Doggett Makes $30 Million in Acquisitions to Expand in the Eagle Ford

Doggett Group Construction Equipment
Doggett Group Construction Equipment

Doggett acquired truck dealerships in Laredo, McAllen, and San Antonio in December. The deals create a network of dealerships that span the region and expand the company's influence in the South Texas Eagle Ford oil boom.

Doggett spent $30 million to acquire three Freightliner and one Western Star Trucking dealership.

Doggett Trucking Group acquired the dealerships from Opus Kane Truck Group and one from Eddy Vaughn Freightliner.

Prior to the deals, the company had almost 25 dealerships selling John Deere and Toyota Industrial Equipment across the Gulf Coast region.

Booming Trucking Industry in South Texas

The acquisitions complement the company's John Deere and Toyota Industrial Equipment dealerships across the region. Doggett has seen the equipment boom first hand and knows the trucking industry is flourishing as well.

Trucks are used to move equipment, supply oilfield development, move operational fluids, and transport oil. On this site alone, we've seen dozens of open driving jobs and thousands of applicants. The trucking industry has probably brought thousands of people to South Texas on its own. It's no surprise the company sees this portion of the industry as an area of growth.

The acquisition does just provide sales centers. The locations also provide additional service centers. It will be interesting to see if the dealerships acquired begin to offer services for the equipment Doggett sells as well.

Read more about the Doggett deals at

B/E Aerospace Acquires LT Energy Services & Wildcat Wireline for $265 Million

Halliburton Operated Wireline Truck
Halliburton Operated Wireline Truck

B/E Aerospace describes itself as the "worldwide leading manufacturer of aircraft passenger cabin interior products..." and the company now can boast about its Eagle Ford equipment rental and wireline businesses in South Texas.

B/E acquired LT Energy Services, an equipment rental company, and Wildcat Wireline who is also active in the Eagle Ford. The company spent ~$265 million to acquire the two companies.

The acquisitions of LT, headquartered in Houston, TX, and Wildcat, headquartered in Marshall, TX, continues our initiative to expand our consumables management segment into the oilfield equipment rental, logistics and services business. The acquisition of LT establishes a new geographical base of operations in the Southwestern United States.....The acquisition of Wildcat expands the Company’s service offerings in both locations.
— Amin J. Khoury, CEO

The two businesses had combined revenue of $125 million for the 12-month period ending September, 30, 2013.

Read the full news release at

Corrosion Control in the Eagle Ford Shale

Corrosion control is always a factor in oilfield work.  Above-ground tanks, pipelines, and all manners of equipment suffer from corrosion, both internal and external in nature.  The farther south and west one moves across the Eagle Ford play, the more two interesting physical facts come to dominate external corrosion control needs. Maverick, Dimmit, Zavala, Webb, La Salle, McMullen, Frio, Atascosa, Live Oak and Bee Counties have shallow soils which often contain large concentrations of chloride ion.  This comes from salt deposited when ancient ocean shorelines ranged across the region.  High chloride ion content causes aggressive corrosion rates on unprotected steel.  Just as importantly, the sodium and chloride ions, often found with other ions as well, cause the soil’s electrical resistivity to be very low.  The low electrical resistance means high corrosion current flows, which again accelerates attack on unprotected steel.  Pipelines are buried in this soil.  Tanks are set on it.

Even in the other counties in the play, external corrosion is a big factor.  Those soils are often clayey loams with varying amounts of gypsum and other water-soluble minerals.  So corrosion potential is high, no matter where you’re working.

Best Practices for Corrosion Control

Corrosion protection for these facilities should always include a combination of good coatings, good installation and inspection practices, and well-designed cathodic protection (CP) systems.  Here are some pointers for the southwesterly “half” of the Eagle Ford:

  • If constructing bulk above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), put a coating on the bottom plate before field welding begins.  This coating will give partial protection to the finished external bottom of tank.  This reduces the amount of protective electrical current needed.  It lowers capital costs for the CP system, AND can greatly reduce a monthly electric bill;
  • If high-voltage AC power lines are nearby, avoid setting up pipeline rights-of-way in “close parallel” to the AC lines!  With the low soil resistivities, high chloride levels, and good coatings, the AC-induced corrosion rates are EXTREMELY HIGH!  (An article about this risk will come soon.)
  • Holiday detection is even more important for coatings inspection on pipelines, tanks, and, really, on any paint job where the metal will be in soil or water contact.  Remember, too, that water gets everywhere, sooner or later;
  • Coat the bottom of every steel vessel before it is set – not just a paint, but a better-quality and thicker coating!  Dehydrator units, separators, bulk tanks all may be set on crushed rock or caliche, but the chloride ion will move to the metal – just by diffusion – and attack it over time.

These observations and recommendations are based on experience, not on “ivory tower” theorizing.

Basics of Corrosion Science

For those not so familiar with corrosion science, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. If we just talk about steel, it is not a “naturally occurring” material.  Iron ore is dug up, then combined in very hot furnaces with coke and other alloying metals.  The resulting steel is then cooled, shaped, and so on;
  2. A lot of new energy is added in the metal-making process.  As soon as this metal is put into the environment, Mother Nature’s electrochemical processes go to work.  Their goal is to turn steel back into iron ore – rust!  The reason?  All that energy put into the making of steel is now available to be removed.  One physical law is that everything, sooner or later, will be “taken back” to its lowest stable energy content;
  3. To prevent or slow down that rusting process, every piece of steel should be coated, maybe even inside as well as outside.  No water, either liquid or vapor, should be allowed to contact it.  Water is the major "rusting agent" around, even if just a vapor or a dewfall.  And there are plenty of other chemicals which may drive the corrosion process, chloride ion being one;
  4. Finally, in addition to the coatings, cathodic protection should be applied.  Coatings by themselves are not good enough, because there are always defects or holes in them.  And the cathodic protection should be sized to give protection for as many years as you want the structure to do its job.

Mr. Chapman is one of many professionals who will be contributing to If you have professional experience in the Eagle Ford and would like to be considered as a contributor, please Contact Us about guest blogging.

Equipment Delays - Margin Pressure in the Eagle Ford - Plains All American

Equipment delays in the Eagle Ford have slowed work on Plains All American's pipeline project, but the development is still on schedule to be fully operational in Q1 2013. The pipeline will provide 300,000 b/d of takeaway capacity into the Corpus Christi refining markets and connect to marine transport options delivering to other Gulf Coast markets. Plains All American also touched on the fact that pipeline and midstream company margins in the Eagle Ford will compress over time. At their estimates, pipeline capacity might double production expectations in the play. If that is the case, there will be downward pressure on margins. Unless production volumes continue to outpace expectations, that is a natural progression in midstream business cycle.

The company will also begin moving crude oil volumes away from trucking in favor of pipelines. Pipeline yield lower margins than many of the trucking and logistical arrangements in the play today.

We've had a little bit of equipment delays on the Eagle Ford and right of ways, and so that's caused a little bit of that to shift into the first quarter. But overall, we are on track, we think, to still bring enough pretty much at the point in time when we target to bring it online. We'll just have to work a little bit harder toward the end, but everything is proceeding right on schedule.

Will margins contract over time? - I think unless volumes significantly outperform what current expectations are, I think the answer is there will be some margin pressure with the passage of time. Clearly in today's environment, there's more volumes than there are takeaway capacity, but there's a lot of projects that are being built. I haven't done the tallies lately, John, but I think there were 7 different pipeline projects. And if you total them all up, we think it could be about double what the projected production capacity is expected to be. So this pure business 101 tells you, at some point in time, you're going to put a lot of pressure on margins. I think what we tried build into our expectations internally and what we're trying to manage externally is that clearly, we're making some great margins in certain areas. Trucks are very valuable. Truck drivers are very valuable today. And what we try to do is make sure that we use those to our advantage when we're trying to base load our pipeline project. And so we're probably making less than we could be making with certain customers. Because they're willing to support our pipeline project, we're willing to make sure their crude comes out of the market.'ll see volumes that are going to be shifting from our Supply and Logistics business over into our pipeline business. By definition, those are -- that's the cheaper form of transportation. And so the question really at that point in time is, do we -- if the business is in parity, then we'll end up parking some trucks. We're moving on to different parts of the U.S. If the answer is, by moving those barrels over to the pipeline, we free up trucks that can then reach out to grab more remote barrels in South Texas, then that's probably incremental opportunity than what we perhaps got built into our own expectations during the years. If you roll the clock out 3 or 4 years at some point in time, either volumes have to continue to go up or all these -- some of these pipeline projects have to not yet build or we're going to end up with margin compression.

Read a transcript of the call at