OSU Institute of Technology recently hosted a delegation from South Korean pipeline construction company Daehan Oil Pipeline Corporation during a visit to the Tulsa area to learn more about the pipeline industry in North America.
DOPCO operates a 1,200-kilometer pipeline system installed in the late 1990s that transports refined products across South Korea. The 12 representatives from DOPCO were in North America to attend the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Canada in June.
Joe Bartlett, instructor in the Pipeline Integrity Technology program, said he was contacted by George Sutherland, president and CEO of the Canadian Petroleum Training Institute, to schedule a trip for the DOPCO group to visit Tulsa and OSUIT.
“In Tulsa, I helped arrange meetings with some pipeline companies with similar systems that allow DOPCO to explore operational practices and opportunities,” Bartlett said. “George Sutherland wanted them to come to campus to see how we train pipeline technicians.”
Bartlett, along with OSUIT President Bill R. Path and Vice President of Student Services Ina Agnew, spoke to the group through a translator about OSUIT, the Pipeline Integrity and Instrumentation Technology programs as well as customized training opportunities. The group also toured several programs and areas of campus.
“Their pipelines were primarily installed in 1997. They need people who know how to mitigate and prevent disasters occurring from decaying pipelines. They have the installers, but they don’t have the knowledge of how to maintain and repair to the extent that it is needed,” Agnew said, but there’s also things OSUIT could learn from them. “DOPCO is an exceptional company, and we could learn a lot from their employees and their processes.”
Bartlett said after their visit, DOPCO leaders are considering continuing education for current employees and training for potential new employees at OSUIT.
“Introducing OSUIT and our programs to such a good group of South Korean managers was extremely beneficial,” he said.
Challenges facing companies and industries are the same in both countries, so DOPCO forming a partnership with OSUIT could be equally beneficial.
“We are all in the same boat. Higher education institutions already partner together on research, and it should be the same with industry. We have a lot to learn from each other and it’s one world we are trying to maintain. What affects one country will affect all,” Agnew said.
Solutions to energy issues and pipeline integrity aren’t limited to the U.S., Bartlett said.
“We can gain understanding and identify solutions that can have a global impact,” he said. “Energy solutions and maintaining the integrity of our energy infrastructure allows everyone to learn and improve the deliverable of reliable energy to all markets.”