Pool­ing re­sources

Spon­sored by the Sus­tain­ing Ok­la­homa’s En­ergy Re­sources, the Ok­la­homa Oil & Gas Expo fo­cuses on sup­pli­ers and ser­vice com­pa­nies through­out the re­gion.

The Oklahoman - - BUSINESS - BY ADAM WIL­MOTH En­ergy Edi­tor aw­ilmoth@ok­la­homan.com

With busi­ness re­cov­er­ing through­out the oil and nat­u­ral gas sec­tor, Jim Sand­burg spent most of the day Thurs­day at his fa­mil­iar spot near the front of about 260 vendor booths at the Ok­la­homa Oil & Gas Expo.

He has been in the same place in each of the past four years as the in­dus­try reached a peak, re­treated and then be­gan a slow re­cov­ery.

“It feels like a re­spon­si­bil­ity,” the vice pres­i­dent at Ok­la­homa City-based Spicer & Sand­burg Inc. said of his com­pany’s spon­sor­ship of the expo even dur­ing the down­turn. “It’s part of the oil field com­mu­nity. We feel like there’s a re­spon­si­bil­ity to help them main­tain that.”

Spicer & Sand­burg is a whole­sale dis­trib­u­tor for oil field sup­ply stores. Like much of the oil field ser­vice and sup­ply in­dus­try, Spicer & Sand­burg’s busi­ness largely dried up over the past two years as in­dus­try ac­tiv­ity stalled.

“We’re in­ven­tory for peo­ple,” Sand­burg said. “They didn’t need to buy any­thing for a while.”

The com­pany’s busi­ness tum­bled about 90 per­cent dur­ing the down­turn, but now is up 187 per­cent from one year ago, Sand­burg said.

“We’re on our way back up,” he said.

Be­sides deal­ing with cycli­cal trends, Sand­burg and the in­dus­try’s other sup­pli­ers must stay ahead of trends, know­ing what parts will be needed where. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in this week’s expo is one way Sand­burg keeps in touch with cur­rent and po­ten­tial cus­tomers.

“We’ve been in this show for a lot of years,” he said.

Un­der one roof

Spon­sored by the Sus­tain­ing Ok­la­homa’s En­ergy Re­sources — for­merly known as the Ok­la­homa Mar­ginal Well Com­mis­sion — the expo fo­cuses on sup­pli­ers and ser­vice com­pa­nies through­out the re­gion. Af­ter be­ing spread through two or three build­ings at State Fair Park over the past sev­eral years, the event was re­lo­cated this year to the new Ben­nett Event Cen­ter, a 201,000-square-foot ex­hi­bi­tion hall.

“In the past, peo­ple would go to one build­ing, then go to lunch in a dif­fer­ent build­ing and go home. So one build­ing missed the whole crowd,” said Mindy Stitt, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ok­la­homa En­ergy Re­sources Board, which over­sees the mar­ginal well di­vi­sion and the expo. “Hav­ing ev­ery­one un­der one build­ing has been great.”

The event is de­signed to sup­port oil and nat­u­ral gas pro­duc­tion in Ok­la­homa, es­pe­cially in the state’s older wells.

“It helps the mar­ginal pro­ducer be­cause they can find new tech­nol­ogy to main­tain their wells longer or bring on new pro­duc­tion,” Stitt said. “Any­thing we can do to help pro­duc­tion is good for the state.”

Par­tic­i­pants gather for the Ok­la­homa Oil and Gas Expo at State Fair Park’s Ben­nett Cen­ter on Thurs­day.

[PHO­TOS BY CHRIS LANDSBERGER, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Jeremy Bird of Anti-Pol­lu­tion Tech­nol­ogy demon­strates his com­pany’s leak-de­tec­tion tech­nol­ogy dur­ing the Ok­la­homa Oil & Gas Expo at State Fair Park’s Ben­nett Cen­ter on Thurs­day.

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