Tender Information Headline Detail TenderTiger.com | Back
Pipeline, infrastructure construction jobs still seeing personnel shortage

11/07/2014, News of this country's shale boom - and particularly shale plays across the state of Texas - has dominated the headlines.

What has taken a back seat to this news is the boom continues to create jobs in the United States' chemical industry, manufacturing supply chain and indirect nonengineering jobs resulting from this major uptick in energy production.

Among those indirect jobs is the current demand for pipeline construction skilled workers. These jobs include work for welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, laborers, heavy equipment operators and others.

The Association of Oil Pipelines estimates that approximately $10 billion in new liquids pipeline infrastructure had been committed to projects begun in 2012 and continuing over the next several years.

More projects await financing.

Bruce Heine, spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners LP, said the new BridgeTex pipeline, originating in the Permian Basin near Colorado City and terminating in Houston, is being built as a joint venture with Occidental Petroleum Corp. Completion of the 450-mile pipeline is projected for third quarter 2014.

The new pipeline route goes through Brown County, just south of Abilene, to Comanche and Callahan counties, running north of Killeen and Temple on its way south to Houston.

Heine said the new pipeline has a capacity of 30,000 gallons per day and would be operated by Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) when it is completed. The Tulsa-based corporation owns one of the longest refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the country.

"There are approximately 3,000 jobs associated with the BridgeTex pipeline project," Heine said. "Moreover, the project has provided wide-ranging economic benefits in various Texas communities, including increased demand for services such as hotels, restaurants and more."

Pointing out the 20- to 24-inch pipe used for the project is being manufactured domestically, Heine said the BridgeTex pipeline also supports the manufacturing of the thousands of fittings, valves, pumps and control devices major pipelines require.

"Demand for workers is strong with our company (MMP)," Heine said. "The industry is undergoing a real revolution as it relates to oil and gas, and throughout the recent recession, MMP has grown at a rapid pace.

"Pipelines have proven to be the most effective means of raw material transports, and we always have a demand for those who design projects and storage facilities along with pipelines. This includes piping engineers, and structural, mechanical and petroleum engineers," he said.

"During 2008-2009 downturn, companies like Magellan were hiring and creating good jobs to help us expand to meet the demands of our customers," Heine said.

According to the Association of Oil Pipelines:

$46 billion in oil and natural gas liquid infrastructure investment is predicted over the next 25 years, averaging 1,300 miles of new pipeline constructed each year;

A single major pipeline construction project is estimated to employ nearly 7,000 construction workers and provide workers and their families over $300 million in salary and benefits;

More than 500 workers are needed to construct each 100-mile section of pipeline. Pipelines also require pumping stations constructed every 50 miles. Heavy equipment operators, laborers, welders, Teamsters, foremen, engineers, and inspectors/quality control personnel are all needed to construct a pipeline;

Pipeline transportation of refined petroleum products industry had more than a 28 percent increase in average annual payroll per employee from 2007 to 2012, going from $79,000 per employee to more than $100,000 per employee.

For example, GE Oil & Gas, the pipeline-building division of General Electric, hired 55 welders last year.

This year, the division expects to hire more than twice that number.