August 2016, Vol. 243, No. 8

Company & Association News

IPLOCA – 50 Years of Achievement

By Juan Arzuaga, IPLOCA Executive Secretary

IPLOCA is a not for profit organisation with the mission to provide value to members through a forum for sharing ideas, engaging the industry and its stakeholders, facilitating business opportunities and promoting the highest standards in the pipeline industry.

The association is committed to nurturing the cooperation and respect to guarantee the equitable sharing of risks and rewards, while maintaining the highest standards of safety, quality and care for the environment and the people impacted by pipeline projects.

IPLOCA’s Origins

In 1966 companies active in the international pipeline construction industry recognized they had many common interests and problems which could most effectively be addressed through establishment of an industry association. That year at a meeting in Paris, France, leaders of the international pipeline construction industry established the International Pipe Line Contractors Association (IPLCA), as the international division of the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) of the United States. Attending were 26 representatives of 13 contracting firms from France, Italy, Great Britain, West Germany and The Netherlands.

1966 directors 2
Founding director, top row, from left: Rolf Koehler-Treasurer, Preussag; Stanley A. Wright-Second Vice President, CJB Pipelines; Arthur.E. Poole, PLCA-U.S.; Jean Guyot-President International Division PLCA, Entrepose; Alfredo Manfredini-First Vice President, Techint. Back row, from left: R. Mirone-Director, Montubi; Richard Cagney-Director, PLCA/U.S.; Jacques Lesage-Director, SOCEA; R.E. Todd-Director, M.K. Rivers; Richard A, Gump-Managing Director, PLCA/U.S.; B.O. Butler-Executive Secretary, International Division PLCA. Not in picture: P.D. Campbell-Director, Willbros Overseas Ltd.

First elected Board of Directors of the International Division of the PLCA in 1966:

  • President: Jean Guyot, President of Société Entrepose, Paris, France.
  • 1st Vice President: Alfredo Manfredini, President of Techint, Milan, Italy.
  • 2nd Vice President: Stanley A. Wright, Constructors John Brown, London, UK.
  • Treasurer: Rolf Koehler, Preussag, Hannover, Germany.
  • Directors: Jacques Lesage, SOCEA, Paris, France; R. Mirone, MONTUBI, Milan, Italy; R.E. Todd, M.K. River Constructie Maatschappij, The Hague, Netherlands; P.D. Campbell, Willbros (Overseas) Ltd., London, UK.
  • Providing assistance from the U.S.: Arthur E. Poole, President of PLCA; Richard D. Cagney, Director of PLCA; Richard A. Gump, Managing Director of PLCA.

Bylaws adopted made membership in the international division the same as those in the PLCA, with the added requirement that its members must have headquarters outside the U.S. Members needed to have been engaged in mainline cross-country pipeline construction for at least two years and to have attained a reputation for skill, integrity and responsibility. Provision was also made for Associate Members to consist of manufacturers and distributors of equipment and services.

Headquarters for the international division were established at 75-77 rue de Tocqueville, Paris 17e, France.


IPLOCA became fully independent in 1976 after a significant increase in membership. In 1988 the membership decided that with the growth of the offshore oil and gas industry, the association should become broader based and include those companies working offshore in the oil and gas industry. On 5 May 1989, the International Pipe Line and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) was officially established.

The association’s headquarters were later moved to Brussels, and then in 1992 to Gent, in Belgium. The Gent office was closed in June 2005 and the office was re-established in Geneva, Switzerland, where it remains today.

Association’s Original Aims

The aims of the association have not changed much since those laid down in Paris in 1966:

  • To make membership of the association a reasonable assurance to the public of the skill, integrity and responsibility of its members.
  • To maintain the standards of the pipeline and offshore contracting business at the level necessitated by its professional character and to establish members of the association in the public mind as contractors who fulfill their obligations in all good faith.
  • To promote more cordial and cooperative relations among pipeline and offshore contractors and between contractors and those with whom they have to deal or with whom they have contact.
  • To encourage efficiency among contractors and their employees.
  • To seek correction of injurious, discriminatory or unfair business practice by or against pipeline and offshore contractors.
  • To eliminate as far as is possible the occurrence of injury and death to contractors’ employees and others by following sound safety practices and by promoting the continued research and development into new, better and safer construction techniques.
  • To follow the established codes of conduct set out by the industry and others with respect to working within a free and competitive market.

International Reach

IPLOCA maintains a close relationship with its sister associations, Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA), Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada (PLCAC), Distribution Contractors Association (DCA), Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA), DCA-Europe, Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG), Russian Oil & Gas Contractors Union (ROGCU) and various other allied associations. IPLOCA is also a member of the World Federation of Pipe Line Industry Associations.

IPLOCA continues to maintain relationships with clients, governmental agencies and regulatory bodies associated with the oil, gas and water industry worldwide in order to promote better relations within the industry.

IPLOCA spans the world and its special and unique universe embraces every discipline associated with the construction of on and offshore pipelines and their associated facilities and installations. Its 250 members include the major international players in the industry both on and offshore.


The association strives to work collaboratively and promote cooperative relationships among members of the association as well as with other contractors, owners and operators. In the early years, the membership consisted only of Regular Members and Associate Members.

Regular Members are experienced companies directly involved in the execution and/or rehabilitation of pipelines for the transportation of fluids, gases or solids, including submarine pipelines or offshore structures and associated facilities. Their onshore and offshore expertise is broad. They cover not only pipeline construction but also the installation of pumping and compressor stations, tank farms, ancillary oil and gas field facilities, communications networks and control systems – even infrastructure systems such as roads and housing. Sub-contractors cover a wide range of specialist work such as engineering, manufacturing, horizontal drilling, welding, double jointing and pipe coating.

Associate Members provide vital services, equipment, materials, tools or supplies for the construction, rehabilitation and/or maintenance of pipelines and their associated facilities, onshore and offshore. These international companies contribute significantly to the development of new ideas, techniques and equipment essential to the execution of pipeline projects.

Other categories of membership were added as the association evolved, including Academic Members and Honorary Members. Academic Members include universities and research institutions whose activities encompass research and/or the study of pipes, materials, tools, supplies, welding, coating, testing and modus operandi associated with onshore and/or offshore pipelines and/or associated process engineering facilities.

Honorary Members are individuals who have performed distinguished services to the onshore and offshore pipeline industry and/or to the association.

The current challenging environment created by low oil prices is encouraging all players in the industry to work more closely together to devise common solutions for a constructive way forward. IPLOCA maintains an ongoing dialogue with owners and operators including BP, Chevron, Eni, Petronas, Shell, Total, TransCanada, Saudi Aramco and others in promoting a more constructive relationship between client and contractor. At the IPLOCA 49th Annual Convention in Singapore in 2015, a new category of membership, Corresponding Member, was introduced, effective from 1 January 2016, to allow oil and gas onshore and offshore owners and operators to participate in the association.

Annual Convention

At the first IPLOCA Board of Directors meeting in Paris in September 1966, it was decided to organize and hold an annual convention where leaders of the pipeline construction industry could network and socialize to discuss business and current issues in a relaxed setting.

The first IPLOCA Convention was held in Naples, Italy in October 1967. This annual event was then held in different European destinations until 1975 when the convention ventured to Mexico. It then returned to European soil for another 11 years before being held in Boston in 1987.

The IPLOCA Board of Directors then installed a convention rotation scheme, whereby the convention would regularly be held in different regions. To date the convention has been held in North America, North/South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Conventions remain focused on networking, offering platforms to bridge dialogue between our members and bringing key speakers and leading industry professionals together.

The 50th Anniversary Convention from 12-16 September 2016 is the first IPLOCA Convention to be held in Paris, a return to the association’s origins.

Regional Meetings

To further engage its members around the world, in 2007 the Board of Directors decided to hold regional meetings, organized by the regional director with presentations from IPLOCA and the most important clients of the region as invited guest speakers. These meetings offer the possibility of discussions on common issues and challenges, and provide the opportunity for IPLOCA to update its membership on its objectives, review new technologies and exchange on members’ needs at a local level.

Non-member companies are also invited to become familiar with IPLOCA.

Introduction of Awards

To fulfill its commitment to the promotion of health and safety, IPLOCA publishes annual aggregated health/safety and environmental statistics submitted by members and in 2001 presented the first annual IPLOCA Safety Award, renamed the IPLOCA Health and Safety Award, sponsored by Chevron, in 2007.

The biennial IPLOCA Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility Awards were introduced in 2004 and in 2011, and are sponsored by Shell and Total, respectively.

Incorporation of new technologies to improve the process and competitiveness of the industry is an important part of the work of the New Technologies Committee and its Novel Construction Initiative. To give recognition to a significant achievement in the development of new pipeline technologies, the biennial IPLOCA New Technologies Award, sponsored by BP, was first presented in 2001.

A new biennial award will be presented for the first time at IPLOCA’s 50th anniversary convention in Paris, for Excellence in Project Execution. This will be given for a particularly high standard of project execution, in recognition of a step change in both the company’s satisfaction and a trademark for the contractor’s execution capacity.

Health, Safety and Environmental Statistics Reports

IPLOCA collects safety statistics from its members and publishes these annually in an aggregate form. It has produced Safety and Environmental Guidelines and has set out basic safety and environmental policies to which members are committed to adhere. It regularly holds workshops on specific safety topics and has made available a safety DVD, the Safety Training Instructors Tool, in collaboration with the Canadian Construction Sector Council and PLCAC.

Best Practices: “The Road to Success”

The association participates in ongoing research for the benefit of the industry at large and in 2009 published the first edition of Onshore Pipelines: The Road to Success. This substantial document resulted from the collaborative work of many individuals and companies among IPLOCA membership. It serves as a reference tool covering a pipeline project from development to commissioning and is of particular interest to senior management, project managers, safety experts, engineers and environmentalists involved in pipeline projects, and to the key personnel of contractors and subcontractors. It may also be used as a teaching tool for the pipeline industry.

Subsequent editions were published in 2010 and 2013 and made available on the association’s wiki and via the website. Completely revised and with new chapters, a 4th edition will be issued as an app in September 2016.

For further information on IPLOCA, please visit

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