by Josh Navarro
ODESSA- Caterpillar is a name familiar to those who work in the oil and gas industry in our area. On Wednesday, it was none other than the CEO of the company making a few stops in the Permian Basin.
CEO Doug Oberhelman says he has visited the Permian Basin several times in his career and with the oil expansion happening right now, he said it was time to come back and have an up close look how business is going for local authorized dealers and the machinery.
"We've been touring around today looking at a lot of other areas where our products are being used," Caterpillar CEO, Doug Oberhelman, said.
It's one of the many stops he's making around town and throughout the state. It couldn't come at better time since the rapid oil growth is happening right now.
"The boom times that we are seeing here in the Permian Basin are important to CAT so it's really critical for us," Oberhelman said. "When a new oil rig is set up, clearing the pad is important to us. That's a big business right now because there's so many new wells being built. I think Jim told me this morning there's something like 500 new drills and rig count here in the Permian Basin in this area."
Most of the oil rigs used out on the fields contain Caterpillar machines and engines. Bridges Equipment has been using Caterpillar machinery for 27 years now.
"There's a lot of new technology, people upgrading rigs, new lateral drilling and new rig bills and of course with the amount of rigs out here, they're substantial with service and repairs," Mike Bridges, President of Bridges Equipment, said.
The CEO says the outlook for the Permian Basin and the entire oil and gas business nationwide will depend on the price of it.
"I don't see how energy prices can drop all that much. I think we'll see as usual with energy prices up and down range but I'm pretty bullish long term on energy which would be the supply we have here in Texas important to this region, certainly to our country," Oberhelman said.
On Thursday, Oberhelman will be headed to Victoria where a new facility will open up and employ 500 people.
Just recently the company received $1.18 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to continue building in the state.