Keeping It Local
SandPro LLC’s goal to maintain local company with local employees
BERTHOLD – When partners set out to open SandPro LLC, an oil-field service company, their goal was to keep it local now and into the future.
“We’re a group of local individuals that got together and all of us worked with different corporations,” said Josh Blackaby, Health, Safety and Environmental manager/Operations Support for SandPro, LLC.
SandPro started with five partners including Blackaby and CEO Jake Feil. The company opened in January.
Blackaby and Feil spoke about their company at the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Committee recently.
Blackaby said he’s been working in the oil and gas industry since getting out of the Air Force in 2006.
“Our company is easily defined as we’re local people, like Josh said, in oil and gas,” said Feil. “We chose that for our career path and we were fortunate enough to gain experience with larger corporations.”
Blackaby worked with Hess Corporation and Feil worked on the service side with Cameron for a number of years and other companies.
Blackaby said there is a major issue with sand in the oil and gas industry.
The partners found there was a niche in the market and started SandPro.
“That’s where the name comes from. It’s a sand filtration company,” Blackaby said.
After the completion of the well, their company’s filters separate the sand from the oil and gas.
Blackably said the news traveled fast about their equipment. “When companies find out that something works, they’re happy to try it,” he said. “Our goal is to create a service company that’s No. 1 in the industry.”
Blackaby said they started in an office in the Brick Studio building in Minot and now are located in a facility just outside of Berthold.
He said they’ve also diversified and recently partnered with a wellhead automation company in Argentina.
In order for people to advance in their careers, Feil said, companies actually end up taking people out of North Dakota. “In order for me to advance my career I would have to be in Denver, Houston, etcetera. We’re family people,” he said.
He said they have partnered with the company in Argentina because it shares those same core values. “They’re fourth generation, privately owned and have been in business for 90 years. They’re going to help us bring technology, efficiencies, engineering capabilities to the table that we’re going to keep local here in the North Dakota oil field. Our primary goal is to create a company that people drive by, want to work there and are proud of working there,” Feil said.
Currently, SandPro has 21 employees. “We hire local including veterans,” Blackaby, a veteran of the Air Force, said.
“We are committed to training as many local people as possible in order to help us get to where we want to be,” Feil said. “We’ve received tremendous support from the community. We’re going to do our best to make North Dakota proud.”