$30 million oil and gas facility opens in Midland after Odessa turned it down

MIDLAND, Tx (KOSA) -- Weir Oil and Gas opened the doors to its new building on Thursday, marking the completion of a $30 million project that will support 150 local jobs.

“Very excited that Weir chose Midland,” Mayor Jerry Morales said. “It’s a great economic agreement, and the long-term seems strong for Weir and Midland, Texas.”

Weir has been in the process of creating the headquarters facility for years, but back in 2017, it was actually the City of Odessa that was offered first dibs.

“We went through over nine months of contract negotiations and incentive negotiations and project development,” Odessa Director of Economic Development Wes Burnett said. “[We] brought it to the Odessa Development Corporation. They approved. Went to the city council, and they found reasons for not wanting to move forward with that project.”

The reasons given by council members included differing information in documents that were presented to the council, and the project’s proposed site in Midland County.

“In Midland County, but it was in the City of Odessa,” Burnett said. “The fact of the matter is we have city limits that are in Midland County. At the end of the day we believe it would have been a great project for Odessa, and it’s unfortunate it didn’t come, but that's the way it is.”

Where Odessa had passed, Midland saw an opportunity.

“Our Midland Development Corporation gave a call to Weir just to see what their needs were, because they were talking about going to Oklahoma,” Morales said. “So on that phone call, we were able to find out that we did have the land, and the incentives were very doable. We just needed to understand how many employees and so forth. Really that’s how we got Weir today.”

The Odessa City Council’s decision on Weir was cited by some residents as an example of why the city needed reform during the last election.

“I think it influenced where we are today as far as the number of council members and the mayor having a vote,” Burnett said. “I think it definitely had an impact in that.”