In October 2015, Shafer, Kline & Warren (SKW) identified a growing demand for integrity construction to meet the operations and maintenance needs of the energy industry and announced the launch of its construction services division. Shortly thereafter, SKW hired Reese McClain as managing director to lead the new endeavor.
In early 2016, McClain leveraged his experience as an entrepreneur to establish his new team in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to work lining up projects for his construction crew. Since then, McClain has leveraged his extensive background in corrosion control and business development to exceed all performance goals for construction services in 2016.
“The support from the leadership has been more than I could have asked for, and because of that, we have been able to develop one of the most capable, regionally based cathodic protection installation groups,” said McClain.
The integrity construction department is part of SKW’s wholly owned subsidiary SKW Enterprise Solutions, which delivers technical solutions to help maximize operational efficiency for the energy and water utility industries. The Tulsa-based integrity construction team began 2016 with a three-person crew and has expanded to a five-person team due to higher than expected client demand.
As a result, Enterprise Solutions acquired additional industrial space near a busy interchange for the pipeline industry in Tulsa, which now serves as the primary mobilization point for the construction services team. McClain and his team refer to the industrial space as the “yard,” which includes indoor storage for equipment and materials, and provides a facility for light fabrication work.
During 2016, the integrity construction team completed projects installing rectifiers, test stations, AC mitigation systems, and cathodic protection ground beds, both deep well and conventional installations ranging from West Texas to Wisconsin. The construction services team has already received several orders for 2017, as well as a five-year cathodic protection installation contract that encompasses all of Oklahoma and the northern part of Texas for a natural gas distribution company.
“We completed turnkey projects with our integrity management team, bid on work designed by our pipeline group, provided services for our field survey group, and brought in new customers to SKW and Enterprise Solutions,” McClain said. “Within a year, we went from being another contractor getting into the business to being the contractor of choice with more than one customer.”
Based on clients’ needs, the integrity construction team has recently added right-of-way clearing capabilities to support SKW’s integrity survey work. As 2017 begins, McClain has established the second four-person crew in Kansas City, which will offer all of the same services as the Tulsa crew, with a northern mobilization point. Jon Cliff, who has worked for SKW for the past 12 years, also joined the construction services team as project coordinator, bringing the team to 11 people.
“We are uniquely positioned to assist clients with cathodic protection, AC mitigation, hydrostatic testing and MAOP validation because of the array of experts on our staff, from our survey and data collection crews, to our designers, project managers and construction crews,” said Brandon Pipesh, Enterprise Solutions vice president of integrity and construction. “This vertical integration offers added value to the market we serve and aligns with our clients’ needs.”
To further expand their service area, Enterprise Solutions also has established a regional partnership with Steele Cathodic. The relationship with Steele Cathodic enables the pipeline integrity team to offer a complete service package to customers in the southeast region.
“We have been very fortunate to be able to leverage current SKW employees, and hire some very experienced crew foreman and members. They have allowed for a practically seamless launch of the construction services department this past year,” said McClain. “I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring.”