Pipeline Construction & Maintenance Inc.
Mike Fesi founded Pipeline Construction & Maintenance Inc. (PCM) in 1996. With a background in general construction, Fesi had broken into the pipeline market years prior. “My help was needed by a pipeline company on a civil project,” he recalls. “They hired me, and I learned that the industry could be an exciting challenge.”
Today, Fesi leads a team of 340 people in the United States. The business operates from six locations across the south, with headquarters in Houma, La. Additional satellite offices in Franklin, La.; Jennings, La.; Prentiss, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; and Winnie, Texas, offer PCM a greater geographical footprint. The crew has worked all over the American South; the company also holds licenses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee.
PCM performs work for some of the largest companies in the petroleum industry. “A large percentage of our projects are what we call classification changes due to population expansion, station upgrades and maintenance, which includes maintaining, testing and repairing all types of heavy industrial pipelines,” Fesi explains. “We will install up to 20 miles of pipe, up to 48 inches in diameter.”
Fesi notes that at PCM, every project is a personal project. “We apply our full attention to each contract,” he continues. “They are all different but have same the goal: provide high quality work, in the safest and most timely manner. We strive to get projects done right the first time.”
According to Fesi, PCM’s goals are achieved through long hours, hard work and dedication by the entire team. “Challenges and adversity are commonplace in our industry, and they often arise at the most inopportune times,” he details. “Having the ability to face those challenges is what makes PCM an exceptional contractor.”
PCM provides a one-stop shop, as the team performs nearly everything in-house, including design and fabrication. Additionally, the company has established a strong network of suppliers and strategic partners to keep the business on schedule every day.
“We use strategic partners for certain tasks, such as directional drilling,” Fesi adds. “These guys drill up to 48-inch diameter tunnels under marshes, highways and other obstacles to allow our team to install the pipelines. When we do need to use one of our strategic partners, we go with the company that we feel will help us accomplish our goal.”
Fesi explains that the company also has alliance companies. “They come in with pigging devices, which travels through the pipelines retrieving data,” he explains. “PCM assists in running the specialty devices and shares the critical data with these partners.”
As the business grows, Fesi and his team are prepared to participate in the advances of the oil and gas industries into harder to reach reserves. “Opportunities such as shale extraction will mean new needs for the industry that we can respond to,” he explains. “Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas and oil. We are growing to accommodate these industry needs.”
This growth may include expanding into new territory, as well as diversifying services. As much as the company evolves, a few key components remain the same. “Personnel retention is big for us,” Fesi explains. “We want to keep our top workers with the most experience. Safety is a top priority for us. Our company policy is that every morning we have a safety meeting with our teams so they can return home safely to their families.”
As a company that performs a lot of work breaking ground, Fesi is a huge proponent of underground safety, which includes utilities and pipelines. “The National 811 Campaign  is extremely important public service awareness,” he notes. “811 is a service that marks utility lines and major pipelines before you dig. I created two characters, Burnie and Earl; Burnie, a natural gas flame, and Earl, an oil drop. Through these characters, we aim to educate kids and parents about the importance of calling 811 before they dig.”
Fesi explains that hitting a utility line could be devastating. “It could cause major service disruption to your area, an injury or even a fatal accident,” he continues, “So this is an important message for all of us to know. Burnie and Earl are positive representatives for our industry. They will help us to illustrate safety and the importance of petroleum in our everyday lives. We live in a plastic world, which is derived from petroleum.”
While quality work, safety and growth are priorities for the business, PCM strives to promote its own industry. Being involved in programs, such as 811, the PCM team is able to galvanize the importance of the oil and gas business across the country. Pipeline Construction & Maintenance Inc. is a strong player in the region and will continue to work toward safe and steady growth for the future energy industry.