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Caterpillar Inc. recently received the Environmental Award from the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) for its Eco Operator Training program. This one-day program is designed to teach operators how to run equipment to maximize fuel efficiency and lower emissions while maintaining high productivity. The program can assist customers in realizing fuel savings up to 20% in some applications.
  The award, sponsored by Shell, is in recognition of a significant achievement in reducing the impact on the environment for the construction of pipeline projects.
  Dan Macholan, general manager, Caterpillar Global Pipeline, said, “Smart companies do more with less – more productivity with less fuel. This course is fundamental in our strategy to help customers make efficient use of the world’s natural resources and reduce unnecessary impacts on people and the environment.” 

Following many years of service to the pipeline industry, Barry L. Brown, retired from his role as executive director of the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada (PLCAC) on December 31, 2010 after 42 years in the pipeline industry and 34 years with the PLCAC.
  Brown has been active in the pipeline industry in Canada and also at the international level through his involvement in the World Federation of Pipeline Industry Associations and his attendance at the annual conventions of the International Pipe Line and Offshore Contractors Association.
  Neil Lane, who joined the PLCAC in 2008 as its assistant executive director, was appointed as PLCAC’s new executive director.
  A special tribute to Brown for his many years of service was celebrated on Nov. 30, 2010 at the Oakville Convention Centre, near Toronto, ON.

Tom Barrett is the new president of Alyeska, which operates the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline.  The company says it is preparing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on construction projects, such as upgrading aging facilities in Valdez and retrofitting its pump stations to deal with the reduced flow of oil. Without the changes, the reduced flow could damage the pipeline.
  Barrett was picked for the job not by Alyeska but by the trans-Alaska pipeline’s five-member owner committee, which includes executives from BP, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and others with a stake in the North Slope oil fields.
  Barrett is the first Alyeska president not on loan from one of the oil companies. He replaces Kevin Hostler, a longtime BP executive who ran Alyeska from 2005 to September 2010.

Jesse J. Greene, Jr. and Miles D. White have been elected to the Caterpillar Inc. Board of Directors. Greene will serve as a member of the Audit Committee and White will serve as a member of the Governance Committee.  

Itron Inc. has hired Philip Holdbrooks as vice president of product marketing for the gas industry. Holdbrooks brings more than 20 years of experience in the energy and utilities industry to the position. He will be responsible for setting Itron’s strategic direction for gas products and solutions. 

Nikolai Platonov is the newly elected general director of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). Vyacheslav Sergeev was also approved as the CPC general manager, expansion projects and Roman Vasilyev as CPC general manager, Field Operations.

Patrick J. Mullarkey has been named president of United Spiral Pipe LLC, a joint venture between United States Steel Corporation, POSCO and SeAH Steel Corporation.

UniversalPegasus International recently welcomed John Harrower as COO of the Offshore Division. John Jameson, president and CEO of UniversalPegasus said, “We are confident that John Harrower’s leadership will take the Offshore Division to the next level and aggressively grow our business.”

NiSource Inc. has appointed Brett Stovern as CFO of its NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage (NGT&S) business unit.  Based in Houston, Stovern reports to NiSource Executive Vice President and CFO Steve Smith, and will oversee all NGT&S financial operations.

Neal F. Lehman has joined ONEOK, Inc. as vice president of Compliance and Ethics. In this new position, Lehman will have oversight responsibility for the companywide compliance with rules, regulations and laws and for the development and implementation of continuing companywide compliance and ethics training.  

Scott D. Williams has been named president of TPF II East Texas Gathering, LLC, a new pipeline system for gathering natural gas production in the Haynesville Shale, Bossier, and James Lime formations in eastern Texas.
  East Texas Gathering is owned by TPF II, L.P., a private equity fund managed by Tenaska Capital Management, LLC, of Omaha, NB. 

Obituaries:
N. R. “Shorty” Waldbillig passed away on Nov. 18, 2010 at the age of 72 years.  Shorty was well known by almost everyone in the Canadian pipeline construction industry, having spent nearly 50 years working on pipeline construction projects all across Canada.
  He was born and received his education in Cudworth, SK before going to work in the pipeline construction industry, first for Banister and later for O.J. Pipelines. He started his career as a timekeeper and was later promoted to construction manager at O.J. Pipelines.
  Shorty is also well known for his work on the Mainline Negotiating Committee of the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada. He also served as a trustee of the United Association Canadian National Pipeline Pension Plan for 14 years before his retirement in 2004.
  Shorty is survived by his sons David (Allison) and Kevin (Rosemary); his daughter Janet; the children’s mother Anita; his five grandchildren, Kelly, Connor, Meghan, Lauren and Adam Waldbillig; his brother Francis (Barbara); his sisters Leona (Edward) Scharback, Margaret (Henry) Scharback, Edna Oleksyn, and Joan (Alf) Orr; sister-in-law Joyce Waldbillig; and numerous nieces and nephews.
  He was predeceased by his parents Mathias and Mayme (Weisensel) Waldbillig; his brother Raymond; his brother-in-law Dave Oleksyn; and his nephew Dean Oleksyn.
  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, 1231 – 8 Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7H 0S5).

Michael Finnerty passed away on Nov. 11, 2010 at the age of 87.  He began his pipeline career in 1941 prior to entering the U.S. Army in 1943. After discharge, he worked as an operator, foreman and job superintendent on projects in South America. He also worked for Bechtel before joining Welded Construction Corporation. After leaving Welded in 1996, he spent the next years mentoring to a younger generation of pipeliners until his retirement in 2002. Finnerty was married to his wife, Jean, for 61 years and they raised nine children together and resided in Lansing, MI.

Oniece L. Thorn, 82, mother of  Pipe Line Contractor Association (PLCA) past president and current member of the Board of Directors, Don W. Thorn,  passed away  Nov. 22, 2010.   She was preceded in death by her husband William E. Thorn. She is survived by her daughter, Cathy Vicker (Larry), son, Don W. Thron, four brothers, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Services were held in Vina, AL.

Betty Barnett, 78, mother of David Barnett, financial secretary-treasurer of United Association Pipeliners Local 798, passed away Nov. 29, 2010, in Tulsa, OK. Services were held Dec. 3, 2010 in Haskell, OK.