When it comes to preliminary survey and route design, peace of mind and trust are two deliverables that Shafer, Kline & Warren (SKW) bring to every project. With a history of large-scale oil and gas pipeline projects, SKW’s refined system for planning, communication, and data management streamlines design and saves time and money for its clients.
The result of this refined pipeline survey system is exceptional value for SKW’s clientele. SKW’s expertise has been cultivated from decades of project experience and it has led the company to be one of the most efficient pipeline surveying teams in the nation. This cumulative knowledge and experience is put to work from the moment a client presents a scope of work. The SKW field services team knows that in order to meet schedule and budget expectations, they must be thinking ahead and planning for unforeseen circumstances.
“You have to be prepared for any kind of scenario,” said Tim Johannes (TJ), vice president of field services for SKW, which means excellent record keeping, redundant processes, team work in the field, an open line of communication with the client (including alignment review, mapping, and construction related issues), and several quality control checks throughout a project’s lifecycle.
That means every piece of pipe is given an SKW number. Every material, manufacturer, joint, length, and more is recorded above ground, then again when it’s lowered into the trench and welded into place. Each weld has a coordinate, a number, the welder’s initials, and date.
“We’re surveying the pipe when it’s in the trench, and we’re doing it as a matter of course because that’s something the complete as-built requires,” TJ said. “We want to have a complete record on file, and consistent and accurate record keeping is crucial if you want to come through for your client.”
To ensure accuracy, the pipeline survey data is double-checked at the end of each day and imported into an ongoing base map to ensure everyone, client included, is up to date.
Ongoing record keeping also means alignment sheets from day one—sheets that are near construction grade once they are finished. It means the resolution of all routing challenges as they arise, bore designs that are roughed out for right-of-way purposes, and a final plan set that’s used for construction and as a basis for final as-built documents and real-time construction information. SKW also aids in the permitting process for specific crossings for review by county, state, and federal agencies.
“There are companies who do nothing but permits, but we provide it as a service,” TJ said, noting that it’s not uncommon for SKW to go out and meet with various county entities to obtain, pay for, and submit all permit requirements. “We prepare all the exhibits they need and all the drawings they have to submit. It’s a lot easier for the client if SKW manages those concerns in-house, where the information and the people are readily available,” he added.
If a client needs information for an audit down the line, TJ said SKW can have “500-miles worth of information” in an hour. “Or if we need to quickly stake out and dig a trench to cut out and replace a section of pipe, we can do that,” he adds. “Everything a client needs is in one basket at SKW, and it always will be.”
Ultimately, SKW’s comprehensive in-house experience and expertise builds on its history of excellence in the field. “We’re all out there working toward the same goal,” TJ said, “The most economical route over the best terrain. The client’s success is our success.”