This month’s Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast episode features Russel Treat, Pipeline Podcast Network Founder discussing Weldon’s first year doing the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast. They review past episodes and go into the challenges of producing a podcast, as well as potential topics for 2023.
Here are some of the topics for 2023 on Weldon’s list. He would love to hear from the listeners about their top pics or suggestions for other topics!
The Year in Review Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- Russel Treat is the CEO of EnerACT Energy Services, as well as the host of the Pipeliners Podcast and the founder of the Pipeline Podcast Network. Connect with Russel on LinkedIn.
- EnerACT Energy Services is a holding company of oil and gas technology and service companies. EnerSys Corporation is a frequent sponsor of the Pipeliners Podcast. Find out more about how EnerSys supports the pipeline control room through compliance, audit readiness, and control room management through the POEMS Control Room Management (CRM Suite) software suite.
- Listen to Russel’s podcasts on the Pipeline Podcast Network here: Pipeliners Podcast and Pipeline Technology Podcast
- API (American Petroleum Institute) is a national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry.
- Gas chromatography (GC) is a process used to analyze both finished products and in-process samples. A GC system consists of an injection system to add the sample, a chromatography column to allow the components to separate, and a detector to sense when a component is exiting the system.
- Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is a pipeline-quality gas that is interchangeable with conventional natural gas, derived from sources such as landfills, bio-digesters, and waste treatment plants.
- ASGMT (American School of Gas Measurement Technology) is the largest gas measurement school in the United States that is devoted to natural gas measurement, pressure regulation, flow control, and other measurement-related arenas.
- ISHM (International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement) provides measurement instruction in both technical and non-technical subjects for personnel in the industry.
- AGA (American Gas Association) represents companies delivering natural gas safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible way to help improve the quality of life for their customers every day. AGA’s mission is to provide clear value to its membership and serve as the indispensable, leading voice and facilitator on its behalf in promoting the safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses across the nation.
- GPA (GPA Midstream) is the primary advocate for a sustainable Midstream Industry focused on enhancing the viability of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil.
- Listen to previous Oil & Gas Measurement Podcasts here.
The Year in Review Full Episode Transcript
Weldon Wright: Welcome to Episode 15 of the Oil & Gas Measurement Podcast, sponsored by GCI, the Gas Certification Institute. For 20 years, they’ve been providing standard operating procedures, measurement fundamentals training, consulting, and now the Muddy Boots field operation software.
Voiceover: Welcome to the Oil and & Measurement Podcast, where measurement professionals, Bubba geeks, and gurus share their knowledge, experience, and likely a tall tale or two on measurement topics for the oil and gas industry.
And now your host, Weldon Wright.
Weldon: Hello and welcome to the Oil and & Measurement Podcast. I’ve been told it’s time for a year-in-review episode, so I’ve got Russel Treat here, the host of the Pipeline Podcast Network, the Pipeliners Podcast, and the Pipeline Technology Podcast.
What we want to do here is talk a little bit about what we’ve done, what we want to do, how we got there. We have 15 episodes out there plus the introductory episode.
We’ve talked about leak detection, with Robert Ward of Kuva Systems, which was some great discussion.
We’ve had Stephen Anson on with W Energy, and he’s walked us through the custody transfer of produced water, and what API is doing with what will eventually be a new standard for that.
We had a very great episode with Michael Thomson of ElevenThirteen Solutions, where we talked about the use of statistical analysis for data validation and some of the great work he has done with things like automatic meter freeze detection in the back office systems.
We’ve talked about driving successful measurement system projects with Dan Nardella over at Quorum Software,
We’ve talked about the challenges facing today’s measurement managers. We had a great conversations with Marshall Webb on that from over at Marathon Petroleum as we talked about not only a ton of challenges we’ve faced as measurement managers, but also some of the things we’re seeing in the new world with younger employees, younger generations, which just made me feel really, really old.
We had Dean Graves on and we talked about the value of measurement training, and how to put together good programs for technicians, and how to make those successful in your company.
Then we had Jamie Marsden on from Emerson, and we talked about some of the chromatography challenges with RNG, renewable natural gas or landfill gas as we used to call it years ago. A lot of things changing in that environment with that and eventually with the hydrogen blending possibly.
We then had Glenn Kelley on with Muddy Boots. Glenn talked to us about how we streamline measurement, especially field measurement, with better software tools, and how those tools can even improve the communications between the field and the back office.
Then we had a great discussion about a forward look into measurement data processing. What will that look like? What will software look like? What will our tools look like? We had that with Bruce Wallace from over at Peak AI Solutions.
We had a great discussion on flare measurement, not flare measurement from the fractionator, not huge volume flare measurement, but how do we handle flare measurement in the field in compressor stations, smaller plants? We talked about some of those challenges with Irvin Schwartzenburg from over at SICK.
Then we had a great discussion with Denis Rutherford from Schneider Electric. He talked to us about wireless instrumentation on the well pad and recapped a lot of stuff about a great presentation he did over at ASGMT.
Our last episode, I believe, was on the care and feeding of calibration equipment. We had Brian Lund with Norse Technologies, which has been peddling some pretty impressive calibration equipment for probably the last 22, 25 years maybe. He walked us through some of the common failure modes as well as what we can do to better take care of that equipment and make it last longer.
Finally, we had Carvel Jasmin on with Hobré. He talked to us about some of the things that ASGMT, the American School of Gas Measurement, has done to support our industry. We also talked about some of the similar schools like ISHM and the value they bring to the table.
We’ve done some great stuff here. We’ve gotten some great feedback. Maybe not as much feedback as we’d like, but some great feedback from folks on directions for other stuff. What I’d like to do now, I’d like to hear from Russel. He is the one that put me up to this and said, hey, it’s time to start one of these things.
I want to hear what he thinks about this first year, what I’ve done right, what I’ve done wrong, and what content looks like. Russel.
Russel Treat: Weldon, before I dive in, I’d like to hear how you feel about it. This was all brand new to you a year ago, and now you’ve got a year of episodes under your belt and better than a dozen conversations. How are you feeling about it?
Weldon: First of all, it was way outside my box, but it’s been interesting. I’ve talked to some great folks. The process itself, I had to learn a lot about. It’s not as simple as just sitting down and recording through 20 or 30 minutes with somebody and saying it’s done. It turns out there’s a lot behind the scenes, folks.
The scheduling, to begin with, it’s easy to come up with great episodes. It’s easy to come up with guests. Coordinating those times in the days and the busy schedules, that turns out to be more than I thought. In addition to that, there’s post-production recordings, pre-production recordings.
We have a sound engineer that goes through and turns these recordings into something worth putting out on the Internet for you all. He cleans up the coughing fits, and when we get, get, get, get, get, get, get tongue tied and cleans up those things for us.
There’s the show note process where we do the transcripts. Modern transcription software is pretty cool but it’s not perfect. The kind of talk we would do dictating a memo or dictating an email is very different from our speech patterns when we do a podcast in normal conversation. There’s a lot of work in that.
What I think about it is that it’s been interesting. I’m still glad you talked me into it, but it’s a lot more work than what I thought it was, and I do not envy you turning out five of these a month instead of the one that I’ve been doing.
Russel: I have a lot of help. It’s interesting, Weldon. I certainly found it to be a lot of work, but I’m like you. I’ve enjoyed it. The amount that I’ve learned, and the people I’ve met, and the conversations I’ve been able to have, it’s been awesome.
You asked me for my feedback. I think you’ve done great. This is one of those things that gets easier with practice.
Weldon: I hope so.
Russel: It takes a bit to get on the microphone, and relax, and forget about the microphone and just have a conversation. It takes a bit to just get used to that, get comfortable with it and all that. I think you’ve done great. Some of the content’s been awesome.
I’ve listened to every single one of your episodes. I think the one on the care and the calibration, the care and maintenance of calibration equipment, that was one of the best ones. Not so much about you or the guest, just I really liked that topic.
I’ve worked in measurement, put a lot of metering in, but I’ve never been a guy that ran around doing calibrations. I know enough about them to know how they’re done but haven’t done it day in, day out. I thought that was fascinating. That was just packed with a lot of really interesting, useful information for anybody who is running calibration.
Weldon: My first entry into buying more than one piece of calibration equipment at a time is when I came here to Fort Worth and went to work for a privately owned company, and not only was in charge of their measurement operations, but in charge of equipping their folks. That’s the first time I bought more than one piece of equipment at a time.
I called up Brian one day to order, I don’t know what it was, 20 digital calibrators or something like that, and he made me sit through school on how guys take care of these things, what to do with them, what not, and it’s the first time I thought about that.
With precision equipment, we have equipment today that’s better than what was in the labs 25, 30 years ago.
All of it has been interesting. Some of the stuff with flare measurement, I definitely learned more from Schwartzenburg about flare measurement than I’d ever thought of before. The same thing on advanced validation techniques. So much great stuff and then so much more great stuff after the talk, Russel. So much great stuff. It’s hard to pick them at times, you know?
Russel: I’ve done 260 episodes now on the Pipeliners Podcast. I often say that you would think that after 260 episodes, you’ve covered everything, but the reality of it is you haven’t, not by a long shot. The other thing about it is even if I had, some of the first things I covered, that was five years ago. Things have probably changed in five years.
It’s interesting how all that works. At least I find it interesting. I’m like you. I’ve learned a ton. That’s probably the biggest thing. I like learning. I like finding smart people that know stuff I don’t know and quizzing them. I would do that if I weren’t doing a podcast.
Weldon: I can see that. I’ve been a little amazed about the people willing to get on the podcast and talk about it. Some people with some very busy schedules that are having to prise every second out of their time, they’re enthused about the concept of getting on the podcast and talking about the things they enjoy, the things their company does, and what they’re enthused about.
It’s a lot easier to get guests on than I thought it would be. It’s just a little harder to coordinate the timing.
Russel: Yes, yeah, yeah. It’s a bit much. It’s a bit much. Are you glad that I convinced you to only do one a month?
Weldon: Absolutely! I still like the concept, Russel. I still want to do “Measurement 101” as a podcast. Maybe even with a YouTube video to go with it. Something that we could plan out, lay out way in advance, maybe record multiple episodes at one time with some of the same people.
You’re right. As far as the workload for that, it’s something that we’ve got to gear up to. We’re still looking for a sponsor to do that. If we can find a sponsor to sign on to help us underwrite some of the production cost, I think we can launch into that sometime next year.
Russel: It’s something we ought to talk about, see if we can figure out how we might do that. Whenever you start doing something that starts going beyond audio, there’s a whole different level of effort when you start doing video.
There is a lot of people that do video, and they just shoot it off their phone and it works fine, but I think if we’re going to do something that’s training centric, and you’re going to do a little whiteboarding around it, then you probably need to be a little bit more deliberate about it. You have to do a little bit of production.
Weldon: Oh, absolutely.
Russel: Then when you edit it, you got to edit the audio and the videos, so there’s a little bit more to that. It’s just a little higher level of effort, but it’s next for the Pipeliners Podcast as well, start doing some more video stuff.
Weldon: I don’t think that the level of effort is little. I think it’s an order of magnitude difference. I still think it would be something great to do. I think it would be something valuable to the industry. It’s just getting geared up and having the support to do it.
We’ve got a lot of great things in mind already for 2023. Liquid balancing and loss control, and liquid measurement challenges are really high on my list for early 2023. Gas quality and measurement concerns at liquification facilities is one of the suggestions we got that, I hadn’t thought of that, so was really a great one.
API 21.1 is coming up with some changes, and folks want to hear about that. As a matter of fact, in general, what all of our standard groups are doing: API, AGA, and GPA. We get a lot of people wanting to know what’s going on with those.
I think trying to get a semi-regular update maybe twice a year about what’s going on with those standards committees is going to be great, because there’s a lot of new stuff coming out all over. AGA has got some stuff going on.
Russel: Yeah. We’ve done a lot of that on the Pipeliners Podcast related to all the pipeline centric API standards. I tried to work with API and have somebody who was on the working group – hopefully the chair – come on and talk about what’s new, what’s different, all that stuff. That whole API standards process, that’s a fascinating thing, to say the least.
Weldon: It’s a machine too. It doesn’t happen overnight, you know?
Russel: Oh, yeah.
Weldon: We’ve got some great stuff going on right now between the three standards groups. There’s a lot of focus on wet gas analysis, wet gas sampling, wet gas metering, multiphase meters. A lot of interest is on that. I think we’re going to have to give up a couple of episodes next year for that.
Weldon: Also, the geekier side of gas measurement, the measurement data integrity and security, using MQTT as a communications platform, there’s some questions around that. There’s a lot of stuff we could do again. What do you choose?
Of course, I over analyze everything. You’ve heard me saying a number of times, I don’t want to get down in the weeds. I want to analyze the soil that the roots of the weeds are growing in. That makes me think about it too much at times.
Russel: I also think, Weldon, that’s what makes you good. I think the people that listen to this content, they really like it when you get into the details. Tell me how it works. Give me some specific recommendations I can put into practice. Talk to me like I’m educated and I know what you’re talking about.
Weldon: That is hard to do with 30 minutes. I could turn some of these into hour-long episodes awfully easy.
We need some feedback from folks. In the show notes, I’m going to put in some of the topics that are on my list for next year.
Russel: I think that’s a great idea. It is so good to hear from listeners. If you’ve never done this, it’s a little difficult to understand. You do all this effort, you spend all this work, and you capture this content, and then you put it out, and you don’t hear a lot back about it. That’s just the nature of it. Just put it out there.
You know there’s a lot of people listening to it, and it’s awesome to hear back from listeners. We love it. Weldon loves it. I love it when people reach out to us on LinkedIn or when they go to the Pipeline Podcast Network website and they go to the contact page and just fill that form out and drop us something, say hey, what about doing this, or I know a guy that likes to talk about this.
It’s so important to what we do. It’s so helpful. It helps us keep our energy and excitement up about doing all of this stuff. I would definitely ask that the listeners take a moment and go to the website and let us know what you think.
Weldon: Absolutely, folks. Absolutely.
Russel: Let us know how we can help serve you better. We’re doing this, one, because we enjoy it. We’re also trying to do something that’s a real value to the industry, real value to the market.
Weldon: If you’re interested in it, chances are there’s a lot more folks interested in it. If you’ve had a conversation with someone at one of our schools, at one of our conferences, at an AGA conference, if you’ve had a conversation with somebody and you think, man, I bet a lot of people would be interested in this, that’s the kind of stuff we want to know about.
Russel: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Weldon: The other thing, Russel, one of the challenges I run into, I guess I never thought about it, and I also guess I’m very guilty about it. One of the things that makes a podcast run, and a lot of other things in this world today, is feedback from the listeners also.
Not only tell us what your suggestions are for podcast episodes or for guests, but reviews on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast fixes from, those reviews are important for us, because that tallies up and it makes our podcast more relevant when people search for it.
By all means, if you enjoy what we do, get on iTunes or whatever you listen through and just click on it, give us a review. Even a short one works.
Russel: You actually have a couple of really nice reviews. You’ve got one. Fellow measurement guy, really enjoy the content being produced. I love it. Keep up the great work. Lookie there. At least some people are providing you some feedback.
Help Weldon out. Give him a pat on the back. Go to your Apple Podcast page, or your Google Play page, or wherever you listen, and click through there and figure out where you get to leave a review, and leave a review. Let him know how he’s doing.
Weldon: Every little bit helps, folks.
Russel: Absolutely. Absolutely. Weldon, before we wrap up here, I just want to say I think you’ve done a great job. If you go back and you listen to the first couple, three episodes, and you listen to stuff you’ve done more recently, you could tell that you’re getting better.
By better, I just mean it’s coming easier, you seem more relaxed, seem to be having more fun with it. I think you’re doing a great job.
We’re blessed to have you doing this. I’ve been wanting to do a measurement podcast, and there was no way I could do it, just not enough hours in the day. I’m so glad you agreed to do it, and I think you’re doing great.
Weldon: Thanks again for talking me into doing it, Russel.
Russel: My pleasure. I’ll see what else I can talk you into. You might be able to talk me into going on a hunting trip with you. I’m still waiting for that.
Weldon: Oh, man, it’s pheasant and quail season. We’ve been hunting lately.
Russel: All right. Very good. Great job. Keep up the good work.
Weldon: Thanks a lot, Russel.
Weldon: Thanks for listening, folks. You can find the full transcript to today’s podcast at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com. Certainly hope you’ve enjoyed the first year, and we look forward to hearing your feedback on what we’ve done right, as well as suggestions of what we could do differently.
We’re also looking for your suggestions on new episodes and new guests. Again, look me up on LinkedIn. Use the contact link at the bottom of every page of PipelinePodcastNetwork.com. As always, I’m begging for some reviews at Google, or iTunes, or wherever you get your podcast fix from.
Thanks and enjoy your holiday season.
Transcription by CastingWords