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Permian Basin Association of Pipeliners aims to make industry safer

Posted on October 15, 2019

By Mella McEwen, Reporter-Telegram

A wide-ranging group of energy industry personnel make up the Permian Basin Association of Pipeliners.

Speaking before the association’s monthly luncheon at the Petroleum Club, association president Jason Wolf said the group in April 2018.

He said its members come from the producers who send their production through the pipelines to the service companies who design, build, operate and maintain the pipelines.

“It’s businesses that operate in the pipeline space, but it’s even broader than that – it’s about all the people in the industry,” he said. “It’s the operators, the service providers, the folks in and around the industry in the Permian Basin. We try to be inclusive.”

Permian Basin crude and natural gas production has soared, eclipsing pipeline capacity and prompting midstream companies to plan spending billions of dollars on new or expanded pipelines.

 “Now, more than ever, we depend on midstream to provide safe and reliable transportation of our crude and natural gas,” said Wolf. “It’s our responsibility to help with that.”

One way to do that is partnering with Midland College, Odessa College and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin by giving $10,000 to each school. And the association presented four scholarships to area students who are pursuing STEM degrees and students pursuing an applied technology associate or certification in an industry-related field.

Those presentations to the colleges and the scholarships totaled $50,000. Wolf said the goal is to triple that and present $150,000 next year. Funds are raised through a golf tournament, which was just held, and a team roping event that will be held in November in Andrews.

Scholarships and education for those who are looking to enter the industry is just one of the association’s three priorities, according to Wolf.

Improving industry safety and community involvement and support are the other two priorities.

Referring to a pipeline explosion in Midland County that killed a pipeline worker last year, Wolf said, “We hope to prevent incidents like that with better training, better education and better tracking of industry qualifications.”

The goal, he said, is “bringing more consistency to training and awareness, helping with education and tracking and maintenance of qualifications and providing better background checks.”