40 Years in Business - 1969-2009

(March 31st 2009)

Pipeline Engineering's rise to fame!

Pipeline Engineering, the leading supplier of engineered solutions to the pipeline pigging and flow assurance market, is celebrating its 40th year of service to the global oil and gas pipeline industry.

Started in 1969 by Ken Hemingway, the Company was acquired by the Bullough Group in 1984. In 1997 the Company was bought by Willy Watson, the current managing director, and a colleague of his Kit Maunsell who is a non-executive director. The acquisition was supported by Quester Venture Capital who were subsequently bought out in 2001 by the management and a number of small private investors. Since then the Company has grown on average 25% year on year reaching a turn over this year of £20m, to become the leading supplier of utility pigging equipment to the global market outside the USA.

In 2004, PE started its Engineered Solutions business unit which focuses on providing solutions to unique pigging problems whether they are the design of special subsea pigging systems for deepwater flow lines or the cleaning of difficult pipelines. The units major advantage over the competition is that it has the facilities to design, prototype, carry out proving trials and manufacture all on one site, supported by a qualified team of offshore service engineers, ready to deploy tools in the field. Run by Dave Bacon, who had previously worked for Halliburton on North Sea pipelines, this side of the operation has proved a great success and been involved in some very challenging and exciting subsea projects for major operators around the world.

Pipeline Engineering, based in North Yorkshire, England, has in recent years become truly global with offices in Houston, Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Spain, Singapore and Brisbane, Australia, and representatives in over 30 other countries. In 2006 the Company build a purpose build new manufacturing facility and headquarters with state of the art production equipment with the aim of improving efficiencies, quality and delivery. Since then the Company has achieved ISO29001, a unique quality standard for the oil and gas equipment supply industry, ASME "U" and "U2" Certificates of Authorisation, National Board "R" Certificate of Authorisation and ISO14001. In addition the Company meets the EU PED directive through implementation of a quality system, approved by Lloyds Register, to permit Pipeline Engineering to affix the CE mark.

More recently the Company set up local service centres in Aberdeen and Abu Dhabi where it is able to provide a comprehensive pigging service. This includes the supply of Pipeline pigs and pigging spares, holding of stock for customers, pig refurbishment, pig trap and end closure inspection and a pipeline cleaning service, supported by an offshore qualified service team. The Company has already signed up a number of long term frame agreements to support customer's pipeline pigging requirements.

Over the years PE has invested in R&D to keep ahead of the market. Innovative products it has brought to the market in the last few years include the multi-diameter "paddle" pig, the automatic multiple pig launching (AMPL) system, a system for locating blockages and leaks in pipelines (Acoustek), a welding pig for subsea tie-ins and a pig for slow flowing lines.