What is the Pipeliners Podcast? This is for people who want to be professional pipeliners, who like the business, really want to learn more about the business, and learn what is the state of the art. What’s new? What’s going on in cyber security and automation controls, telecommunication, regulatory requirements? The idea is the Pipeliners Podcast is the place you come to gain that information and to become part of a community of people that are all interested in similar things.
My name is Russel Treat, an industry professional, software entrepreneur, and host of the podcast. The intent here is to interview people every week covering an interesting and relevant topic for the industry. In addition, the idea is that we’re also going to create a community. We’re going to learn together. This is such a big business. There’s so much to learn. There’s no way you can know it all. We all need to be continually learning, and this is going to be an opportunity to do that.
Show Notes, Links, and Insider Terms
- Russel Treat is the CEO of EnerSys Corporation.
- Find and Connect with Russel on LinkedIn.
- Who qualifies as a bubba geek? You’ve got a laptop in your truck and a gun rack on the back.
- FERC Order 636 was a regulatory requirement in 1992 that changed the way that the large gas transmission pipelines operated.
Russel Treat: Welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast. I’m Russel Treat, and this is episode one.
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: Do you ever have one of those ideas that just wouldn’t go away? Let me tell you, this is one of those. I started listening to podcasts probably two years or so ago in earnest, listening to them several times a week – if not every day of the week – while I’m commuting.
I’m listening to them while I’m working out. I’m listening to them in the morning when I’m getting up. I’ve found them to add a lot to my life. I had this notion that it would be a neat idea to do a podcast. Frankly, I also had this notion that pipeliners, in particular, spend a lot of time driving.
You’re either commuting downtown to go to work, or you’re out in the country and you’re driving between sites. It’s a lot of time in the car. There’s a lot of opportunity for listening to podcasts and doing something other than just driving with your time. To that end, I had this idea of doing a Pipeliners Podcast.
Why would you do a Pipeliners Podcast? There’s already people doing oil and gas podcasts. Who is this for? For me, pipelining is a special business. It’s kind of a dark art. There’s not near as many conferences dedicated to pipelining, and they’re certainly not the size of some of the conferences that are dedicated to oil and gas.
We’re a smaller community, and to a large degree, we’re really spread out. Pipelines are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere. The idea was I want to pay back, give back to the industry what the industry has given me.
This is for people who want to be professional pipeliners, who like the business, really want to learn more about the business, and learn what is the state of the art. What’s new? What’s going on in cyber security and automation controls, telecommunication, regulatory requirements?
The idea is the Pipeliners Podcast is the place you come to gain that information and to become part of a community of people that are all interested in similar things. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. First off, right out of the gate, I want to tell you I’m an Aggie. Yes, I know.
There’s probably snickering out there for those of you that know a lot of Aggies, or, at least, there was a lot of snickering when I decided I wanted to go to A&M. It’s the fall of 2017 and the outlook for football’s not great, so we just won’t talk anymore about that.
My degree’s in civil. I went into the Air Force because they paid for my college. I did enough civil construction to know that’s not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I got out of the military, I worked briefly in process engineering for a cryogenics company, liquid CO2, liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, that sort of stuff.
After several years with that company, I started my first business in 1988. Sold that business in a couple of years and joined a company called Software Marketing, which was where my interest in technology and my interest in oil and gas started.
What we used to do at Software Marketing is we would look for what we called a device. A device was a tool that had been built in software, had been sold to and was being used by a customer.
The customer liked it and they would tell people favorable things about it, but not yet a product because there was no training. There was no support. There was no roadmap for future development, no marketing team, no sales organization.
What we would do is we would commercialize, add those other pieces into products. We worked in a lot of different industries. We worked in healthcare, banking, platform IT, oil field services.
I learned a couple of things while I was working at Software Marketing. One, I learned a lot about technology. I also learned that of all the different verticals, what I liked was oil and gas. That’s what my buddies worked in. For whatever reason, I just liked that business.
We did some interesting things back in the very early ’90s with coil tubing and coil tubing monitoring. We did some other things in other aspects of oil field services. I really loved it. In 1993, I left that company to take a position running a company called BMP Energy Systems.
BMP was a measurement services company in Canada, and a measurement software company in the U.S. This was around the time that FERC Order 636, which was a new regulatory requirement, was coming out that was changing the way that the large gas transmission pipelines operated.
We had a technology that would allow you to integrate a circular chart. Those of you that have been around the business for a while will remember these. You would take the round chart. You would place it on a platter. You would spin it and trace the lines. From that, you could calculate a volume.
We basically put all that on a PC in DOS at the time, and would calculate and back stamp a volume, which was cool and very state of the art when we did that. At the same time, this was when electronic flow measurement was beginning to proliferate and this new requirement out of FERC was driving businesses that way.
There was a lot of change going on. I was with that company for six years. I learned a ton about measurement. Going back to why the Pipeliners Podcast, I learned measurement by going to measurement schools.
I went to the American School of Gas Measurement. I went to the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement, and many others every year for a number of years. I would go to all the classes.
I certainly learned a lot from the classes, but more importantly than that, this is where I learned the subtleties, the distinctions, why different technologies, the history. I learned that from talking to people who had been in the business longer than me — had more knowledge and experience than me. One of the things I loved about the business is people were willing to share. They actually wanted to help people learn, and learn the business so that there would be people coming behind them that were as capable, if not more capable than they were in their own careers. That was the way I learned the business.
In 1999, I started EnerSys Corporation as a control systems integrator. Actually, we started it as a measurement consultancy. That led to doing some data collection and telemetry. That led to doing some simple HMIs, simple SCADA systems. That grew into doing full-blown SCADA. In 2011, we took EnerSys and we turned it into a software company focused on pipeline operations and the control center.
Anyway, that’s kind of my history. That’s my background. Hopefully, that helps you understand a little bit about me and where I come from, and really why this has been an idea that wouldn’t go away.
I want to give back. I want to create an opportunity for people that might not be able to go to as many trade shows and schools as I had the opportunity to go to, as I was learning the business.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Pipeliners Podcast, what it is, and what we’re going to try to do. This will be the only episode, hopefully, that’s just me.
The intent here is to interview people every week going forward with somebody new on some other interesting and relevant topic for the industry. In addition, the idea is that we’re also going to create a community. We’re going to learn together. This is such a big business. There’s so much to learn. There’s no way you can know it all. We all need to be continually learning, and this is going to be an opportunity to do that.
Going forward, the show’s going to be in interview format. We’re going to do it weekly. We’ve already lined up guests. The next several weeks, we’ve got some interesting topics.
A lot of people have been hearing about Internet of Things. We’re going to talk about the Industrial Internet of Things and the future of SCADA. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me that, “What is Internet of Things and how is it any different from what we’re already doing?” We’re going to attempt to answer that question.
We’re also going to talk about industrial cyber security with an expert in that area, industrial cyber security, distinct from just information systems security. Basically, how do you keep people from getting access to your control systems?
We’re also going to talk in an episode here shortly about the high performance HMI, what it is, why it’s important, what does it take to successfully implement it, and on from there. We want to know, I want to know, about what it is that you would like to hear about, what it is that you would like to know about.
You can reach out and make those requests. My promise is that I’ll be listening to every one of those. I’ll be reading every one of those, and we will be working to line up guests, line up subjects that are going to serve the people that are listening to the podcast.
To that end, you can find me on LinkedIn. Again, my name is Russel, that’s R-U-S-S-E-L Anybody that knows me well, knows it’s only one L. The last name is Treat, T-R-E-A-T. Yes, just like trick or, around the Halloween time. Easy name to remember, an easy name to find. You can find me on LinkedIn.
You can also go to our website. It’s pipelinerspodcast.com. Go to the Contact Us page, and if you’ve got some ideas about what you’d like to hear about, or any feedback on the show, please drop it. We’re eager to hear what you have to say. Also, you can follow us on SoundCloud. You can rate and review us on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.
That’s all for now. We look forward to getting together with you again and having you join the conversation. Thanks for listening.
Announcer: Share your questions and comments with us at pipelinerspodcast.com. You can support the show by liking and following us on SoundCloud, or by rating and reviewing the show on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. Thanks for listening to the Pipeliners Podcast.
Transcription by CastingWords