Pipelines International speaks with SPX FLOW’s President of Power and Energy Jose Larios, who started in the industry more than 20 years ago.
Mr Larios discusses the benefits of his company’s pipeline products, bespoke client solutions, and the future of major pipeline projects.
How did you make your start in the pipeline industry?
My first job in the industry was as a Pipeline Inspection Engineer more than 20 years ago. I managed pipeline-inspection projects in the US and around the world. The job involved operating ultrasonic smart inspection tools and then managing complete asset-integrity projects, cleaning, inspection, fit-for-purpose studies, and finally repair and certification.
What does your role at SPX FLOW entail?
I’m the President of Industrial and Energy at SPX FLOW. I lead a great team of professionals focused on helping our customers become more efficient. We sell and deliver components and systems for a wide range of industries.
I spend a lot of time with our customers around the world understanding their needs and then translating that to delivering a better service, new products, or excellence in operation. Our SPX FLOW team works hard at always improving, and supporting our customers.
What products and services does SPX FLOW provide to the pipeline industry?
We provide fabricated gate and anti-surge valves, centrifugal pumps, and filtration systems. We have a wide network of service centres around the world proving original parts, repair, and maintenance. Our M&J valves are an industry standard for their efficient and safe operation. We have evolved our centrifugal pumps in the last years and designed them to optimise their footprint and efficiency.
Our designs and operating systems put us in a unique position to serve our customers, not only as they are safe and efficient, but we also have the best cycle time in the industry. Our customers always appreciate that the quicker we can help them build their pipelines the faster they can put the assets to work.
Is there a memorable project that you’ve been involved that stands out in your career?
We recently completed several sections of a significant natural gas pipeline project in North America. We supplied fabricated valves and between bearing pumps in record time, supported by our service centres. We were able to continue this success and have been awarded a key crude oil project in Texas at the end of 2016, where we are supplying both gate valves and between bearing pumps.
We’ve put a lot of focus on our customers to better understand their requirements and see the world through their eyes. This has allowed us to provide the most efficient solutions while maintaining a lowest capital expenditure for new projects. We expect to continue this momentum as we grow to support our customers’ needs.
How has the industry changed during your career in pipelines?
There are some things that haven’t changed in the last 15 years – such as public safety and asset integrity – but the most significant changes I have witnessed is capital allocation and decision making. In the past, pipeline companies were seen as ‘immune’ to oil-price cycles, therefore investment plans were well defined, permits issues with a lot of time, capital allocation committed, and construction projects executed with conservative time lines.
Pipeline projects are now more obviously interconnected to the economics of oil and gas, so their viability and execution also go through cycles. Plans change quickly and projects can get put on hold or activated at short notice.
Do you have any predictions for the future?
I see this trend accelerating: projects may be delayed for years, but when the right economic conditions exist (e.g. commodity prices, splits) customers will want to maximise that opportunity and put the pipelines to work as fast as possible. As a provider of services and products to pipeline operators, at SPX FLOW we see our job as aligning to that need and providing the shortest cycle times, and best service and quality for our products.
I see this trend accelerating: projects may be delayed for years, but when the right economic conditions exist, customers will want to maximise that opportunity and put the pipelines to work as fast as possible.
This article was featured in the June edition of Pipelines International. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.
For more information visit the SPX FLOW’s website.
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