New Drilling Company Putting Dozens Back To Work

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Despite a recent rise in local unemployment numbers, some say the oil and gas industry here in the Basin could soon see a rebound, putting more people back to work. On Friday, oilman Clayton Williams unveiled a new company that will soon install two new rigs right here in West Texas. Now, some are saying it may help turn things around.

"What this represents is the economics have gotten good enough again that you can put rigs back to work," Clay Pollard, landman with Clayton Williams Energy, said.

Even a lingering National recession isn't stopping Williams and his wife from introducing a new Desta Drilling Company. Company officials said christening in a new rig shows they're geting ready for a rebound in the local economy.

"That represents revenue coming into the company, tax revenue coming into the government," Pollard explained. "It represents payroll for Roughnecks, it represents all the good that's a bright spot in this down economy that has especially hit this industry so hard."

Currently, two rigs are set for work in Andrews, bringing in 44 employees and at least 20 more jobs per rig.

"We're excited about getting these people back to work," Andrew Helmreich, drilling manager for Desta Drilling told NewsWest 9. "I know these guys, a lot of them rely on the oil industry, and rely on people drilling in order to support their families."

Managers said many of the workers are local, but at Friday's unveiling, we also found contractors who came all the way from Minnesota.

"Yeah, this is good news," Carter Brandt said. "I'm out of school four weeks and I had a job right off the bat. My boss called me down here and I didn't hestiate."

Brandt said it's worth making the trip to live and work in West Texas.

"I was here for three months last summer, working side by side and I didn't hestiate," Brandt added. "I knew that this is where I was going to come back to and happy there was work when I got here."

However, whether your from Minnesota or someplace a little closer to the Basin, officials with Desta said it's the start of something good.

"We're hoping to create a good loyalty here that they want to work for us and do a good job, and we want to help them by giving them a good job and paying them well so they can support their families," Helmreich said.

Managers said they hope to have two rigs up and running by mid-July, and possibly five running by the end of the year. Long-term, of course, it depends on the price of oil. Right now, however, they said they have dozens already on their payroll.