Headquartered in southern Texas, Frontier Services Inc. has carved out a place for itself in the oilfield service industry. The company works to provide the highest possible level of experience and dependability to major and independent oil production companies.
Incorporated in 1990, Frontier Services is owned by Dickie McGehee and Denise Walker. McGehee serves as president, while Walker is vice president. Ever since its earliest days, the company has provided its specialized services to active operators in Texas and Louisiana.
Both McGehee and Walker have many years of service in the oilfield industry. McGehee began his career in the industry in 1969 as a roughneck for Fields Drilling Company before spending three years in the Air Force.
He came back to the oilfield industry in 1972 as a drill bit salesman for Smith International before becoming a field supervisor for Tubular Handling Systems and its torque and testing division in 1976. He ultimately formed and ran his own oilfield services company – Oilfield Specialty Company – from 1979 to 1986 before changing market conditions necessitated its dissolution. After a brief period of working in the cattle and farm industry, he came back to the oilfield again with Frontier Services in 1990.
After beginning her professional life in the early 1970s at FESCO Inc. and Alice National Bank, Walker entered the oilfield services industry along with McGehee’s Oilfield Specialty Company in 1979 as manager of finance and administration. She currently manages the accounting, finance and administration of Frontier Services.
As a family owned company, the operation of Frontier Services is a labor of love for many individuals. Other members of the owning family who are critical to its operations are Justin McGehee, Bode Koehn and Brittney De Los Santos.
“Each one has a specific job duty that they are involved with on a daily basis and contributing to the success of the company,” Walker says. “Their job duties range from operations managers to [making] financial and growth decisions for the company.”
Its clients have included many major and independent oil and gas companies. In addition to serving the area around its Alice, Texas headquarters, Frontier Services operates out of Cuero, Kilgore and Dilley, Texas. It also recently opened a new yard in Pecos.
The company can provide specialized services related to BOP testing, stack lifts, casing saws, wash crews for cleaning mud pits, drilling rigs, pipes, torque turn and fluids. In addition, Frontier Services can provide hydraulic wrenches and super sucker and hydroexcavation trucks.
“Frontier Services is well known in the oilfield service industry for providing the highest level of safety, experience and dependability to all the oil companies in the oilfield,” Walker says.
One challenge faced by Frontier Services in recent years is finding qualified, experienced personnel. “Rig workers are pressured to get the job done fast, and this causes some service companies to hurry,” Walker says. “There is a lack of qualified people to work drilling rigs due to the number of rigs in the field working today. Also, not many people have the right drivers licenses, which forces some people to do all the driving. The services companies are really feeling the effects of long hours and lack of experienced people.”
Walker says the industry has been moving extremely fast, something she believes has put many inexperienced and exhausted personnel at risk in the field and on the road. Frontier Services has managed to avoid this situation by holding on to long-term employees, who serve as mentors and trainers for new people that the company brings into the fold.
But finding the right people can be a challenge. Walker says service companies must be extremely vigilant when it comes to hiring, as issues such as drug use must be monitored closely. Testing for synthetic drug use adds costs to the operations of oilfield service companies such as Frontier Services. But Walker says the costs are necessary because the risks are too great.
Thanks to an experienced management team and a dedicated workforce, as well as regular capital investments in improving the company, Frontier Services is well positioned for future growth. “The future of Frontier Services is grand with great growth possibilities in the Eagle Ford Shale,” she says.