A few more doors have opened for those needing expertise nearby when something breaks in the oil patch. Two repair centers, including one that targets offshore operations, have recently opened in the Houston area. Among the latest additions to the area’s oil and gas community is Bosch Rexroth, which recently marked the opening of its new marine and offshore technology center in Houston. The 2,609-sq-m (28,080-sq-ft) facility offers applications development support along with field and service-based repair, warranty, and maintenance programs for Rexroth mobile and industrial hydraulic products, which include pumps, motors, and large hydraulic cylinders used in offshore rigs. The center is good news for those in need of such services. The center had repair orders almost immediately upon locating in Houston, said Tor Jensen, the center’s director. “The greatest need for service is in the installed base that we already have out in the field – especially on the equipment on rigs and deck machinery on ships in the Gulf of Mexico,” Jensen said. “Putting a technology and service center in Houston gets us much closer to these customers. … The region desperately needed an authorized service and repair facility; that’s why we’re here.” The center comes a couple of years after the German-headquartered company restructured its activities, with a key objective being to establish a global focus on specific industry sectors. Ron van den Oetelaa, the company’s vice president of global sales, spoke about this effort during the June 20 grand opening event. The marine and offshore sector was defined as one of the sectors with major growth opportunities due to the need for energy around the globe, he said, also noting the sector is challenging from a technology perspective with increasing well depths and new regions with more extreme environments. “For me, therefore, [it is] an industry sector where we can really breathe life into the three main elements of our vision and strategy: leading-edge technology, strong responsibility [to help minimize risk], and global partnership,” he said. Getting access to technology and expertise can be an inconvenience. And downtime costs can be immense, noted Mike Rowlett, CEO of Womack Machine Supply, a distributor partner of Bosch Rexroth. The center provides a local source for advanced engineering application development, testing, repair, field service, and start-up assistance, he said. Bosch Rexroth wasn’t the only company that opened a center in Houston recently. Omega Well Monitoring announced in June the opening of its Houston repair and calibration center for the company’s downhole memory and permanent gauges. The center will service the US and Latin America and serve as a sister facility to a similar one in Calgary. The center recently oversaw four permanent monitoring systems being installed for Talisman Energy in the Eagle Ford shale play, according to a news release. “Omega has installed over 1,200 systems worldwide, but these are the first installations in this growing play,” Omega USA account manager Amy Dangas said in the release. “We are excited about moving into the Eagle Ford South Texas region. This is a new play for us and represents an opportunity to prove our tools in this environment. We’ve recognized the growth in Texas, and our new facility in Houston will help us support our customers here.” Such centers could prove beneficial for anyone seeking expert advice or repair services from personnel specifically trained by the manufacturer. These centers also are providing jobs, proving again that the oil and gas industry is doing its part to stimulate the economy. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at vaddison@hartenergy.com.