Personal service and handpicked employees with years of expertise are just two of the ways that OIL-GAStech Inc. distinguishes itself in the competitive oil and gas market and the midstream operations that are its specialty.
OIL-GAStech is headquartered in Odessa, Texas, in the heart of the Permian Basin, one of the most productive oil and natural gas regions in the world. It was here that Company Owner Luis Castillo decided to start his company, after working for many years in the energy industry.
“We’re a driven company,” Mr. Castillo says. “If there’s ever a problem, something that has to be taken care of, there is no need to send out hundreds of emails for someone to come out and look at the job – we know our customers by first name and they know us.”
OIL-GAStech specializes in Industrial and Oilfield Construction and Maintenance for its clients. The company offers start-to-finish solutions for its projects and also offers full design services.
The company started in 2011, offering plant maintenance with a small fleet of trucks. Castillo initially led two construction crews working from a truck and tool trailer. From there, the word-of-mouth spread. “Before I knew it, we climbed up to 180 employees,” says Castillo.
Castillo’s own expertise from working many years in the oil and gas industry and the relationships he built within the sector enabled him to find and retain the personnel he felt were best to run his company. “Most of my employees are handpicked by me, or have worked alongside with me, or I’ve worked with them as an employee myself,” he explains.
Castillo’s close friend, Larry Medina, serves as the Operations Manager for OIL-GAStech. Mr. Castillo and Mr. Medina worked with each other in the industry for a number of years and Castillo was eager to hire him when he started his business. “Larry got me into the construction business many years ago,” Castillo shares. “He was working for a competing construction company as a project manager at the time and adding him has been the biggest addition to help our company grow.”
Castillo recently hired an engineer and designer, and additional managers to develop new business and meet with customers. “The biggest success to our company is me knowing all of our employees,” says Castillo. “When I broke out on my own, I handpicked them. It has worked out really well for the company; we have a good group of people.”
Due to the recent drop in oil prices, many in the industry are facing challenges, but Castillo says the company is “still staying busy” and has recently launched an Electrical division to offer turnkey service with complete engineering and planning, alongside the construction services for which the company is known.
Recently, OIL-GAStech became a member of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, a statewide trade association with approximately 5,000 members representing every aspect of the state’s oil and gas industry. This association includes major corporations as well as smaller independent companies such as OIL-GAStech. Castillo says that becoming a part of the association was a significant achievement for his company. “We’re competing with bigger companies who have been around longer and doing the same type of work as them,” he says.
This work includes elements such as plant maintenance, modification and modernization; instrumentation and electrical (I&E); blasting and painting; insulation; battery station construction; storage facility construction; general construction; gas compressor station construction; oil and gas pipeline construction; design, fabrication and installation of tankage; piping; controls; and auxiliary construction. Other services include providing cranes, backhoes and excavation services, as well as midstream services for oil companies’ pad sites.
OIL-GAStech has worked on a number of oil and gas projects throughout the state of Texas, and Castillo feels that the company is an expert in midstream construction operations including gas processing, gas plants, cryogenic plants, gas compression and piping. “Midstream is our bread and butter,” he says.
OIL-GAStech’s combination of midstream expertise and relationship building has led to the rapid growth of the company. Castillo feels that going the extra mile for his customers is what will keep the company going in spite of changes in the oil and gas industry. “Good customer service for the companies we serve is beneficial to us. If a company needs a part or tool at 2 or 3:00 AM, we will get it delivered at that time. We will come to a customer’s plant and take care of their needs. If there is a broken part, we will call our vendors or suppliers and they’d be willing to help us as well. I’ve loaded pipe at 3:00 AM because a customer wanted to get started with their operations the following morning. They called me the night before and I worked with them to have pipe expedited from a location, and then met them at the site so their operations would be ready that morning.”
Never content to rest on its laurels, the company has a number of future endeavors planned in the oil and gas sector including obtaining ASME U-Stamp certification. “This will allow us to work on high-pressure vessels and testers and we will be able to build our own tanks and equipment.”
Ultimately, in spite of the many changes in the sector, Castillo feels that holding on to his company’s founding values and going the extra mile for the customer guarantee OIL-GAStech will be providing its services for many years to come. “Companies that need midstream services really need to experience the personal treatment we give our customers and the work itself,” he says. “We don’t mass-produce or have thousands of employees, but we are big enough to do anything and small enough to care.”