Pipeliners Podcast

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This week’s Pipeliners Podcast episode features host Russel Treat giving a shout-out to the listeners! Russel highlights the recent Podcast Listener Survey, talks about what the podcast is doing to improve the weekly show, previews the conferences he will be attending this spring, and recaps the overall value of the podcast to listeners.

Episode Notes, Links, and Instructions

  • Participate in the Pipeliners Podcast Listener Survey
  • Get the podcast on your mobile device through one of these options:
    • Apple Podcast
      • Do you have an iPhone? Open your phone. Find the Podcasts app pre-loaded on your phone. Open the Podcasts app. Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast feed. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the Podcasts app.
    • Google Play
      • Do you have a Samsung Android phone? Open your phone. Find the Play Music app pre-loaded on your phone. Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Subscribe to the feed. In the pop-up window, click the “Auto-download” and “Notifications” sliders. Click the Subscribe button. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the Play Music app.
    • Stitcher
      • For iPhone: Open your iPhone. Find and open App Store. Search for Stitcher. Download the Stitcher App to your phone. Wait for the App to finish installing on your phone. Open the Stitcher App. Sign up for an account (or log-in if you already have a Stitcher account). Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Subscribe to the Pipeliners Podcast feed. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the Stitcher app.
      • For Samsung: Open your phone. Find and open Play Store. Search for Stitcher. You will see the “Stitcher – Podcast Player” app. Click Install. Wait for the App to finish installing on your phone. After the app is installed, click Open. Sign up for a Stitcher account (or log-in if you already have a Stitcher account). Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Click the Subscribe button. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the Stitcher app.
    • SoundCloud
      • For iPhone: Open your iPhone. Find and open App Store. Search for SoundCloud. Download the SoundCloud App to your phone. Wait for the App to finish installing on your phone. Open the SoundCloud App. Create an account (or log-in if you already have a SoundCloud account). Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Subscribe to the Pipeliners Podcast feed. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the SoundCloud app.
      • For Samsung: Open your phone. Find and open Play Store. Search for SoundCloud. You will see the “SoundCloud – Music & Audio” app. Click Install. Wait for the App to finish installing on your phone. After the app is installed, click Open. Create a SoundCloud account (or log-in if you already have a SoundCloud account). Search for Pipeliners Podcast. Click the Subscribe button. You will begin receiving each weekly episode directly on your phone through the SoundCloud app.

Episode Terms & Definitions

  • SCADA  (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a system of software and technology that allows pipeliners to control processes locally or at a remote location. 
  • HMI (Human Machine Interface) is the user interface that connects an operator to the controller in pipeline operations.
  • The PPIM conference (Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management) is the industry’s only forum devoted exclusively to pigging for maintenance and inspection, as well as pipeline integrity evaluation and repair. This event draws engineering management and field operating personnel from both transmission and distribution companies concerned with improved operations and integrity management.
  • GPA Midstream brings together professionals involved in natural gas gathering, compression, treating, processing, storage and marketing, and natural gas liquids fractionation, transportation, storage and marketing, all with the common interest of meeting about – and making a difference in – midstream matters.
  • API Pipeline Conference — the first-ever joint Pipeline Conference, Control Room Forum, and Cybernetics Symposium. With a wide range of speakers and topics, three events seek to provide timely and relevant information on subjects that include Asset Integrity, Risk Management, Construction Management, Workforce Development, and many other topics.
  • PODS (Pipeline Open Data Standard) Operators Conference is held each Spring. This is an opportunity for learning about cutting-edge industry news and to collaborate in developing strategic initiatives for the PODS Association.
  • AGA Ops Conference is the natural gas industry’s premier gathering of natural gas utility and transmission company operations management from across North America and the world for the sharing of technical knowledge, ideas, and practices to promote the safe, reliable, and cost-effective delivery of natural gas to the end-user. 
  • SGA Connect Conference is a technical skills and leadership training conference for natural gas operators.

Full Episode Transcript

Russel Treat:  Welcome to the Pipeliners Podcast, episode 114, sponsored by iPIPE, an industry-led consortium advancing leak detection and leak prevention technologies to eliminate spills as pipeliners move toward zero incidents. To learn more about iPIPE or to become an iPIPE partner, please visit ipipepartnership.com.

[background music]

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 are giving away a customized YETI tumbler to one listener each episode. This week, our winner is Cecilia Stewart with Enable Midstream. Congratulations, Cecilia. Your YETI is on its way. To learn how you can win this signature prize pack, stick around till the end of the episode.

This week on the podcast, I’m going to do something a little different. It’s just going to be me. I’m just calling this a “Shout-Out to the Listeners.” I want to share some things that we’re doing here at the podcast to try and improve our content and improve the value or the benefit that we’re attempting to create.

Our mission here basically is pretty simple. It’s to educate and inform through conversation. We certainly have been getting some feedback about that, but I’m always interested in getting more, particularly from those people that are listening and are attempting to learn from and use the information that we’re putting out.

What I’m going to do is I’m going to talk a little bit about some of the things we’re doing to try to improve. In particular, I want to talk about a survey that we’ve been conducting. We put together an electronic survey. We sent an email out to everyone who subscribes to our monthly podcast alerts.

I don’t know, as a listener, if you know that we do this. If you go to the Pipeliners Podcast website, you’ll notice that on every page on the lower right side there’s a place where it says, “Subscribe for alerts.” All you have to do is type in your email address. You will get a monthly email that’s basically links to and summaries of the episodes from the previous month.

If you subscribe to this, then you got an email that contained a link to a survey. The reason we’re conducting this survey is to try and figure out who’s listening, what they’re interested in, what we can do better, what topics we need to try and cover that maybe we haven’t covered so far.

We’ve already gotten some response back from those that participated in the survey that was sent out via email. We’ll actually add a link to the show notes. Anybody who’s listening to this, you can go to the website and go to episode 114.

Right up at the top, we’ll add a link that says, “Participate in the survey.” If you want to participate, please do. We do want to hear from you. I want to hear from you.

One of the things that came out of the survey that’s kind of surprising was the comment “Make it available on a mobile application.” Likewise, there were some comments about “Give us a tutorial about how to get it on a mobile application.”

I say this at the end of every episode, that you can use Apple Podcast, or Google Play, or Stitcher, or SoundCloud, or a whole bunch of other ways to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to it right off of the Internet.

One of the things that’s unusual about Pipeliners Podcast, as compared to what I know about podcasts in general, is that a big portion of the listenership is listening from a web browser off of a PC or a laptop versus listening via a podcast application.

I’m going to talk to the folks that run our website and see if we can get something a little bit better. I was going through the website. I think I understand why there might be a little confusion about this.

We’re already available as a mobile application through third party apps that are podcast apps. All you got to do is go there, search for Pipeliners Podcast. We will pop up. Hit the subscribe button in the application. You’ll start getting every episode on your phone as it comes out. I’ll talk to our web folks. We’ll see if we can’t add something to that.

That’s an interesting inquiry. It’s indicative of the older generation and how we consume content versus the younger generation and how they consume it. Bottom line here, we’ll make it easier.

We also got some interesting input around topics that we might cover, a couple of which that I was a little surprised by. One was there was some interest in a discussion of what violations are occurring and what learnings need to happen out of those violations. We’ll look into that.

That can be a sensitive subject. I get why people would want to know about it and why’d they want to learn from it, but we also want to be respectful of the people that are dealing with those kind of situations. It’s an interesting request. I’m not sure I know exactly how to deal with it.

There was also interest in getting more how to, particularly around pipeline integrity. That’s actually something that I’m working on. I’m trying to find some connections. I think we’ve done a pretty good job covering data communications and control room and that type of thing, primarily because that’s something I know a fair amount about.

When you get into pipeline integrity, that tends to be outside of my personal subject matter expertise, so it’s a little bit more challenging. We are doing some things to try and get more of that kind of information, or those kind of guests, I guess would be the other way to say that.

Certainly, if you got recommendations of people you’d like to hear on the podcast, please let us know. I’ll talk to you about how to do that when we wrap up this episode.

There was also some interest in hearing more about excavators and content targeted towards excavators. Again, that is something that I have on the drawing board. I’ve been talking to some people who have that subject matter expertise to get them on as guests. Again, it’s outside of my expertise. Hopefully, we’ll be improving in that area.

There was also some inquiries about better use of SCADA and the HMI. I actually think that’s a great idea. We’ve done a lot in terms of talking about the technology but not a lot in terms of talking about how to make the HMI more useful to the people that are actually running these pipelines and the related systems. We’ll get some of that going as well.

Lastly, there was a request to talk more about business cases, about how operators specifically solve problems. We’ve done a little bit of that. I’ll be honest with you. We’re constrained by who we can get on the podcast and what they are able to share or are willing to share.

Some of that [laughs], there’s a line you get to where some of that information begins to become proprietary to an operator. They see it as a competitive advantage. We’ll look into this and see if we can do a better job there.

Those are some of the things that came up in this survey.

Also, when asking about topics that pertain to the role — this is one of the questions we asked on the survey — couple things came up, again that were surprising to me. One was more about welding and construction and construction practice.

Again, that’s not a domain I know a lot about. If you have recommendations, it’d be helpful. We do have some conversations in that area. We’re going to be looking to do more of that.

I was very interested in this comment. There was a comment that came in about “Just like to know more about what’s in 192 and 195.” That’s a great question. I’ve got to think about how to do that well. We’ll certainly look at that.

There was also a request to get some content about station design for pump stations and interconnects and all that kind of stuff. I like that. That’s something we know a bit about. That’s something we’ll see if we can’t get some people on to talk about that subject.

Again, we’ll put a link up. I’d very much appreciate, if you’re a listener and you’d like to help us get better, go to the website. Go to episode 114. Click on the “Participate in the survey” link and let us know your thoughts.

The other thing that I want to do this year…Didn’t really do it, deliberately, last year. We’re coming up on the trade show season. First trade show that I’m going to be at is here in about a week. That’s Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management. I’m going to run through the trade shows I plan to attend. If you’re going to be at the trade show, please come up, say hello.

Let me know that you know me from the podcast. Last year, I went to a couple trade shows where people ran up to me and started talking to me like I should know them. That was my experience. Turned out they knew me from the podcast. It’s all good, but it’s always helpful if you tell me how you [laughs] know me. Sometimes, I get a bit overwhelmed.

Anyway, I’m going to be at Pipeline Pigging & Integrity Management. I’m going to go to the opening event, the welcome event, the exhibit hall on February 18th in the evening. I’m planning to be at GPA Midstream. I’m going to probably be at that entire conference.

Also going to be going to API Pipeline in San Diego. EnerSys Corporation, the company that I operate, will be there. We’ll have a booth. I’ll be hanging around the booth. Please, if you’re there, come by and say howdy. I’d love to talk to you.

I’ll be going to the PODS, Pipeline Open Data Standard Spring Conference, on May 5th. I’ve been asked to host a panel there. Again, please come. If you see me there, please come up, say hello, and introduce yourself. I’ll be going to the Pipeline Simulation Interest Group that same week. I’ll also be at the AGA Ops Conference. I’ll be at the SGA Connect Conference in St. Louis.

That’s the places I’ll be. For the AGA Ops Conference and the SGA Connect, we’ll tend to be hanging out around the Gas Control Committee. That’s where our people are. We’ll be in some of the other general events and such. If you see me and you recognize me, come by and say howdy. I’d love to shake your hand and hear what you think about the podcast.

One of the things we’ve been talking about is the idea of organizing some kind of informal meet up or some other kind of informal event around these conferences. I don’t know if there’s interest in that. If there is interest in that, I’d like to hear about it. Again, I’ll talk at the end of the episode about how you can connect with me and share with me what your thoughts about that might be.

In that topic, at the top of the episode, I use this term “Bubba geeks.” Occasionally, I get asked, “What is a Bubba geek?” It’s a term of endearment and affection. It’s a term that I made up to describe myself.

I’m certainly a geek, a guy that likes computers and software and things that nerds like. I’m likewise a bubba, meaning I like to hunt. I like to fish. I like to cook chili, and crawfish, and smoked brisket, and do all those kinds of things.

That led me to this idea of bubba geeks. I don’t know how people feel about that name. I’ve had some people ask me about it. I don’t think it offends anybody. I sure hope it don’t. I’d like to know how the listeners feel about that.

We’re thinking about putting something together or doing something that’ll allow us to create a community around what we’re doing with the Pipeliners Podcast.

Again, I’m calling this a shout out because I’m telling you what I’m thinking about in terms of making the podcast more beneficial, more meaningful, and more of a resource to the industry and to those that want to learn, particularly those of us that want to learn about the parts of the business that we don’t normally deal with.

Give that some thought. If you respond to the survey or if you want to just reach out, please do. Let me know what you’re thinking. It’d be really helpful to gauge if there’s interest in this. I want to do things that people have interest in. I guess that’s the bottom line here.

I’d like to cover some of the following topics. I’m going to list these. As I list them, if you would, think about who you know or where you have heard about these kind of subjects or topics and who you might have as a resource that we could bring on as a guest that can talk to these subjects.

One of them is accident investigations and lessons learned. What is the process of doing an accident investigation, getting to root cause? How do you get to the lessons learned and recommendations that come out of that process?

Measurement standard operating procedures and measurement practice. I want to do more on SMS. In particular, I’d like to talk to some operators who are implementing and talk to them about what is working, what isn’t working, where are they finding value, where do they think they’re actually moving the needle.

Certainly, public awareness and damage prevention. I’ve had some conversations. I’ve got some people we’re going to try and bring on to talk to these subjects. That’s something I’d like to do more on. Frankly, I’d like to learn more about.

Then construction, inspection, and record keeping around construction. Also subjects I’d like to talk more about. If I’m missing something, please let me know.

Before we wrap up here, I also want to do a shout-out to the people that help me do this. I started this a little over two years ago now. Really had no idea what would happen, how it would go. It’s taken off. I’m getting a lot of feedback from people that they really value and appreciate what we’re doing. I’m really blessed to hear all that.

I just want you guys to know it’s not just me. I’m the guy that gets on the mic, but there’s a bunch of other folks that are helping me out. Want to shout out to Christina Krause. I call her CK. That’s my production assistant.

If you’re talking to me about coming on as a guest, you’ll probably be talking to CK. She helps me get all that stuff scheduled and dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s around the logistics of getting the recordings done.

Want to shout out to Chuck Dotson. I’ve known Chuck for a very long time. Chuck does all the sound. More than sound, he’s a podcast coach, if you will. He’s helped me figure out how to do this. He helps me, gives me some feedback when my mic technique is not what it needs to be. It’s always appreciated.

I tell the guests that come on that his job is to make us sound smart [laughs] and that I set a pretty high bar on that sometimes. He does an excellent job with all that. Give a shout out to Chuck Dotson, who runs all our sound.

James Caldwell. James does all the show notes. He gets the transcripts, and goes through the transcripts, and pulls out the show notes, and builds the links to the resources, and makes all that written content that’s on the website valuable. For those of you guys that go there and use that stuff, thanks to James.

Then there’s Terri Hoffman, who is helping me manage the website and the newsletter list, and all those logistics around that side of running a podcast.

Thanks for listening. Please reach out and let me know what you think.

The best way to get in touch with me is one of two things. You can either go to pipelinerspodcast.com and click on the “Contact Us” page, and fill out that form. Every single one of those forms comes to me directly. I respond to every one of them. I encourage you to, if you’ve got thoughts or feedback or just something you’d like to let me know, please go there and leave us a comment.

The other way to connect with me is to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Just search for my profile name. It’s Russel, R U S S E L, one L, Treat, T R E A T. If you search for that on LinkedIn and you’re in the pipeline business, you’re probably going to find me real easy.

Feel free to send me a connection request or drop me a message on LinkedIn. Likewise, all the stuff that comes to me over LinkedIn about the podcast, I respond back to. Again, thank you for listening. I hope that even this episode you find enjoyable.

Just a reminder, we give out this really cool YETI tumbler to one listener every episode. The way you enter to win that is you go to pipelinerspodcast.com/win and you enter yourself in the drawing.

If you’d like to support the podcast, you can leave us a review. You can do that on Apple Podcast, or Google Play, or pretty much whatever application you use to listen to podcasts. We’ve had a number of reviews. They’re great. I love reading them. It’s very encouraging. I thank you very much for doing it.

[background music]

Russel:  With that, let me just say this. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you next week.


Transcription by CastingWords

Pipeliners Podcast © 2020