17 Dec

Sunland Targets US Shale Plays – Sunday, July 1, 2012

More than two years ago, Sunland identified and targeted the growing activity in the U.S. unconventional shale plays as key areas for future Sunland growth. These areas include the Barnett, Haynesville, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Bakken as well as the Utica shale plays. These shales are composed of natural gas, oil or a combination of the two hydrocarbons. Some industry groups project the U.S. unconventional shale plays hold 750 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas and 23.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

BGI&E Develops A National Shale Footprint

For the last several years work in shale plays has been a major contributor to BGI&E’s revenue stream.

Since the establishment of the Tolar area office in 2005 BGI&E has maintained a group of employees providing service/maintenance, sup-port and construction personnel in the Barnett shale to public and private E&P and midstream companies.

In November 2010, BGI&E placed a large crew in the Eagle Ford shale play near Gonzales, TX to install hub facilities (liquid treating plants) for a midstream client. In the time since then they have expanded operations to include construction of gathering and separation facilities, terminals, rail heads and various other installations to support their drilling programs. Today BGI&E has nearly tripled its employees involved in these efforts. In April 2012 they were approached by a large upstream client to install similar facilities near Gonzales and additional employees were brought on board to facilitate their needs.

17 Dec

Black Horse Construction, Inc. Acquisition – Sunday, April 1, 2012

Effective April 1, 2012 Sunland Field Services, Inc. (“Sunland”) has acquired the business of Black Horse Construction, Inc. (“Black Horse”) officially expanding Sunland’s operations into the tank battery, pump unit, roustabout and related oilfield construction services in the Bakken Shale area of North Dakota and Montana. Going forward, Black Horse will now operate as Sunland Field Services, Inc., informally – Sunland Field Services – Bakken Operations.

Sunland is also very pleased to announce that virtually every key employee will continue in their important roles as we move forward together.

Black Horse has been in business since 1997, employs approximately 280 personnel and is headquartered in Stanley, North Dakota, with key operating offices in Ross, Williston and Watford City, North Dakota. Black Horse has an excellent reputation in constructing tank batteries, pump units and providing general maintenance and roustabout services for their customers. In addition, they have an excellent reputation for quality and a dedicated, loyal workforce.

17 Dec

Sunland Announces Reorganization Focused on Continued Growth – Monday, February 27, 2012

Organizational Announcement
 February 27, 2012

Today Sunland is announcing an organizational change that is targeted to support our Mission:

“To be the premier provider of energy related construction services through a commitment to excellence in safety, production, and quality, with a resolve to overcome challenges.”
 In furthering this mission, we have created three new Operating Groups:
  • Eastern Operations – Comprised of the Gulf Coast Division, Eastern Division, Belle Chasse Operations, Channelview Operations, Sunland Field Services in the Haynesville and Eagle Ford areas and Sunland-Kori Services;
  • Western Operations – Comprised of the Rocky Mountain Division, MB Construction, and Station Construction; and
  • Integrated Services – Comprised of Buffalo Gap I&E, Directional Drilling, Foremost Pipeline and DHB Services.
  • In addition, the Equipment Division has been divided into Eastern and Western Groups to better serve the needs of Sunland and its Affiliates’ geographically diverse equipment needs.
Employees within each current area or division of our group of companies should not expect major changes in how we operate on a day to day basis. We believe our decentralized approach to serving our customers provides the framework and environment where all employees can step forward and make a difference in “safety, production and quality”.
As we look to the future, our new Eastern, Western and Integrated Services Vice Presidents will provide an added focus on growth opportunities, coordination and support for their respective operations. As Sunland continues to grow, these changes are designed to empower more people to make quicker and better informed decisions. Furthermore, they support our focus on succession planning by providing new opportunities for our employees.
17 Dec

Continuing on the Road to Safety Excellence – Friday, July 1, 2011

“Sunland & Affiliates has achieved over 1.7 million safe work hours since the last Lost Time Injury and our TRIR is at an all-time low of 1.00.”

However, we cannot rest on our laurels and think that we are completely safe from danger. All supervisors must take an active role in focusing their efforts on making certain that their workers are coached, mentored, and provided with a safe work environment.


During 2010, we focused on issuing the revised Employee & Safety Handbook and Excavation Safety, including what to do if an OSHA Inspector shows up on the job site. We placed an emphasis on Last Minute Risk Assessments, Stop Work Authority, Observation Card Program, and the importance of reporting any and all incidents (regardless of how minor) immediately to your supervisor. Also the Management Safety Audits (MSA) received renewed focus. In 2011, we are rolling out the new Seasonal Foremen Training and Advanced Safety Audit Process.


In 2010, several of our Divisions continued on the road to safety excellence by achieving record-setting safety statistics. Overall, Sunland & Affiliates achieved its second best safety record in 2010. Eight of eighteen divisions completed 2010 without an OSHA Recordable or Lost Time Injury. During the first half of Fiscal Year 2011, we are on a pace to set a new safety record. Sunland & Affiliates has achieved over 1.7 million safe work hours since the last Lost Time Injury, and our TRIR is at an all time low of 1.00.

17 Dec

Sunland Field Services Announced – Friday, July 1, 2011

sfslogoThis past April, an opportunity presented itself to Sunland & Affiliates and with that opportunity, and lots of hard work, the new legal entity Sunland Field Services, Inc., was formed. The new addition to the Sunland & Affiliates’ family of companies will pursue opportunities primarily in the various shale plays, such as the Haynesville, Eagle Ford, and perhaps the Bakken areas, providing pipeline, roustabout, maintenance and smaller facility work for upstream and midstream companies, as well as the operations side of various transmission companies. Sunland Field Services will grow both organically, through startup and through acquisitions, as additional prospects are identified. Our first opportunity begins in the E. Texas/Haynesville Shale area with a startup operation.

Dan Scott will head up Sunland Field Services as Division Manager. Dan previously ran the operations for a pipeline contractor in East Texas. He has over 15 years of experience in the pipeline, facility and maintenance work area. Dan will be reporting to Sean Renfro, Vice President and General Manager of Sunland Construction. Dan has assembled key personnel over the past several weeks with startup operations in the Marshall/Carthage area. Our new location is at 1083 Hills Lake Road in Carthage, Texas.

The East Texas division of Sunland Field Services will be Division 50. We anticipate this division working in Texas, Louisiana, and possibly later in Arkansas and Oklahoma. A key differentiation of this group versus Sunland Construction, Inc., will be a focus on using local labor and pursuing steady, recurring work — allowing competitive pricing with other local contractors. Of course, the focus will be the same, based on our core values and most importantly — safety. There will not be physical boundary lines between Sunland Field Services and Sunland Construction, but rather, boundaries based on type of customer, type of work and the resources available.

Sunland Field Services will pursue maintenance, roustabout, shorter distance/smaller diameter lines and/or smaller facility work.


17 Dec

Eastern Division Continues to Roll – Monday, September 27, 2010

In the early days, the Eastern office was a small metal building off of Highway 82 in the town of Northport, AL just north of Tuscaloosa. Eastern basically functioned as an oil field service company and did quite well. In the early 1990s, the bottom fell out of the coal bed methane work, and Eastern was eventually forced to reorganize and pursue other work. Thus began a two-decade period that has resulted in the development and transformation of the Eastern Division into a solid player covering a huge geographic region, and capable of large diameter pipeline spreads, with smaller crew projects including ROW restoration, integrity projects, and anomaly repairs.

By the early 1990s, Eastern had relocated to an office in Vance, Alabama, about twenty miles east of Tuscaloosa. They were still engaged in activities such as hauling water and drill pipe, along with assisting in the fracturing process for a client focused on exploration. They had also begun to build well-sites and small gathering systems.

The Eastern office then began to expand its capabilities. They did mostly maintenance work, small replacement jobs, and anomaly work, but not much mainline pipeline work. One of the first pipeline jobs that can be recalled was in Ooltewah, Tennessee.

Eastern’s two longest-tenured employees are Dale Duncan and Tammy Duke, who will celebrate eighteen and sixteen years, respectively, with Sunland later this year. Dale is currently the division’s Equipment Coordinator, and Tammy is the Office Manager. Dale credits the early success of the Eastern Office to being in the right place at the right time and capitalizing on work opportunities as they became available. “We had one filing cabinet with three drawers,” Tammy recalls. When she began at Eastern in November 1994, the office was about 800 square feet and located behind an Olive Garden restaurant.

Walter Ward joined Sunland in 1997, as Assistant Division Manager, the same year in which Eastern moved its office to a brick house adjacent to its current location. Walter was later promoted to Division Manager and states, “One of the first clients heavily pursued by Eastern was Southern Natural Gas (SNG) in Birmingham, Alabama.” By the 1997-1998 timeframe, Sunland had an alliance agreement in place with SNG. The principle types of projects completed included expansion and loop line projects, DOT projects, and anomaly replacements. Andre Soileau and Kyle Vidrine (currently Project Manager, Gulf Coast Division) were two key members of the SNG Alliance Team. They, along with James Daigle (currently Division Manager, Directional Drilling/Station Division) recall one of the more interesting and challenging projects that Sunland successfully completed during that timeframe. It was known as the “Drummond Coal Mine Project” and included a 24 inch and 30 inch relocation for SNG in 1998. This entailed two very difficult 2,800 ft. directional drills. The terrain was mountainous, and the rock was extremely hard. In the end, despite the critical deadline, difficult terrain, and surrounding mining operations, Sunland’s crew was able to successfully complete the project.

The Eastern office became a formally declared Sunland Division in the mid-1990s and later moved into its current office location of over 5,000 sq. ft. on Kauloosa Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL, in August 2000 and the success and growth over the years speaks for itself. The Eastern Division excels at projects including, but not limited to, the following: mainline construction/large diameter pipelines (completed 56 miles of 36-inch); loop-line construction; meter stations; class location change-outs; highway relocations; relocations for commercial/residential development; directional drills; PIP/integrity projects (make smart pig ready); anomaly repairs; and, right of way restoration.

Such work can and has been performed in numerous states from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast and into the Midwest/Appalachian regions of the U.S., including: Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Regarding terrain and soil conditions, the Eastern Division has no limitations. They are capable of handling all types including, marsh, sand, rock, hills, mountains, and/or congested areas.

When asked to summarize why the Eastern Division has been so successful, Walter Ward always begins with one word: PEOPLE. “The people we have here are absolutely phenomenal,” says Walter. He continues: “Over the years, it took awhile to assemble the right team, and I wish I could take credit. In the end, it has always been everyone working together to help each other, the open and sharing atmosphere.” In addition to the praise and recognition that Walter gives his Project Managers, Superintendents, Foremen, and crews, he is also quick to recognize those who support the work of the division safety, equipment, and administrative personnel. “We get a lot of compliments from our Superintendents and Field Clerks aimed at our office support staff,” Walter said, “and we also get great support from corporate.”

The attitude regarding sharing permeates to other Sunland Divisions, and the Eastern Division is “keen on working with other divisions and affiliates,” particularly the Gulf Coast Division, Rocky Mountain Division, Directional Drilling Division, and Foremost Pipeline Construction. Such sharing has been reciprocated and contributed to the overall success and prosperity of Sunland & Affiliates. Walter credits Sunland and Affiliates’ strategic planning initiative and time spent with other divisions as key elements that has led to such cooperation. When asked to reflect on their careers at Sunland, Tammy and Dale also pinpointed “people” as the key to Eastern’s success. “Just look at our excellent employee attendance,” Tammy said. “Our people are dedicated, love their jobs and have a wonderful work ethic.” Dale summarized as follows: “I have stayed with Sunland, because I felt that they would be here for the long haul, and boy, was I right! I feel that everyone here from the office personnel, support personnel and field personnel play an important role in the success of Sunland here and as a whole. Everyone is a link in the chain, and the links have to work together for the chain to be successful. The continued unselfishness and dedication to work as a team has been and is the key factor. I feel that we have the personnel in place to accomplish whatever we need to do to continue as one of the best pipeline contractors in the business.”

17 Dec

Buffalo Gap Strives for Safety Excellence – Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Buffalo Gap Instrumentation & Electrical continues to strive for safety excellence in all tasks. Our safety training program, headed by Division Safety Coordinator, Troy Bonar and supported by safety team members Peggy Strickland and Jose Guerrero, work to keep our employees prepared for all situations.

Buffalo Gap successfully completed its training tour with over 250 employees attending workshops.
Safety professionalism on jobsites, as well as the support from management, led to Buffalo Gap being selected as the first-place winner of the AGC National Construction Safety Excellence Award. An achievement, such as this, is only possible when every employee takes responsibility for safety. This award belongs to all the employees of Buffalo Gap. All employees are to be commended in making a daily effort to prevent injuries to themselves and other employees we look forward to celebrating the next milestone in safety.

17 Dec

Emerging Leaders Continue Development Process – Wednesday, September 1, 2010

As part of Sunland & Affiliates’ Strategic Planning process, a group designated as “Emerging Leaders” was formed and with the assistance of Human Dynamics, Inc., a Dallas-based consultant, the twenty members have been striving to not only improve their leadership and management skills, but also to gain better self-awareness and build relationships for enhanced teamwork. This group was identified as a cross section of employees from all of Sunland’s Divisions and Affiliates — Gulf Coast, Eastern, Rocky Mountain, Stations, Directional Drilling, Foremost, Buffalo Gap, MB Construction and Safety. The Emerging Leaders began meeting as a group in October 2009 and will tentatively complete this pilot training program in September 2010. The capstone of the program involves the completion of two “Bridging Projects” which will hopefully provide solutions to challenging issues that will benefit all of Sunland & Affiliates. Recently, in May 2010 in Kemah, Texas, the Senior Leaders (consisting of Division Managers, Corporate Managers and Executives) and Emerging Leaders met for a joint session to discuss the effectiveness of the program and possible improvements that could be made for future Emerging Leader groups. They also engaged in a team-building exercise involving building towers out of balloons and tape, which proved to be a fun learning experience for all involved. Our inaugural Emerging Leaders are to be commended for their motivation, diligence, and dedication to this important endeavor for the future of Sunland & Affiliates, while still performing their current job responsibilities.