Home Month and Year February 2022 Long Hauler Pipeliners Make 65 Years in a Dynamic Sector

Long Hauler Pipeliners Make 65 Years in a Dynamic Sector


For many people, 65 is the target age of retirement. But Arnett & Burgess Pipeliners celebrated its 65th year in business and has no thoughts of slowing down. Since it was established in 1957, A&B has been evolving along with the ever-changing industry while it helped shape the sector in Western Canada. The founders set out to do things differently and those values remain strong at all levels of the company.

“The oil fields were booming in 1957 and my grandfather (Les) and Ray Burgess, his partner in the beginning, had a vision to add a more human element, a more customer service- and people-first focus,” says Carey Arnett, president of Arnett & Burgess.

After 10 years in business, the two men had built a strong pipeline company, and Burgess decided to apply what he had learned to become a pioneer in the growing industry in Australia and New Zealand. Les Arnett scraped together enough money to buy Burgess’ shares and, along with key management, wished his ex-partner well Down Under.

Les Arnett, followed by his now semi-retired son, Tom, and then his granddaughter, Carey, focused on people and professionalism in order to create a company that would help its diverse clientele build the energy highway in Canada.

“We’ve grown from a mom-and-pop shop, a one-office homestead, while building some of the first infrastructure in Alberta and continue to make connections underground so that our energy intensity is minimized and delivered safely to society,” says Arnett.

Through its head office in Calgary and operations in Regina, Athabasca, Sedgewick, Blackfalds and Grande Prairie, A&B has become a go-to pipeline contractor specializing in construction and installation of small- and medium-diameter pipelines for upstream and midstream clients. Over the decades, A&B has forged strong relationships with Canada’s most established energy companies operating from southern Manitoba to Northern British Columbia, completing everything from high-pressure natural gas lines to slurry lines in potash to gasifying coal plants to multi-line gathering systems and supporting liquids pipeline projects.

“We serve a diverse array of clients transporting various commodities in multiple sectors. We aim to work for owners with the most stringent expectations and then we can work for everyone.” Arnett says.

A&B specializes in pipeline construction and related services including facility construction, integrated fabrication-to-field module solutions, and the support systems that allow control of output. It is also a leader in pipeline integrity solutions, ensuring all components are working efficiently and safely to prevent loss of containment.

“We’re one of the largest pipeline integrity contractors in our sector,” Carey says. “We do a lot of integrity maintenance work on the asset system, so that’s a key component of our business.”

Les Arnett had a vision of greening the industry, employing an integrity engineering subsidiary back when that wasn’t the norm. The Arnetts insist that when A&B is finished a project, there should be no signs of them having been there to allow for regeneration, and they pride themselves on their history of maintaining pipelines.
The core values at Arnett & Burgess are Safety, Quality, Integrity and Community. Safety is an important part of the company’s culture, and A&B was recently awarded CEPA Foundation’s Safety Award for its F.A.M.I.L.Y. initiative. This acronym demonstrates the company’s dedication to staff, public and environmental safety: Focus, Assessment, Mentorship, Involvement, Leadership and You. This initiative ensures safety is a priority with A&B’s field family and A&B is continuously improving its practices to do better.

A&B also won CEPA Foundation’s Innovation Award a few years ago for its water recycling facility to clean heavy equipment to battle the spread of club root.

The company invests in capacity development within the communities that it operates. Its Featherstone Mentorship Program offers hands-on experience for young Indigenous people in the field, and impacts the community through things like a scholarship for Sedgewick High School students looking to enter the field. The company supports various organizations and charities in the communities in which it operates to give back to its neighbours.

A&B is a people-first company. While it’s in a traditional, somewhat static industry, A&B is an innovative, creative company that embraces technology in order to improve and grow. To achieve this, A&B carefully selects employees who align with the company’s values and embody the professionalism and dedication Arnett & Burgess is known for. Arnett is proud to have loyal, long-time employees as part of the A&B family, and the company has a balance of seasoned staff and younger employees who blend experience with innovation to find the best possible solutions for clients.

“It would make Grandpa proud to know that something they started is still around and still relevant, and to see us utilizing technology and doing what we did in the industry 65 years ago, but better,” Arnett says.

A&B has been a leader in the sector for 65 years, and Carey Arnett is proud of what A&B has accomplished, but she’s more excited by what lies ahead for Arnett & Burgess Pipeliners in the future.

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