Page 6 - Texas811 Magazine 2020 Issue 4
P. 6

Damage Prevention is a Team Effort
By Michael Downes 811 Magazines
Keeping communities safe as people
live, work and play in the vicinity of underground utilities is a team effort, particularly when it comes to oil and gas infrastructure, according to Doug Beck.
Doug, a pipeliner with Philips 66, has made it
his mission to bring stakeholders together to ensure the safe transfer of hydrocarbon fuels and other hazardous materials through the company’s labyrinth of pipelines.
But he sees the cause as larger than just one company.
“We have a lot of interactions with landowners, homeowners, farmers and ranchers, emergency responders, excavators, home builders and other oil and gas companies. Anybody who is digging around the pipelines,” he said.
He said the industry as a whole is very sensitive to any suspicious activity around their infrastructure, and companies regularly work together to help keep everyone safe.
“We share rights-of-way, and all fall under certain regulations we have to meet,” he said. “So, we share information on how we meet the expectations
of API (American Petroleum Institute), AOPL (Association of Oil Pipelines) and Federal and State regulators like the PHMSA and TXRRC... The most important thing is to protect the public, and that’s all collaborative in nature.”
The teamwork starts with landowners and homeowners, where Doug and his counterparts across the pipeline industry are in constant contact with those who live and work closest to remote facilities. Frequently, those folks are the first to notice a leak or other maintenance issue, and Doug’s goal is to make it easy to report any issues to the company.
“Sometimes people feel like you could get the runaround by calling a corporate 800 number, but I make sure they get a direct number to call,” he said.
And in a lot of cases, the direct number he gives out is his own.
“Nine out of 10 times, the landowner would prefer to call a local guy. I give them a point of contact that takes out the middleman. For instance, if I get a call for the Fort Worth area, I can be on-site in 30 minutes,” he said. “Having that collaborative relationship — with a face and a name and a cell number — they feel like a part of the team. It’s
not a big corporation looking down on them, it’s a neighborly process.”
4 • Texas811
2020, Issue 4

   4   5   6   7   8