This week’s Pipeliners Podcast episode features David Gregory discussing pipe-in-pipe rehabilitation and installation, as well as why it is a beneficial option due to its ability to shift system services.
In this episode, you will learn about the installation and repair work for pipe-in-pipe, how RTP are involved and where to find FlexSteel.
Pipe in Pipe Rehabilitation Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms:
- David Gregory is the manager of the Technical Services Engineering team for FlexSteel Pipeline. Connect with David on LinkedIn.
- FlexSteel™ is a revolutionary spooled pipe solution that couples the durability of steel with the installation, performance and cost benefits of spoolable pipe products. The highly corrosion-resistant technology was developed from more than 30 years of experience in demanding offshore environments. The FlexSteel team is a group of hard-working and dedicated people united by a common mission: To responsibly deliver the next generation of pipeline solutions. Our product and services are truly ahead of the curve.
- RTP (Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipelines) combines high performing materials with high strength reinforcements in a unique construction to create a spoolable high pressure pipeline system.
- Ifc drawing is the short form of “Issued for construction”. This is the drawing is given by the consultant for construction purposes as well as preparation of shop drawings to the contractor.
- Pipeline Right-of-Way is a strip of land encompassing buried pipelines and other natural gas equipment allowing them to be permanently located on public and/or private land to provide natural gas service.
- Throughput is the amount of petroleum product that moves through a particular facility during a given period of time.
- ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) refers to investing which prioritizes optimal environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors or outcomes.
- Midstream is the processing, storing, transporting and marketing of oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.
- PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) is responsible for providing pipeline safety oversight through regulatory rule-making, NTSB recommendations, and other important functions to protect people and the environment through the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials.
- SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a system of software and technology that allows pipeliners to control processes locally or at remote locations.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer, known as the OEM, focuses on the design and manufacturing of oil and gas drilling equipment.
- ILI (In-line Inspection) is a method to assess the integrity and condition of a pipeline by determining the existence of corrosion, cracks, deformations, or other structural issues that could cause a leak.
Pipe in Pipe Rehabilitation Full Episode Transcript:
Russel Treat: Welcome to the “Pipeliners Podcast,” episode 297, 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 give away a customized YETI tumbler to one listener every episode. This week, our winner is Maya Kuhman with WGL. Congratulations, Maya. Your YETI is on its way.
To learn how you can win this signature prize, stick around until the end of the episode. This week, we’re going to talk to David Gregory with FlexSteel about using PTP for pipe-in-pipe rehabilitation. David, welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast.
David Gregory: Hi, Russel. Thanks for having me.
Russel: Before we dive in, I’d like to ask you to tell us a little bit about who you are, your background, what you do, that sort of thing.
David: Sure, happy to do so. My name is David Gregory. I manage the Technical Services Engineering team for FlexSteel Pipeline. I started at Texas A&M back in 2010. I started as a mechanical engineer, not really knowing what I wanted to do, but understanding that that ME role was a jack of all trades, so to speak.
I got about a year into that program, and the oil and gas industry was picking up. I was fortunate enough to have good enough grades and transferred into the Petroleum Engineering Department where I graduated in 2014. Upon graduation, I worked at EP Energy in their rotation program, with stints in drilling completions, production, and ultimately in facilities.
In 2016, when the market took a turn, I had an opportunity to jump over to FlexSteel Pipeline, utilize my upstream knowledge, the other side of the table knowledge, so to speak. I’ve been there for about seven years since.
Russel: What’s your role at FlexSteel?
David: The technical services team largely serves as a liaison between our sales staff and the end user. FlexSteel Pipeline is…We are an OEM. We manufacture our own composite product, which we’ll touch on here in a moment.
The challenge with that is that not being a commoditized solution, rather an engineered solution, we have to be able to disseminate the benefits of our product relative to the materials that the pipeline engineers are generally more accustomed to, being steel and HDPE products.
That is our primary responsibility, to disseminate those benefits to end users whether they be operators in the upstream, midstream or downstream space.
We spend a lot of time with regulators helping them understand the product and its benefits, and of course, any public agencies or public in general, just bringing everybody up to speed about this new technology that we believe is revolutionizing the pipeline industry.
Russel: My first job out of the military was as an applications engineer in cryogenics, a similar kind of thing, where your role is to help the customer capture the value and doing the engineering to bridge between the sales proposal and the value actually being received.
Anyways, this is awesome. I really appreciate you coming on board and doing this. This is something that I have heard about and was interested in, is this idea of pipe-in pipe-rehab. I think the place to start is to talk about reinforced thermoplastic pipes, or RTP, which is way easier to say. What is RTP?
David: I love the RTP option there as well. You had Chris Alexander on a few episodes ago and he did a great job of disseminating the alternative pipeline materials out there. RTP is one of them, reinforced thermoplastic pipelines.
They’ve been around for many decades, most notably dating back to World War II. If you look up Operation PLUTO, which is an acronym for “Pipeline Under the Ocean,” the British actually created a pipeline under the English Channel to support fuel needs during the war, so the technology has been around for many, many decades.
Over the years, it has developed into a highly technical solution for aggressive, dynamic applications in the offshore oil and gas space. In the last few decades, we’ve simplified it and optimized it for the onshore static environment, where FlexSteel excels. Generally speaking, the RTP product consists of three different layers, if you will.
The inner layer is an extruded thermoplastic liner. HDPE 4710, high density polyethylene, is typically the material of choice, simply based on a manufacturability perspective and of course, a cost perspective, but there are different thermoplastic materials that can be used, with different pros and cons associated with each.
Then, a reinforcement layer is applied over the top of that liner. For FlexSteel, as the name suggests, we utilize helically wrapped steel strips, but there are fiber reinforced products out there.
A lot of different reinforcement materials have been evaluated and utilized, but we’ve found that that steel reinforcement works just great for our applications and allows us to excel in a few attributes that we’ll touch on here in a moment.
Ultimately, once that reinforcement layer is applied, a second layer, typically of the same thermoplastic material, is extruded over the top. You’ve got an extruded liner, an extruded shield, and a reinforcement layer in between.
There’s a lot more detail that goes into it, but that’s generally a high level product description or design, regardless of what materials you use for the corrosion resistance and the strength supporting material of the pipeline.
Russel: I’m asking the question because I don’t know. This is the same kind of pipe that would be used in gas utility service or that type of thing, where you’re using plastic pipe and it’s higher pressure. Would that be correct?
David: That’s exactly right, Russel. 4710 high density polyethylene has been used in the industry, often referred to as Poly Pipe, for many, many decades. The obvious benefit of the material is the corrosion resistant nature of it. Poly Pipe has much greater ability to get larger diameter.
Where it is limited is on pressure. That’s where the RTP market comes into play. We maintain and we build on that corrosion resistant flow environment, but are able to operate at much, much higher pressures with the various reinforcement materials out there.
That is really the beauty of the product and most of the products out there, is we’re utilizing industry accepted and understood materials. There’s no proprietary material aspect to many of the designs.
When we’re disseminating the benefits of the product to a customer, we’re able to rely on, one, their inherent knowledge of that established commoditized solution, in this case being the 4710 HDPE, but then how we’re able to build on that and blend in the best of both worlds, as I see it, between poly and steel in a spoolable composite format.
Russel: Man, this is an awesome episode because you’re using lots of technical terms. So far, I think I understand them all, but I do want to ask a couple of questions. Poly Pipe by itself, what’s the max pressure that people would typically use? What max pressure would be appropriate for a Poly Pipe?
David: It depends on the dimension ratio, often referred to as the SDR. The thicker products, generally, can go up to about 200 to 300 PSI. They are quite thick at that point. As you get into a thicker material, it’s a little bit harder to maneuver, of course heavier.
That’s where the composite, the reinforced thermoplastic pipes come into play, is extending that capability. In the case of FlexSteel, we utilize the same material, but with that steel reinforcement, we’re able to go up to 3,000 PSI.
Russel: That’s the next question I was going to ask is, what can you get with RTP?
David: That’s 3,000 PSI is where we are at, FlexSteel is at, but there are other reinforced products out there that are, again, in that offshore space, that can handle much, much higher pressures, obviously at a different cost.
That’s the balance, is developing a product that is uniform enough that you can make enough of it or catalog enough that you can make it and remain profitable, but also capture enough of that market share that you have some staying power in the oil and gas space.
Russel: We could do the whole podcast just on that conversation right there.
David: Sure, absolutely.
Russel: I asked you to come on to talk about pipe-in-pipe. To me, notionally, the idea of taking a pipe, putting it inside an existing pipe as a way to extend its life is compelling. What is pipe-in-pipe? How does RTP play in that space?
David: That’s a great question. Again, Chris did a great job of teeing it up, which is really why it piqued my interest to come on and double click on that subject.
Pipe-in-pipe, to us at FlexSteel, can be simplified as the insertion of a new pipe, typically FlexSteel, we prefer FlexSteel, obviously, but the insertion of a new pipe into an existing infrastructure, either to renew it or repurpose it for an alternative service application.
That can be done on active pipelines. Of course, idle pipelines are a great target because you’ve got, basically, a liability there on your balance sheet that we can repurpose and reinvigorate and convert it back into an asset.
We can also tackle some pretty unique applications. We’ve done projects where we’ve inserted our pipeline into storm drains. We’ve got some water mains, some lake water mains that we’re going to be pulling through here soon.
We can utilize the product capabilities in any application where there’s, effectively, a hole in the ground that we can simply use as a conduit. Pipe in pipe rehabilitation, historically, the best we could find started in the late 1970s, where they were utilizing some cured in place products for more home based projects, more municipal based projects.
Just over time, the new materials and new applications with the emergence of new technologies has allowed us to expand our market and increase the value proposition for a pipe in pipe rehab service.
Russel: Help me understand what’s involved in doing a pipe-in-pipe.
For me, it’s hard to visualize what that looks like. Does it look like a directional drilling operation, where you’re just feeding pipe straight down the line or it’s something…? What’s going on? How do you actually do a pipe-in-pipe replacement?
David: That’s a great question. It’s funny. The execution of a pipe-in-pipe rehab project is arguably the fastest and generally the most simple process of the entire evaluation. We utilize a wireline vendor. When I say “wireline,” most of the engineers’ ears perk up. They think downhill wireline.
Wireline in this sense is much more akin to a winch, granted a winch with 40 to 80 thousand pound pulling capabilities, typically using a synthetic rope, but able to apply constant loads, without peaking or troughing there too much, to pull the product into place.
Really and truly, it’s a very simple process. Once we’ve identified a potential project with an end user, we will first evaluate to better understand what they actually need. What size do you need? What throughput do you need? What pressures and temperatures are you expecting? That allows us to hone in on a minimum viable product, so to speak.
If they already know they want to do rehab on a particular system, we will ask them for any sort of routing information, whether that be a Google Earth KMZ file or, preferably, detailed alignment sheets issued for construction drawings. Those are typically the best.
With that information, we then go back and evaluate the existing bends, the lengths, all of the different force factors that would go into actually inserting our pipe into that existing host pipe. We’ll go back and model, via 3D modeling software, to make sure we can traverse certain bends, make sure the midline fittings can traverse certain bends.
Once we’ve done that, we’re able to generate a nice, somewhat modified IFC drawing of our own that details a full pull plan identifying where our bell hole locations are going to be, the different pull directions, and any sort of appurtenances or things that we might need to be on the lookout for when we actually go execute.
Once we get all that information, we’re able to button it up into a really nice package and get closer to a turnkey solution for the end user. That ultimately is our goal, is to make it as easy for them as possible to get this project done.
Russel: Couple of technical questions. Just say I’ve got a 10 inch line and I’m going to do a pipe-in-pipe. Am I going in with something smaller, significantly smaller, like an eight inch nominal so that I actually have clearance between the new pipe versus the pipe I’m rehabbing?
Is it more the replacement pipe-in-pipe is adjacent to or up against the old pipe? You understand the question I’m asking?
David: Yes, sir. That’s a perfect question. There are different solutions out there. The second question you asked, the adjacent option, can be done with a Tite Liner. A Tite Liner is typically the same 4710 HDPE material.
It actually is necked down to be able to insert into that host pipe, but then it will shorten and expand back to the internal diameter of that host pipe. The key factor there with a Tite Liner insertion process is that the Liner itself is still relying on the integrity of the host pipe for normal operation.
If you have a 10 inch steel line and you want to run a Liner through there because you’ve got wall loss or you’ve got corrosion or you’ve got whatever reason is limiting the integrity or the longevity of that pipeline, simply inserting a Liner will help improve your flow environment, but it still is only going to be as good as the strength of the host, typically, steel pipe there.
If corrosion is occurring, it will still occur over time, whether that be internal or external. You still have to maintain cathodic protection. You still have to keep an eye on the integrity of that host.
If you lose that, you run the risk of that Liner no longer being supported and losing its inherent pressure capability there, which can potentially lead to a loss of containment. With the pipe-in-pipe solution from FlexSteel, or from any RTP for that matter, you are no longer relying on the integrity of the host pipe. You’re simply using it as a conduit.
To your point, a 10 inch steel line, if we were to go back and rehabilitate that, the largest diameter we can do is generally one nominal step down, so as you’ve mentioned, a 8 inch new product into a 10 inch old product.
The key there is, you are taking a nominal step down, but more times than not, these systems have been designed for peak production. They’ve been designed for much higher volumes, much higher velocities, much more rigorous environments than they are seeing today.
Typically, an operator can take that nominal step down and still maintain the same throughput that they need for current production rates. The other piece of that too is, if you’ve got such significant wall loss that you need the throughput of a 10 inch, but you can only fit an 8, we can go up to higher pressures, again, that 3,000 PSI capability, so we can ramp that up.
Now you’ve created a flow environment that is a much smoother surface, with that HDPE liner, with a much greater resistance to any sort of buildup or anything like that. You may take that nominal step down, but you may not also have a subsequent drop in throughput capability. It’s not necessarily a negative when you see that drop.
The other piece too is, a drop in diameter improves your velocity there. We see a lot of customers that, again, have that 10 inch pipe, but maybe at a creek crossing or at a low spot, they don’t have enough throughput, enough velocity, to keep that product swept out.
That’s where you get that settling and get some significant corrosion and present a unique challenge from an integrity perspective, but of course, a tremendous opportunity for a pipe in pipe rehab application.
Russel: This is good because it’s framing out for me what are the considerations for pipe-in-pipe. What I hear is, there’s two fundamental approaches. One is, I’m going to line a pipe to help mitigate corrosion or other types of defects, but I’m going to rely on the pipe itself for the strength.
David: Yes, sir.
Russel: Then the other being, I’m going to take and insert a pipe of a lesser nominal size. The benefit there is, I can operate at potentially higher pressure and greater velocity, and hence the need to do the engineering and analysis to determine what’s the right solution. I’m certain that, like anything else, there’s enough consideration that it’s a bit of an iterative process.
Russel: I would think too that, particularly for older pipe that has issues and may be derated, that going in with a lesser pipe, but with more pressure and more velocity, there can be some operations efficiencies gained out of that, not just the safety or integrity mitigation that you get out of it.
David: Absolutely. We have a rehab specialist on our team and he often paints this picture for me. I like using it because a broad audience can appreciate it is, you have your house and say something happens to your house, a window gets broken, the AC goes out, heaven forbid, it does in Texas, or heck, even in Texas, we have some lines that have frozen in the past few years.
When that happens, you don’t go out and buy a brand new house. You go fix the asset that you have. Same with a car. Your brakes go out, you need new tires, you want a new paint job, any of those different things. You typically don’t go out and buy a new car. You rehabilitate the asset that you have.
In many regards, pipeline rehabilitation is just that, except the asset in this case is the right-of-way, the throughput, the ability to move product, which in many cases, is very difficult, if not impossible, in some of these navigable waterways where we’ve installed product where you may not get a new pipeline permitted, so being able to repurpose that existing infrastructure.
In some cases, it’s very difficult to put a dollar value on just simply based on the fact that you’re not certain that you’d ever get a new right of way there. The major value proposition for us is to insert our product into an existing pipeline, we typically only need about 30 linear feet of excavated pipeline per bell hole.
We’ve done some poles with the steel reinforcement we have. Our tensile ratings are the highest in the RTP market there, and they’ve allowed us to do some poles that are in excess of two miles of continuous product.
Of course, that’s deploying a coil of product, putting in midline coupling, and then deploying the next coil, so on and so forth. Two miles of pipe, and you’ve got 30 feet of linear excavation on both ends, so 60 linear feet of excavation with two miles of product installed.
You can imagine the efficiencies that are gained, not only from an installation perspective, but with the focus being on ESG, and the emissions aspect, and the surface disturbance aspect that is getting really heavily scrutinized in the pipeline industry today.
You’re able to check a lot of boxes that not only appease the operators from a wallet perspective, but also an environmental standards and goal perspective as well. We’re able to do a lot of very unique things and present a lot of value on multiple fronts.
Russel: That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get you on because, to me, this is a pretty compelling idea. The idea that I don’t have to get a new right-of-way or I don’t have to dig up a pipeline and put a new pipeline in, without regards to anything else, just from a permitting standpoint, that’s a whole lot easier to deal with.
David: Yes, sir. Absolutely. For unregulated applications, if we have the product on the shelf, we can go knock out a rehab project tomorrow. When we get into regulated applications, your 192/195 applications, because of FlexSteel and because the RTP market in general is not incorporated by reference, we still do have to go through a permitting process.
We call it a special permit process. The beauty, if there is beauty in that process, is that each time we do a new regulated project, we get an added feather in our cap, so to speak, of proving to the regulators that this is a viable product, a viable solution.
We’re able to utilize that existing infrastructure without putting any effort into scarring up the earth or permitting new right of ways or dealing with new landowners. We’re able to check a lot of boxes even from a regulatory perspective.
That, of course, Russel, is simply focusing on the maintaining of consistent service. Your example earlier, you’ve got a 10 inch crude line. Now the rates have dropped to where an eight inch is acceptable. We slip lines or rehabilitate with our product. You maintain that crude service.
The other big market that is rapidly emerging with the new industries that are evolving in the midstream space is the repurposing of existing infrastructure. Again, you take that 10 inch host pipe that was a crude line or maybe a brine line, and now you want to repurpose it for carbon capture or for hydrogen.
Utilizing these RTP products in the same pipe-in-pipe mode or manner there allows us to get the same value, but completely shift the absolute service of that system. I was reading an article earlier this year put out by the Federation of American Scientists.
I’m super excited about the title. I had no input on the title. It’s “Building a National Network of Composite Pipes to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” If that doesn’t get you fired up on the OEM side, I don’t know what does.
What they referenced in that article is a Princeton University Net Zero America study that says that there’s 65,000 miles of pipeline that they are going to need in the next 30 years or so to achieve an economy-wide, net zero emissions standard.
65,000 miles of pipeline is pretty substantial, but when you compare that to the records that PHMSA has, there’s over three million miles of steel pipeline in the US, it’s not an unachievable task, especially when you start to apply rehabilitation metrics or installation practices to reach that goal.
Currently, there’s less than 5,000 miles of pipeline for transporting CO2 and even less for hydrogen. If we’re able to take those three million miles, many of which are probably idled, and start to rehabilitate and repurpose them without installing new steel products, you start to see a lot of savings over that broad market.
Russel: I would tell you, David, that most of that three million miles is currently in service.
David: Well, currently.
Russel: There’s not a lot of that that’s idled, and there’s not a lot of that that will become idled. What is the O&M process to ensure that you’re going to maintain the integrity of this pipe over time once it’s installed?
David: That’s the same question that the regulators ask of us as well. In a regulated setting, how do you prove that this product is going to meet and then exceed the standards that we’ve set forth for the commoditized solutions?
Speaking directly for FlexSteel, I can say that our inherent design allows for what we call a ShieldSure Annulus Test. If you can imagine, you’ve got that HDPE liner, the four layers of helically wrapped steel strip, and then that HDPE shield. In between those steel strips is what we call an annular space.
There’s about a 10 percent gap. We’re able to utilize that annular space as a post installation integrity check of the integrity of the shield of the product. We’re able to inject nitrogen in there, which of course is an inert gas, and has no concern on the integrity of the steel strip.
By pressurizing that post pull, post each individual pull, and then of course once the system is totally, finally buttoned up, we can prove that the integrity of that outer layer of HDPE is fully intact. Thus, there is no exposure of that steel reinforcement to a potentially corrosive environment.
Much like a jeep test confirms the integrity of your FBE coating, the ShieldSure test, as we see it, confirms the integrity of that outer layer of HDPE post installation.
Russel: If I start thinking about having something like this in service for 20, 50 years, like a lot of our current steel pipe is, how do I know that the plastic part of the pipe is maintaining its integrity?
David: That leads me perfectly into a broader audience or a broader subject of what we call annulus monitoring.
Taking that ShieldSure test and that inherent capability of our product, we can actually take that system, apply a higher blanket pressure, and tie it back into your SCADA system so that you have real time monitoring capabilities of the pressure in the annulus, which, again, is confirming the integrity of that and the seal of that shield.
In a normal operation, you would have the ability to monitor the bore pressure, which of course, as long as you’re maintaining bore pressure, you have no loss of containment there. You can monitor the pressure in the annulus of the product. You’ve got confirmation of shield integrity.
Then, in the case of rehabilitation projects, we can actually re-encapsulate that host pipe and apply a third layer of pressure monitoring between the OD of the slip line product and the ID of the host pipe.
Of course, PHMSA really loved that concept. That’s baked into all of our regulated rehab projects, is the ability to employ real time, three layer pressure monitoring on our product. That is a stopgap of sorts until we get to that ultimate goal of having our product and the API 15S products incorporated by reference.
Until we get to that point, that is our means and method by which we can say, “Yes, in a certain moment, this product has full integrity of both liner and shield and thus no cause for concern from a corrosion or…”
Russel: That’s interesting. That’s not unlike what you do in cathodic protection, where you’re monitoring that. I guess the question that I haven’t heard answered is, if I had a problem with a pipe, how would I repair it?
David: The repair is very easy. From a normal installation perspective, damage is almost exclusively done by third party, whether it be a trackhoe getting a tooth into the shield of the product or it getting scarred up somewhere during installation.
If that happens and a ShieldSure test, of course, is there to catch it, we can go back, locate that damage via a few different methods, and then actually simply cut that section out. Typically, a cold cutter and a Sawzall reciprocating saw allows us to cut that section out.
Then we simply replace it with a midline coupling, which, per that API 15S standard I had alluded to earlier, actually is going to be stronger than the pipe itself. Much like a weld is stronger than the native steel, that coupling, once we’ve installed it, is going to be stronger than the native pipe.
If we have damage done for either a normal installation or a pipe in pipe rehab, we can simply locate that damage, put a midline fitting in its place, and be back on our way.
Russel: That all makes sense. It’s interesting. I’m coming to the end of time here, David.
As I think about this, one of the challenges, particularly in the regulated pipe space is, anytime you bring a new technology to market, the question is not so much about, will it install and operate when you install it? It’s more about, what happens 10, 20, 30 years down the road as that product changes over time?
How are you going to manage and maintain and operate that over a useful life? The idea of being able to monitor the annulus and that telling you if you have a failure, that’s handy.
Then you have the question of locating it and then knowing that I can go in there and cut it out and couple it and repair it, that’s handy, but it doesn’t fully answer the question about, how do I find it?
It doesn’t also answer the question about plastic degrades over time, so what’s the useful life of the plastic for different kinds of services? There’s a whole bunch of other questions that we haven’t gotten to that I’m sure I could probably stay on this with you all day long and continue to ask all these questions.
It’s interesting. At least in my experience, I haven’t seen this much. I know it’s pretty common in the unregulated space and more the upstream and gathering space. This kind of thing is pretty common. I’m not very familiar with it in the regulated space.
David: It’s growing slowly, but certainly growing. It’s largely a grassroots effort by a lot of the OEMs out there. I know in Canada, where we have operations, pipe-in-pipe rehabilitation, you throw a stone, and you find three or four pipelines that have probably been rehabilitated in some capacity.
In the States, it’s always been, on our ILI tool, we see an anomaly, we typically pick and replace, or we have different remediation methods. The concept of pipeline rehabilitation isn’t as broad as we would hope, but we certainly see a lot of momentum gaining, especially once a customer sees a project go on and get executed.
We have so many repeat customers that say, “I’m interested in the concept, but I’m leery,” as you alluded to, “of the functionality or, actually, the ability to execute.” Once they see that we can do that and do it well and then they see the bottom line, the economic impact it has, they’re hooked. They start identifying new opportunities.
Russel: It’s like any other kind of engineered solution. Engineers need to understand how things work. They need to understand the fullness of that so they understand what risk am I eliminating, what risk am I creating. I’ve got to have a plan for managing that risk over the life cycle of a solution. We, by our nature, are skeptical.
We’re trained that way. We’re trained to be skeptical. That’s why we’re able to do things with the kind of safety performance that we’re able to do. Anyways, David, I think this is really fascinating.
Where are you guys found? What trade shows do you go to? Where are you out promoting your product? Where would people find you if they wanted to run into you at a trade show or something?
David: The easiest way to get in contact is via my LinkedIn. I’ll provide a link for that in the show notes here. We try to attend virtually all applicable trade shows, whether that be GPA Midstream coming up here soon.
I presented at the NACE. Now it’s AMPP conferences. We’re generally also at monthly industry meetings or, really and truly, in any place that there’s a pipeline opportunity. Even the CCUS and H2 conference that was here in Houston just recently, we had a presence there as well.
We’re generally out and about. We’ve got sales teams around the country, around the world even, where we’ve installed products. We’re out there. We’ve got a website, flexsteelpipe.com. Easily can find us there as well. Generally speaking, we’re everywhere the pipeline engineers are.
Russel: That’s a lot of places.
David: It’s job security, as I see it.
Russel: Listen, I appreciate you taking the time. I feel like I’ve hit capacity for new information today, so that’s perfect.
David: I really appreciate the invite, Russel. I’ll also send you a link that a third party customer did of a rehab we completed a few years back over in the Netherlands. It gives an unbiased perspective of the challenge many operators face, whether they be domestic or abroad, and the value proposition in some executions of rehab.
I’ll share that with you so you can share it with the listeners. It brings to life a lot of the discussion here today.
Russel: For the listeners, you’ve probably heard me say this before. There’s a web page. On the website, pipelinepodcastnetwork.com, there’ll be a web page for this episode. There’ll be show notes, which will have links to resources. There’ll be a page on the site for David’s contact information.
With all the stuff that David’s talking about sharing here, that would be a pretty rich little set of show notes. Anyways, with that, David, we’ll sign off. Thank you again so much. We’re going to have to have you go back when I know more and can ask better questions.
David: That sounds great, Russel. Appreciate the time.
Russel: I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Pipeliners Podcast and our conversation with David. Just a reminder before you go, you should register to win our customized Pipeliners Podcast YETI tumbler. Simply visit PipelinePodcastNetwork.com/Win and enter yourself in the drawing. If you’d like to support the podcast, the best way to do that is to leave a review.
You can leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify. You can find instructions at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com. If you have ideas, questions, or topics you’d be interested in, please let me know either on the Contact Us page at PipelinePodcastNetwork.com, or reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next week.
Transcription by CastingWords