A. Lee Graham email@example.com
Focus is Summit Casing Equipment’s not-so-secret formula for success. After all, the Fort Worth firm’s specialty is part of its name. Since 2005, the privately held company has constructed casing materials that allow horizontal drills to reach oil and natural gas deposits quicker and more efficiently. By offering only casing equipment, the firm has built a reputation on products that make drilling operations easier for energy producers in the increasingly competitive field. And it’s paying off. “We saw an opportunity to do things better and improve on what was done before,” said Mitchel Hansen, who along with partner Andy Eldridge learned the ropes at Halliburton Co. before they struck out on their own. Since co-founding the company in January 2005, Hansen, chief operating officer, and Eldridge, chief financial officer, have struck lucrative deals with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and other clients that purchase Summit technology for their own drilling.
The latest product promises to turn more heads in the hotly competitive oil and gas drilling industry. The company believes its TD LoCo Composite Centralizer, which was introduced at a recent industry conference in Houston, stands to redefine casing architecture. Its one-piece design maintains integrity in extreme well bore temperatures due to what Hansen calls its high-impact stress and heat resistance. It also allows operators to reach greater depths faster and more efficiently, which saves money due to fewer man-hours needed for the project.
“After they drill the hole, they get to total depth quicker,” said Eldridge, who joined Hansen in inventing the product. “Lots of research and testing went into developing the product,” Eldridge said. Lots of legal wrangling preceded its unveiling, as well. Houston-based Downhole Products plc challenged the company for the patent, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Sept. 18, 2013, invalidated Downhole’s claim, allowing Summit to run with its idea. “This decision by the Patent and Trademark Office confirms our long-held belief as to the invalidity of the patent,” said Eldridge at the time. “We were on the right side of things,” Hansen said recently. “After that, we pursued our own patent and here we are.” That would be at the company’s 70,000-square-foot headquarters in West 20 Business Park just west of Loop 820 and north of Interstate 20 in West Fort Worth. Three buildings house its corporate office and manufacturing operations. Hansen remembers when only he and Eldridge staffed the fledgling firm nine years ago. It was based in Elk City, Okla., then moved offices to Woodward, Okla., before setting up shop in Cleburne. That move allowed close proximity to the Barnett, Eagle Ford and other shale plays, as well as the potential clients drilling at those sites.
The Barnett Shale proved particularly alluring and led the company to pull up stakes once again, this time for Fort Worth. “We love the city,” Hansen said. “It’s a great place to live and a great location business-wise.” It’s a far cry from when Hansen and Eldridge juggled everything from accounting to selling. Fort Worth is now headquarters for the company, which has 109 employees at 10 locations nationwide. Some offices are one-person operations, while others are staffed by several people. And those ranks are likely to swell as the company expands in the months ahead. “We’re getting established in Willis Bend, North Dakota, right now and will expand internationally, too,” Hansen said. More information is available at http://summitcasing.com