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Contractors continue work on BHP’s new Pecos office

While oil prices have fallen by more than 60 percent in the past year, construction continues at the future site of Broken Hill Proprietary-Billiton (BHP) office, just east of State Highway 17 exit off of Interstate 20. Situated just off the north service road and, one block south of the Reeves County Hospital, the new facility will house space for over 100 employees according to Jayrl Strong, BHP Billiton spokesperson. “Generally [speaking], the building will provide offices for those running our day to day operations in the Permian Basin,” Strong said. He added that these day to day operations would include such aspects as well drilling and completion, production, as well as worker health and safety, and environmental.

BHP, the Australian oil and mining conglomerate, has been in the area for the past four years, since its acquisition of Arkansas-based Petrohawk. The company acquired leases in both northern Reeves and Loving counties in the Delaware Basin, which is considered some of the most productive sections for horizontal drilling and fracking, with multiple layers of oil beneath the surface.

Completion of the 24,000-square-foot office building is expected around July of 2016, Strong said that with the Permian Basin being  an “emerging play in our shale portfolio,” the company aims to achieve a production rate of over 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, up from its currently level of 30,000 boe per day.

According to contractors on the site, the progress has been steady, as crews prepare to pour the more of the footing and additional piers for the new facility on Friday.

“We poured 140 yards last Friday, and we are looking to do the same amount this Friday,” Jeremiah McClane, operator for C - Concrete Construction, a subcontracted company out of Brownfield-Seagraves area.

FEHRS Contractors, who were also on-site were running the first power drop to the new facility, added that the piers that were about to be poured were to be deeper than typical. “These are going to be set at six to eight feet below ground surface to add stability in case of flooding or heavy winds,” explained Frank Loewen Roustabout Manager for FEHRS.