I am writing this Blue Light report after returning from the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Conference. This year’s conference had a more positive atmosphere due to expected deregulation of the current permitting process. During the conference I listened to gas company CEOs speak about how great the demand is for Northeast Marcellus gas. When there is demand, you need supply, and that is where 798 steps in. The pipelines we build supply the gas needed as our country continues to grow and inevitably demands more energy. There are quite a few projects scheduled for this year, and in 2018 that will help with the supply vs. demand issue that we currently face.
Some of these Northeast projects are: Sunoco’s Mariner East 2; National Fuel’s Northern Access Project; Columbia Gas/TransCanada’s Leach Express and Mountaineer Express; Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge; Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise; and Energy Transfer’s Rover project laterals that run into West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Although I am speculating, I think Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline and EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline will be 2018 projects, unless the permitting process speeds up exponentially. The jobs described above are mainline projects that will have compressor stations and other various facilities we will man. I also haven’t touched on the smaller projects that go every year in this region. In my opinion, 2017 looks to be a solid year.
Rick and I will soon be traveling throughout New York to advocate for National Fuel’s Northern Access project. Even as the work picks up we can’t forget about our strategy to speak out in favor of our livelihood. At the Marcellus Conference, Williams CEO Alan Armstrong thanked 798 and several other labor organizations for our support of their Atlantic Sunrise project. We are getting noticed. I just hope that these high-level executives don’t forget about what we are doing and have done, when they assign bids on future jobs. It would serve them well to use the best Welders, Helpers and Journeyman in the world if they want their project completed on time and under budget. Let’s use 2017 to show the clients we are the best by doing our jobs in a professional manner, while keeping safety and quality at the forefront of everything we do. If we do these things, we will most assuredly prosper as a whole.
I look forward to seeing the membership soon at Steward School. If you’ve never been you need to go. I have always been told that if you are going to be a part of something, then you should actually be a part of it. Steward School is an important and unique part of what makes us who we are as a Local. Please make your travel arrangements if you haven’t already done so.
Blairs, VA. 112 miles of 30” Launcher and receiver modifications, valve replacements, gap replacements. Superintendent: Daniel Bendickson. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Canonsburg, PA. Replace 8.2 miles of existing 20” pipeline. Superintendent: Fred Leasure. Welder Foreman: Cody Dye. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Providence, RI. 2”-20” Meter and Regulation Station. Superintendent: Jim Smilikis. Welder Foreman: Steve Coraci. Station Agreement paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
MORE 798 STORIES
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Like many of you, I am also disappointed in the many projects that have been stalled or delayed. All the more reason we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate. Sadly, only about 50% of our members are actively engaged on our Action Network.
Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds each of you healthy and in good spirits. This year has obviously started out much slower than the last two. Through the month of May, we are well behind 2017 and 2018 man-hours, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, which ended up being 6.8 million and 7.5 million man-hour years.
The pipeline hours are slower than in 2017 and 2018, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, so work is not quite as slow as it may seem. We are not having a record year as we have had previously (that goal is unreasonable), but work is picking up. We have already needed to PPC-11 a nonbook to an Intermediate job in the Dakotas.
401(k) Distributions We are currently experiencing an unusually high volume of 401(k) calls and distribution applications. Please know that messages received by the Fund office will be returned and we are working to process the distribution applications in a timely manner.