There is heavy activity these days in the oil and gas fields of the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma. The crews of Galmor's, Inc. seem to be everywhere, performing a variety of services for energy companies.
Based in Elk City, Oklahoma, Galmor's constructs well sites, performs facility work, builds tank batteries, constructs gathering lines and pipelines, and does site restoration when an oil or gas well is completed and the drill rig moves on to another location.
The roots of the company go back to 1963, when Bob Galmor and partner Red Davis established an oil field supply business in Shamrock, Texas. Combining the names of the two partners, the business was named Damor Pump and Supply. That office continues in operation today.
In 1985, Steve Galmor moved to Elk City, Okla., where he rented a building and established a new oil field service company. At first work was scarce, and for the first six months Galmor and four employees slept in the company's offices. As oil and gas companies decided to give the new company work, the business began building a firm foundation for growth. Today the company has about 90 employees and has more than 200 vehicles and pieces of equipment.
Back across the state line in the Texas Panhandle, Galmor's has been installing lines for Plains Exploration & Production Company, which acquired Pogo Producing Company last November. Here in Wheeler County, they are building oil well pad sites and installing 6-inch and 8-inch pipelines through caliche rock to meet existing larger pipeline, most of which is less than one mile away. In places, they have had to trench to depths of 7 feet to install the line below other existing infrastructure lines, according to Galmor's Don Pennington.
A little farther north in Hemphill County, Galmor's has started a project near Higgins for Panther. They will be installing an 8-inch steel line 2-1/2 miles from a well to an existing pipeline.
"Basically Galmor's is in the business of satisfying customers," says Steve Galmor, who with his father, Bob, is a co-owner of the company. "Anything a customer asks for, Galmor's will bend over backwards to do, including locating hard-to-find parts no one else can find to repair old, outdated pump equipment. There aren't many oil- or gas-field jobs we won't take."
Over the 22 years Galmor's has been in business in Elk City, this attitude has earned the company the reputation for doing every job right, no matter how difficult or what unexpected challenges arise. It isn't surprising that Galmor's has served most of its clients for many years.
"They know that we will stick with a job until it's done right," says Galmor.
While Galmor's remains based in a small, rural town, its operations employ 21st century business practices and technologies. In 2000, Galmor's diversified.
"No more than 20 percent of our revenues comes from any one segment," Galmor says. "We don't want all our eggs in a single basket."
Basic markets are:
- Site preparation and restoration
- Pump repairs and parts sales
Galmor's projects require many types of specialized equipment. Construction of large-diameter underground pipelines employs big excavators as primary equipment to dig the deep, wide excavations necessary. In addition, sidebooms move and position heavy lengths of pipe and move excavated dirt.
Galmor's operates excavators of different sizes, but for smaller-diameter gathering lines, trenchers are more productive — while excavators dig a short segment of trench and must be repositioned to extend the excavation, trenchers can dig continuous lengths without stopping. To trench through the sand and caliche in this part of the plains, Galmor's has rented a Ditch Witch HT220, a heavy-duty track-mounted model to dig trenches 18 inches wide at 6-foot depths with a digging chain equipped with conical bits. Spoil is discharged by a conveyor system that can deposit dirt on either the left or right side of the trench.
Galmor's son, Levy, has been the primary operator of the machine, and he says it averages 15 feet to 16 feet of trench per minute of trench 6 feet deep, 18 inches wide through a variety of soil conditions including black clay, shale, gypsum, and sand. He adds the conical bits work well in most conditions except sand.
"Also, by using a trencher, spoil distribution is very consistent, which creates an almost effortless cleanup," adds Levy Galmor.
Operations manager Russell Freas adds the trencher is good for installing pipe to 12 inches in diameter. Gathering lines going from the well site typically require pipe from 2 inches to 8 inches in diameter and usually are 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet in length. All of Galmor's pipeline construction meets federal DOT (Department of Transportation) standards.
Operations manager Freas says Galmor's standardizes on brands of equipment to minimize the quantities of parts that must be inventoried. Service is essential and a key factor in making purchasing decisions.
Reflecting on Galmor's history, Steve Galmor observes that many of the people who helped get the company started are gone, retired or passed on.
"Before too long," he says, "all the early contacts will be gone, and we will depend on the newer relationships developed by our younger managers and employees. The circle gets bigger."