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Students learn about opportunities with REX

Monday, February 23, 2009

NPHS technology students learned about the types of jobs available working on the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) project recently. The group toured the Bainbridge Compressor stations.
BAINBRIDGE -- Pipeline experts from the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) project provided a construction overview highlighting career opportunities in the pipeline industry recently for technology students at North Putnam High School.

Students in David Basan's technology classes toured the REX construction site and received an up-close look and overview of pipelines and the construction of the Bainbridge Compressor Station.

Students heard directly from expert pipeline workers regarding job opportunities with one of the largest natural gas pipeline projects constructed in North America -- and one of the most significant in the last 25 years.

"It was muddy, but everyone seemed to enjoy it," said REX Public Affairs Representative Alan Fore.

Pipelines not only carry the crude oil for refining, but much of the refined product as well, such as natural gas. There are over 200,000 miles of pipelines crisscrossing the nation, pumping billions of gallons of oil and natural gas to collection points such as refineries, power stations, reserve tanks and distributions stations.

To put that into perspective, the United States Interstate Highway System stretches for just 46,726 miles. Therefore, the petroleum pipeline network is over four times longer than the interstate highway system. It is by far the largest network of its kind in the world.

Careers in the petroleum pipeline industry are available and varied. This is no surprise, given that pipelines can be found virtually everywhere across the globe, be it in cities, remote areas, near refineries, in towns, under the sea or near electrical power plants and airports.

For this reason, pipeline jobs offer potential candidates an incredible swath of terrains and climates to work in, be it offshore drilling platforms, the desert sands of the Middle East, Alaska, downtown New York City, fields in the Midwest or in the deep southern states all along the Gulf Coast.

Pipeline jobs typically come in two flavors: direct-hire and contract work. Both typically offer excellent benefits and sometimes relocation packages.

A few examples of jobs available in the pipeline field include engineering, construction diver and pipeliner jobs. There are welding and pipe laying positions as well as inspectors, supervisors and design engineering jobs.

The pipeline runs across Putnam County and is 638 miles long. This section runs from Audrain County, Mo. to Monroe County, Ohio. It employs more than 500 crewmembers.

When the project is complete, the 42 inch-diameter steel pipeline systems will carry between 1.5 billion and 20 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the supply rich areas of Colorado and Wyoming to natural gas markets in the Midwest and Eastern United States.

For more information about the REX pipeline project, check their Web site at www.rexpipeline.com

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