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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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Pipeliners

PipelinersThe pipeline construction positions are all integral to the completion of a project. A pipeliner is an entry level labour position involving many aspects of pipeline maintenance. They are in charge of placing pipe supports and pipes along the route before construction begins, removing any obstacles in the way of the construction, and the removal of all debris after the construction is over. Actual involvement of the construction of the pipeline is basic but important. There are positions in the operation of digging equipment such as trenchers, hoes, and bulldozers. They will also have to help clear brush from the construction area, as well as clean and paint exposed metal to prevent corrosion. Being a pipeliner is a hard, physically demanding job and requires the ability to work long hard hours in sometimes very isolated areas.

Other pipeline construction positions include the pipefitter and welders. These are also physically demanding jobs, but they require experience and specific requirements, such as attending a technical institution to learn how to weld materials. The lead hands on a site are in charge of the crew members' schedules, safety, and activities. Foremen focus on administrative work, and are also responsible for hiring, training, and other issues dealing with the personnel. At the top is the construction manager. The manager is the company’s field representative and is responsible for all aspects of the project including fiscal and time constraints.

The major oil pipeline companies in Canada are Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Trans Mountain Pipe Line Company Ltd., and Express Pipeline. The major natural gas pipeline companies in Canada are TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., Westcoast Energy Inc., Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd., TransGas Limited, Union Gas, TransQuébec and Maritimes Pipeline Inc., and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

 

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