Two oilfield services companies bolstering presence in southwestern Pennsylvania

Posted February 13, 2015

Sam Kusic
Pittsburgh Business Times

Two oilfield services companies have signed leases for new space as they look to bolster their presence in southwestern Pennsylvania, even with current gas prices.

UVI Chem Oil Products and Colter Energy, said they are planning for the long haul.

"Everything we do is based on a long-term plan," said Jason Brooks, general manager of Canada-based Colter Energy, a provider of gas-production testing and equipment. The company, which has been operating here for about a year-and-a-half, has signed for 10,000 square feet of build-to-suit warehouse space in the Phoenix Industrial Park in Washington County.

Meanwhile, Texas-based UVI Chem Oil Products is establishing a distribution center in a multitenant warehouse building along 4 Coins Drive in Canonsburg. It has signed a five-year lease for about 15,000 square feet of space. The company has had a presence in the region via a manufacturer's representative, but it decided it should have a facility here, too.

CEO Pankaj Malani said that although demand dropped, having a facility is necessary for the company to be a player in the oil and gas market.

"We needed to continue to have local inventory and a local presence in the market," Malani said.

"Everything in the oilfield is quick turnaround times and we would not be able to service this area correctly out of our home base in Houston," he said. "We still believe we will be able to pick up market share as companies look for new sources to gain competitive advantage. Our products are also used in other industrial applications so we are not fully reliant only on natural gas and oil prices."

CBRE Energy was involved in both leases. R.T. Walker, vice president of the energy facilities group at CBRE, said that despite the downturn in the oil and gas sector demand for working space remains high.

"We still have more clients than inventory," he said. "Yes, oil prices are down, however, (the industry is) still pushing forward with plans in the Marcellus and Utica plays." He said that although companies will be more conservative with expansion and spending in the near future, the long-term outlook remains very positive.