Top 50

Top 50: When Flat is Fine Eunice company rides the oil-price wave, which involves crests and troughs.

by Chelsea Yaeger

Ed Caswell II
Photo by Robin May

After nearly three years of falling oil prices, it’s not uncommon to hear executives in the oil patch express optimism that revenue has finally flat-lined.

Waveland Services is no exception. The Eunice-based sandblasting and paint-contracting company founded by Ed Caswell II has been maintaining offshore oil well structures for the past 21 years. Like scores of companies not directly involved in drilling, Waveland is vulnerable to the ups and downs of an industry that crests on the price of a barrel.

Caswell, who serves as CEO, says the maintenance work his company does is “on the structures themselves that hold the wells up.”

Though locally owned, Waveland has done work in California, Trinidad and along the Gulf of Mexico from Brownsville, Texas, to Mobile, Ala.

“We do surface preparation and painting. Corrosion control to stop the rust, [which] degrades the integrity of a platform, and it may become unsafe,” the CEO notes.

Even with the oilfield recession, Waveland’s revenue rose $3.2 million between 2015 and 2016; Caswell says business picked up because “some of the deepwater offshore structures started producing and needing maintenance.”

But he doesn’t expect his company’s revenue to continue rising this year: “I’m optimistic that it will be pretty flat,” he says. “The price of oil is still under $50, and offshore, that’s not enough for them to increase any sort of maintenance budget, so it looks like it will be a flat year.”