In the latest issue of Drilling Contractor magazine, Barrett Zuskind, Vice Chairman of the IADC Permian Basin Chapter, discusses how curiosity can lead to opportunities for professional growth.
Zuskind’s interest in the oil and gas industry began in childhood. His grandfather – who owned a pipeline company – would take him to visit the rigs and the crews. By the time he was in high school, he knew he wanted to learn as much about drilling rigs as he could.
Due to Zuskind’s curious nature, his career in the industry has spanned several sectors of oil and gas drilling including casing and pressure control equipment sales, operations management, and running an oilfield equipment sourcing and repair company.
According to Zuskind,
“It’s important to see and do as much as possible. If you get a chance to work with equipment you’ve never worked with before, say yes. Volunteer to work in different areas. You never know what’s going to be critical.”
Throughout his time studying petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma, Zuskind spent his time interning wherever he could. By the time he entered senior year, he already had several full-time job offers from drillers, operators, and service companies.
He joined Unit Drilling as an operations engineer and quickly worked his way up to Gulf Coast Engineering and Sales Manager. After spending three years with Unit, Zuskind built up his experience working for several oilfield service companies. In 2020 he decided to go into business for himself. That year, he founded Z-Tex Services, a consultancy that sources and refurbishes aftermarket rig equipment for drillers and operators, mainly in West Texas.
“At the time, I saw that a lot of companies were good at handling their own one or two pieces of equipment, but I didn’t see any companies that were good at everything. So I formulated this plan to be a one-stop shop for drillers. If you had a leaking cylinder, call Barrett. If your BOP needs a recertification, call Barrett. If you need a mud pump overhauled, call Barrett. It took some time, but we’ve grown a customer base that now really understands and enjoys the concept.”
Zuskind first got involved with IADC while he was working at Unit Drilling, mainly as a means to network with others in the industry. Since then, his involvement has grown through the newly reinvigorated IADC Permian Basin Chapter. He served as Events Chair in 2022 and as Vice Chairman this year.