Pipeline Equities
PO Box 571977
Houston, Texas 77257
Phone: 713-623-0690

Pipeline Recovery

excavation & removal

Damage Assessment

of easements

Pipeline Appraisal

pipeline property valuation

Pipeline Broker Ins and Outs

The In’s and Out’s of a Pipeline Broker

By David Howell

Pipeline Broker Definition- one who brokers pipelines, a buyer and seller of pipelines, one who acts as a middle man between a buyer and a seller of pipelines, a commissioned agent in a transaction representing a buyer or a seller of a pipeline.

About twenty years ago, I received a routine call from a Dun and Bradstreet caller who was updating the credit files of Pipeline Equities. In the course of the conversation, she asked the usual questions about sales, revenues, employees, own or rent, etc. and finally she asked exactly the nature of my business and I replied that I was a pipeline broker. She was unable to find a standard industrial classification number or code for pipeline broker and she inquired if this category had to do with securities (being a broker) and I replied that it did not, but I bought and sold pipelines of the oil and gas sort. Unable to place my category in a slot that already existed, the caller determined to create a new category. That is how I became the only pipeline broker in the Dun and Bradstreet database.

Having such a lofty title in such a lofty organization as D & B, I needed to live up to that name and decided to go after and legitimize it.

I had always used direct mail as my primary means of getting the word out on whatever endeavor I was involved in and so I began talking about buying and selling pipelines. I really was the only pipeline broker in the Dun and Bradstreet database and after a time received calls inquiring about this pipeline or another. The fact is I did know a lot about pipelines and where they were and if they were active or not because it was my business as a pipeline salvage operator. To add on the title of Pipeline Broker or one who acted as an agent or bought and sold pipelines was a natural move. Shazam! A job was created!

In the years since that creation, I have acted as agent or broker in many pipeline transactions. Oftentimes these transactions have occurred because of my association with the salvaging of idled or abandoned pipelines. I bought a pipeline for salvage which had been out of use, but found a use before demolition. The use was not the intended use, but maybe something totally different so as switching a gas pipeline over to become a conduit for fiber optic cable. In another case we converted a crude pipeline to a electricity conduit and ran a 3/8″ cable from a electricity producing wind turbine to the national grid. That was extraordinarily more economical than running aerial cables in the conventional manner from one point to another.

Now twenty five years later, we have developed a database of transactions of pipelines that have sold or been bought that we may or may not have been involved in. Nevertheless it is a superb collection of data that helps greatly in the transactions of finding pipelines to buy or sell. This proprietary database also makes the difference in determining value for our appraisals when ever we are using a comparison approach to finding value in a pipeline system.

Recently, we assisted a city government convert an abandoned crude oil line of eighty years of age to a transport system to carry treated waste water to irrigation sites along the corridor. This simple transaction saved the city millions of dollars in taxpayer moneys not spent on a new and needed system.

Our company was called to salvage a jet fuel line that ran twenty miles through a major metropolitan area. The project looked to be profitable, but before demolition, I made one phone call to a company that provided natural gas to this city. It turned out the jet fuel line ran beside their main line and would work perfectly as a back up manifold to their local distribution system. The acquiring company saved millions, the sellers got rid of an asset or liability that was an irritant and the broker made a nice fee by finding a buyer for a property that had been considered junk. The pipeline was recycled and might serve that city and that company another twenty or thirty years.

I find a great need in the oil and gas pipeline industry is for trained personnel in the asset management sector.

The International Right of Way Association is one that certifies and educates in this area, but they are one of the only organizations that do so.

In this era of consolidation, companies are being bought or sold and assets are being pruned and discarded. Often when an acquiring company obtains another, it is for a particular line of business or a central group of assets that fits well with the purchaser’s current structure. The remaining inventory is left behind and in many cases forgotten or turned over to a business development manager who has other fish to fry that he understands a lot more. I don’t really use the term pipeline broker much, I just say that I buy and sell pipelines. And that is what I do, sometimes for salvage and sometimes for conversion to another use, but I still am only serving as the middleman and hopefully satisfying a need on both sides of the transaction.

pipeline recovery

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Pipeline Recovery Manual

A complete guide to the business of recovering out of use pipelines

Sign up for our free newsletter to receive your complimentary copy of our Pipeline Recovery Manual that explains our entire process for recovering or salvaging idled or abandoned pipelines.

You will see how we deal with landowners regarding notification and recordings. How to draft a contract of sale with models by: Exxon, Texaco, Koch and others and pictures showing actual work in process.

The manual shows Pipeline Equities job references, right of way releases, agreements and the history and background of Pipeline Equities and managing partner David Howell. These references touch on parts of the six million feet of line removed or handled by the company over the past twenty years.

A line pipe table describing various weights, grades, and pressure ratings of ERW and seamless line pipe is included. This section is an indispensable tool for anyone doing operational word with line pipe.

Also included are extensive glossaries of pipe, pipeline, and right of way terms.

pipeline appraisal

Request a complimentary Pipeline Appraisal Handbook

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Pipeline Appraisal Handbook

The Definitive How-To Guide on Establishing Values for Pipelines

This handbook written by David Howell, managing partner of Pipeline Equities is the basic text of any pipeline valuation. All of the essential factors for establishing the value of a pipeline are discussed along with exclusive proprietary formulas and tables essential to a certified appraisal.

Also included are 32 pages of pipe weight and grades tables that cover virtually any situation which might be encountered regarding line pipe requirements. Additionally you’ll find an extensive glossary of pipe, pipeline and right of way terminology is part of the Handbook.

Subjects include: Replacement, Right of Way, Surface Inventory, Throughput, Salvage/Recovery, and comparable sales histories to name a few of the basic factors of pipeline appraisal.

The author recognized a need for a report or “how to” manual for properly appraising pipelines and pipeline right of ways. Currently the work is being done by accounting firms, engineers, and real estate appraisers.

This handbook draws from 45 years of experience.

Howell has forty-five years experience in many sectors of the petroleum industry from drilling contractor and oil and gas operator to pipe and supply distribution throughout the world. He has published Tradex Equipment magazine, the Whole World Oil Directory, and the Texas Oil Register.

For the past twenty years, Howell has been almost exclusively engaged in pipeline sales and acquisition, appraisal, removal for salvage, environmental remediation and general pipeline operations.

Howell currently serves on board of the Pipeline Appraisal Institute and is a member of the International Right of Way Association. Howell is a graduate of Texas A&M University – Kingsville and a native of Alice, Texas. He is currently residing in Houston and is the managing partner of Pipeline Equities.