Saulsbury talking midstream challenges

Executives from some of the largest midstream oil and gas companies in the country will be coming to Midland next month to discuss some of the challenges and the potential of the midstream market in the future as the Permian Basin continues its boom.
One of those executives is Saulsbury Industries Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy Bubba Saulsbury Jr., who will be speaking on a roundtable about the midstream industry in the Permian Basin along with Gary Conway, Vaquero Midstream president and CEO, and James Bunsey, director of operations for Superior Energy Systems.
Saulsbury said the discussion would mostly center around the infrastructure and transportation needed to get oil and gas products from the Permian Basin to market.
“With all this new production, we’ve had to add a number of pipelines,” Saulsbury said. “So it’ll give us some relief by the end of this year, so it’ll make a big difference for the Permian.”
Transportation is what Saulsbury said he considered the biggest challenge for the midstream industry right now, and not having enough of it. There are currently 13 pipelines being built from the Permian Basin to the gulf coast, Saulsbury said, with the majority of them expected to be completed around the end of the year. That should make a big difference in getting products to the marketplace, he said.
There have been many other challenges associated with Permian oil companies, mainly due to an ongoing housing shortage in the area making it hard for more people to come here, but Saulsbury said this hasn’t been as much of a challenge for his company. This is due to the company being around for more than 50 years, he said, with many of their employees already living here.
Saulsbury Industries currently employs around 3,000 workers, he said, with 2,500 here in the Permian Basin and the rest scattered around Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. They actually had closer to 6,000 employees last year, Saulsbury said, but that number was drastically cut when they decided to refocus their efforts on oil and gas due to the current opportunity within the market.
“This is a whole different market than it was 10 years ago,” Saulsbury said. “That’s all due to technology, due to larger companies moving in.”
A benefit for the Permian Basin, he said, is all of the major oil and gas companies have come back to the region and made long-term commitments to stay here.
“They’re in it for the long haul, and this is a really long play, where back in the ‘90s people thought the Permian was on the tail end of its life,” he said. “Now they’re realizing we’re just barely scratching the surface of what’s out there and quickly becoming the largest oilfield in the world.”
Saulsbury recalled a story of a speech he gave in the ‘90s, when he said he hoped the company could make $100 million in sales and have 1,000 employees. Today, they’ve made almost $1 billion in sales.
“Even though I felt like I was somewhat of a visionary, I would have never dreamed that we would have been able to build a company like this headquartered here in Odessa,” Saulsbury said. “There’s so much opportunity out there we think we can grow it much bigger and that’s what we’re focusing all of our efforts on.”