Southwest Oilfield Products
Sometimes all it takes is one great idea to set a series of significant events in motion; and that was the case for Southwest Oilfield Products (SWOP) in 1947. Founded by the Leman family, the Houston-based manufacturer designed and introduced the first bonded fail-safe piston to an industry on the verge of an explosive boom.
Time-tested Design and Technology
The first of its kind, one-piece bonded design eliminates leakage points, is resistant to abrasive fluids and allows for greater diameters as the liner wears. Today, SWOP’s signature fail-safe piston has remained virtually unchanged, serving the oil and gas industry time and time again for 66 years.
“We led the industry with this product and others followed suit,” shares Paul DeWeese, president and CEO of SWOP. “We cut out a good niche in these products early on and it’s really helped pave the way for our success.”
With the same commitment to improved and innovative engineering, SWOP has established itself as a premier oil and gas equipment manufacturer, providing a global customer base with the best-in-class well servicing equipment and mud pump parts, service and repair. The company manufacturers, rugged, reliable equipment durable enough to stand up to the harshest industry conditions, including mud pump fluid-ends, frac pumps, coil tubing units and injectors, nitrogen pumping units, snubbing units, acidizing units and much more.
With 66 years of industry-leading experience, SWOP is renowned for delivering high quality mud pump fluid-ends and consumable parts such as pistons, liners, valves and seats to drilling companies across the globe.
“We have two divisions; our well servicing equipment and pump manufacturing arm,” shares Gordon Mishler, vice president of sales and marketing for SWOP. “We make the equipment that well service companies use to drill a well, service a well, lengthen its life span or increase production.”
While SWOP remains Houston-based with a 100,000-square-foot facility and an additional 30,000-square-foot well servicing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, the company supplies on a global scale. “We sell equipment to about 70-plus countries worldwide, especially in the Middle East,” details Gordon.
Innovation in Motion
SWOP’s engineers are constantly looking to improve material technology, failure analysis, machining tolerances, surface finishes, heat treating techniques, surface coatings, forging technology, welding practices and assemble techniques. From the first fail-safe piston, SWOP’s intent has always been to lead the charge in fluid end and expendables design.
“This industry has changed a lot over the past 66 years,” reveals Gordon. “We’re doing more and more mud pump conversions and retrofits, because drilling used to occur at 5,000 pounds per square inch [psi], but equipment needs to withstand 7,500 psi nowadays. The higher pressure pumps allow operators to drill wells faster and more efficiently. We anticipate the demand for these high pressure conversions to continue and eventually become the industry norm.”
Due to a variety of benefits, including ease of maintenance, reduced maintenance expense and a robust design, SWOP’s two-piece, L-shaped fluid ends have become the recognized industry standard. SWOP’s fluid ends are manufactured from heat-treated 4130 forgings and equipped with a quick-chance valve cover system and an L-shaped module for unmatched performance.
“We’re improving our fluid end technology for well servicing,” continues Gordon. “Like pistons in a car engine, there are usually three or five cylinders, but the new design is a multi-piece block. The individual cylinder makes maintenance better, cheaper and easier for our customers.”
SWOP completes design and assembly in-house; therefore, supplier relations are a big part of business. According to Gordon, the company’s relationships with suppliers are critical. “Like anyone in the manufacturing industry we rely on the part suppliers we know and trust,” he adds.
In the cyclical-by-nature oil and gas industry, Gordon notes SWOP manages to stay ahead of the competition as an aftermarket business. “Our niche is a little more predictable,” he explains. “We do our best to earn more market share by effective delivery, innovation and competitive pricing, but there isn’t one particular thing that makes the difference; it’s a collaboration of all services.”
Although SWOP realized some setbacks in 2008 and 2009, Gordon explains that the company is quickly getting back on track. “Things slowed down, but didn’t grind to a halt,” he shares. “We’re pushing to get back to where we were and it’s working.”
For 66 years, SWOP has set the industry standard for oil and gas pumping and well servicing equipment by remaining on the cutting-edge of technology and design. From the revolutionary fail-safe piston to 7,500 psi fluid end upgrade packages, Southwest Oilfield Products generates better, faster, cost-saving solutions.