Oil-field equipment manufacturer Centek Inc. today will celebrate the opening of its Oklahoma City headquarters.
The company manufactures centralizers, which keep a drilling bit in the center of the well bore during oil and natural gas drilling operations.
The new Oklahoma City company — at SW 36 and MacArthur Boulevard — is a sister company to the British manufacturer by the same name, which ships centralizers to 46 countries.
“The North American market is virtually untapped for the company,” Centek President John Carnuccio said.
Oklahoma City was an obvious site for the new manufacturing center, he said.
“Being in the middle of the oil patch, Oklahoma made all the sense in the world,” Carnuccio said. “In a 200-mile radius, there are nearly 700 rigs. That tipped the scale of where we're going to build the plant.”
Centek has about 40 Oklahoma City employees today and plans to expand to 100 over the next two years.
“We are looking for a structured, predictable growth as opposed to implosion if we grow too much,” said Cliff Berry, Centek's global business development manager.
The company is now operating one shift, 10 hours a day for four days a week. It plans to soon add a second and a weekend shift.
The company's 77,000-square-foot warehouse has room to accommodate two additional assembly lines.
“The potential here is great,” Carnuccio said.
Centek starting hiring and testing its lines in June before it officially began manufacturing its oil-field cylinders July 2.
Centralizers are designed to position the drilling bit and pipe in the middle of the well bore, allowing dirt and mud to flow freely around the well head and out of the hole during drilling and providing a strong cement seal when drilling is complete.
Centek's centralizers are specifically designed for the intense pressures equipment faces during horizontal drilling, as much as a mile down and two miles laterally below the surface.
“If the centralizer isn't strong enough to center the pipe or if it breaks, the consequences can be very expensive,” Berry said.
Michael Ogan, director of business development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, praised the opening as complementary to the city's other energy and manufacturing businesses.
“The metals industry we have here helps provide a labor force that supports them and skills they can use to easily ramp up their labor force,” Ogan said. “It's a little bit like the aviation industry in that some people make big parts, some people make small parts, and it takes all for the industry to be successful.”