This week’s Pipeliners Podcast episode features Robert Pettus discussing different ways the industry has changed since COVID, what that means for the supply chain, as well as changing technology and the goals for improvement in the future.
In this episode, you will learn about the challenges pipeliners have faced since the pandemic, how unit value affects inspection, and ways these changes have presented new opportunities.
Challenges in Pipeline Construction Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms:
- Robert Pettus is the Director of Construction and Regulatory and Records at Crestwood Midstream. Connect with Robert on LinkedIn.
- Crestwood Equity Partners LP is a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns and operates midstream assets located primarily in the Williston Basin, Delaware Basin and Powder River Basin. Our operations and financial results are divided into three segments that include Gathering & Processing North, Gathering & Processing South and Storage & Logistics.
- API RP 1169, Pipeline Construction Inspection, covers the basic requirements and their associated references needed to perform inspection activities safely and effectively during onshore pipeline construction. This recommended practice provides the details related to the role of the operator’s pipeline construction inspector, in terms of monitoring and inspection requirements throughout the pipeline construction process.
- PVF stands for pipe, valves, and fittings.
- EPC is Engineering, Procurement, and Construction
- T&M or time and material contracts, are the ones in which the owner holds all cost and schedule risk. These are also known as reimbursable contracts.
- VisualAIM provides next generation, cloud-based Asset Integrity and Performance Management software and support services
- PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) is responsible for providing pipeline safety oversight through regulatory rule-making, addressing NTSB recommendations, and other important functions to protect people and the environment through the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials.
Challenges in Pipeline Construction Full Episode Transcript:
285: Challenges in Pipeline Construction as the Economy Recovers with Robert Pettus
Russel Treat: Welcome to the “Pipeliners Podcast,” episode 285, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, driving safety, environmental protection, and sustainability across the natural gas and oil industry through world class standards and safety programs.
Since its formation as a standard setting organization in 1919, API has developed more than 800 standards to enhance industry operations worldwide. Find out more about API at API.org.
Announcer: The Pipeliners Podcast, where professionals, bubba geeks, and industry insiders share their knowledge and experience about technology, projects, and pipeline operations.
Now your host, Russel Treat.
Russel: Thanks for listening to the Pipeliners Podcast. I appreciate that you’re taking the time. To show the appreciation, we give away a customized YETI tumbler to a listener every episode. This week, our winner is Michael Falk with Burns & McDonnell. Congratulations, Michael. Your YETI is on its way. To learn how you can win this signature prize, stick around till the end of the episode.
This week, we spoke to Robert Pettus with Crestwood about pipeline construction challenges as the economy is recovering from the pandemic. Robert, welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast.
Robert Pettus: Happy to be here.
Russel: If you would, before we dive into our conversation, why don’t you tell myself and the listeners a little bit about who you are, your background, and what you do?
Robert: Currently, I’m the Director of Construction and Regulatory and Records here at Crestwood Midstream. My story is probably a little more interesting than most folks’. I’m a North Carolina boy. My first career out of college was actually working in NASCAR.
I had some time off one summer. I had some good friends that worked at Williams. We played some golf together. I got a phone call and said, “Hey, look. We want a pipeline inspector for the summer. Are you interested?”
This was back before all of the 1169 requirements and varying things. I was able to get on as a utility inspector in Eastern Tennessee and just worked my way up from the ground up, in utility inspection and material coordination and quality project management, etc., up to the point that I am today.
I was very, very fortunate to have some good people lead the way for me, but I also was able to learn a lot from field experience.
Russel: I’ve got to back this up a little bit. You said that you were working in NASCAR and you transitioned into pipelining?
Robert: Yes, sir. I actually spent some time at Roush Racing.
Russel: Oh, wow. Listen, man. I have a number of friends that are going to be hyper jealous and are wondering right now why in the world you ever thought to make that kind of transition.
Robert: I tell you what. It’s a party, or at least it was back then. I was young and decided that I wanted to branch out and try to make as much money as I possibly could. The grass was not greener when I left Roush. It left me in a lurch.
Like I said, I just, out of nowhere, got a phone call and said, “Would you like to go to a project in Tennessee and be a front end utility inspector?” I said, “You know what? I’ll give it a whirl” and have never looked back.
Every once in a while, I pop up a race, or I see somebody that I used to work with on TV. I’m like, “That could have been me.” A lot of folks that have been in racing for quite a long time, once you get out, you think back. You’re like, “That was the most fun that I think I never want to have again.”
Russel: I know some people that race, not at the level of NASCAR, but one or two steps down in the circuits. It’s an all encompassing thing.
Robert: It most certainly is.
Russel: People don’t realize how intense it is.
Robert: It most certainly is.
Russel: It doesn’t pay very well.
Robert: If you want to be competitive, you’ve got to put in some time and money, in order to do that. It was a lot of fun.
Russel: I will say though that I’ll bet you learned an attention to detail that served you well as a pipeline inspector.
Robert: Most certainly, I did, just even on the licensing side. Every little trinket or T-shirt or hat that comes through and has either a sponsor’s logo or name or a driver’s likeness or even a car’s number on it has to come through and be approved.
You approve the sketch. Then you approve a pre-production sample. You’re looking at everything from shades of colors to how the font is. I learned a wild attention to detail, let alone the fact that at Roush, at the time, all the upper management were attorneys. If you’ve never worked for an attorney, they certainly want some detailed work out of you.
Russel: Anyways, we’ve gone way down the rabbit hole here. I’ve asked you to come on to talk about pipeline construction challenges as we were recovering from the pandemic. Maybe a good place to start is just, what are you finding are the challenges that pipeline constructors are up against?
Robert: Initially, post-pandemic, there was a manpower shortage, contractors and inspectors both, let alone just internally at the operation level. I talked to some folks. They said, “It’s hard for us to get people to be swampers or operators or spotters when they can sit at home or work an easier job.”
Some of that has probably recovered, but we lost a lot of contractors through the downturn. We have worked with the contractor base that we do have.
What it’s done is it’s required the operators to spend a great deal of time training a new contractor base, learning some new faces, and then, on the inspection side, just some training and getting acclimated with some folks that were still available for work and getting them schooled up on, for us, the Crestwood way of doing business.
It was a bit of a deck shuffle. Hopefully, that has paid off. We’ve learned a lot from that. One of the key things that we have been able to do is we’ve been able to lean ourselves as an organization, which has, in turn, allowed us the ability to be quicker, cheaper, while maintaining safety and quality standards.
Russel: What about the supply chain? Everybody’s hearing about inflation and supply chain. How is that affecting things?
Robert: I tell you, that’s a huge factor. There, for a while, it was difficult for us to find line pipe to even build projects. The style of projects that Crestwood generally operates or builds were your “well connect” type jobs. We weren’t going to go to a mill and order a mill run of pipe.
Generally, our name of the game is hitting up distributors. A lot of the distributor pipe was getting swallowed up in the anywhere from 6 to 20 inch range. It was difficult for us to find line pipe, flanges, fittings. It was slim pickings there for quite a while. Let alone valves were very difficult to find.
What we had to do is we spent a great deal of time internally exploring additional options and additional vendors that had inventory and vetting those vendors so that we could just have typical PVF that you need in order to facilitate and complete these projects.
Russel: It’s interesting too. That’s thematic across just everything we do in pipelining. We went to nobody doing anything. Now we’re trying to spool back up. It’s causing everybody that’s had long term relationships to shuffle their decks and reconsider. The whole nature of who has the people and who has the capabilities has shifted.
Robert: It has. It most certainly has. There are some outliers there that have been able to maintain and are shining through all of this. You have to tap those resources. It’s no longer acceptable, from all angles, not just supply chain, to just have a single resource.
What we’ve learned is that the one and done shop, either construction material, line piping, all of that has gone by the wayside. You have to expand your Rolodex and really see what’s out there, to understand market conditions and then even to just make items available that fit within your timeline for completion.
Russel: I don’t remember when it was, but I had this conversation with somebody else. We were talking about contracting strategies. I remember when I first got out of college. I was working in the military and doing military construction projects. There were a lot of the same kind of things going on in the market at that time. That would have been 1980 time frame.
Some of the language in the contracts about supply and cost increases, there’d be pages and pages and pages of language around all of that. That was often some of the more interesting parts of the negotiation.
Robert: Absolutely. For us, we’re starting to see more of that language become more prevalent in our agreements, especially with the prime contractors. It used to be where it was a very short paragraph that dictated some items around force majeure.
Now, you’re talking about some language in there from everything to substantial material increases to labor shortages that result in salary increase and then the obvious, which is the fuel costs, diesel costs, out there. Any little item that could possibly be affected by the market or government or anything is being highlighted.
Again, in order for organizations to be able to compete today, you have to perhaps mitigate some of the risk that maybe you were willing to shoulder previous to the downturn.
Russel: Or you have to take on some of the risk that you were handing off to your partner.
Russel: You have to share that risk, right?
Robert: Absolutely, yes.
Russel: That goes to one of the questions. How are you dealing with this reality? What we’re talking about is, what are some of the contracting strategies? What are some of the other types of contracting strategies that you guys are using to deal with the current supply chain and labor realities yeah?
Robert: For us, we try to be as intelligent as we could be here at Crestwood and understand what our strengths were as an organization and understand what at least the perceived strengths of our partners were.
From a material standpoint, we spent a great deal of time, our cost leadership team spent a great deal of time, partnering with vendors that we felt could effectively supply us. We set up strategic sourcing initiatives. We developed relationships with vendors that were going to provide preferable treatment, not only pricing but also delivery.
From a contractors perspective, we’ve got varying contract strategies that we typically use in oil and gas, everything from an EPC style contract, an EPCM, to lump sum, unit rate, T&M. We have really got to a point where, for most of our pipeline projects, we’re really comfortable with a unit rate style contract.
What that allows us the ability to do is it allows us to do what I like to consider a pay to play. What we’re saying is that gone are the days with the experience of sitting in a boardroom, in downtown Houston, and we’re going to pretend like we know what the contractors are going to do from day one.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to set the agreement up in a way to where we’re going to pay you a base lay footage.
Then each additional item, in order to de risk the contractor and in order to drive those base lay rates down as low as we can, we’re going to have additional items that we’re going to pay for in the event that we encounter them, whether that be rock, whether that be mats, whether that be unidentified line crossings.
What we have done is we’ve said, “Listen, we’re going to ask you for a base lay. We want that base lay so that we can run confirmation on all of our e-cons and make sure that we’re still able to build the job in a way that’s going to be advantageous to the organization and we’re going to get a return,” which ultimately is our responsibility to our shareholders.
Also, what we’ve done is we’ve said, “Look, any of these items, I don’t want you to build those risk items into your rates.” What I’d like to do is pull as much of that out and say, “Listen, we’ll pay for it if we encounter it.” That way, we’ll just track it on an individual basis.
We’ve seen a lot of success that way. We’ve been able to get comfortable with some of our contract partners. We’ve been able to see some very, very, very appealing base lay rates, with an understanding that when we do encounter some of the more tough situations, that we are willing to step up to the plate and pay for those as an additional pay item.
Russel: You used a term I’m not familiar with. I think you said, “A unit rate contract”?
Russel: Can you give me a definition of that?
Robert: Yeah. A unit rate contract essentially consists of a schedule of values, an SOV. What you have is, for instance, you’ve got a line item, for instance, let’s say, 12 inch 250 wall pipe, 14,000 feet. You’re going to give me a rate per foot to install that pipe.
Then you’re going to give me a rate for each mat that you might use. You’re going to give me a rate for each fitting that you might have to install. You’re going to give me a rate for a line crossing. You’re going to give me a rate for all these different things.
You’ve got to schedule a value that has an individual unit rate with a proposed quantity and a number. We’re able to run a budget. We’re able to track extremely well, under that structure.
As the contractor, now, all of a sudden, you’re not relying heavily on an estimating group that may or may not catch something, which may or may not require you to throw an extra 20 to 30 percent in there just as a CYA. What we’re saying is we’re saying, “Look, give me as d- risked and as low of a base lay rate as you possibly can. Then we’ll pay for these items if we encounter them out there.”
Initially, post COVID and after the downturn, some of the contractors were very timid. Some operators, perhaps the old way, was that we tighten up on those guys and tighten the screws on them a little bit when it comes to additional pay items.
Over the course of the last couple of years, like I said, we’ve gotten real comfortable with some and said, “Look, we’ll pay for it, if we encounter it. I’m going to budget for some of it on my end, but in the event that we don’t have any line crossings, I don’t want you to build that into your base lay price. We’ll just pay for it as we get there.”
Russel: I’m familiar with that contracting approach. I haven’t heard of it being called unit fee. It’s interesting because the net effect of that done well is more of the risk is passed from the contractor to the pipeline operator, and the tradeoff is the contractor might give up some margin but they might get more margin too, because they’re not taking on the risk.
Russel: They take up less risk and more control over their profitability.
Robert: Absolutely. Then we take on the responsibility as the operator to say, “We’re going to work with you to track those quantities out there.” It has served its purpose for us. We’ve been able to keep our hands in as much as we possibly could on a day to day basis without having the contractor build in a great deal of risk that may or may not get used up.
Russel: I would also think that, given the reality of what the expectation is about all the data you should retain when building a pipeline, by contracting this way, you’re more likely to get all the data you need.
Russel: Anything that’s outside of the standard spec has got to be specifically addressed.
Robert: Absolutely. From a financial perspective, anything that’s not directly addressed in the schedule of values or the unit rate sheet would then be handled through the change order process. The PMs also tend to like this structure because it means less change orders.
In theory, as long as you have a robust schedule of values, you can absorb the puts and haves through that unit rate sheet so you’re not having to write a change order for each individual item so long as you’re tracking it and you’re forecasting it appropriately.
Russel: From a construction standpoint, one of the challenges of underground construction is you never know what you’re going to come bump against. It’s not like above ground construction where you kind of have control.
Russel: It’s a different kind of thing.
Robert: It is, and that’s only going to get worse.
Russel: That’s right. There’s more and more stuff. I did a project when I was in the military in Germany where we were building a runway. We had done all the stuff, but as we were actually turning dirt to start building stuff, we found all kinds of things dating back to World War Two that nobody knew was there. That was quite the adventure on a military installation, to say the least.
Robert: Absolutely. I tell everybody, my family in particular, that there for a few years when I would travel to the field, I think they thought we were traveling to a resort. You don’t build refineries and gas processing plants in major metropolitan areas typically.
Robert: When you travel out the Bakken or you travel out to West Texas or any of these major production areas, the amount of infrastructure that’s in the ground is amazing. What you may encounter, what might get located, what might not get located is profound.
You always have to have the ability to address what may happen while in the back of your mind hoping that you don’t encounter any of those items while you’re out there.
Russel: Yeah, that’s right. I could also see where, as you develop a relationship with the contractor and they mature their schedule of values, that schedule of tasks and the values for those tasks becomes a resource or an asset to the contractor.
Robert: Absolutely. After talking with some of the contractors, one of the big things that we became fans of was doing a look back with our contractors after our program and saying, “We did it this way. We avoided safety incidents. We put in some good quality pipe. Where did this land for you? Are you as content with this as we are?”
I think some of them were able to reflect on that and say, “Look, I think that for some of these items, we ended up in the red, but for some of these, we ended up in the black, some of them a little more.”
I was surprised at some of our contractor partners that came back and said, “We can probably work on this rate here a little bit. We can get better with that,” which was a huge step in the right direction for us as an operator.
As you get into a more competitive environment with other operators out there going after the same kind of work, having a contractor that you’re willing to partner with, that’s able to give you a strong number but also work with you and join that enthusiasm going after the new project, has paid off in spades.
Russel: I could certainly see that. What about the approach to doing the inspection? I’m trying to visualize this as we’re having the conversation. I can certainly see how the unit value approach makes a lot of sense from a contracting standpoint. I can see how that impacts how you do the work. How does that impact how you’re doing your inspecting?
Robert: Inspection was an interesting one. Obviously, I broke out in the industry as an inspector. I had some direct knowledge of how this typically worked. With my experience being at a larger pipeline operator that was very, very heavy on inspection, over on the Crestwood side, we took a deep dive into what the requirements were going to be from a quality perspective.
I let that be the driver on what we were going to do from an inspection standpoint. However, you’re right. When you do a unit rate contract, generally, you have to have enough manpower to be able to collect those units effectively with the contractor in order for you to be able to report and forecast cost appropriately.
One of the risks to this was us saying, “Listen, are we going to go crazy and put a lot of inspection on a project that is nothing more than unit captures?” The answer was no. I was actually very pleased with where my team landed on the strategy. What we decided to do was we decided…We had a very large layoff of inspection, as most people did, during COVID times.
When we came back, I like to think that we were more selective in who we chose and the experience they had. We selected contractors that had experience and certifications to be not only, for instance, a welding inspector, but a welding and coating inspector.
What we did was we took that inspector who was more highly certified and qualified on resume. We coupled that with some new technology. What we did was we said, “Listen, we want to have some sort of a tablet based inspection platform that will allow our inspectors to capture information more easily but then also capture more information while they’re out there on the job.”
I can remember, years ago, we would sit a welding inspector over the front end crew. We would say, “Listen, you’re going to sit there. You’re going to be over that crew. You’re going to watch rod burn all day long. Then you’re going to go visual the weld. Then you’re going to put your initials next to it. Then NDT is going to come in.” That was the process.
What we elected to do was we said, “Listen, you’re responsible for everything that happens within this three mile area. If the coating crew kicks off, go over there and check the anchor profiles. Let them do the coating. Come back. Let’s get the DFTs. Let’s check everything.
“Go kick off the welding. Let’s make sure that we check amps and volts on the welders. Let’s get the travel speed locked in. Let’s make sure everything is in line.” Then you bounce back and forth.
With some of the newer technologies that we were seeing, we built a platform with an organization called VisualAIM. We were able to capture that information readily, a little easier. More importantly, we were able to share that information with a larger project team in a way that they had never seen before.
That’s a lot of the good that came out of the downturn from an inspection perspective. Some of the folks that probably didn’t have their heart in it, is probably the nice way of saying it, they elected to pursue other careers. We had some folks that took the opportunity to get some continual education.
When we went to hire back, we hired smarter. We hired more qualified people. We coupled them with a little bit of a better technological tool that allowed us to be able to get what we needed to get done with less, a little more efficiently, and with better qualified people.
Russel: You just said a mouthful there, Robert. I have seen some of these technologies that people are using to automate and streamline the field workflow, if you will. The nature of pipeline inspection in particular is it’s a lot of different kinds of data you’re collecting. It’s some form entry. It’s some photographs. You’re probably collecting X-rays. You’re collecting NDT files.
It’s a lot of stuff you’re collecting. Having a way to streamline that process is one thing. That is completely separate for somebody sitting in the office needing to go look at all that data and understand it and say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. All that looks good.” Those are two very different workflows, I guess, even though it’s the same data.
Robert: Really, it’s two different sets of data that you would want to share with those different folks. You’ve got a data set that your field chief construction manager would think was very valuable. Then you have a much different data set that your executive vice president is probably interested in, in the corporate office.
Being able to gather that information but then having the ability to depict it in various ways for different audiences, I think that that is where the industry is going, as a whole.
Russel: I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s not just in this domain. That’s across everything that we’re doing. In technology, we’re coming out of…I’ll say this. I don’t know that much about the construction and inspection, so I may be out of my bailiwick here.
Historically, what I would say is there was one effort to collect the data. Then there was another effort to do something with the data. Then there was yet another effort to do something to present the data to others. All those things existed independently and in different software systems.
Robert: There was a chief inspector on a project that I was actually…I was a QA/QC representative on the project. We had PHMSA inspections up there for two weeks. You’re 100 percent correct, what you described.
You had inspectors that were filling out forms either on Excel or a Word document or in some form. Those documents would then go into the construction office. The chief inspector generally would compile that information. The chief inspector would send out the chief’s report.
It wasn’t that the information was any different than what the inspectors were turning in. In general, what we like to think was that the chief was going to filter that in a way that we could share at a corporate level. It wouldn’t have the ins and outs and what have you that we probably might not want to share with a more white collar audience.
This chief inspector on this project that we had in Tennessee – I will never forget this – we sat down with him. We had found some quality issues in the field. We were hammering him pretty hard to get them fixed.
He looked us dead in the eye. He said, “Boys, I understand what you’re saying, but you need to know that I spend two thirds of my day sitting in this office, getting this chief’s report completed and turned in to the people at corporate.”
That stuck with me. I was thinking to myself we had all of that knowledge stoved up in a four pack office trailer somewhere for two thirds of every single day, filling out a report to share with others.
More than likely, the real cost benefit for that individual’s rate that we were paying was to be out in the field, sharing that information with not just the project but with the contractor and the other inspectors.
Russel: Applying his experience to the project versus applying his experience to the reports.
Robert: As you’re aware, third party inspection is not a small cost to these projects.
Russel: No, it’s not.
Robert: That was one of the things that stuck with me. That was several years ago. When we started thinking about different strategies and technologies from an inspection perspective and an overall construction perspective, that popped up in my mind.
I said, “Listen, I no longer want to hire somebody that’s going to spend two thirds of their day in the office getting a report done. What we’re going to do is we’re going to figure out a way for the darn report to get done for them, based on the information that’s collected in the field.”
Then he can slide in at 6:00 in the morning. He can make sure that the numbers jive. Then 7:00 AM, he’s out there at the tailgate meeting, making sure everything else is going. That is the real value in these guys that have the experience.
Russel: That’s absolutely right. The reality is what’s happening is we’re decoupling the data from the device that we use to capture, analyze, and report the data. That’s happening all across our industry. A lot of this stuff about artificial intelligence and analytics and optimization, all that, none of that can happen until the data gets normalized.
Robert: Then housing that data centrally. Obviously, we have our regulatory requirements. We still have to capture the data. I don’t want to change that. That’s not going to change. In general, our regulators are slow to respond to things like technological advances, but that’s OK.
We’ll still retain it and house it the same way that we always have, but I think the real kicker here and where we’re moving is being able to utilize these technologies to do more with less while maintaining safety and quality, but then also being able to share the results of the work with a larger audience at a moment’s notice.
Russel: That’s absolutely right. It’s easy to say that, but there’s some major shifts occurring because of what’s happening with technology. I want to ask one other general question around this whole conversation. That is, how did this effort help you to meet your commercial goals?
Robert: As any good commercial person will tell you, on the construction, they will tell me that they want it to be done as quickly and as safely and as cheaply as possible.
What we’ve been able to do is we’ve been able to leverage these relationships, the technologies, the different strategies, in order for us to be more efficient and, ultimately, in order for us to realize some cost savings from a construction standpoint.
What that’s done is that has allowed our commercial team to go back and look at some projects that perhaps two years ago may not have been economic for the organization.
Because of the new way that we’re thinking about construction, oversight, and reporting now, some of those savings that we’re able to realize those jobs are now becoming economic and we’re starting to look at them again.
What that’s done is this allowed us to expand our footprint a little more than we ever thought that we could from a just general pipeline well connect perspective. Also, it has opened the door to doing some business with producers that perhaps we did not have opportunity with.
Obviously, the BD benefits of the new strategies and the new technologies reverberate through the industry to varying groups. Ultimately, if we’re able to get it done better, more efficiently, then what that does is it gives the commercial group a little more of a way to talk to their customers and look at projects that perhaps we may not have even thought were possible before.
Russel: That’s interesting. That’s not something I would have come to if we weren’t having this conversation. By getting your cost of construction down, and I would assume part of that’s bringing your time of execution down, it opens up markets that you couldn’t open before.
Robert: Absolutely. To be honest, that is something that my team is very proud of. We absolutely love two things. One, when our commercial counterparts come to us and say, “Listen, we really want this job, and here’s the price point. Let’s all brainstorm and let’s figure out if we can do it,” we thrive when that happens.
We all get together. We pull different resources. We do the best that we can in order to hit that number, and we find a way to make it work. Also, we absolutely love it when we’re able to execute better than what perhaps we even advertised.
Those commercial guys come back and say, “You know what, man? This was a reimbursable project, and that producer there, they are so happy with the way that you guys did that, with the way you guys managed that, and with the way that the final true up actually landed that they’re going to commit us and they’re going to dedicate us to another four wells.”
Those are the kind of things that I think probably in larger organizations where you have a little more of a silo effect, maybe people don’t get that exposure.
I will tell you there’s a direct link from what happens in the field to what happens in the tower in Houston and how these different relationships and different business opportunities are managed, how we execute in the field, how we’re able to realize efficiencies in cost and schedule, and what that does from a BD perspective.
That is another major area, major opportunity.
Russel: It’s good for morale to be on a high performing team.
Russel: Listen, this has been a great conversation. I’m wishing I could go build a pipeline with you. I think I’d learn a lot.
Robert: Listen, if you want to go out to West Texas, I can most certainly find you a slot. I promise you that.
I’ll tell you, generally you don’t want to make that trip in the spring or the summer. We’ll wait till it gets a little cooler out there.
Russel: Yeah, I’m too old for that stuff. I’m just telling you.
Robert: That’s right.
Russel: Frankly, knowing who I am, I would love that. To work out of a truck for six or eight weeks and put in pipe, I would just think that was the coolest thing in the world.
Robert: I tell you what. If you ever get an opportunity, and you want to spend a couple days, reach out, and we’ll see if we can get something scheduled. I’ll go down there and show you what we do out there in the sand.
Russel: That would be awesome. I would love to do that. I’m going to make a note, and I’m going to try and make that happen.
Robert: Oh, yeah.
Russel: Look, Robert, thanks again for your time.
Robert: No problem. Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me.
Russel: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Pipeliners Podcast and our conversation with Robert. Just a reminder before you go, you should register to win our customized Pipeliners Podcast Yeti tumbler. Visit PipelinePodcastNetwork.com/Win and enter yourself in the drawing.
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Transcription by CastingWords