by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--Their new, multi-function Service Center is under construction along I-20.
From inside a building, almost the size of a football field, Project Manager Ryan Holzapfel says, three of Lufkin Industries business groups will join forces to better serve the Permian Basin, "This is, kind of, a flagship service center for Lufkin Industries. We hope to take advantage of everybody's synergies and streamline things, improve communications out one facility versus three separate facilities, as it is now."
Oil Field Services, Automation Business and International Lift Systems will fill some of the space, but there's an added bonus, a 60-seat training center, for new oil field customers, all combined to make for a good economic outlook.
"We typically do a three or a five day training session, so it brings a lot of customers from the remote areas here to the Odessa area. That is also a bit of a boost to the local economy here, bringing in people to the hotels and restaurants and such," Holzapfel said.
The joke around the site is that workers only built half a building. If you look at the top, north side, you'll see why. Holzapfel says, architects designed it that way on purpose, leaving the door open for future expansion, "The back half of the building could be expanded to the north, which would double it. Then, we could double it again, off toward the west. We can quadruple the shop size and the office is also designed to where we can double the office."
Lufkin officials say Odessa was the ideal place for this facility because of the large customer base, a local government that's easy to work with, and a good business environment.
According to Holzapfel, "I think it will be very favorable. In addition to the construction jobs that it has created, there's just a lot of potential there. We're hearing a lot of good things coming from our customers about future business opportunities. We're just waiting for business conditions to pick up and the price of oil to pick up and I think we'll be very well positioned."
Working since last Summer, they hope to have things wrapped up, weather permitting, by Spring.
"Probably towards the end of March, if everything goes well and we don't have any surprises along the way," Holzapfel said. "That hasn't had a significant impact, right now, knock on wood, hopefully it won't and we'll still be able to achieve our target move in date."