Business Matters 2020 - Page 17

With 47 years in the energy industry, OMNI’s Lenny Dupuis says he has never encountered anything like the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created. Large companies may sometimes be seen as slow to adapt to changes in the market and the environment. OMNI Environmental Solutions, with operations in Center, dispels that notion with quick and decisive action in dealing with the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. From top to bottom, the nationwide company’s reaction was rapidly implemented and continues to evolve as more details and scientific evidence is revealed on the pandemic, according to Leonard “Lenny” Dupuis, regional manager for the company’s Haynesville Environmental Services division based in Center. OMNI Environmental Solutions has historically had a focus on safety, the environment and taking care of its staff of dedicated workers, contractors and vendors, he says. This past March, with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, a whole new approach to operations was implemented with a focus on continuing operations for the essential services the firm provides in a safe manner, Lenny says. “Our business has changed considerably,” he says. Bobby Head, plant manager for OMNI’s Center operations, said the COVID pandemic and the potential it held company officials “We started watching it real close in February because we heard about it and kept and eye on it and then it really caught fire and took off in March,” Bobby says. “We were already taking some precautions, but at that time we didn’t expect it to turn into what it has turned into.” For OMNI, with operations tied directly to the oil, natural gas and energy industries, about the same time the pandemic struck oil prices plunged. “It was like a slap in the face. When COVID hit in March, it was like things were clicking right along. We went home on a Friday, and by Monday the price of oil had dropped by $25 a barrel,” Lenny says. While he has seen a lot of up-and-down cycles in the energy industry in his 40-plus-year career in the field, nothing compares with what he and the industry have gone through in 2020. “As soon as the COVID hit, with the rigs we service, we had requests for people to stay home and do business out of their homes, sales people had to operate out of their houses,” Lenny says. “From our standpoint, we took every employee we had every morning or evening as they came in and did a safety meeting where they had to answer questions about whether they’d been around anyone whose been infected and we took their temperatures.” he says. “We’re an oil field service company and and environmental services company with operations all over the United States,” Lenny says. “What we do here in the Haynesville area is service the oil rigs, we recycle oil based cuttings.” Those cuttings are a by-product of drilling for oil and natural as the drilling goes down the hole with mud, which serves as a lubricant for the drilling bit, the dirt, the rock, the shale — all of that comes back up with diesel mixed in with it, he says. All that waste material is brought in to the OMNI plant and processed through a thermal absorption unit so the diesel is recovered. “That diesel is sold to refineries or to people who blend oil-based mud,” Lenny said. A dry material also comes out of the material being recycled and used as a backfill for commercial and industrial projects. Bobby said the Center operations employ about 65 people who continue to be checked every time they report for work. “We operate 24/7,” he says. Another part of the Center operations is transportation of moving the cutting from the rigs to the OMNI plant. OMNI also operates a vacuum truck service, which hauls the production waste, the water or whatever is needed, which is the CHI part of the location operations. “The Rig Tools part of our business includes rentals, frac tanks, pumps, all of the service rentals a rig needs to operate, we can provide that on a rental basis,” Lenny said. Lenny says the firm’s office doors were locked. “If we didn’t know you, or you didn’t call or have an appointment, you didn’t come in,” he AT A GLANCE WHAT: OMNI Environmental Solutions; CHI; and Rig Tools Inc. WHO: Leonard Dupuis, Regional Manager – Haynesville Environmental Services; Bobby Head, Plant Manager WHERE: 545 Loop 500 Center, TX 75935 WHEN: Offices open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and by appointment PHONE: (936) 572-3471 WEBSITE: Business MATTERS | 2020 Fall Edition 17