Founded in 2014, Vaquero Midstream provides a full suite of integrated rich natural gas and liquid handling midstream services in the Delaware Basin, one of the most prolific oil and gas producing regions in west Texas. Through its solutions – which include over 400 MMCFD in natural gas processing capacity, over 45,000 horsepower of field compression, and more than 135 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines as well as NGL pipelines – Vaquero provides producers in the region with high- quality midstream infrastructure and access to more than a dozen key downstream markets.

In early 2017, Kim Landry joined Vaquero as the company’s Regulatory & EHS Director. Tasked with identifying opportunities to strengthen the organization’s existing compliance and safety programs, one of her first targets was the internal operator qualification (OQ)program. Vaquero was tracking employee qualifications in spreadsheets and Landry saw an opportunity to leverage technology to streamline the company’s OQ program administration and recordkeeping.

Simplifying and Strengthening OQ Compliance

An industry veteran, Landry reached out to her peer network to gather OQ vendor recommendations and then had three potential vendors complete an RFI and demonstrate their software. Ultimately, Vaquero selected Veriforce® as its OQ partner. Explains Landry, “My role requires keeping a lot of plates spinning, so I needed an almost turnkey OQ solution that would eliminate a lot of administrative burden for me. Veriforce offered the most comprehensive solution, and its OQ software was the most straightforward and easy to use.”

During implementation, the Veriforce team partnered with Landry to improve Vaquero’s written OQ plan and standardize its task list by leveraging the Veriforce Common Covered Task list, which was developed and is maintained in collaboration with other Veriforce clients and Veriforce industry experts. Landry now oversees Vaquero’s program using VeriSourceTM OQ Compliance Management. She says, “It gives me peace of mind to be able to clearly see in the software that we’re at 100% with respect to OQ task compliance relative to our field team’s responsibilities. And, I know that if we get audited, everything we need is well-organized and easy to access within VeriSource. Working with Veriforce has made a complicated rule like OQ very simple.”

Improving Compliance Accountability in the Field

During the vendor selection process, Veriforce also demonstrated its integrated VeriSource Training Management application and extensive library of pipeline-specific safety training courses. Landry immediately saw these tools’ potential to enhance the internal safety training program that she oversees and decided to implement them as well. Using VeriSource Landry can easily assign and deploy online safety training courses, get a clear view of Vaquero employees’ progress towards completing annual OSHA training requirements, and automatically capture the training records she needs when a course and corresponding exam are completed. She notes, “For both safety training and OQ, our Veriforce solutions have created tighter processes, and therefore more accountability out in the field when it comes to understanding and meeting compliance requirements.”

Taking Contractor Management to the Next Level

With Vaquero’s internal OQ program and online OSHA safety training well in hand, Landry had the bandwidth to tackle improving Vaquero’s contractor management programs next. As a first step, Vaquero wanted to implement a standardized process to evaluate each contractor’s OSHA safety program and track record, as well as make it simpler to produce management reporting on contractor safety. Says Landry, “Veriforce had provided high-quality, easy-to-implement solutions to meet Vaquero’s regulatory compliance needs and proven to be a great partner, so it was natural to discuss how they could help us mature our contractor management programs.”

Vaquero decided to implement VeriSource Safety Compliance Management to support its new, formal contractor safety program. Veriforce gathers, and its auditors review, contractors’ submitted safety stats and policies, ensuring compliance with Vaquero and OSHA requirements. All of Vaquero contractors’ safety data and documents are then centrally accessible within VeriSource, providing a single source to report on contractor safety performance and trends. “It’s created a new level of accountability for our contractors. They know their safety metrics and policies are going to be evaluated before they work for Vaquero, and that the system gives our entire team easy visibility into the quality of their safety program,” explains Landry.

For the subset of contractors that perform work on the regulated portions of Vaquero’s pipe, the company also enlisted Veriforce to help ensure these contractors’ compliance with DOT/PHMSA requirements. Vaquero began administering its contractor OQ program through Veriforce and also now uses VeriSource D&A Compliance Management to verify and monitor whether a contractor’s drug and alcohol program meets DOT/PHMSA requirements. All of the required OQ and drug and alcohol compliance records for Vaquero’s contractors reside in VeriSource.

A Partnership for Excellence

Says Landry, “It’s a huge advantage to be able to administer multiple programs through Veriforce – it’s almost our ‘one-stop shop.’ It means fewer vendor relationships to manage, as well as improved visibility and ability to spot potential gaps when all the data is in one system.” She sees Veriforce as a key partner as she continues her focus on driving excellence throughout Vaquero’s programs. For example, Vaquero is in the process of implementing VeriSource Certificate of Insurance Tracking to support efficient prequalification and monitoring of its contractors’ insurance coverage against Vaquero’s requirements. Notes Landry, “Veriforce is a respected and trusted brand in the industry. I’m confident that as Vaquero evolves through business growth, our Veriforce solutions will scale and adapt to support our strong commitment to compliance and safety.”

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