Pipe Pros LLC was founded during the depths of the oil and gas industry’s drilling downturn in 2009, but that didn’t impede its success. The company has grown substantially by providing top-of-the-line equipment and experienced field personnel to take care of its customers’ casing running and tubular services needs.
President Gary Edwards and Vice President Mando Valdez had worked together for many years, and when necessity met opportunity, they began their own casing and tubing company based in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“We found ourselves unemployed in 2009 and said, ‘Why don’t we start a small tubing company, fly under the radar and live happily ever after,’” Valdez says. “It was the worst time to start a business, but here we are five years later.”
The major competitive advantage Edwards and Valdez found at the time was that best-in-class employees could be handpicked because there were so many unemployed workers. “That was our business play – brand-new equipment along with highly qualified employees, and since it was such a tenuous time in the industry, we were the only specialty tubing company serving south Texas and other basins in Texas and Louisiana,” Valdez explains.
Casing and Tubing
Pipe Pros assembled a team of tubing running specialists that have a combined 30 years of experience and soon after added casing services to its portfolio. “The ‘big boys’ are predominately casing companies, so we thought we would start with tubing,” Valdez explains. “The reception was great so we got into the casing business six months later.”
Tubing equipment and services include hydraulic tongs, chrome handling inserts, power units, torque monitoring systems, hydraulic tubing catwalks and tubing handling equipment. Casing equipment and services include casing running and fill-up tools, handling equipment, pickup/laydown services, power tongs, torque monitoring systems and power units.
Because Pipe Pros is a younger company, it prides itself on having the newest equipment available for its customers. “Our competitors have been around for at least 20 years so one of the things that distinguishes us is our brand-new equipment,” Valdez says. “We hold high standards, and go above and beyond in our service.”
The company employs about 220 people and most are experienced in casing and tubing. All new hires – experienced or not – work under direct supervision. Safety training programs are integral and range from basic first aid to specific equipment safety, which ensure employees are equipped with the proper knowledge necessary to work in a clean and safe environment.
Pipe Pros is a member of ISNetworld and PEC-Premier, both of which are nationally recognized safety compliance programs. The company is committed to never beginning work until the safety of everyone can be assured.
“We make sure we meet the stringent industry standards,” Valdez says. The company’s health, safety and environment commitment policy ensures it maintains the trust of its customers, regulatory authorities and the communities in which it works.
One of the most significant challenges for Pipe Pros today is finding the right people for the job in each of its service areas, which is ironic because of the way the company started. “The biggest challenge is people and it has become a very tight market for skilled employees,” Valdez says. “We have continued to grow and the market has gotten more competitive. Our success and family oriented culture has brought a lot of additional employees to us through word-of-mouth that we are a great place to work. We focus on safety, customer service and fair value.”
The company partners with Turnbridge Capital, which provides additional resources to support its growth and investment in more equipment and human resources. This will allow Pipe Pros to expand its services to existing customers and into new markets.
Pipe Pros provides its services mainly in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin regions, as well as east Texas and southern Louisiana, but in the future it will also look to expand its footprint into the Bakken formation. “Our biggest focal point right now is to grow in the Permian Basin with our customers; it’s the place to be,” Valdez says. “We also desire to grow in other regions while maintaining our highest standards of service.”