Cougar Fuel Systems is expanding its capabilities to serve the oil and gas industry out of its headquarters in Houston.
If a generator loses power and a rig stops working, it can be detrimental to the operator because any time lost will result in financial repercussions. As a trusted provider of power generation fuel systems, Cougar Fuel Systems knows how important it is to have reliable power. The Houston-based company has made a name for itself delivering complete, comprehensive and code-compliant fuel systems and controls for diesel-driven generators, boiler and fire pump installations.
Cougar Fuel Systems got its start serving the commercial and institutional industries and thereby played an integral role in keeping crucial operations such as hospitals and data centers running smoothly. A few years ago, the company was ready to extend its service offerings to a new industry with power generation needs, and its Texas location made the decision a no-brainer. “Being located in Houston, it was inevitable that we would want to start tapping into the oil and gas industry,” says Daniel Leos, who runs the marketing department and supports the product development side of the business.
The company began working with Drillmec, an international designer, manufacturer and distributor of drilling and workover rigs for onshore and offshore applications, which happens to also be based out of Houston. “They brought us on to do fuel systems for offshore rigs,” Leos says. “It was very exciting to be part of that team. We took what we had learned from our commercial experience and brought it over to the oil and gas side.”
It’s the same kind of concept Cougar Fuel Systems used for the commercial market except on a much larger scale and with a lot more at stake – that’s because generators for offshore rigs are meant for primary power. Generators for commercial applications are an emergency power source that only kicks in when, say, a hurricane passes through and knocks out power. Offshore rigs, on the other hand, rely on generators just to be up and running, so developing a failsafe fuel system for a primary power source is something Cougar Fuel Systems takes seriously.
“Even though we don’t make the equipment that’s drilling the oil, our equipment is supplying diesel fuel for the generators that enables the drilling to take place,” Leos notes. “If the generators aren’t working, there’s no power and in turn no drilling. So we know it’s an important piece of equipment that needs to work correctly, and we pride ourselves on being able to accomplish that.”
All Systems Go
One thing that sets Cougar Fuel Systems apart is its ability to offer complete system solutions.
“Instead of trying to outsource multiple pieces of equipment from different manufacturers and have contractors install it on site with the hope that it all works together, we offer the capability of building complete packaged systems,” Leos says. “We don’t want to sell just a pump or a filter – we want to sell a properly assembled packaged system that’s been tested in our facility. Once it gets on site, the end-user won’t have to worry about the equipment not operating correctly.”
Aside from the fact that all systems are fabricated on site and undergo a thorough quality check before they leave the shop, Cougar Fuel Systems is committed to staying on the leading edge of tech innovation. The company always is looking for ways to enhance its fuel systems by incorporating new features to improve the customer experience. This includes advanced safety elements such as fail-safe redundancies and log-in alarm histories that can be accessed and monitored from remote areas.
“We know fuel systems are a very critical system, so we strive to build reliable, robust and user-friendly ones that can hold up to everyday use,” Leos says. “The end-user can walk up to our system and easily review the system status. They can look at the alarm history and troubleshoot just from looking at the touch screen.”
Thanks to a steady growing customer base, the company is looking into expanding its work force to stay on top of its workload. “We definitely want to add a few more people to work in our shop so we can continue to grow our capabilities,” Leos says. “Based on the projects we’ve forecasted for 2015, we know we are going to be in the need for manpower and plan to increase our employees to make sure our lead times stay consistent with what we’ve been able to achieve in the past.”
Although Cougar Fuel Systems hasn’t been in the oil and gas industry for very long, Leos believes the company has been well received. “It’s new to us, but we feel like we’ve made a lot of headway in the last couple of years,” he says. “We feel there is a void in what our competitors are doing with diesel fuel systems and controls. We strongly feel that our experience and comprehensive system approach sets us apart.”
The company would like to continue diversifying into new market segments and eventually expand its geographical reach to serve customers nationwide with an eye on international opportunities. “We’re positioned very strongly just from our geographical location in Houston, but it is a goal to continue to grow the business to where we’re selling outside of Texas and throughout the U.S. as well as pursuing opportunities in Mexico,” Leos says. “We’re very excited about the future possibilities.”