Small Kansas businesses hoping to cash-in on oil and gas prospects
By Anne Meyer
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
8:20 PM CST, November 27, 2012
Hundreds of small business owners attended a one-day conference in Hutchinson aimed at showing them how to cash in on the oil & gas industry.
If companies find new oil and gas reserves in South Central Kansas, it could create billions of dollars in revenue for the state. One small business in Rice county is already making millions.The plant just north of Sterling is a CSI of sorts. Chemists there are solving problems for oil and gas companies across the nation."Separating the oil from the water, or reducing scale, reducing bacteria," said JACAM President Jason West. "Any and all of those are the different types of things we will run into in a given day."That includes finding solutions to stop pipe corrosion, which is a major problem in the industry. Plus workers at JACAM make most of the chemicals on-site, which sets the company apart from its competitors. "The closest place you can find something like this is in Houston, Texas," said Owner Dr. Gene Zaid. "We are probably one of four or five manufacturers in the entire United States that has that capability and technology."Zaid's small business is making a big impact on the region's economy."We are now a $100 million a year company," Zaid said. "We are expected to grow even more and more." JACAM has some humble beginnings. The business started in the family's garage. They've been asked to move elsewhere, but the family is committed to staying in Sterling."I like it here, this is home," Zaid's plant has hired more than 150 people from Sterling, and will need more workers down the line. The family feels other small businesses have the potential to see the same success, without leaving Kansas. "There are so many different ways for a company, any company, to work in the oil fields and just a lot of different opportunities that will arise from this," West said. "I think it going to have far reaching affects hopefully."
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