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Bexar facility is ‘big deal for us’

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Robert Drummond, president of Schlumberger North America, (left) talks about his company as Jeremy Aumaugher, south division operations manager, listens to questions about expansion of their business to support clients in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Photo: TOM REEL, San Antonio Express-News / San Antonio Express-News
By Vicki Vaughan
Updated 12:26 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 2012

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil-field services company, threw open the doors Wednesday to its new operations plant in southern Bexar County, where it was drawn by proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale.

“This is a big deal for us,” Robert Drummond, president of Schlumberger North America, said as he stood before shiny trucks in a spic-and-span warehouse that’s part of a $19 million investment.image

The new facility is a critical addition to Schlumberger’s south division operations, which encompasses the New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas, he said.

Construction of the company facilities, which occupy three sites on Fischer Road near the intersection of Interstate 35 South and Loop 410, began in December 2010, company officials said.

Schlumberger — which is based in Houston, Paris and The Hague, Netherlands — employs almost 400 in the San Antonio area, a total that is likely to grow to 500 employees in the coming months, officials said.

San Antonio’s nearness to the shale has meant that the company hasn’t had a problem recruiting employees, whose work ethic “is excellent,” Drummond said.

The South Bexar facility employs managers, engineers, health and safety employees, equipment operators, maintenance and electronic technicians, and laboratory workers.

Salaries at the operations center range from $25,000 to $85,000 a year, said Jeremy Aumaugher, south division operations manager for pressure pumping. Employees also are eligible for performance bonuses, he said.

However, some employees may work 60 hours a week or more and be away from home for periods of time, Aumaugher said.

The company’s biggest labor needs are for truck drivers, while mechanics and electronic technicians make up another key category, he said.

“We’re in competition, obviously, with others who do the same work as us,” Drummond said. “We want to be the employer of choice in North America, meaning not only (in) compensation but work conditions, facilities and safety environment.”

Schlumberger’s center will handle its customers’ demands for pressure pumping, which is used to enhance the flow of oil and natural gas in hydraulic fracturing. It also will provide cementing services, a process used to surround a well’s casing, or pipe.

Schlumberger’s operations occupy 60 acres. One facility occupies a 35-acre site that includes bays for maintaining, fueling and washing trucks. There’s a 15-acre bulk plant capable of storing 20 million pounds of sand for use in hydraulic fracturing, a cement blending area, a 39,028-square-foot warehouse, a laboratory and a support and training facility on 10 acres.

At a ceremony Wednesday at Schlumberger, Economic Development Foundation Chairman Henry Cisneros said: “This is a great, global company doing important work. The more you can succeed here, it is ‘mission accomplished’ for us.”

As drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has exploded, a number of oil-field services companies have established a presence in the region, including Houston-based Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc., Switzerland-based Weatherford International Inc. and Canada-based Sanjel.

In addition, a number of oil production companies drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale have opened offices in San Antonio.

vvaughan@express-news.net

Source

Pioneer drilling buys Go-Coil for $110 mln (San Antonio, TX)

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By Mia Lamar

Pioneer Drilling Co. PDC +6.41% has acquired a privately held provider of coiled tubing services for roughly $110 million in cash, a purchase the company said it expects to add to earnings this year.

The purchase of Go-Coil LLC, whose services are aimed at oil and gas exploration and production companies, helps boost Pioneer’s offerings in its production services division, noted Chief Executive Wm. Stacy Locke.

“After studying coiled tubing for the past couple of years, we believe this new service offering has expansion opportunities as well as cross-selling opportunities with our existing business,” Locke said.

Go-Coil operates a fleet of 10 coiled tubing units, seven of which are onshore units. Current operations are located in Louisiana, South Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Pioneer, which provides contract land drilling services to oil and gas operators, in November reported it swung to a third-quarter profit with help from a 38% jump in revenue.

Shares closed Friday at $9.68 and were inactive in premarket trade. The stock is up 51% in the past three months.

Source

Alice, Texas – 1888 to 1900

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Frontier Battalion Co. “E” Alice, Texas 1892.

The town’s first school was established in 1888 on the second floor of the Becham Place, a boardinghouse for men. The private school had nine students. Until 1886 Alice students who chose to continue their education attended Goliad College. The Catholic church at Collins was moved to Alice in 1889. Methodist services were held at Mrs. E. D. Sidbury’s lumberyard until 1890, when they were moved to a new school built by George Hobbs. A school board of trustees was elected, and a public school was started. In 1892 the town was served by a hotel, two saloons, two general stores, a weekly newspaper named the Alice Reporter, and a cotton gin. The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway had completed its line to Alice. By 1894 Alice was the busiest shipping point in South Texas. The Alice Circuit of the Methodist Church was formed in 1895. By 1896 the town had an estimated population of 885, a library, a bank, the Episcopal Church of the Advent, and a second weekly newspaper, El Eco. The first telephone exchange in Alice was established by the Beeville, Alice, and Wade City Telephone Company in 1896. The first two telephones in the community were located at Trinidad Salazar‘s general store and home. In 1898 Alice flooded, forcing residents to move their houses. In February 1899 a smallpox epidemic hit one of Alice’s Mexican subdivisions, then located on the outskirts of the town. Consequently, the area was quarantined, and the two private Mexican schools in Alice were forced to close down. The epidemic became so widespread that the county commissioner ordered all schools closed and fumigated and authorized the county health officer to vaccinate every one in the area free of charge.

Timeline of Texas History – Alice

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