Business News

July 2016

Michels Canada expands headquarters in Nisku, Alberta

Michels Canada recently doubled the size of its headquarters in Nisku, Alberta, to reflect its commitment to serving customers and continuing its growth in Canada.

The expansion project transformed Michels’ 3,600-square-foot office building and 7,500-square-foot shop into a two-story structure with 6,900 square feet of office space and a 10,500-square-foot shop. The facility was strategically designed to be flexible, collaborative and environmentally efficient.

Located near Edmonton, the expanded facility and yard is a convenient hub for Michels’ operations throughout Canada. Michels provides reliable, advanced construction services to a variety of markets, including oil and gas, communications, heavy civil, power delivery, and sewer and water. Most notably, Michels has successfully built mainline pipeline of all sizes and complexities throughout Canada’s remote wilderness, oil sand mines and urban areas. Additionally, Michels is a recognized leader in trenchless construction methodologies, including horizontal directional drilling, Direct Pipe and tunneling.

The technologically advanced Nisku facility is decorated with Canadian Aboriginal art to reflect Michels Canada’s culture. In deference to Michels Canada’s connection to Michels Corporation, the facade and accents throughout the building are made from 45,000 pounds of red granite imported from one of Michels Corporation’s quarries in its home state of Wisconsin. The same granite adorns Michels Corporation’s headquarters.

Higgs publishes business leadership book tracing company history and culture

Mustang: The Storyfrom Zero to $1 Billion, authored by Mustang Engineering co-founder Bill Higgs, has been published and is available for purchase. The remarkable story will appeal to business professionals in any company, as well as college students, military leaders, scouting and church organizations, or anyone seeking to build a business designed for success.

The book is based on the actual events that Higgs and the other two Mustang originators endured while starting an energy engineering firm in the struggling Houston economy of mid-1987. It illustrates how to start a company from nothing and emerge victorious.

Mustang Engineering, now Wood Group Mustang, has grown to be a global super-power with more than 8,500 Mustangers and revenue exceeding $1 billion annually. Its success, in part, is credited to the unique culture and strong values which continue to guide the company. In the book, Higgs candidly shares how the culture was created and driven by the mottos of “Making Heroes”, “People Oriented Project Driven”, and a “Just Do It” mentality.

Higgs says the Mustanger in him inspired the book, and he hopes to create devotees around the world.  He stresses that anyone can be a Mustanger, “It’s about motivating others and leading a team to victory. Higgs often says, “Energy and enthusiasm are force multipliers.” As the energy business struggles in the current intense downturn, building culture and inspiring a teaming mentality is vital to a company’s success.  After going through what he says were at least seven or eight downturns, Higgs serves as a reminder that the industry has been through this before and survived. In the book, he vividly illustrates how to manage projects, cash flow, influence team members and cultivate leaders of tomorrow.

To find out more about Mustang: The Story and how to purchase a copy, please visit the official website at

Bartlett joins Tulsa Rig Iron 

Tulsa Rig Iron announced and welcomed Steve Bartlett to the company’s business development team. Bartlett is a 25-year veteran of underground equipment sales, working for Ditch Witch of Michigan and Ditch Witch UnderCon. He is active in many industry trade associations, and will be handling the outside sales efforts for North America for the company. Tulsa Rig Iron specializes in the engineering and manufacturing of mud pumps, mud recycling systems, and hydrostatic test pump packages.

Lowman named president of Sharewell Drilling Products

Shawn Lowman has joined Sharewell HDD Services as president of Sharewell Drilling Products LLC. In his new role, Lowman will lead the company’s sales, marketing, development and operations of new and existing products. Lowman has spent the past 25 years in sales, marketing and operations and the last 10 years focusing on the oil, gas and pipeline industry. In preparation for his new role, Lowman has spent the last three years honing his industry knowledge and gathering valuable contractor experience. However, Lowman said his true passion has always been the manufacturing side of the underground infrastructure industry, prompting his return to that sector of the market.

TRC welcomes Wiese to team

TRC Companies Inc. announced that Jeff Wiese has joined as vice president and national practice leader for Pipeline Integrity Services. In this role, he will lead the management and delivery of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Integrity solutions that help clients develop, operate and maintain critical energy infrastructure safely and reliably. Prior to joining TRC, Wiese served as associate administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), where he directed 350 employees. In this capacity, he collaborated across the Department of Transportation, with Executive Branch agencies, Congressional committees and oversight offices, pipeline companies, major pipeline trade organizations, state government representatives, public and private sector emergency responders, and public safety and environmental advocates. Throughout his 17-year career with PHMSA, Wiese managed a range of programs, including strategic direction; personnel and budget development and oversight; data-driven and risk-based regulatory inspection and enforcement; research programs; land-use management practices; excavation damage prevention; oil spill preparedness and response; continuity of operations and government activities and two Federal Advisory Committees. Wiese is an active member of the Common Ground Alliance, where he serves as a member of the Board. He is also a member of the External Advisors Group for the Center for Offshore Safety. He holds a B.A. in General Science from Grinnell College and an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.

Linde expands plant turnaround, MRO and pipeline services with Texas site

Linde LLC has expanded its plant turnaround, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) and pipeline services capabilities to include the Gulf Coast region from a new facility in Baytown, TX. With a secure supply of industrial gases from one of the country’s largest air separation units (ASU), which Linde recently completed in La Porte, TX, the Linde Plant and Pipeline Services team new turnkey facility complements its western Pennsylvania plant.

“These two locations allow Linde to provide services to customers in the two major areas of activity in the U.S. – natural gas production in the Northeast and petrochemical and refining in Texas and Louisiana,” said Brian Kubalik, program manager for Chemistry and Energy, Linde Americas.

SOKY Energy completes acquisition of natural gas operations

Southern Kentucky (SOKY) Energy completed the purchase of natural gas gathering and transmission pipelines in South Central Kentucky from Houston-based Atmos Gathering Co. for an undisclosed price. SOKY Energy also acquired over 100 producing gas wells connected to the pipeline network from Pioneer Oil Co. of Vincennes, IN, which will be added to SOKY Energy’s existing operations in Warren and Butler counties, KY.

“This is a very natural fit for our company as we continue to grow and consolidate natural gas operations in the region,” said SOKY Energy’s President Jason Sharp. “We are excited to expand our footprint, and this acquisition will provide value to our customers as we continue to add more natural gas resources in the area.”

Obituary: Dick Yockey

Richard “Dick Yockey”, whose company was a long-time member of NAPCA, has passed away. His memorial service was on May 16, 2016 in Tomball, TX.