Laney Celebrates 20 Years As Large HDD Pioneer

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | November 2009 Vol. 64 No. 11

Laney’s crews that operate their own custom-built drilling rigs are widely respected in the industry. Both are well known for completing long, difficult HDD installations under adverse conditions. Laney currently operates 12 drill units ranging in size from 300,000 to 1.7 million pounds of pullback, and can install pipe in diameters to 54 inches.

“In the past year,” said Bell, “we have completed a 6,700-foot crossing of the Intercoastal Waterway at Westlake, LA, to install a 42-inch steel natural gas pipe, a world record, and a crossing under the Mississippi River to install 8-inch steel pipe chemical line that contains a 30-degree side bend.”

A major project now under way is for an independent oil and gas company, Denbury Resources, encompassing approximately 70 crossings for a 24 inch Co2 pipeline from Southern Louisiana to Port Arthur, TX. The crossings pass under rivers and interstate highways and through bayous and range from 900 to 5,000 feet in length. There always are two drill rigs working on the project and depending on schedules, at times three or four. The 12 month project is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2009.

At the mid-point of the third quarter, Bell said all Laney drill rigs were being utilized on projects.

"We don't have the backlog of work we did before the recession hit," he said, "but we have sustained work schedules and are optimistic about the future.

New leadership
Laney begins its third decade of operations under leadership of a new chief executive officer.

Pat Tobias was appointed chief executive officer in July 2009. He has been in the pipeline construction business for 50 years, starting as a laborer, equipment operator, purchasing agent, office manager, superintendent, construction manager and project manager. Prior to joining Laney, Tobias was a superintendent for Sheehan Pipe Line Construction. He also has been a construction manager for ARB, Inc., and construction manager for Tellepsen Pipeline Services. From 1983 to 1993, he was owner and president of PJT Inc., a pipeline service company.

"I have known Laney management personnel for many years and have great respect for the company’s reputation for excellence built over the past 20 years," said Tobias. "Laney has helped develop the horizontal drilling industry and contributed techniques that are used around the world. I am looking forward to being part of Laney in the coming years and to be entrusted with my new position in the company."

Marcus Laney will continue to serve the company in an advisory capacity.