OIL, GAS PRODUCTION Valerus, Brilex team up to make equipment

By Burton Speakman



Valerus, a Houston company, has formed a partnership with Brilex Industries to manufacture oil- and gas-production equipment in Youngstown.

The work will be done at a Brilex facility in Youngstown and will result in the addition of 30 jobs locally. Valerus will manufacture equipment for both the Utica and Marcellus shales at the facility.

The partnership will provide Valerus’ customers with access to production equipment more quickly — and at reduced transportation costs — while ensuring quality. Valerus will manufacture equipment that is in demand in the region at the site, according to a company statement.

Valerus considered a number of options in the Mahoning Valley before deciding on the partnership with Brilex, said Jud Morrison, vice president of production equipment for Valerus.

“If we hadn’t found the right partner, we wouldn’t have been comfortable with this relationship,” he said. “Brilex has a reputation for quality work and local knowledge.”

This is a good situation for the community because it means 30 additional jobs, with the opportunity for expansion as the Utica and Marcellus shales continue to develop, Morrison said. The company plans to start hiring immediately.

Manufacturing near the two shales is also good for customers because it reduces shipping costs and they can also drive a short distance to see the products and how they are made, he said. Work has already begun at the Brilex site.

By working with a local company, Valerus was able to begin work sooner and get products completed faster, Morrison said.

“Brilex is proud to bring its reputation for quality, efficiency and on-time reliability to Valerus gas-processing equipment. Our partnership with Valerus will benefit the local economy and bring value to the region’s growing oil and gas industry,” said Brian Benyo, president of Brilex Industries in a statement.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has been working with Valerus since December 2010 when chamber representatives traveled to Houston in an effort to attract new companies to the Valley.

Valerus continued working with the chamber, including making several visits to the Valley. During one such visit, the Chamber introduced Valerus representative, Nick Sajatovic, to Alex Benyo of Brilex, according to the statement.

The chamber went through a number of options with Valerus to make they knew all the possibilities that were available to them, said Sarah Boyarko, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, retention and expansion.

“This is a perfect example of the business opportunities the chamber tries to supply,” she said.

This partnership allowed a new company to come to the area, while helping a current company expand, Boyarko said. The hope is that several more business announcements will follow in the coming months.

“We have 28 good, solid leads,” she said.

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