I look forward to building a strong team, working in harmony to execute the Expansion Project safely on time and on budget, while delivering on all of our commitments.

151008_David Safari

As Vice President of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, it’s David Safari’s job to lead the Expansion Project to a safe and successful execution. To find out more, we asked David to tell us what his VP role entails.

As Vice President of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project what does your role entail?

I provide executive oversight to Project leaders on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project including pipeline and facilities, as the Project team works on detailed planning for execution. I’ll be working with our executive team to ensure support to our regulatory and finance teams in order to complete the Project approval process. This will lead the Project to safe and successful execution and commissioning on time and on budget, while delivering on all regulatory, environmental and First Nations commitments we’ve made.

What is your professional experience prior to joining the Expansion Project?

I have a BSc. Degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran and have been working for more than 30 years in the full life cycle of major engineering, procurement and construction projects in Canada and internationally. My execution experience includes oil refineries, petro-chemical facilities, gas plants, liquified natural gas and oilsands projects. Prior to joining Kinder Morgan, I was VP Facilities for Laricina Energy, Senior Director for Statoil Canada and Director for Petro-Canada leading the execution of several in situ oilsands projects. I have also been in leading positions for the execution of several oil refineries, liquified natural gas and petro-chemical projects while working in Canada, Japan and Australia.

What drew you to work on this project? 

After long and successful experiences in the execution of downstream refining, petro-chemical projects and upstream oilsands projects, it’s very exciting for me to be leading a major midstream project. It gives me the ability to use my experience from some of the best major projects in the world while strengthening my knowledge of the complexities and sensitivities related to a major mid-stream project in Canada.

What aspects of the Project do you most look forward to taking on?

I look forward to building a strong team, working in harmony to execute the Expansion Project safely on time and on budget, while delivering on all of our commitments.

Which of your past experiences on oil and gas projects stand out as being most valuable in your current role?

It’s been my experience from both a leadership and technical perspective that there are two common keys to success on all major projects. First, building a strong team of skillful execution leaders and technically competent professionals on the project owner’s side and contractor’s side. Then working in partnership based on a detailed execution plan with all major risks assessed and mitigations identified.

What are your impressions so far about working on the Project and with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project team?

I am truly impressed by our team’s capabilities both in leadership and technical competencies using well-qualified contractors to support our Project. Building on the same principles, our team will grow in the future to manage the successful delivery of the Expansion Project.

What are some of the unique challenges faced by a pipeline project compared to other large infrastructure projects?

The unique challenges in our Project are compliance with all regulations, environmental requirements and Aboriginal engagement, according to our commitments to gain confidence and support from all communities our pipeline will pass through. We will also, without a doubt, have other challenges during construction execution. We are currently in the process of making a detailed execution plan by engaging expert consultants and contractors to identify mitigation efforts that will minimize our risks during execution.

What are the particularly challenging aspects of this type of project?

The particularly challenging aspects of this type of project are compliance with National Energy Board regulations and our commitments, completion of early works, logistics and support to the Project execution team in remote locations, and very demanding environmental regulations. These challenges will definitely require local community support to enable our Project team and our contractors to execute construction smoothly as per our detailed plan and to meet the expected quality and regulatory requirements.