SOCO is a leading manufacturer of valve lubricants, thread compounds, sealants,southcoast 0454
packing and maintenance products for the oil and gas, transportation, refining and petrochemical industries. Our company has built its reputation by providing products that deliver exceptional performance under the most extreme conditions, all manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility in Houston, Texas.



South Coast Products (SOCO) was started in 1968 by Hector Cantu, dubbed the "Mad Chemist" by his customers. Cantu had been working in a lab developing the Bentone Grease Structure, a lubricant that would not melt in extremely high temperatures.

A salesman as well as a chemist, Cantu was determined to launch his own company. While attending an auction where a World War II ship was being sold for scrap, he purchased a dough-making machine, convinced he could use it to make pipe dope. The joke around the office remains that it was a dough making machine all right...over the next 20 years it would make SOCO a lot of dough.

The new company's first big success was the Wooley Booger TFE thread compound. TFE compounds were held in low esteem by drilling engineers, but the compounds performed exceptionally well and eventually owned a majority of the market share in the Permian Basin of West Texas.

Organic growth was a sound strategy but not fast enough for Cantu. In 1991 he purchased the Chemola product line from Hi-Port Industries, giving the company its first recognized brand name. The Chemola name dates back to 1930 and has been synonymous with quality synthetic valve lubricants that perform in extreme environments. While Chemola had not been strategic to Hi-Port, it soon became SOCO’s flagship product line and today SOCO is the world’s leading manufacturer of valve lubricants under the Chemola brand.

But SOCO was not built on products as much as it was built on a business philosophy. That philosophy is simple: earn your reputation, put your customer’s success ahead of your own, and make getting and keeping good people a priority. That philosophy appears to be a sound one because today SOCO is not only a world leader in synthetic valve lubricants, it is also one of the top three manufacturers of oilfield thread compounds.

Despite its success, SOCO is not content to rest on its laurels. The company is developing environmentally friendly products to replace products that put the environment at risk. This should allow the company to expand its market share in existing markets and positions the company to aggressively move into new markets and become even more visible in a fast paced and highly competitive industry.


Management Team


Rick Cantu


Rick has been with South Coast Products since 1976 and has performed every job in the company. He was promoted to President in 1998 when his father, Hector Cantu, passed away. Since then he has grown the company fivefold, always falling back on the three major guidelines his father taught him: (1) the customer always comes first; (2) manufacture only repeat purchase, consumable products; (3) manufacture products that are not geographically restricted. Rick graduated from Texas State University with a BBA in 1985.



Johnnie Kopinitz

Chief Operations Officer

Johnnie brings 10+ years of purchasing experience to his current position, as well as experience in the chemical distribution industry in a similar capacity. His 30 year paint and coatings background has provided countless contacts and resources that have been extremely beneficial in making South Coast a more successful and profitable company. Johnnie is a native Houstonian and graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Marketing.



Shelley Radabaugh

Chief Financial Officer

Shelley manages the day to day financial and strategic aspects of South Coast Products. She directly oversees internal audit and controls, reporting and analysis, as well as additional duties related to payroll and benefits. Arriving in 2010, Shelleys strategic insight has been integral in establishing procedures to better manage technological assets, manufacturing processes and financial forecasting. She is an active participant in both oil and gas industry and professional organizations, concentrating on the development of women as leaders in Houston and the global energy business. Shelly is a graduate of the University of Houston. 



Randall Kepner

Director of Sales and Marketing

Randy joined South Coast in 1999 as International Sales Manager. He started his career in sales after graduating from Southwest Texas State University with a BBA in Marketing and Finance. After initially focusing on international business, Randy started in the the oil and gas industry in 1990. In his current position Randy manages Soco's sales teams and distributors, domestically and internationally. He is a member of NOMADS, API and IADC.


Thomas Reinbold

Global Managing Director – Thread Compounds

Thomas brings extensive technical and professional experience to the company and a track record of successfully growing profitable businesses around the world. Thomas will be responsible for increasing the presence of South Coast and its products in markets both domestically and internationally. He has over 15 years of oil and gas experience, most recently serving as Senior Global Account Manager for Solazyme, a San Francisco biotech company.



Danny Brooks

Check Seal Sales Manager

Danny joined South Coast Products in 2014 as Check Seal Sales Manager. He began his career in the leak sealing business as a technician in 1991. He worked his way through the ranks in the leak sealing business and eventually was named Accounts and Operational Manager for a reputable leak sealing company. Today he is focused on providing customers with technical support and quality products for the correct leak sealing application.



Jimmy Trees

Domestic Sales Manager

Jimmy began his oilfield career working for Mutual Supply in South Texas in 1977. He worked for several companies over the years and co-owned and operated WTM Sales in Alice, TX. In 2010 Jimmy began working with South Coast Products, assisting and revamping our agent and distributors network throughout the USA.




Sharon Stratman

Head Chemist

Sharon has been with South Coast Products since 2001. As Head Chemist, she oversees the lab with responsibilities in product development and quality testing. As Technical Manager, she leads the ISO 9000 quality management system, as well as a wide range of technical support areas. She received her BS from Lamar University in 1982 and has over 30 yearsexperience as a chemist.




Luis Navas

Plant Manager

Luis has over 38 years of experience supervising all phases of plant operations including production, quality control, maintenance, receiving and shipping.In addition, he is experienced in pilot plant operations, production scheduling, maintenance scheduling and construction coordination. Luis works closely with the Environmental Health and Safety Manager to ensure all members of the manufacturing team are aware of safety policies.




Steen Hansen

Regional Manager Middle East, Africa, Europe

Steen joined South Coast Products in 2012 as Regional Manager in Middle East, Africa and Europe. He has more than 20 years' experience in technical service and sales management on industrial lubricants. He is based in Denmark, but have over the years been stationed in a number of countries in the Middle East and Europe, as project and sales manager. Long-lasting solutions, carried out with due diligence is his constant aim.




Recent News

SOCO installing large blending tank.

SOCO is in the process of installing what will be the largest blending tank in our Houston facility.

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Reinbold at ICUEE

Thomas Reinbold, SOCO’s Director of Business Development and Technical Sales, will be attending the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition  (ICUEE) in Louisville, Kentucky this week.

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New Manufacturing Facilities

SOCO continues to upgrade and improve our manufacturing equipment so that it remains among the best in the industry.  

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