place we need to be. Hobbs has everything. It’s friendly. It’s a safe environment. Let’s move our facility to Hobbs. So, that’s what we did.”
Construction of the facility at 324 N. Magnus Industrial Road, just north of the Lea County Regional Airport, by general contractor Schubert Construction, was completed in December, with Spinnaker and the Hobbs Chamber of Commerce hosting a ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Wednesday.
“Fortunately for us, we found Gary Schubert almost by accident,” Crowder said. “We started to work with Gary immediately on getting this facility ready for us to perform the services that we do for the oil and gas industry.”
His two representatives searching for a company home in the Permian were Danny Edwards, business development manager, and Don Acthison, chief operations manager.
At the grand opening, Schubert told the News-Sun, “Don and Danny came to town last February looking for a building. They just happened upon one we were building for someone else. … We made a deal to build this and rent it to them. They were in a big hurry to get their batch plant, their operations, going. So we got that done in April. It took us to December to get this facility done.”
Phase 1 of the construction actually was completed in late April, with a bulk plant, warehouse and fully equipped laboratory ready for operations. Phase 2 completion of a 10,000-square-foot truck bay and offices complex, where the grand opening and a celebratory barbecue luncheon was held, finished the construction of the facility on a 10-acre plot.
Crowder said the company, first organized about five-and-a-half years ago, focuses on oil well cementing.
“We focus on one particular product line. We want to do it better and safer than any of our competitors,” Crowder said. “A lot of us have worked overseas for 10-15 years, so we have a pretty good idea how every major service company operates. We want to take the best of what we have learned and put it into Spinnaker.”
Gregory D. Laake, a managing partner with Houston-based Catapult Energy Services Group, said he plays a support role in the Spinnaker accomplishments.
“Spinnaker is a company that is part of our portfolio. Spinnaker is known for quality of service and safety,” Laake said. “That’s what (Crowder) has driven home. We’re real happy to have backed him and have him as a partner in this.”
The company boasts a lost-time injury rate of zero.
Laake pointed out the choice of Hobbs came after significant research.
“It was a real race between the Midland-Odessa area and Hobbs for us because we didn’t know where we wanted to be,” Laake said. “These guys did their homework, did their research, looked at the economics, looked at the quality of life and looked at the safety aspect. That’s a big deal, keeping it safe.”
Edwards had told the News-Sun last spring, “The biggest reason we decided on Hobbs is Hobbs is a place we can give our people a good quality of life.”
Expecting to have 80-100 employees by next year, Crowder said, “Our equipment is very technical. A lot of technology goes into the delivery of the service that we put down hole for our customers. We have to have a work pool that understands the technology and the mechanics of the equipment.”
“And it’s 24/7/365,” Laake added. “Their team drove and drives a fantastic culture. They focus on the right things. Safety first, then service to the customer.
“And also, they make a little bit of money, too, which I appreciate,” laughed Laake, a certified public accountant.
Also in a good mood for the grand opening was Josh Grassham, chairman of the board for the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County.
“It’s very good for economic development. They’ve brought in all kinds of businesses that have seen this facility. That makes us look better than Midland, Lubbock or Odessa,” Grassham said, noting vendors from well outside the area, such as Farmington and Dallas “ask themselves why not relocate here next to one of their big customers?”