By David Conti
In his part of the expanding supply chain serving the oil and gas industry, Dean Grose considers time his “most valuable commodity.”
“I protect it with a passion,” he said recently in the North Strabane offices of Comtech Industries Inc., the water management company he founded in 1995.
For him that means flying his own jet so he can travel to Colorado and back in one day. For the gas exploration and production companies with which Comtech works, it means finding ways to deliver, treat and remove the water essential to hydraulic fracturing in a fraction of the time it once took, and less expensively.
For the future of Comtech, it means Grose, 49, of Eighty Four and his team are developing what they consider the well pad of the future.
“The speed with which you operate can set you apart,” he said, noting that permits for some of the wastewater treatment facilities he’s building take up to 16 months to secure. “We have to try to stay at the forefront.”
Doing so in an industry that is growing exponentially since drillers first tapped the Marcellus shale just a decade ago required Comtech to find a niche, Grose said. Getting into that niche has allowed the privately held company to increase its payroll to 137 employees, up from 28 workers five years ago, he said. He predicted revenue this year of $83 million, but did not provide previous years’ figures.