Pacific Perforating Inc. celebrates 50 years serving industry

April 09, 2019

RGL’s California subsidiary reaches business milestone

Fellows, CA – April 9, 2019 – When Taft businessman, the late John J. Miller, first opened the doors of Pacific Perforating Inc. in April of 1969, it wasn’t obvious that in 50 years’ time the operation would expand to 20 times the slotting capacity consisting of a modern API certified machine shop, slot seaming operation, and five hydrocrane trucks to deliver product.
This year RGL Reservoir Management Inc. is celebrating the golden anniversary of its subsidiary company Pacific Perforating Inc. (PPI) based in Fellows, California. The branch specializes in manufacturing oilfield casing into filtering mechanisms known as standalone sand control devices and has been successful in using innovation and technology to build value for customers by understanding their reservoirs and providing the right solutions for long-term performance.
The manufacturing facility is staffed by 25 dedicated employees responsible for outputting approximately 300,000 feet worth of sand and flow control devices per year. These products are used in production of the western states, including Colorado, California, New Mexico. In general, the facility serves a client base of about 10 major operators in and around Kern County, including three of the area’s largest landholders, Chevron, Aera, and California Resources Corporation.
The current RGL-PPI yard in Fellows, California.
Pacific is celebrating their last 50 years of business; however, their focus is on the future and demonstrating the value of RGL-designed innovative products for completing oil wells.
“We have the only seaming facility in the US and our CNC slotting machines are far more precise and efficient than anyone else can offer,” RGL US Sales Director Roger Miller explains. “Our first flow control devices have been installed and customers appreciate the proLAB™ engineering and test facility at the Canadian Headquarters, and the strong partnerships to academia, such as the University of Alberta. With RGL’s support, we are improving the way heavy oil wells are completed in California.”
A History of Growth
PPI’s beginnings stem from April 1969 when entrepreneur John Miller opened Pacific Perforating with a plant consisting of a 12-spindle slotting machine and pipe cleaning/de-burring system. Three employees ran the operation, with John’s wife Betty handling the company accounting. By the end of the first month of operation, Miller had secured deals with Getty Oil, Standard Oil, Victory Oil, and Atlantic-Richfield Oil.

The original Pacific Perforating facility
Eleven years later, the business had grown to the point that John asked his son Roger to leave his Public Information Director/Journalism instructor position at Taft College to run the business.

John-Miller-1976.jpg roger-miller-museum-mug-shot.JPG
John Miller in 1976                                  Roger Miller, RGL’s US Sales Director

In 1981, Sun Oil Company began a large drilling program near Taft.  With as many as five drilling rigs running simultaneously, Pacific began running 24 hours a day and seven days a week to complete orders. This demand lasted for five years, forcing PPI to order additional slotting equipment. This included a 20-spindle Keystone Schaffer slotter and new buildings with separate offices. At this point John and Betty semi-retire.
By the mid-1980s, PPI had initiated a Vendor Stocking program, which provided slotting to oil companies through Pacific and Kawasho Tubulars. But the price of oil drastically dropped from $25/bbl to $6/bbl. This meant that there were only two drilling rigs left running in California. Looking to build new clients outside of California, Roger reached out to find work internationally. He was successful in securing large orders from new customers in Abu Dhabi.
Going international became a necessity for a business that had prided itself in taking care of local customers.
“We have knowledge of every heavy (thermal) oil field in the county,” said Roger. “We know where the fields are, their characteristics and keep a database on completion methods that work best for that area and zone.”

John and Betty’s PPI branded boat

In 1996, PPI began working with Hydrill International and Sooner Pipe to secure international orders in Venezuela, Colombia, and Oman. Locally, ARCO and Berry Petroleum become steady customers.
When M&M Perforating of Taft sold out at auction, PPI stepped up to operate their machinery, which included a 26-spindle Hopper. In 1997, PPI secured a million-dollar order in Venezuela through Sooner pipe and PDVSA. It was this year that PPI was approached by G&L Slotco Oilfield Services owner, Troy Ducharme, to purchase the company. The sale allowed John and Betty to officially retire, leaving the operation to move outside Taft to a 12-acre yard. Pacific obtained API 5CT Quality License and by 2003, PPI became the vendor stocking supplier for Chevron, Aera, Berry, PXP, Seneca, Holmes, Saba, and E&B Resources—the majority of large California heavy-oil producers.
By 2014, PPI was reaching company sales records from slotted liners, trucking, threading, storage, and inspection. RGL Reservoir Management took over operation that same year.
Currently, sales of proSEAM™ (seamed slotted liner), proWRAP™ (wire wrapped screen) and proPUNCH® (punch screen) are growing. Last year California producers made the largest purchase of screen in history, thanks to RGL's proLAB suggestions, and the introduction of seaming and screens to the area engineers.

The seaming facility at PPI

A Well-Seasoned Team
Not many companies can say they’ve never been late on an order in 50 years. But Roger credits the success to PPI’s outstanding team.
“This is a well-seasoned team, and everyone has their special talent we can rely on,” said Roger.
Four of the PPI staff have been with the company more than 25 years, with manufacturing and delivery teams averaging more than 10 years’ experience.
“I believe PPI has been able to survive for 50 years because management has made a commitment to our customers and employees that we will weather poor economic times together,” said Garett Rogers, who has been General Manager for 16 years and worked at RGL’s Leduc facilities for eight years prior. “The level of teamwork really shows when times are challenging. At Pacific, everyone is willing to give their maximum effort to benefit the customer and the company. I also believe that our unmatched products, service, cutting edge equipment and proLAB testing has, and will, keep us in the well completions market for another 50 years.”

General Manager Garett Rogers, Machine Shop Foreman Robert Robison, CEO Rene VandenBrand, and Roger Miller
Machine shop foreman Robert Robison credits PPI’s positive reputation to friendships and a close-knit team.
“PPI has long-term, committed employees who are cross-trained and productive even when the oil industry is depressed. We all have each other’s back,” said Robison, who has been at PPI for 24 years. “We work with some of the top management people in the oil business. I appreciate when they take the time to visit us and thank us for the service we provide.”
Another long-time staffer, Shop Foreman Neil White, credits seeing the company invest in continual improvements and technology for their clients a factor in its success.
“We have people on staff who genuinely care about our customers,” said White, at PPI for his 25th year. “Continual improvement like seaming, proLAB™, and proWRAP™ screen help us stand out. Our technical approach to understanding heavy oil zones is improving the way wells are completed in California.”
Recent area projects are choosing RGL and PPI more than ever, such as Chevron’s tubing-deployed FCD design and seamed liner projects.
“This business is about relationships,” said Miller. “By having 50 years in the business, we have cemented many great associations with companies who appreciate our superior quality and service. Our customers know they can depend on us. When you look back at being involved with a company for 50 years, the words of poet Maya Angelou come to mind. 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' "

RGL Reservoir Management

RGL engineers and manufactures sand control and flow control products for highly challenging reservoirs. We use innovation and technology to build value for our customers by understanding their reservoirs and providing the right solution for long-term performance.

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