A Green Revolution in Oil and Gas:
An Interview with Susanta Mohapatra, CEO and CTO of CrudeChem Technology
Meet Susanta Mohapatra, a visionary green chemist, and a relentless entrepreneur dedicated to revolutionizing the oil and gas industry. Armed with a passion for sustainability, Susanta embarked on a mission to replace toxic practices with eco-friendly alternatives. Holding dual titles as chief executive officer and chief technology officer, he spearheads growth strategies, fosters collaborations, and pioneers new technologies, propelling his company CrudeChem Technology to soar from a humble garage startup to a formidable $70 million annual powerhouse within just seven years.
At the heart of Susanta's success lies his specialization in team leadership, new technology and product development, and strategic growth. He founded CrudeChem Technology in 2016 alongside friends Jose Ojeda and Miles Grendel, driven by the ambition to engineer efficient specialty products for oil field and water treatment applications. Their journey unfolds in state-of-the-art laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge analytical tools that fuel the creation of innovative products. The company boasts modern reactors and blending equipment that manufacture specialty and raw materials, positioning CrudeChem as a trusted, low-cost, high-efficiency chemical and service provider.
With corporate headquarters in Brookshire, TX, as well as locations in Midland, TX, and Washington, PA, CrudeChem Technology's footprint spans nationwide. Its influence extends internationally, collaborating with operators, oil service companies, and distributors across the lower 48 states and beyond. Under Susanta's adept leadership, CrudeChem stands as an experienced, trusted leader in oilfield chemical solutions and services, seamlessly bridging innovation with environmental responsibility.
Did you always have an interest in the oil sector?
I did my PhD in oil and gas chemicals. I was a professor for a long time, often invited as a keynote speaker at prominent conferences. While I worked on green and renewable energy sources, I also recognized the need to make oil and gas production safer and more environmentally friendly. With the knowledge and expertise I had, I saw the opportunity to revolutionize the industry. We're developing both traditional and green products, making oil and gas production greener and safer. For instance, I hold patents for converting coffee grounds and woody biomass into biofuel.
What inspired you to start the company?
Entrepreneurship has always intrigued me. Observing the market downturn and the challenges many companies faced, I saw an opening to develop effective products. One Sunday, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I quit my job and began this new adventure the next day. Starting in my garage, I mixed products and shared them with clients. Their positive response encouraged me to keep going. What started with one product has now expanded to over 100. We've grown from small orders to a $70 million per year business.
Tell us a bit more about some of your services.
Our focus on infrastructure and service sets us apart. We've invested in advanced equipment like reactors and blenders. We even have our own trucking services and offer field technical support. Our mobile teams of technicians and engineers visit the field to ensure proper chemical levels and analyze water and oil quality. We're a comprehensive specialty provider, handling everything from designing chemicals to delivering them and offering field engineering support.
To what do you attribute CrudeChem’s extraordinary success?
Our success is a result of excellent products and exceptional service. We realized there was a gap in the industry—insufficient attention to service quality and scientific innovation. We've managed to keep technology and manufacturing costs low while providing top-notch products at competitive prices. By manufacturing our own products and focusing on service, we've earned customer loyalty. Their recommendations have been pivotal to our growth from a two-person team to over 50 dedicated staff members.
You do a lot for the community. Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation stems from my parents' teachings. My dad's mantra has always been, "Be a good human being. Prioritize goodness over money, and success will follow." In the past seven years, we've been actively involved in charity work, supporting communities and schools. My parents take pride in the positive impact we've made, which matters more to all of us than financial success.
Your academic achievements are impressive. How do they contribute to CrudeChem's innovation?
My educational background has been instrumental in driving innovation at CrudeChem. With a PhD in chemistry and postdoctoral work in chemical engineering, I've had a solid foundation to develop groundbreaking technologies. This knowledge has allowed us to create products that are not only effective, but also environmentally friendly. Additionally, being featured in esteemed publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, and The Washington Post has helped spread the word about our mission.