OUR GREAT MINDS

Bryan Crowe: Chief Operating Officer for SolSpec

Bryan Crowe is the Chief Operating Officer for SolSpec. SolSpec is a provider of remote sensing and data analytics for improving the safety, profitability and environmental stewardship of pipeline construction, operations, and other large-scale land use projects.

In addition to his operational responsibilities, Mr. Crowe serves as the lead technical and regulatory subject matter expert for a myriad of pipeline integrity and safety issues including: recommended practices and current/future regulations.

Bryan has more than 15 years of experience in pipeline operations including: control room management and PHMSA regulatory compliance. He is a subject matter expert in pigging emissions controls, special operational requirements related to longwall coal mining and geohazards detection and mitigation.

Bryan is a great example of a young leader from the oil and gas industry that saw the advantages of digital transformation and IT modernization early on. He embraced it head on, and is now helping others like him embrace change, upskill teams and break down barriers to adopting technologies like UAVs, big data and AI to automate workflows for safer and much more efficient pipeline operations. Bryan is of the firm belief that digital transformation and modern technologies such as aerial analytics are enabling oil and gas companies to fully capitalize on the resources we have, be better stewards, and provide clean and dependable energy for the foreseeable future.

The OGM:
What got you into the oil and gas industry?

Bryan:
When I was leaving the military, I was looking for an opportunity that would utilize my training and provide a rewarding career.  I found an operator in Georgia looking for a pipeline technician and jumped at the opportunity.  I’ve now been in oil and gas for 16 years and it’s been an amazing journey. What excites me most is the immense potential that digital transformation and IT modernization can have on workflows for safer and much more efficient pipeline operations.  In my current role at SolSpec, I help our customers evaluate their pipeline integrity and safety needs and help advise on recommended inspection practices and current and emerging regulations.

The OGM:
What’s your definition of leadership?

Bryan:
I believe in servant leadership.  I’m here to provide my team — and ultimately our customers,   with the tools and resources they need to be successful.  But, this doesn’t mean blindly serving teams without challenging the status quo or avoiding the unpopular decision. I was fortunate to learn from mentors and leaders who challenged me and by doing so, gave me the confidence to question, to explore and at times, to fail. We learn from that.    A leader should listen, communicate effectively, ensure everyone understands the shared vision to achieve goals and solve problems.

The OGM:
Why is SolSpec important to the oil and gas sector?

Bryan:
In 2018 alone, PHMSA reported 633 pipeline incidents, more than half of which were designated as serious or significant. These incidents resulted in eight fatalities, 92 injuries, and nearly $1 billion in damage. From 1999-2018, PHMSA reported 11,992 pipeline incidents, which resulted in 317 deaths, 1,302 injuries, and more than $8.1 billion in damage. Incidents have increased nearly two-fold from 1999 to 2018. The costs of incidents that degrade public and environmental health and require extensive repairs are only getting higher. The most effective and efficient means of addressing pipeline incidents is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. SolSpec’s ROW Integrity Management solution helps measure, map, predict and prevent geohazard risks to pipeline right of ways. The solution encompasses drone flight plans, data collection and advanced analytics deliver high-resolution 3D models and reporting tools for visualizing and measuring slip conditions, hydrology and BMP condition assessments and slip potential. Using SolSpec, operators can continuously monitor and interact with projects from their office and gain interactive 3D maps and reports that list risks, ranked by importance and urgency. This enables operators to allocate resources to the areas that would have the largest impact, speed time to repair, save costs and ultimately and most importantly — improve safety and reduce risk.

The OGM:
What is the impact of the digital revolution on pipeline integrity and safety?

Bryan:
Digital transformation is sweeping the oil and gas industry as more companies embrace technology to boost productivity, improve system efficiency, reduce resources and waste, and reduce spills and emissions. Drones and UAVs have emerged as a key process improvement for pipeline inspection.  But it doesn’t stop at monitoring and mapping.  Today, innovation though cloud platforms, ultra-high spatial resolution aerial imagery, AI and machine learning, predictive analytics and big data are opening up new opportunities to transform pipeline integrity management to a more proactive approach to help reduce risk and accelerate time to value.

The OGM:
Where do you see the future of UAV, big data and AI going in the next five years?

Bryan:
One of the biggest areas of innovation is happening in what I call “actionable insights” and speed to which decisions are made and acted upon. Simply collecting data and creating maps does not solve problems. Transforming data into actionable, usable insight is key – and that’s where advanced analytics, big data, and AI are coming into play. Advancements in technology are reducing the amount of time it takes to process aerial data from weeks into hours, enabling near real time decision-making and predictive analysis. This allows operators to  shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to pipeline integrity management, leveraging data to better prioritize and allocate resources and to help make operations safer and more environmentally friendly while driving costs down.

The OGM:
What’s your take on climate change and green energy?

Bryan:
The advancements in technology in green energy are making the transition to cleaner energy more of a reality.  However, these advances are not able to bridge the gap of consumer needs in the interim.  The advances in technology and the shale revolution has made natural gas more accessible, cheaper, safer, and more environmentally friendly.  It has also given us energy independence.  When combined with renewable energy, natural gas can provide clean and responsible energy for the foreseeable future.

The OGM:
What’s the most important thing you think we can do to support world energy demand?

Bryan:
High energy costs have a negative impact on economic growth.  We need to find solutions to drive these costs as low as possible.  New technology has allowed for safer and more responsible use of fossil fuels.  Investments in renewable energy should be increased, but regulations restricting the use of clean fossil fuels should be relaxed until the technology, economics, and scalability of renewables are competitive with fossil fuels.

Spread the word about Bryan Crowe: Chief Operating Officer for SolSpec!

No comments so far. Be the first! Write your thoughts and/or questions below.