December 2016, Vol. 243, No. 12

Company & Association News


Association News

The INGAA Foundation’s Board of Directors elected Thomas D. Hutchins, vice president of Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) for the natural gas business of Kinder Morgan, Inc., as chairman for a one-year term beginning Nov.5.

Hutchins has over 30 years of experience in the pipeline and energy industry, working in field engineering, project management, operations, and EH&S. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and later received an MBA.

He began his career as a field engineer, building pipelines and compressor stations for El Paso Natural Gas, now one of Kinder Morgan’s interstate pipeline systems. He also worked as a project engineer and project manager for the International Boundary & Water Commission.

The Foundation’s board also elected Mark Hereth, a principal with Process Performance Improvement Consultants (P-PIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Blacksmith Group, as vice chairman.

Nick Stavropoulos, president of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), was elected to the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Board of Directors. He has over 35 years of experience in the gas industry and joined PG&E in 2011 as executive vice president of Gas Operations. He was named president of PG&E Gas in 2015.

The American Gas Association (AGA) is co-sponsoring Veterans in Energy, a joint effort by the U.S. Departments of Energy, Labor, Defense and Veterans Affairs; Center for Energy Workforce Development and its members: Edison Electric Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; American Public Power Association; and labor unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Utility Workers Union of America. 

Personnel Changes

Steven T. Schlotterbeck, EQT’s president, will succeed David L. Porges as CEO when Porges retires from that post in the first quarter of 2017. Porges will remain as board chairman for one year.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.’s Board of Directors appointed Jimmy D. Staton president and CEO. Jerry L. Morris, Southern Star’s president and CEO will be president and CEO Emeritus until retiring in early 2017.

Henkels & McCoy, Inc. named Robert (Rob) Riess to vice president and division manager of the Pipeline Division where he is responsible for coordinating business and project strategy as well as management of all customer relationships.

Riess joins H&M with over 37 years of natural gas and oil pipeline experience. He began his career at Texas Eastern Transmission (now a subsidiary of Spectra Energy), serving as manager of Construction and GM of Environmental Services. He worked for Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Co. and ARB, Inc., where he was vice president of the Underground and Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Division, including international operations. He returned to Sheehan Pipe Line as president and CEO in 2004 and became a partner in 2006. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri–Rolla. He was the 2016 chairman of the INGAA Foundation and is on the Board of Directors for the Pipe Line Contractors Association.

Atmos Energy Corp. announced that Marvin L. Sweetin, senior vice president, Safety and Enterprise Services is retiring to be more active in his family’s businesses. Sweetin joined Atmos in 2000 as director of Procurement and established the efficient warehouse supply and equipment model still employed today. His tenure was marked by a dramatic increase in capital expenditures, greater emphasis on safety and training, construction of the customer contact center in Amarillo, TX and the planning and construction of the industry’s best-in-class training facility in Plano, TX. In October 2015, he was named to his current position.

NDT Global, a supplier of inline inspection and data analysis, named Andreas Haindl CEO of the Middle East Operating Company. He will be based in Dubai which services the Middle East and India. Prior to joining NDT Global in 2012 he worked for 10 years in the telecommunications services industry. He received his Master in Engineering and Economics from the Karlsruhe University.

Venture Global LNG, Inc. has hired John Brian O’Leary as senior vice president of Operations. Previously he was COO of Cameron LNG where he led the pre-operations planning for commissioning and operation of three LNG trains. He has over 25 years of experience with ExxonMobil in pre-operations, planning and commissioning of LNG terminals.

Jay T. Hilbert was named chief sales officer at RigNet, Inc. a Houston-based global provider of customized systems and solutions serving customers with complex data networking and operational requirements. He will succeed Hector Maytorena in taking responsibility for worldwide sales efforts.

The Pipe Line Development Co. (PLIDCO) hired Scott Wilson as sales manager.

Four new employees joined Navigant’s global energy unit: Mehrdod Mohseni, managing director; John Donleavy, senior executive advisor; Trina Horner, director; and Stephen Pearce, director.

Rob Smith joined Woods Hole Group as business development manager/senior oceanographer. He will work in the Texas office, supporting domestic and worldwide activities.

U.S.-based Superior Tube and UK-based Fine Tubes, a division of AMETEK Inc., made three additions to the sales management. Mark A. Boyle is global aerospace market manager, based in Collegeville, PA along with Andrew Millett, sales manager for the Americas. Matthew Jablonsky is the new regional sales manager in Houston.

Jim Curry joined Atwell LLC as project manager, land solutions. Based in Lakewood, CO, he will manage projects and teams in the oil and gas, renewable energy and other industries.

Company News, Mergers & Acquisitions

Tailwater Capital LLC made an initial equity commitment of $100 million to Producers Midstream LP, a new portfolio company for providing midstream infrastructure solutions to upstream operators across various basins. The company has a broad geographic scope, but will initially focus on greenfield and strategic acquisition opportunities in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Producers Midstream is led by CEO Jim Bryant who has over 50 years of experience in the oil and gas business and co-founded several midstream companies including Endevco, Inc., Regency Gas Services, LLC and Cardinal Midstream, LLC.

Pipelogix opened an East Coast sales and support office in the Detroit area which will be staffed by Chase Dehne, sales, and Richard Allen, software support and implementation.

Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, hosted its 14th annual international customer event at the Ditch Witch Barcelona Support Center in Spain. The event assembled 320 customers from 24 countries for demonstrations of the company’s latest equipment.

Henkels & McCoy, Inc. (H&M) opened its Midwest Pipeline Division office located at 26226 S. Cleveland Drive, Monee, IL 60449, phone: (708) 457-7330. With an emphasis on integrity management projects, the office will enable H&M to reach a wider group of customers and will be managed by Nicholas Gryga.

Houston-based Compressor Engineering Corporation (CECO) will receive the “Turnaround of the Year” Award for 2016 among large businesses from the Turnaround Management Association Chicago/Midwest chapter. CECO righted itself after the discovery of financial losses in 2014 that put it on the verge of bankruptcy.

“It took a lot of work to convince senior debt-holders that we had an ongoing business model. The plan concentrated on returning to our core legacy business model. We presented plans that ultimately saved the company,” said Richard Hotze, CECO president and COO.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the following partners of the ONE Future Emissions Intensity Commitment Option of the Methane Challenge Program: Kinder Morgan, National Grid, Southern Company Gas and Southwestern Energy. ONE Future’s goal is a methane “leakage rate” (defined as emissions per volume produced or volume of throughput) of 1% or less along the natural gas value chain by 2025.


Longtime pipeline executive Winston A. Johnson II died on Nov. 3 in Las Cruces, NM. He is preceded by his father and mother, Winston and Mary Johnson, and his brother Robert Johnson. He leaves his wife of 52 years, Vivian, his brother Kenny and wife Kathy; his sister-in-law Resa Johnson, his father and mother in-law George and Daisy May, three children and their spouses, Diana and Brett Seward; Sheri and Keith Franzoy; Vernon and LeAnne Johnson; and eight grandchildren.

Johnson earned a Master’s from New Mexico State University in Mechanical Engineering. He sat on an engineering advisory board and established an endowment scholarship. He served in the Army as a chief helicopter maintenance officer with one year in Vietnam.

After the war he worked for El Paso Energy, retiring after 32 years as vice president of Engineering but remained a consultant. Johnson belonged to numerous organizations and received many awards. He chaired the Gas Machinery Research Council for six years, receiving a distinguished service award in 2004. He was chairman of Pipeline Research Council International for four years.

Services were held Nov. 9 at Getz Funeral Home in Las Cruces. Contributions can be made to one of the following: NMSU Foundation for the Winston A. & Vivian A. Johnson Endowment Scholarship (NMSU Foundation PO Box 3590 Las Cruces, NM 88003); the 11ACVVC Scholarship Fund which is the 11th Armored Calvary unit that he served with (11th ACVVC PO Box 956 Colleyville, TX.


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