BAYTOWN, Texas (FOX 26) - A giant drill rig in Splendora.
Massive mast casings in Channelview.
And colossal offshore living quarters in Baytown.
All told, in the neighborhood of a quarter billion dollars of custom equipment built to precise specifications for PEMEX, Mexico's national oil company.
Problem is, now that the gear is ready, our neighbors to the south won't pay.
"PEMEX has frozen funds, canceled the contract and left a lot of us in this industry hanging," said Brian Shanklin, President of Lone Star Energy Fabrication.
That's right, PEMEX "walked the tab" on Shanklin's firm and more than 100 other American companies, many right here in Texas.
"I mean we are all sitting here holding the bag," said Shanklin.
And Shanklin's portion of that bag is a big one.
Following PEMEX's detailed instruction, Lone Star constructed a pair of offshore living quarters, each capable of housing 120 workers and each equipped with industrial kitchens, laundry rooms, indoor theaters and sleeping compartments.
When PEMEX unilaterally walked away three years ago, Lone Star was stuck with an $8 million unfunded liability
"They've got all the money. They hold all the cards and they are going to freeze us out," said Shanklin.
That's why Shanklin and dozens of other oil patch vendors are now pleading with both President Trump and the U.S. Congress to flex some American muscle and intervene.
Without that help, they say honest businesses will go bust and hundreds of jobs will disappear.
"There are some smaller guys out there that are hanging on by a string. I don't know if they are going to last," said Shanklin.
PEMEX responded to FOX 26 late Thursday night saying, “During the execution of the works, it was detected that the modular units did not meet the basic specifications requested, so in the exercise of the contractual rights that the consortium knew and accepted since the signing of the contract, the trust terminated the contracts.”
PEMEX goes on to say, “Pemex considers that the termination of the contracts was in accordance with the applicable regulations, and the causes for which the contracts had to be terminated are attributable to the consortium. Furthermore, prior to the termination of the contracts, the consortium was allowed to submit viable projects to correct the deficiencies, however, it did not do so.”