This week’s Pipeliners Podcast episode is a celebration of the 200th episode of the podcast. Listen to host Russel Treat reflect on reaching this milestone providing education through conversation.
Russel will also share shoutouts to listeners and supporters of the podcast, highlight major contributions to the podcast, and make an announcement about a future podcast that will be joining the Pipeline Podcast Network.
A Celebration of 200 Episodes: Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- Russel Treat is the host of the Pipeliners Podcast. Connect with Russel on LinkedIn.
- Subscribe to the Pipeliners Podcast monthly email newsletter on the website homepage.
- Access the show notes for referenced podcast episodes on the Episodes page.
- Access valuable pipeline industry resources, definitions, and links in the Pipeliners Podcast Resources library.
- Do you know the Easter Egg answer? Drop us a note on the Contact page.
A Celebration of 200 Episodes: Full Episode Transcript
Russel Treat: Welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast, episode 200. That’s right, listeners, 200 episodes of the Pipeliners Podcast. This one’s sponsored by EnerSys Corporation, providers of POEMS, the Pipeline Operations Excellence Management System, compliance and operations software for the pipeline control center to address control room management SCADA and audit readiness. Find out more about POEMS at EnerSysCorp.com.
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 you taking the time. To show that appreciation, we’re giving away a customized YETI tumbler to one listener every episode. This week, our winner is Kenton Ellis. Congratulations, Kent. 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 on the Pipeliners Podcast, you get Russel Treat and just Russel Treat because we’re going to take a little time and celebrate the success of the Pipeliners Podcast.
Listeners, that’s 200 episodes since we launched the podcast in November of 2017, four years of doing the Pipeliners Podcast. I want to thank you guys for listening. This has certainly become way more successful than I would have ever anticipated. I’ve got lots of feedback from lots of people and all of it is positive. Really do appreciate the listeners.
To that point, I want to talk about what a Bubba geek is. If you listen to the intro, you often hear this term Bubba geeks, and I’ve been asked a number of times what that means. Frankly, it’s a term of endearment and affection for my brethren in the pipelining world.
If you will, a redneck nerd, meaning somebody who likes technology and computers and metal and metallurgy and all those kinds of things, and at the same time, drives around in a pickup truck and loves the outdoors, which I think a lot of us pipeliners probably fit that category. I know some of us don’t. Anyways, that’s where that comes from.
The other thing I want to talk about in terms of what we’ve tried to do, when I started this podcast, the idea was to try and mimic how I learned the business. The unique thing about pipelining is it’s a lot of very vertical, technical skills, and we tend to get isolated in a particular expertise. In fact, it’s impossible to be deeply current in all the various technical domains that are required to operate in the pipeline space. It’s a full-time job to do one narrow domain.
We, as pipeliners, really want to understand what it is that everybody else is doing. If we’re doing automation and measurement, we want to know about leak detection. If we’re doing leak detection, we want to know about inline inspection and cathartic protection.
My idea was to put together a podcast that was like how I learned the business. Meaning, I used to go to trade shows. I would find the smart guys. I would go to their booths. I would listen to their presentations. I would carve them out at the bar. I’ve asked them questions, really just trying to learn, trying to understand the business, trying to understand the technology and the challenges, and what people are doing to overcome them.
The whole idea of the podcast was to do the same thing, just have those conversations, record them, and let others listen. Also to take some of the senior people that I know who were getting near retirement — some of them have been on the podcast frankly have already retired — and try to get for their expertise and wisdom, so that others could benefit from it.
I try to make these things really technical. They’re designed to be listened to by engineers and technicians, that they’re not really for the novice. They’re not really for outsiders. They’re intended to be quite specific and quite technical.
You may not know this, but on the Pipeliners Podcast website, we have a page for every episode, and every episode page has a full transcript. Every episode page has links to the show notes, but there are links to resources Web pages, PDF documents, other things that would be resources to people. Oftentimes, even if you listen to the episode, you can go to the website, browse the webpage for that episode, and potentially find things that we didn’t cover on the episode.
The reason we do all that is to support this idea of education through conversation. Again, to that point, I want to have a little conversation about TLA. TLA is a three-letter acronym. Our business of pipelining is absolutely chock full of jargon. We use technical terms. We use abbreviations and acronyms. We use some terms. Multiple people using the same term, I mean, different things. It’s really complex.
What we’ve done on the podcast website is we’ve created a Resources section. In that resources section, you can find a number of different areas we try to organize things around different disciplines and pipelining. Then we also capture definitions. We load PDFs. We have a lot of resources out there, and all of the podcasts are organized in that way. It’s a way to find something you’re looking for and there’s also a pretty comprehensive search capability on the site. I use it all the time to find things. We’ve gotten to the point there’s so much content out there, it’s virtually impossible for me to just remember where it is.
I want to add this, and really for the listeners, for those of you that are trying to help us do this thing, I’m calling education through conversation. If you’re finding us using jargon or acronyms that you don’t understand in the podcast, drop me a note. The best way to do that is to go to the website and go to the Contact page. If you look at the top menu, you’ll find that About, and under the About, you’ll see a Contact. If you go to the Contact page, you can drop me a note.
If you find jargon or acronyms that are used and you can’t find a definition on the website, either through the search or by browsing through the resource library, let me know and we’ll get it added. I’m trying to create a pretty comprehensive library. The best way to do that is to help the listener. Please do that if you find us using jargon you don’t know.
When I first started this podcast, it was a fairly large challenge to find somebody to come on as a guest every week, and to cover another meaningful topic. There was a number of folks who very early on, very graciously leaned into the podcast, offered their time, and did multiple appearances, and I want to recognize some of those guys.
One of those people is Giancarlo Milano. Giancarlo Milano is with Atmos International. He’s an expert in leak detection. We did a number of episodes. Giancarlo has been on the podcast eight times. We did a whole series on the various types of computational pipeline models and how they’re used for leak detection and how they’re maintained and supported and what’s being done to develop and move things forward. Really great set of data. Again, a shout-out to Atmos International.
EnerSys Corporation is one of the podcast’s sponsors, has worked with Atmos on and off for years, done projects together, they’re great people. Like all of us, they have a passion for pipeline safety and environmental protection. Shout out to you, Giancarlo.
Another gentleman I want to shout out to spend on the seven times is Marc Lamontagne. Marc is a Ph.D. engineer, and his expertise is in inline inspection tools and inline inspection processes. We did a series of episodes covering the fundamentals of ILI tools, and their various types like magnetic flux and crack detection and ultrasonics and on and on. Very technical. Mark really made my head hurt. I learned a ton during that series of episodes. It’s great content for anybody that’s trying to get a general understanding of inline inspection.
For those of you that work in inline inspection, I also want to shout out to P.I. Confluence, which is one of our sponsoring companies. They provide software to manage those kinds of processes.
Likewise, I want to shout out to Ross Adams. He’s also been on seven times. He’s covered pipeline control topics including control room management, alarm management, natural compliance. Ross is such a trooper, man. Many times, early on, it’d be Thursday or Friday, and I needed a podcast for the coming Tuesday and I didn’t have anything yet.
Ross was one of the guys who I picked up the phone and called and said, “Hey, let’s get you on the podcast. What do you want to talk about?” Without fail, he scramble, help us get something put together, and really has added a lot of value to the content on the podcast. Ross is General Manager for EnerSys Corporation. They specialize in control room management — also a sponsor of the podcast — and want to call a shout out to them as well.
Then, our next perennial guest is Keith Coyle. Keith is with Babst Calland. He’s a pipeline attorney, and he’s been our go-to guy for all things PHMSA or regulatory rulemaking. I try to track all that stuff myself, but, man, Keith lives and breathes there. Anytime there’s a new rulemaking or a major movement in the regulatory world, we get him on the podcast and bring him on to talk to us about what’s happening.
Might also mention and call-out Babst Calland, the company where Keith works. They are the current podcast underwriter. One of the things they do is provide regulatory alerts. In the Resource library, you can go to the regulatory update section and you can find Alerts and Reports, and you’ll find all the recent reports coming from Babst Calland, and we continue to archive those.
I want to shout out to some other guests, notably Larry Shelton. Larry is a retired pipeline executive. I have the pleasure of working with Larry on a project. At dinner, one evening, he shared his personal story related to his involvement with the Bellingham incident. In episode 79, Larry came out and did the most of the talking and told the story of his involvement, his personal experience with Bellingham and being a representative for the pipeline operations companies and talking to and dealing with the families.
Oh, my gosh, it’s such an emotional, such compelling conversation. It really causes you to get recommitted to pipeline safety and really helps you appreciate how important it is what we do and what our fiduciary responsibility is as pipeliners. Big shout out to Larry.
I’m probably going to start running that episode every year on the anniversary of Bellingham. It’s such an important piece of our experiences as pipeliners. It’s a story that everybody in pipelining ought to know. It really is that that important.
Also, I want to shout out to Will Gage. Will is with Targa Resources in their SCADA/OT organization. Will’s been on a number of times, kind of a geek cut out of the cloth that I’m cut out of. We actually served on the board of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, which is a professional organization. Will’s done some great episodes.
Really, the important part to share here is Will’s boys. At least, Will tells me this is true. I don’t know for sure it’s true because I’ve never met his boys. He tells me his boys love listening to the Pipeliners Podcast. They always ask for it when they’re driving, and say “Dad, do you listen to the Pipeliners Podcast?”
I always wonder if he’s pulling my leg a little bit, but he swears that that is in fact the case. If that is in fact the case, I want to shout out Will’s boys, and tell them keep on listening, get to school, get engineering degrees and come to work, we need you in the pipeline business.
We’ve also been very lucky to have the Marathon trio, and three individuals from Marathon Pipeline reached out to me early on, Dan Sensel, Jason Dalton, and Kyle Miller, and they brought me a bunch of content around pipeline hydraulics, pressure management, engineering, interfacing engineering to business development, all those kinds of things. Great group of guys.
I’m trying to get them back on recently and they’ve all moved around. They’re in different roles. It’s become difficult to get them rescheduled, I’m sure we’ll get there at some point but great guys, great content, a lot of fun with them. That’s another set of episodes that have got a lot of comments about I think operators really like to hear from other operators. Thanks to Dan, Jason, and Kyle. I might also call out Justin Shannon. Justin did a couple of episodes on risk management. He’s also with Marathon and was introduced to me by the Marathon trio.
Those episodes have been some of the most listened to and continue to be some of the most listened to episodes. It unpacks what risk management really is. For me, it removed the mystery, so it was pretty awesome.
We’ve also had a couple of public servants, Skip Elliott, who’s the former Administrator of PHMSA. He came on and talked about PHMSA as an agency and its mission, some of the things they’re doing in research and development, their commitment to safety, and so forth. We also had on Ryan Sitton, who’s a former Texas Railroad Commissioner. We’ve had a lot of people. The thing that was shocking for me is I didn’t pursue PHMSA. His people reached out to me, so Skip’s people actually reached out to me about getting on the podcast, which I thought was awesome.
Then lastly, I want to shout out to Mark LaCour. Now, Mark’s been on the podcast, but, more importantly, that Mark does his own podcast. He’s got a podcast called “Oil and Gas This Week,” and a number of others. His partner, Paige, does a podcast called “Oil and Gas Industry Leaders.” They’ve had me on there as a guest.
The important thing to know about Mark is I actually got introduced to him or found out about him. I was having dinner with someone, and they were talking about podcasting. This was before I was doing anything. He asked if I knew the Mark LaCour podcast, and I told him I did not. He told me about his podcast. I started listening, and I just on a whim found him on LinkedIn and reached out. Mark very graciously spent time with me. He talked to me about what he was doing and how he was doing it. It was really, really helpful.
Mark’s really committed to having a community and supporting other people that are trying to do podcasting and add value to the industry. Shout out to you, Mark. I appreciate what you did.
We also have a number of people who sponsor the podcast. The podcast is fairly expensive to put on and maintain, doing one every week. We’ve got a professional sound guy that makes all the sound. Shout out to you, Chuck. I don’t mention him very much, but he’s a very important part of the team and a very important part of the quality. He makes the podcast easy to listen to, and cuts out a lot of the pregnant pauses and rabbit holes that I run down, making me sound intelligent. Appreciate that, Chuck. Keep doing what you’re doing.
We also have a number of sponsors. The sponsors are important because they help underwrite the costs of doing the podcast.
One of our very first sponsors was — after we’d been doing the podcasts a little over a year, close to a year and a half — a group called iPIPE. iPIPE is an organization that sponsors directed research to commercialize technologies that pipeliners are looking for. We talked about their process and their program. From there, we began to gain other sponsors. We’ve been very blessed.
We’ve had American Petroleum Institute as the sponsor and talked about the API pipeline standards and some of the standards that they were working on at the time. We’ve had Energy WorldNet on as a sponsor. Most recently, we had ROSEN. We’ve had EnerSys Corporation, Gas Certification Institute, Satelytics, Burns & McDonnell. All of these folks have really helped us improve our content and help us keep this whole process going.
For those of you that might be interested in sponsoring, I’ll tell you a little bit about what that looks like. We look for sponsors that are going to sponsor a quarter. That’s a block of 13 episodes. Then, we work with those sponsors to collaboratively program about six episodes.
Always, we’re not trying to do things that are commercial on the podcast. We’re trying to educate and inform. That’s the key mission. We want to stay on-point. I just want to cover that a little bit because if there’s people out there where that might make sense or provide some value, it would be great if you’d reach out, I’d love to talk to you about that.
In addition to the Pipeliners Podcast itself being much more successful than I ever imagined that might be when I started this process, we’ve been very fortunate that about two years into doing the podcast, we were approached by Pipeline & Gas Journal about collaborating with them to start the Pipeline Technology Podcast.
We’ve now been doing that for about a year. The Pipeline Technology Podcast comes out once a month. What we do there is we bring an author own has written an article in the magazine and we try to take a deep dive, have a conversation about the article they wrote. I don’t know about you, but I try to read the Pipeline and Gas journal regularly.
Some of those articles, I read them and I’m just like, “What are they talking about?” because it’s too far outside of my expertise and it’s too hard to get through the jargon. What we try to do is take a deep dive and help people get through those articles and be able to retain that information and understand better. Again, it’s all education through conversation.
We’ve come a long ways. I want to talk to you from here about what’s in the future. We’re looking for other subjects that we can cover, where we believe we can continue to add value and continue to push this idea of education through conversation.
One of our sponsors, Gas Certification Institute, offers measurement training and standard operating procedures for field measurement operations. We’re working with them around putting together an Oil & Gas Measurement podcast. Stay tuned for more details. It’s probably going to be early next year before we are able to get that pulled together, but that’s something that’s in the works. If it makes sense to do more, we’ll do more.
The other thing I want to mention is we offer a monthly newsletter. Just go to the home page, drop in your email, and sign up for the newsletter. You get an email once a month with links to all of the episodes that have occurred in the last month. We also include the alerts that I mentioned earlier that Babst Calland provides. They’re in that email. If there’s other important information we think it’s important for the listeners to know, we drop that in the email.
It’s once a month. It is the way to stay connected to the content. It gives you quick ways to review what we’ve done. You can dig into the things you think makes sense for you to dig into. I’d encourage you to subscribe to that. Very easy to do. Just go to the homepage. Look for the “subscribe for podcast alerts” sign-up box, enter your email, and you are done.
Before I sign off, I got a little Easter Egg for you. I’ve done this in the past. Some of you that have been listeners for a long time might already know this answer. The music that we use at the beginning and the end, there’s a name of that tune. If you can figure out the name of that tune, go to the podcast website, find the Contact box or the Contact Page and drop me a note and tell me the name of the song and the name of the artist. Then I’m going to put you on a shortlist to get one of these YETIs. I will tell you that these YETIs are in high demand. We give them out once a week. The only way you can get a YETI is by going to the website and entering to win. Or, this one exception, this one time is the celebration of the 200th episode. I would encourage you to try to figure out what that song is, and I hope that you enjoy the search.
Lastly, I really want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the listeners and to all the people who’ve given me feedback, who’ve reached out, who’ve asked about content they’d like to hear about, and the engagement that we’ve had around this topic. It’s been a real gift. I’ve had a lot of fun.
Goodness gracious, I’ve learned a lot. You would think that after 200 episodes, I’ve had covered everything, but let me tell you something, it’s a vast domain, and by the time I’ve covered everything, we’ll need to start over again because it will all have changed.
Thank you all for listening. I hope you enjoy the conversation this week. Just a reminder before you go, you should register to win our customized Pipeliners Podcast YETI tumbler. Simply visit pipelinepodcastnetwork.com/win to enter yourself in the drawing.
Russel: If you have ideas, questions, or topics you’d be interested in, please let me know on the Contact Us page at pipelinepodcastnetwork.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next week.
Transcription by CastingWords