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After decades of serving in Oklahoma oil fields, Murray Services is primed to improve industry efficiency while furthering goals in environmental stewardship.

Murray’s TuffBase, a plastic platform that can be assembled and placed underneath oil storage tanks, is behind this industry shake-up. The platform limits corrosion and extends the life of the tank by separating the metal tank from the ground.

The idea for the TuffBase didn’t come from an engineer, but from Joe Kokojan, director of new ventures at Murray Services, who earned a business degree at Oklahoma University. He says it was less about being an expert engineer and more about solving a problem.

A tank that sits in moisture can corrode in a single year, causing environmental risk.

“I knew there had to be a better solution,” Kokojan says. “I was at home with my wife and I created the first version [of the TuffBase] in Popsicle sticks and I knew that I could take that to a design engineer and work on it.”

Other solutions included a lot of labor and expensive materials. But the TuffBase can be moved easily with a forklift and each piece locked into place by just two workers.

“The whole goal with TuffBase was to make something we could set up in less than a minute, and that’s what it is,” Kokojan says.

After a year of designing, patenting and engineering, the TuffBase was ready to be deployed. Their first sales happened right here in Oklahoma starting in 2016.

“We moved to full-scale sales and had some success, but it was educating people on the new product,” Kokojan says. “In 2017, it’s really ramped up and there’s been a lot of growth. In 2018, we’re looking forward to taking it across the United States.”

With the TuffBase impacting the oil and natural gas industry across the country, Murray is becoming a leading name in protecting the environment during and after production.

“We’ve built our entire company on keeping the environment safe — keeping spills from happening,” Kokojan says. “So, the TuffBase is just another component in that.”

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