North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

JUN 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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construction, coupled by the fact that pipelines are the safest means to transport product, it's remarkable the negative impact the environ- mental activists continue to wreak on this industry. In short, the en- vironmental activists have done a superior job marketing their cause. Osborn: Environmental activists are still out there, although they haven't had the exposure that was on DAPL. I think the reason for that is that the contractors, unions and owner companies are doing a much better job of educating the public about pipelines and all the positive things they bring to all families throughout the country. The industry is starting to be proactive instead of reactive to the false subjectivity that protest groups advertise. How do you view the pipeline industry moving forward in the next five years? Is there stability? Uncertainty? Why? Riess: There's always going to be some stability as long as we operate a pipeline system in the U.S. of the size and magnitude as we do. There's always going to be integrity management work, upgrades and upkeep. The pipeline industry for years has always been cyclical, with peaks and val- leys. When we have a lot of gas or oil being produced, we'll build pipelines. Once we get to a point that we don't need more pipelines, we'll add com- pression or pumps to get more throughput. The maintenance and upgrade work will always be here. Dearing: I see it moving forward in the next few years, but there is an uncertainty to it. Craig: My personal view is that the pipeline industry will experience strong and stable growth over the next several years. As I said above, tech- nology is driving production to record levels and pipelines remain the saf- est and most reliable way to get that energy to high value end-use markets. What other concerns do you have about the pipeline industry in North America? Osborn: The industry is already behind in having the ability to provide the energy needed in the future. The prior presidency cre- ated a stalling effect on the development of the needed resources and transportation systems for the fossil fuels necessary to provide the amount of energy needed in the future. Waugh: Pipeline construction worker availability, skill-set and safety are big concerns for our industry. The PLCAC and our trade union labor partners work collaboratively to recruit and train the next generation of skilled and safety-conscious pipeliners. Riess: The only other concern I have is of a broader global perspec- tive, which involves recruitment and retention. At the moment, the talk is about equipment and people to meet current demands. Broader than that is the difficulty of recruiting and retaining new employees to the pipeline industry. Truly a special breed, our pipeliners have to travel 75-100 percent of the time, working 12-13 hours a day. Some- times compensation alone isn't enough incentive to retain them. We consistently face challenges of recruiting and retaining employees who don't seem interested in a long-term career of being on the road. The challenge we have now is getting a newer generation involved in carrying the work forward. [Editor's note: This article was shortened due to space restrictions. You can find the full transcript of this roundtable discussion online at] Bradley Kramer is managing editor of North American Oil & Gas Pipelines . Contact him at JUNE 2 018 | North American Oil & Gas Pipelines 21

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