Pipeline Systems Inc.

Pipeline Systems Inc. is not in the business of making a quick buck, but instead focuses on building relationships, Principal Mark Gildea says. “We want to give our clients value so we can get repeat business from them,” he states.

He notes that all of its employees strive to emulate its ideals of honesty, integrity and quality. “That way, we can ensure these projects are complete and [our clients are] getting the maximum bang for their buck,” Gildea says.

Based in Meadville, Pa., Pipeline Systems specializes in natural gas pipeline, municipal water and wastewater construction services. Gildea started the company in 1982 to serve oil and gas companies in the Appalachian Basin.

Pipeline Services focused on building gas-gathering systems and setting up tanks, units and wellheads for the Medina gas play in northwestern Pennsylvania. When the oil and gas industry experienced a downturn in the late 1980s, the company moved into municipal water and wastewater projects.

Pipeline Services first took on water distribution and sewage collection pipeline projects, but it eventually moved into water and wastewater. Since then, the company has finished many of these projects in western Pennsylvania.

Today, Pipeline Systems serves a customer base that includes Halcon Energy and MarkWest Energy Partners, Gildea says. “We try to be as thorough with our projects [as] we manage them,” he says. “We give [the client] a lot in return for what we’re trying to do.”

Surge in the Shales
Although its water and wastewater market is relatively flat, Pipeline Systems is enjoying strength in the oil sector, Gildea says. This is partially due to the activity in the Marcellus and Utica Shales in the Appalachian Basin. “There’s a lot of work opportunities,” he says.

Gildea adds that Pipeline Systems was one of the first companies to serve clients in the shales. “When we started with that, we were in the right place at the right time,” he says, adding that this work represents 50 percent of the company’s business.

“We viewed this [activity] as a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of,” he says, noting that Pipeline Systems expects that business to surge even further. “We think it’s going to grow up to be 75 percent of our business.”

The Family Business
Today, the Gildea family is strongly involved in Pipeline Systems, Mark Gildea says. His brother, Roger Gildea, is a principal in the firm, and his nephew, Brian Gildea, is a project manager.

The family participation helps it win customers, Mark Gildea says. “People like to deal with family businesses,” he states. “What we always tell people is, ‘You are dealing directly with the owners. If there’s any issues or problems on projects, you’re working with one of the owners of the company.'”

He also praises the work of Brian Gildea, who is expected to take on leadership of Pipeline Systems someday. “He’s running the day-to-day operations on our gas pipeline construction,” Mark Gildea says. “He’s ambitious and a very quality young man. He’s going to go very far in this line of work.”

Not only has Brian Gildea impressed his uncle, but also others at the company who have decades of industry experience. “I just want to be around long enough to watch this young man grow in this career,” Mark Gildea says.