More than 500 oil and gas pipeline industry members gathered in Carlsbad, California, for the 67th annual API Pipeline Conference, April 5-6. The American Petroleum Institute welcomed operators, service providers and other stakeholders to the Omni La Costa Resort for a comprehensive agenda that highlighted the challenges and demands of the pipeline industry. The event was held in conjunction with the API Cybernetics Symposium, April 6-7.
The event kicked off Tuesday, April 5 with a welcoming address from Todd Denton, president of Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC, followed by rousing keynote speaker Murray Banks. Highlighting innovation in leadership, Banks message hinged on the need for industry members to “recharge, reenergize and refocus.” Banks is an award winning educator and world champion athlete. He used his experiences to urge audience members to stop thinking “outside the box” and get rid of the constraints of the box mentality altogether. One of his colorful quotes was, “Beware of the lollipop of mediocrity. Take one lick and suck forever.”
Following Banks was an executive roundtable discussion moderated by Jack Gerard, API president and CEO. Panelists included Tom Barrett, president of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.; Craig Pierson, president of Marathon Pipe Line LLC; Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Union; and Denton. The speakers addressed a wide range of topics dealing with the down cycle of the industry and the continuing need to connect supply to market in the U.S. Northeast.
After the executive panel, the event split into several concurrent sessions that dealt with such issues as regulatory compliance, integrity management, training quality personnel, safety and more.
During the luncheon on the first day, API awarded its Distinguished Safety and Environmental Award to the Portage, Michigan-based Wolverine Pipe Line Co. This is API’s highest safety and environmental performance award for pipeline operators. The award reflects the consistent record of safety and environmentally sound operations at Wolverine, which was recognized in the small operator category.
“This award is a testament to Wolverine’s extraordinary commitment to exceptional safety and environmental performance,” said API Midstream director Robin Rorick. “Safety is a core value for the industry. Wolverine exemplifies excellence in protecting the public and our environment.”
The API Pipeline Conference portion of the event wrapped up at noon Wednesday, April 6, while the Cybernetics Symposium began that morning and ran through Thursday, April 7. The symposium focused on cyber security, leak detection, automation and other technology-based tools.
Next year’s event will be April 25-26, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the API Control Room Forum, April 26-27.