Oklahoma City-based Compressco Partners LP is going global in an effort to find its niche in the increasingly unconventional oil and natural gas industry.
Compressco is a production enhancement supplier, going to well sites to help oil and natural gas companies boost their production or resolve related issues like vapor recovery, President Ron Foster said.
Compressco is a spinoff of Tetra Technologies Co. that went public last summer as a master limited partnership. Its equipment gives companies working in oil-rich shale formations an alternative to venting natural gas.
It can capture the gas to sale or even to produce electricity.
“That's where we've grown the business ... over the last year,” Foster said.
The company's GasJack and VJack compressors can boost production from declining natural gas wells and increase recoverable reserves.
“It's just immediate cash flow” for Compressco's customers, Foster said.
The company designs, builds, monitors and services its own equipment.
“That is Compressco's claim to fame,” Foster said.
Kevin Sylvester, the company's vice president of production, said Compressco has streamlined its assembly line so new or rebuilt units can move efficiently through seven manufacturing stations.
Each station is stocked with all of the necessary parts and tools; most are staffed by only one person, who can complete the appointed task in about four hours.
“We're actually building what the customers requested,” Sylvester said.
Foster said there is a large market for Compressco's services as the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates there are about 300,000 wells that produce less than 300,000 cubic feet of gas a day, but many producers have shut in their gas wells because of low prices.
Foster said Compressco has found other ways for customers to use its products when natural gas prices drop by moving into areas that are home to unconventional operations.
He said that has helped Compressco increase its earnings.
This year's Oklahoma Inc. rankings show Compressco increased its earnings per share by more than 900 percent, good for second best among the state's publicly traded companies. Compressco finished No. 8 overall.
Foster said Compressco also is turning its attention to international markets. Four years ago, its products were sold only in North America, but now the company is active in Australia, Argentina and several countries in Europe.
“Wherever gas is worth something, we're there trying to increase production,” Foster said.