Odessa Company Working to Help BP in the Gulf

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Containing the massive oil spill in the Gulf is turning into a nationwide effort.

A company right here in the Basin is helping British Petroleum gain the upper hand on the on-going leak and they're going above and beyond the call of duty.

The workers at the Sulzer Pumps Odessa Service Center are checking, inspecting and re-building pumps.

"As slow as we were, I was glad to have work in the shop," Service Center Manager, Joel Walker, said. "It's been pretty slow in the first quarter."

The pumps will end up on a ship BP needs to clean up the mess in the Gulf.

Walker said the Odessa team was asked to help.

"These pumps would have normally been held by or taken care of by our Houston facility, but they were so inundated with work," Walker said. "The manager asked me if we could handle all or part of all of these pumps there's a total of six."

The company sent two to Baton Rouge the other four are here in Odessa.

In the workshop, you can see parts of the four pumps Sulzer workers are working on lying on tables. The pumps were shipped in early Sunday morning. They've been working long hours, up to 18 hours a day to make sure they can get them to BP by Tuesday.

They don't know if the pumps will help to clean up or recover oil, but Walker says they can pump 1,800 gallons of water or oil an hour.

"It's very important that we get these pumps refurbished and redone where they can operate properly," he said. "In the condition they were in, they would not turn or pump at all."

Two local engineers will personally install the pumps to make sure they work.

"We would do this for any customer that we have," Walker said. "When they get in a bind we jump through hoops work overtime and do whatever we need to do to get the job turned around and back to get the customer back on line and going as soon as possible."

Some might brag, but Walker says it's all in a days work.