Colorado Firm Sets Sights on Permian

Despite a stubbornly long streak of low crude prices, Permian Basin operators have continued to boost production from their wells.

That additional production needs to find its way to the ultimate end-users, and that offers significant opportunities for companies like Blackeagle Energy Services to help build out infrastructure.

“All capital is flowing to the Permian Basin, and that’s not only a short-term, but long-term trend,” said Todd Erickson, vice president of corporate development with the Colorado-based company. Long-term, “even if oil is at $45, $50 or $55, this area will still be viable. It’s not about exploration anymore. It’s about technology and those incremental advances that let producers get oil out of the ground more economically.”

Erickson was in town recently to visit Blackeagle’s yard near Midland International Air and Space Port, acquired late last summer with the purchase of certain of Brazos Rock Inc.’s Permian Basin assets.

“For our company, that was a big move and is a big part of our growth,” Erickson said.

The company, founded 30 years ago as an energy construction company working with utilities and in refined product transmission as well as integrity management, made the move as part of a diversification effort. The effort began in 2014 as crude prices began to crumble. As Erickson put it: “In 2014, we saw the writing on the wall and didn’t want all our eggs in one basket.”

To expand its base, the company identified oil and natural gas as having the most growth. Blackeagle opened an office to serve the Marcellus and Utica natural gas shale plays, building and maintaining natural gas transmission lines, distribution mains and facilities including regulator, compressor and town border stations. Integrity management services include making lines “piggable” through retrofit efforts and pressure testing.

To provide crude producers with the same services, “strategically, if you want in oil and natural gas construction, you need to come to the Permian Basin,” Erickson said. Corporate officials are aware of the lagging infrastructure in the Delaware Basin, he added.

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