The Automatic Welding Division is based in Houston, where Paul DeWeese, who has been with CRC-Evans for 14 months, is president of the division.
"In pipeline construction, the bottleneck is welding," DeWeese
Automatic Welding has been around for more than 40 years and has become the largest division of CRC-Evans, DeWeese says.
International clients account for 60 percent of the division's business.
"2008 was a banner year [for the division]," says DeWeese
, who referred to pipeline construction as a "lumpy" business.
"2009 followed the down trend in the industry.
2010 is up 20 percent from 2009.
We don't see this year being as robust as 2007 or 2008, but it's definitely better than 2009."
There are three primary aspects that DeWeese
says are the "meat and potatoes" of the Automatic Welding Division
1. Rental equipment - this is the biggest aspect of the division's business.
"Our crown jewels are our internal and external welding machines," DeWeese
"They're experts at operating vessels," DeWeese
"It's their job to put the pipe off the back of the boat.
They come to CRC
to provide the welding that's done on the boat.
Because of the nature of onshore pipeline construction, the contractors tend to have access to their own welding personnel."
also divides the equipment that the Automatic Welding Division
provides into three categories:
According to DeWeese
, the company's equipment performed 290,000 pipeline welds last year, more than 2,500 miles.
"Once you dial in the procedure, the only slowdowns are things like weather and crew change out," DeWeese
In addition to ongoing projects, DeWeese
says more stringent regulations that might result from the BP oil spill could benefit CRC-Evans Automatic Welding Division in the near future.
"Regulations will likely push for higher welding standards, which are more difficult to meet with manual techniques," he
"In turn, more stringent regulations could be a big advantage for mechanized welding."
The spill hasn't stopped work from continuing in the Gulf of Mexico, nor does DeWeese
see the spill slowing down the oil and gas industry as a whole, but it will delay projects related to deepwater drilling.
"Looking at the industry, the landscape is good," DeWeese
"We'll be laying more pipelines in the next 10 years, not less.