Greensburg — Oil supply and service companies across Kansas say the devastating tornado that hit Greensburg will have a serious impact on their industry.
Greensburg, which suffered massive damage in a tornado last Friday, was a central outpost for most oil producers in Kansas and was home to several oilfield supply companies.
John Weir, with Wichita-based Oil Producers Inc., said that the Kiowa County town must recover.
TGT Petroleum, which is based in Wichita, essentially was shut down by the tornado because of the extensive damage to other oil supply and oil service companies in Greensburg and to the town's infrastructure.
"I lost all of my support services," said Lynn Herrington, executive vice president of Wichita-based TGT. "The trucks that haul the water from our wells, that haul our oil and oil-field products, the stations where we buy gas and diesel fuel, the shop where we get our pickups fixed, the courthouse where we file our paperwork, the mailboxes where we get and send mail. Gone. All gone."
Greensburg was home to oilfield supply companies such as Kiowa Supply, Greensburg Oil Field Services, Volz Oil, Scott Oil Field Construction and Apache Supply.
Bill Gibson, who has been coordinating efforts to get Greensburg Oil Field Service's trucks back in service, said his business had less damage than most and would be one of four businesses in Greensburg that would resume work as soon as utilities were restored.
But he said the damage and loss suffered by other companies was heartbreaking.
"The oil and gas industry is like one big family," he said. "Everybody knows everybody. A bunch of us have worked for one another at one time or another or bought supplies from one another or been associated in some way."
The pain is especially acute for Volz Oil owner Norman Volz, whose wife and business partner, Beverly, died in the storm, as did his only employee, Larry Hoskins. Volz also lost his house.
Oil Producers owns Kiowa Supply and Apache Services. Kiowa Supply was destroyed. Apache Services had only minor damage but is being used as a fire department command center.
Oil Producers will operate out of Mullinville until it can rebuild in Greensburg.