For more than 24 years, Dynamic Structures Inc. has been a key name in the general contracting world, but recently the company has made strides to make its world even bigger. As owner Scott McCrea explains, the company has made major inroads into the oilfield market in booming areas such as the Utica and Marcellus shale plays through its subsidiaries like ClearCreek Oilfield Solutions.
McCrea says Dynamic Structures got into the petroleum business in 2010 with the acquisition of petroleum wholesaler C&K Petroleum and then acquired petroleum retailer Southwest Fuels in 2011. Although the company had its sights set on breaking into the oilfield services market, it didn’t initially have the industry connections necessary to be taken seriously. That all changed in 2011, when a large oilfield provider approached the company for some third-party water truck support. Just three weeks after the company launched this service, there was a major oilfield spill, and ClearCreek saw the opportunity to step up and facilitate tracking of all liquids and solids coming out of the contaminated site from multiple haulers, as well as participate in the trucking.
When it was all said and done, ClearCreek performed well enough for a major producer to hire it to work for it directly, and from there the company was off and running. “We just needed an opportunity,” McCrea says.
That opportunity has allowed ClearCreek to grow quickly and steadily into a successful oilfield services provider with over 60 trucks and a wide array of services. The company carries water, brine and mud to and from oilfield sites, hauls away contaminated soil, rents out frac and mud tanks and recently started moving rigs. McCrea says ClearCreek has the capability to clean rigs, tanks and components as well as move them from site to site. “That’s evolving into a larger part of the company’s portfolio, also,” he says.
The company also features roll-off truck service with vac box, hardtop, tarped, sealed boxes for lime and C&D boxes to haul off containment, all ready to rent. Dump trucks set up for solids removal take up a large portion of the fleet as well, running cuttings from rigs 24/7 during the drilling process. Topping things off are two hydrovacs with full service cleaning crews.
Through its subsidiary company Southwest Fuels, ClearCreek also offers fueling to many well sites 24/7, with the ability to wet hose each piece of equipment on the well pad saving producers time and manpower by reaching all equipment where it sits. Southwest also handles standard and synthetic lubes.
From its initial opportunity two years ago, ClearCreek now has direct contracts with 12 producers and continues to build relationships.
Although the company struggled at first to get its foot in the door, today ClearCreek has built a good name for itself in a relatively short time. “Our reputation definitely precedes us, and our reputation for 24/7 service with quick response is very important to us all personally,” McCrea says. “Quick growth with lack of service is the quickest way to lose a contract.”
ClearCreek has been growing steadily over the last several months, and McCrea says keeping up with the growth in the Utica and Marcellus plays has been the company’s stiffest challenge of late. “When you’re in this business, it’s not small numbers you’re talking about,” he says. “If you want to grow, you’re talking huge numbers.Local banks are becoming much more receptive to financing oilfield operations now, and are stepping it up for many of us to allow funding for the growth.”
Finding employees to serve oilfield clients is made more difficult by the fact that they have to be on-call and their work schedules make it difficult to predict when they will be at home. “It’s so sporadic, and that’s what makes it hard to get employees that can adjust to the schedule,” McCrea says.
Nowhere Near the Peak
McCrea says ClearCreek is looking forward to the growth it expects to happen in the oilfield market over the next several years, and the company is working to expand its range of services even further. For example, the company is in the process of opening a second yard in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which it expects to have up and running in the second quarter of 2013. Above-ground impoundments for water storage are another new area of business for ClearCreek, along with mud pits and frac tanks, and it will soon have well over 100 frac tanks out.
“We’re on the good side of the upswing,” McCrea says. “We don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near the peak of the rigs coming in.”