Halliburton site built for growth

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A group of local officials on Friday got their first look at the impressive new Halliburton facility just north of Brownfield. The worldwide oilfield services giant hosted the event with the Brownfield Industrial Development Corp. to show off its newest and most state-of-the art site, now operating but still under construction on a 100 acre tract on David Bailey Rd.

David Prather, Southern Region Operations Manager for Halliburton, told the group of about 60 that the company will be a part of Brownfield for decades to come. “Halliburton made a great decision in 1948 to come to Brownfield,” he said. “And we made another great decision in in 2013 to stay here. Brownfield is where we need to be.”

Friday’s tour was the culmination of years of negotiations, planning, and construction resulting in the site at its current location. In 2013, rumors circulated Brownfield that Halliburton was closing its local facility on Webb Street and moving to Lubbock. BIDCorp director David Partlow heard the rumor and contacted local Halliburton staff, who confirmed the company had outgrown its facility and was looking for a new location.

Partlow began communicating with Halliburton executives and set up several meetings with city officials to discuss keeping the company in town. During that time, local farmer Brent Hogue listed 900 acres of land along the railroad for sale as industrial property. Halliburton officials viewed the land and saw the potential, then eventually purchased the property.

Months of negotiations and meetings followed before the City Council agreed to spend $1.25 million to extend utilities to the site outside the city limits. The Hogue Industrial Park was not annexed, but is serviced by city utilities as part of a contract for services and schedule of fees in lieu of taxes.

That was key to the project, Prather said Friday. “I can’t stress how big the utilities were,” he said. “That really was a make or break scenario for us. The city agreeing to extend the utilities was a monumental step that made this deal come together.”

Throughout the tour of the main building and several outlying structures, Halliburton staff said that the 100 acre site was constructed with an eye to the future. Plumbing already is in place for future buildings and the layout was designed to allow for easy expansion. Prather said there are no firm dates for construction of those buildings, but the company is open to the growth when needed.

“When will those facilities be built? It’s all about the market and when the business demands it,” he said. “The last two years have been hard on everyone in this business, but this facility has us in prime position to move forward with the market turns around.
“Are we out of the downturn,” he asked. “We’re peeking around the corner. We’re making plans.”

Ron Shuman, Halliburton’s Senior Vice President of the Southern Region, told the audience that the Permian Basin is the best oil market in the nation. “This is where it’s at,” he said. “The Permian Basin is the largest oil basin in North America and in the last few months, the market has doubled.” He also eluded to the downturn of 2015-16, but praised Halliburton’s strategy.

“It’s been a tough time, but we put a plan together to try to retain as many people as possible throughout the downturn,” he said. “We did that and now we are ready to roll as the market begins to come back. And it is coming back.” He said viewing a cotton field north of Brownfield several years ago, it was hard to visualize what is in place today at the Halliburton site. “But we are very proud of what you see here today,” he said. “This is the right place to be.”

To date, the company has invested $23.5 million on improvements at the Brownfield location, including purchase of the land. That is just a fraction though of the $125 million of capital outlay the Houston-based company has invested in Brownfield, including machinery and personnel. Currently, more than 300 people work in the Brownfield location, compared to 152 in 2013 at the Webb St. location.
That number includes 80 mechanics, who work on a fleet of 400 trucks and 200 light-duty vehicles, including regular maintenance and complete service and overhauling of the company’s unique and instantly recognizable red rigs.

Those mechanics work in the main building — the largest on site — with 14 fully operational bays with pull through access and 10-ton cranes maneuvering overhead. That building also houses office space, a cafeteria, and training rooms. Also on site is a testing area where every truck and piece of equipment must meet specifications before it leaves the yard headed for a job site. A truck wash visible from the Lubbock Hwy includes two self service pull through bays and one fully automated bay that includes a “de-mudder” to deal with the thick mud on the underside of the trucks.

A chemical rack currently under construction will be the most state of the art of its kind anywhere in the world, once completed. The enclosed building uses touchscreen computers to mix fracking chemicals to exact specifications requested by customers. The mix varies from client to client and even well to well. Concrete drives will be poured soon to allow trucks to reach the new rack.

In fact the sheer amount of concrete on site is impressive, with thousands of square yards poured. One worker said the Brownfield site is the most popular among company employees because of all the concrete and the smooth transport around the site.

A detailed site plan for the property shows impressive growth at the facility, including numerous office buildings, workshops and garages, ample parking for employees and company trucks, as well as five rail spurs. A cement plant, acid plant and mud mixing plant are included in the design, as is an eight acre, four-foot deep detention pond.

Article courtesy of Brownfield News

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