About Us

SOCO is a leading manufacturer of valve lubricants, thread compounds, sealants, 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.

Company 1


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.

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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

Company 2

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.

Company 3

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.

Company 4

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.

Company 5

Thomas Reinbold

Vice President – 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.

Company 6

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.

Company 7

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.

Company 8

George Flores

Operations Manager
George brings over 15 years of experience in Supply Chain Management in a myriad of industries. He brings a new outlook to plant management with a focus on process improvement, warehousing, and quality control. He is charged with implementing new processes designed to increase production and eliminate waste. In his role, he will work closely with all members of the team to ensure that all products shipped by South Coast be of the highest quality. George is a graduate of Western Governors University – Texas.