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Gas, oil services supplier Comtech to hire 200, expand Chevron links

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By Sam Spatter
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Washington County gas and oil services supplier, Comtech Industries Inc., says it plans to hire 200 workers in the next two years to help expand a partnership with Chevron Corp. and work with other energy companies.

Comtech president and owner Dean Grose said on Friday that he expects opportunities from his company's development with Chevron of a 1 million-gallon mobile tank that will improve transportation of drilling water and from work at drilling sites to clean wastewater.

“The new mobile tank will replace 50 of 150 smaller tanks and will carry 1 million gallons of water to sites being drilled by the gas and oil companies, then take waste water away,” Grose said.

Chevron was unable to get other large tank builders to construct the tank, “so it came to us,” Grose said.

“We worked with Chevron on it for about two years and finally were able to produce the mobile tank.”

A spokesman for Chevron confirmed it has been working with Comtech on the project.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, Calif., became a significant producer in the Marcellus shale region in 2011 when it purchased 486,000 acres of mineral rights, mostly in Somerset County, from Chief Oil & Gas LLC of Dallas and Tug Hill Inc., and bought Atlas Energy Inc. of Moon for $4.3 billion.

Chevron has an operations office in Smithfield in Fayette County.

“Another opportunity is our ability to turn dirty water into good water without adding fresh water,” Grose said. “We've worked at over 100 wells in the Marcellus Shale and are being asked to work on more.”

To clean wastewater at the wellhead, Comtech uses a mobile process of filtration and mediation, removing sediment, bacteria and dirt, then takes a sample of the water to its lab for testing, Grose said.

“We will be hiring 100 workers initially and another 100 the following year,” he said. “These will be jobs ranging from engineers to administrative to labor jobs.”

Comtech has 82 employees, Grose said.

For its expansion, Comtech tripled leased space in Building 1 in the Fort Pitt Industrial Park in Washington County. It has plans to build a 20,000-square-foot building next door and has purchased a vacant 150,000-square-foot warehouse (about three football fields in size) in the Canonsburg area.

“We will lease the new building and have a lease-to-buy option on it,” Grose said.

These new workers and support staff will be housed in a new building he plans to add to the recently purchased warehouse.

The expansion in its current building was handled by Mark Anderson and Gene Galiardi of Pennsylvania Commercial Real Estate Inc., representing the owner, David Stoehr of Stoehr Development Group Inc.

The Stoehr building, built in 2007 on 25 acres, features three drive-in bays, four cranes that can handle up to 30 tons, and an office.

Comtech began business in 1995. Its original focus was on selling chemicals for water treatment. In 2005, it started a division dedicated to the oil and gas industry. It now offers a number of services that include and reach beyond water treatment.

In 2008, the Comtech Constructors division was added to focus on industry boiler maintenance and repairs.

Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or sspatter@tribweb.com.

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