Kostyk appointed Area Facilities Engineer at Williams
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
If you’d asked Walt Kostyk five years ago if he would one day be working in the gas drilling field, he would have given you a puzzled look.
But the 50-year-old retired. Area Facilities Engineer from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard would tell you something different today.
He eventually settled down in Dimock – his present residence- and then went to work for Cabot Oil & Gas as a compressor operator, and when Cabot sold its MidStream Assets to Williams, they brought over eight people previously involved with Cabot.
Kostyk was recently appointed Area Facilities Engineer for Williams Tunkhannock office.
He was born and raised in Delaware County and eventually got a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Widener University.
While Kostyk has been privy to all of Williams’ present plans to put in a 33.5-mile Springville gathering line, that leads from Springville Township, Susquehanna County, to the Wilcox Compressor Station presently under construction in Tunkhannock Township, Wyoming County, and on to the Transco Pipeline in Dallas Township, Luzerne County, he said the actual engineering and construction is the domain of fellow Williams’ employee Mike Sherman.
“They design and build the infrastructure,” Kostyk said, “and we run it.”
He said there is naturally some cross-fertilization that goes on between departments, but as area engineer, his main responsibility is gas flow optimization.
That means he will be constantly generating and reviewing proposals for improved operation of all Williams facilities in northeast Pennsylvania.
He said he would be in charge of equipment changeouts, procedural matters and even down to fine tuning the lubricants to be used to insure everything runs smoothly.
Kostyk said recently that he prefers to be in the outdoors but recognizes that his job is troubleshooting, looking at design issues and filing a lot of regulatory documentation which mandates office time.
He said Williams has a philosophy of compliance to environmental regulations “that it is not good enough just to meet a regulation. We need to exceed them and that is reinforced by Systems Integrity Plans executed by people who have a long history with safety.”
He added, “Natural gas is a clean energy source and Williams has a vested interest in moving it in an extremely safe and environmentally sound fashion. There is frankly no excuse for any other behavior.”
Kostyk said that as an outsider citizen he once had serious concerns “about how this will all work” referencing the capacity to get the gas out of ground and to market.
“As an insider, after seeing the level of rigor placed upon companies like Williams, my concerns no longer exist,” he said.