Headquartered in Houston, Texas, and with locations across multiple continents, Economy Polymers & Chemicals proudly serves as the world’s largest manufacturer of high-viscosity guar gum, and the largest supplier of oilfield guar in the world. Still, every story has a beginning, and Economy is no different. The multinational company got its start with humble beginnings.
It was February 19, 1951 when Lawrence Walton opened the business — originally known as Economy Mud Products — out of Houston’s Southern Pacific building. A native Texan with a background in oil and gas, he hoped to make economical drilling fluids available to the Houston market. Lawrence’s endeavor took off, and he found the company growing stronger and larger as the years progressed. As his business grew, so did the science behind his products.
Economy Mud Products moved to 3509 West Dallas Street and began selling drilling muds and chemicals for use in drilling and mining.
In 1964, Economy team members invented the industry’s first bentonite slurry, Liquid Poly Gel. The groundbreaking product, developed in a kitchen sink using Mrs. Walton’s cake mixer, aided oil and gas by producing a protective barrier along the ground. No other companies had implemented such a technique at the time. Guar polymer slurries — the predecessor to many patented procedures and chemicals — came that same year.
Economy began manufacturing and distributing guar polymers, a cornerstone of the company’s modern-day business. At about the same time, the company changed its name to Economy Polymers & Chemicals to better suit its full line of products and services.
Construction of a new CMHPG HPG (hydroxypropyl guar carboxymethyl) plant to aid in guar production and distribution.
Economy invented FHHV guar, a variety geared specifically for the oil and gas industry.
An ongoing drive to improve practices, Economy creates a drive for powder-to-water production. That same year, the company built equipment to prove the method’s viability.
Drawing on the company’s goal of not merely making a profit, but improving the world around them, Economy began implementing more sustainable practices. New water recycling techniques made their appearance, as did funding for agronomy projects aimed at improving growth in desert regions. That same year, Economy educated Indian farmers on growing techniques which had proved successful in Texas.
The company obtained status as the world’s largest supplier and manufacturer of oilfield guar. That same year, the company financed research to develop a new variety of guar seed for use in desert areas. Following a campaign to educate guar farmers on proper growing methods, the company gave away seeds to encourage cultivation of this new crop variety.
Construction of a large warehouse improved storage capabilities for crop reserves — an important addition for guar-dependent companies.
Numerous patents, proprietary products and employees joined the family-owned company through the years. And, although plenty has changed since 1951, Economy’s overarching goals remain unchanged. The company prides itself on delivering quality products, innovating industry-leading production methods and chemicals, and making a positive difference to those the company serves.
Today, Economy owns and operates a range of subsidiary companies, and takes steps to encourage sustainable growth of sought-after guar gum crops — not only to ensure acreage moving forward, but to improve the lives of those farmers who grow the sought-after crop. Global knowledge. Innovative solutions. Economy is bringing something better to the world of polymers and chemicals.