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Oklahoma business briefs for Feb. 6, 2020

Chesapeake Energy's corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City is pictured. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]
Chesapeake Energy's corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City is pictured. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES]


Sooner HR Society meeting to cover employment law

February’s meeting of the Sooner HR Society will focus on federal and state employment law updates, officials said.

Adam W. Childers, co-chair of Crowe & Dunlevy’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, will present “2020 Vision … What Does the Year Ahead Hold in Store for Employment Law in Oklahoma?” at the group’s monthly meeting.

The meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Norman Regional Hospital Education Center at 901 N Porter Ave.

Registration is available at


Chesapeake trust dividend set

Chesapeake Granite Wash Trust has announced it will pay a 3.7-cent fourth-quarter dividend March 2 to unit holders of record on March 2.

Officials said the dividend will distribute the revenue made from the sale of oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas produced by trust wells between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30.

During that period, the wells produced 20,000 barrels of oil, 42,000 barrels of natural gas liquids and 511 million cubic feet of natural gas.

The trust was formed by Chesapeake in June 2011 and owns royalty interests in certain oil and natural gas properties in the Colony Granite Wash play in Washita County.

Express Employment Professionals awarded

ClearlyRated has awarded Express Employment Professionals with its Best of Staffing Client and Talent awards for providing superior service to their clients and candidates, officials said.

Express received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 63.4% of their clients, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 24%. Nearly 68% of placed job candidates also gave Express a satisfaction score of 9 or 10 out of 10 compared to the industry average of 45%.

"Now more than ever, it is important for staffing firms to deliver consistently remarkable experiences to the clients and talent they work with,” ClearlyRated’s CEO Eric Gregg said. “This year’s Best of Staffing winners have shown their commitment to exceptional service, committing to not only measuring satisfaction, but taking action on the feedback.”

Eyemart Express celebrates 30 years in Oklahoma

Eyemart Express this month is celebrating 30 years in Oklahoma by giving back to the community, including school districts and military families in need at Tinker Air Force Base.

The optical retailer donated glasses repair and cleaning kits for students at Oklahoma City Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools. The company also provided 150 vouchers for free glasses to Tinker Air Force Base's Tinker Family Readiness Fund, which assists military families in need.

"We appreciate that Oklahomans have embraced our brand," said Bill Butler, Eyemart Express senior vice president of store operations. "We are proud to serve the Sooner State and look forward to strengthening our established relationships with local communities across it."

Trillium opens largest hydrogen transit refueling station

Trillium, a subsidiary of the Oklahoma City-based Love's Family of Companies, has opened North America's largest hydrogen transit refueling station in Santa Ana, California.

The hydrogen station will fill up a transit bus in six to 10 minutes, similar to diesel or CNG bus filling rates, making this the only zero-emission fuel choice that allows fleets to operate as usual. Ten buses are equipped for hydrogen, but the station allows the fleet to grow to 50 with only minimal additional capital costs.

“Trillium is excited to open this hydrogen fueling station, which will allow Santa Ana buses to run efficiently and produce no tailpipe emissions,” said JP Fjeld-Hansen, vice president of Trillium. “We appreciate that so many customers are trusting us to build their clean, renewable energy fueling systems. As more consumers demand clean, renewable energy, we stand ready to help them tackle these opportunities.”

UPT driver honored

United Petroleum Transports has named Houston owner-operator John Alexander as the company’s 2019 Professional Driver of the Year. Alexander was one of 12 nominees from a field of more than 600 drivers considered for the award by a committee made up of Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

“Our professional driver of the year and all of our nominees not only represent the best of UPT, but also the best of our industry because they have exceeded the high standards of safety and customer service that define our company,” Greg Price, its CEO, stated as part of the release.

Alexander has driven for 24 years and has worked for United Petroleum Transports since 2011. The company also named Drew Parsons of Oklahoma City as its certified safety trainer of the year, David Baxley of Oklahoma City as its recruit of the year and Joe Baca, of El Paso, Texas, as its technician of the year.


EES acquires company

Energy and Environmental Services announced this week it acquired Abilene Celex Services, a Texas-based oilfield chemical provider, for $325,000 on Feb. 1.

"Growth through acquisitions has proven successful for many companies in the past, and we believe and are hopeful our strategy will produce a championship-quality in our industry," Leon Joyce, EES’ CEO, stated as part of the announcement. "We are very excited about the individuals joining our team with the acquisition of Celex."

Management estimates EES' pro forma combined revenues for 2019 with Celex would have been about $9.5 million, with Celex contributing about $700,000 of that.

Established in 1991, EES blends, manufactures and packages custom liquids and solid chemicals for the oil, gas and agricultural industries. Recently, it expanded to develop enzyme system technologies and livestock feed supplements.


Pipeline sale announced

Saddlehorn Pipeline Company partners have sold a portion of their ownership of a line that carries oil and condensate from the Powder River and Denver-Julesburg Basins to Cushing to a new player, they announced this week.

The line, jointly owned by affiliates of Magellan Midstream Partners, Plains All American Pipeline and Western Midstream Partners, announced it sold 20% ownership in the line — 10% from Magellan and 10% from Plains — to Black Diamond Gathering, majority-owned by Noble Midstream Partners, for $155 million.

After the Feb. 1 deal, Magellan and Plains each own 30% of the line, while Western Midstream and Black Diamond each own 20%. The line continues to be operated by Magellan.

The line can transport 190,000 barrels per day of crude oil and condensate from the DJ and Powder River Basins to storage facilities in Cushing. Its capacity is being expanded to 290,000 barrels per day.

Energy partnership created

Clarion North America Energy announced a strategic partnership agreement with the U.S. Energy Storage Association, the national trade association for companies that develop and deploy energy storage technologies critical to modernizing the country's power grid.

By partnering with ESA, Clarion Energy North America events will increase and enhance coverage of energy storage and offer ESA members exposure to energy education, officials said. ESA member companies will present and speak at Clarion's events, including Full Conference Summit and Expo Hall Knowledge Hub content, preconference workshops and symposiums.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with ESA, the leading voice of the energy storage industry," said MaryBeth DeWitt, Clarion's senior vice president of North America Energy. "This partnership is a perfect alignment with many of our attendees and exhibitors who are interested in learning more about energy storage. Many are already implementing the technology at power plants and on the grid. At the same time, we feel ESA's members will benefit greatly from being involved with our events that have a deep history in the US electric power industry."

Persimmon Group names new president

Bill Fournet, Founder and CEO of the Tulsa-based Management Consulting firm The Persimmon Group, has named Sara Gallagher the company's new president. Fournet has been both CEO and president for the past 15 years. He will continue to be the company's CEO.

Gallagher has been a practicing consultant and global speaker for The Persimmon Group since 2012. She has served on the executive leadership team 2018 as vice president of delivery.

“This is something we have been working towards over the past year,” Fournet said. “For me to focus more on strategic initiatives, I wanted someone who I trusted could lead Persimmon in its day-to-day business with the same values, passion and focus on the customer. I found that in Sara.”

Persimmon also announced that Fournet is launching a new Persimmon initiative known as Lead for Tomorrow. The effort is a program of keynote speeches, workshops and strategic advisement for current and emerging leaders, delivered by Fournet.


SPP names additional execs

The Southwest Power Pool recently announced it promoted two into positions on its senior leadership team. The regional transmission organization’s board selected Sam Ellis to serve as its vice president of information technology and chief information security officer and Antoine Lucas to serve as vice president of engineering.

Ellis, formerly the pool’s director of cybersecurity and controls, and Lucas, formerly director of its transmission planning, stepped into their new roles Feb.1.

Barbara Sugg, named the organization’s president and CEO-elect earlier this month, formerly held Ellis’ new job. Lucas takes over for Lanny Nickell, who was recently promoted to be SPP's chief operations officer.

“Some of SPP’s greatest opportunities for advancement will depend on our ability to build and manage relationships with our stakeholders and to innovate. Both Sam and Antoine are exactly the kind of people we need leading us into the future,” Sugg said.

Staff reports