An oil services company with 68 patents to its credit on Wednesday re-established its nearly century-old footprint in Tulsa.
Sercel-GRC celebrated moving into a more than $1 million renovation of a facility at 13914 Admiral Place, Suite B.
GRC, located on Apache Street near Tulsa International Airport since the 1970s, designs, manufactures, services and sells downhole pressure and temperature gauges and data acquisition equipment to the global oil and gas market. The company employs 71 people in Tulsa.
“We felt like we need a different kind of facility,” GRC President Bud Missel said before Thursday’s new conference. “The last one wasn’t built for purpose. We were able to take this facility and we basically built it around what we needed. So it’s very much oriented to lean manufacturing.
“We do a lot of technology products here. We have a great ability to test products as we go through the process. We have a full engineering team. This is basically our home office for the world.”
GRC’s new 61,000-square-foot center features an improved floor layout that increases manufacturing capability, efficiency and productivity. It will allow the firm’s manufacturing and assembly processes to be more streamlined to upgrade communication, routing time, cost and quality.
“You’ve had nearly 100 years of history here in Tulsa,” said Kian Kamas, the city’s chief of economic development in the mayor’s office. “You’re making that commitment for hopefully the next 100 years.”
Referring to GRC’s nearly six dozen patents, she added, “that is so incredibly important to recognize the role that innovation plays in the regional economy. To have a company that’s committed to innovating and being on the cutting edge, particularly in an industry where you could be anywhere around the world, it’s wonderful to have you in Tulsa.”
GRC has sales offices in Tulsa and Midland, Texas, five stock points and international offices and distribution networks in nine countries outside the United States, including Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela.
Geophysical Research Corp. became an independent company in 1971 when a group of Tulsa businessmen purchased it. France-based Sercel, a technology company, purchased GRC in 2012.
Amerada Petroleum Corp. created GRC in 1925 to investigate the possibility of applying geophysical methods to oil exploration.
Later, a team of scientists headed by Charles Miliken developed a mechanical tool to measure downhole pressure and temperature. Known as the Amerada Gauge, the tool enabled reservoir engineers and geophysicists to determine wellbore and reservoir capacity and performance.
“It’s really a great legacy,” Missel said. “Over the years, we’ve produced somewhere around 125,000 gauges out of our facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s a real good business in that we sell our products to bigger original equipment manufacturers.
“… Three of the four biggest ESP (electrical submersible pumping) companies are here in the Tulsa area. It’s just the perfect place to be.”
Actor Jason Lee talks about his new photo exhibit that is being shown at the same time as photos from Larry Clark's iconic photo book "Tulsa."