Kline Oilfield Equipment Inc.’s biggest challenge is one that many companies would consider to be a problem worth having. “We’ve had a greatly increased demand for our products that began in first-quarter 2010,” President Curtis Kline says. “Our biggest challenge is ramping up production capacity and efficiency so we can get more products out of the door.”
The bulk of the Tulsa, Okla.-based company’s customer base is in the Permian Basin, a region the company is now directly serving through a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in Odessa, Texas, that opened in early 2011. “Many of our service operators and customers are based in Odessa and surrounding communities, so we wanted to make products more available to those customers,” Kline says. “Our customers can walk right into that shop, tell us what they need, and we can give them what they want while they wait.”
Kline Oilfield Equipment designs and manufactures tools and equipment used in oilfield well-servicing operations. Its products include packers, bridge plugs, accessories and tubing swivels used during well stimulation work. Most products are highly configurable and assembled to order. The company produced its first tools – a tubing swivel line – in 1978 and started manufacturing packers and bridge plugs in the 1980s.
Major customers range from large oilfield servicing companies such as Schlumberger Ltd. and Weatherford International to more than 100 independent well servicing companies. Target markets outside of the Permian Basin include oil fields in Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Kline also ships to customers in Canada, Indonesia, Australia and South America.
The company’s newest product is the KS1-XW packer. Kline began mass-producing the tool to address a market demand. “The difference we bring to the commodity market is quality,” Curtis Kline says. “Our customers know when they get our products they’re going to work, they’ll be configured properly and they will be reliable.”
Kline Oilfield Equipment’s manufacturing operations are based out of its Tulsa headquarters, with final assembly performed both in Tulsa and in the Odessa location. The company acquires raw materials from regional suppliers and machines it into individual parts using CNC lathes and mills.
In addition to performing work in-house, Kline outsources manufacturing to partner companies. The company is looking to expand its manufacturing capacity through potential partnerships with other companies as well as through possible acquisitions.
Kline’s manufacturing partners are held to the same high standards of quality and craftsmanship as its own employees. Its quality system is designed to meet ISO 9001:2008 specifications.
“We have an extensive and thorough total quality management system that is as good as it gets in this industry,” Curtis Kline says. “We’re really focused on quality – we have a reputation based on the 30 years we’ve been in business. Our customers expect our products are going to be the best, and we can’t afford to let that slide.”
Kline works with the chamber of commerce in Tulsa to help promote itself to potential employees. “We’re working not just to build the business, but to get the word out that Kline is a great place to work – we’re very forward-thinking about the way we take care of employees and have a human resources department focused on employee satisfaction and development,” Kline says.