About Us

Mentoring and Teamwork
Our Team

Over the course of 35 years, SPEC Services has attracted, developed, and retained a growing group of professionals who have served clients well and developed a good reputation with California operating companies and agencies. Many have chosen to stay and focus on SPEC work; many for over 20 years. These engineers, designers, and support staff have become a highly specialized and effective work force, developing efficient work tools and methods, and enhancing our value to clients through knowledge of their organizations, requirements, and systems.

Our Team includes over 200 people (including 38 registered PEs and 16 PMPs) covering a broad range of disciplines, including process, mechanical, electrical, controls, civil/ structural, and pipeline engineering and design, procurement, construction management, project controls, survey, and land services, and permits. The development of our people and highly effective project teams is a key factor in our success. Our people provide the energy, enthusiasm, responsiveness, and reliability that are key to the excellent service we provide for our clients.


Training and Development
SPEC Services fosters a learning environment and provides its employees with opportunities for building and developing their career and professional capabilities. Employees are encouraged to pursue opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge by participating in programs offered internally and outside the company, which serve to fulfill business-defined needs and individual employee interests.

Continuing education is available to all employees as both an employee benefit and as a business objective to facilitate continuing growth and development. Programs include on the job training and coaching, onsite learning events, tuition assistance, professional licensure, certification, and participation in professional associations and events.



Community Support: Sponsoring and helping charitable causes

Safety
Safety is of primary importance to SPEC and to our clients, both in the execution of the project and in its safe operability and operation. We provide safety training, execute and monitor safe practices, have comprehensive safety policies and procedures (in addition to site specific and client requirements), and are audited by an independent specialist (ISNetworld). We also recognize our role in assisting in the safety of our clients' personnel and the public. Our managers, engineers and designers are experienced with the operations of our clients, consider safety aspects of construction, operation, and maintenance during design and system reviews, and incorporate safe practices in the execution of our work.

Environment
SPEC Services design teams recognize the importance of balancing development with our environment. We strive to incorporate innovative environmental improvements into our design plans and construction packages. We are a member company of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), an organization created to develop and maintain a sustainability rating system for all civil infrastructure. We are one of many sponsors for the development of the next version of the ISI Envision rating system, and have been qualified by ISI to rate projects using the Envision system.
We seek to improve our internal company and personal environmental practices through the guidance, training, and actions of our Green Team and Environmental Management Plan. This has included internal education programs and policies for conserving resources relative to the use of office supplies and equipment, vehicle fuel, water, electricity, and gas. Environmental bulletins are developed and distributed to all staff quarterly as part of our education program.

What Does S-P-E-C Mean?

SPEC is an acronym for System Planning, Engineering, and Coordinating. SPEC Services was founded on, and named for, the premise that project success requires the integration of good System Planning (developing and defining the right solution for the project), Engineering (producing an effective and efficient design of the selected system), and Coordinating (getting all the parties contributing and working together well). We continually strive to improve our proficiency in each of these areas. They are all closely related responsibilities and the success of each relies on the others. Our greatest value is provided when we start with system planning and work through them all, but we are good team players and work well with clients or third parties in specialized or supporting roles as well.

SPEC History and Future

SPEC Services has developed through a number of phases in its 35 year history, adjusting to the changes in the economy, in technology, and in services and service levels needed by our clients. We are beginning what could well be the most exciting one to date, forging a new vision for the future consistent with who we are and have been. Responsibility for the direction and leadership of the company has been transitioning to trusted members of the SPEC leadership team – most of whom have dedicated their entire work lives to date to the success of SPEC, its staff, and its clients. There are significant opportunities to apply the collective company strengths to serve additional energy, utility, and public infrastructure clients and projects, and to broaden the range of services.

SPEC’s first phase began in August 1981 with the founding of the firm by Kim Henry. The acronym SPEC aligned with his passion and strengths, developing the optimum system solution, engineering all the details, and coordinating all parties involved to get it done. The purpose of the “firm” was to provide Services, and have fun doing them well. The initial concept of an individual consulting practice didn’t last long, and in 35 years SPEC has grown slowly to include over 200 people. Of these, 23% have been with the firm for over 20 years, and the average across all staff is currently over 9 years with SPEC.

Twenty years ago the team spent a few days to discover and define our “secret sauce” – what had made us so successful to date. We concluded that it was the working environment and common focus of the team, and defined it as “Inspired People, Visionary Solutions, Serving Others.” This continues to guide our decisions and help maintain our working environment and culture. With many new team members who have joined since that time, we will soon repeat the process, reassessing our current “secret sauce”, and setting a vision toward the next 20 years.

In this next phase, several members of our management team have taken on new roles and responsibilities. Kim Henry is President and CEO, focusing on developing the team and future opportunities, with some periodic planning and technical consulting in select projects. Chris Smart, 28 years with SPEC, leads our pipeline and subsurface utilities teams as Director, Pipelines and Subsurface Utilities. Nathan VanderBeek, 16 years with SPEC, leads all other project work and operations as Director of Operations. Ed Gienger, 15 years with SPEC, leads technical disciplines as Engineering and Design Manager. Other key members of the management team include Ed Russo, Division Manager, Liquid Terminals & Distribution (24 years with SPEC); Omar Estrada, Pipeline Engineering Manager (20 years with SPEC); Peter DiSomma, Manager of Gas Utility Services (13 years with SPEC); and the relative new-comer, Steve Chiotti, CFO.

Our project work will become more diversified in the coming years, but we will continue to support the oil and gas industries here in the Southwest as they responsibly continue to produce and provide essential fuel for the region, safely and reliably. We will also continue to apply our skills to support the development of infrastructure systems, alternative energy, and the efficient use and conservation of all resources.

Company Events: Picnics and holiday fun for families and friends
Project Size

Our effectiveness in completing both large and small projects is one of the keys to our success and longevity. We have developed the staff size, organizational capabilities, and processes to handle large projects, while maintaining the ability to efficiently execute small projects and specialized services. This range of capability has been especially valuable in our continuing service relationships with clients, and the substantial amount of repeat business and referral work we receive from these clients.

SPEC completes about 500 projects a year, with about 125 in progress at the same time. Project fees have averaged approximately $100,000, and the median fee is approximately $27,000. We have completed the design for many projects with total installed cost greater than $50 million, and some much larger. We also complete approximately 55 very small projects, with fees under $5000, each year.


Contracting Relationships
Continuing Service Agreements; A large percentage of our work is done under continuing service agreements with our clients, and most projects follow a design-bid-build contracting process. We may be the sole provider or one of 2-3 that are selected, and act as an extension of the client's internal organization. Depending on the project and the client's internal staff availability, we may do the entire project or a portion of it. For most projects, we either do the system planning and scope development from the beginning, or lead the refinement of the client's feasibility concept, and more fully document the project scope. We discuss the objectives of the project with the client, ask and track down answers to questions, and write a detailed project scope, approach, budget, and schedule for approval. The project is then executed under the overview of the client Project Manager, according to the labor and expense rates in the Master Services Agreement.

Response to RFP: Where clients do not have so many projects that they need continuing service agreements, or where they are required to bid their projects individually, specific project qualifications and proposals form the basis of selection and award. These projects may be fixed price, time-and-material with a budget, or, more rarely, cost plus fixed fee.

Subcontractor on Design-Build: We selectively perform engineering and design as a subcontractor to a construction contractor. We also have provided balance-of-plant engineering and design for projects led by major equipment packager/suppliers.

Subcontractor to Prime Contractor: We may provide specialized services in support of a major project as team member under the lead engineering/management firm, such as providing Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) and utility coordination and design services for installation of a bridge, rail yard, freeway., or port reconfiguration.

Prime Contractor with Subcontractors: Although we provide most services in-house, we subcontract some field services, like ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys, aerial mapping/Lidar, and geotechnical investigation, and subcontract to certified SBE's and DBE's for some projects.

Clients
SPEC Services, Inc. has served the oil and gas industries in the Southwestern USA for 35 years, and other industries and agencies for over 20 years. The names of some clients continue to change through mergers and acquisitions, and their project representatives change through promotions, retirements, and hiring. We continue to serve these clients, providing the advantage of our experience with their facilities and systems, and adapting to meet their new requirements.

A partial list of the clients we have served includes:

Pipelines Oil & Gas Production Liquid Terminals & Distribution Systems Refinery & Process Systems
Air Products and Chemicals
BP
BreitBurn Energy
California Resources Corporation
Chemoil Corporation
Chevron
Crimson Pipeline L.P.
ExxonMobil
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP
Plains All American Pipeline
Paramount Petroleum Corporation
Petro-Diamond Terminals Company
Phillips 66 Company
San Diego Gas & Electric
Shell Pipeline Company
Southern California Gas Company
Southwest Gas Company
Tesoro Logistics Company
Torrance Logistics Company
Valero
Venoco, Inc.
Vopak
Wickland Pipeline
Beach Oil Minerals
Beta Offshore
Breitburn Energy
California Resources Corporation
ERG Operating Company
Freeport-McMoran Oil & Gas
Oxy USA
Synergy Oil and Gas LLC
Tatweer Petroleum - Bahrain Field Dev. Co.
THUMS Long Beach
Tidelands Oil Production Company
Torch Operating Company
Venoco, Inc.
AmeriGas Partners, LP
BP
Chemoil Corporation
ExxonMobil
GATX
Great Western Chemical
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP
Magellan
Petro-Diamond Terminals Company
Phillips 66 Company
Plains All American Pipeline
Plains Marketing L.P.
Shell Pipeline Company
Tesoro Logistics Company
Valero
Vopak
Wespac Energy Group
Wickland Oil
BP
Demenno/Kerdoon
Paramount Petroleum Corporation
Phillips 66 Company
Tesoro Refining Company
Torrance Refinery Company
Valero Wilmington Refinery
Natural Gas Systems Water/Wastewater Subsurface Utilities Engineering Companies & Construction Contractors
Clean Energy
Compressor Systems, Inc.
El Paso Natural Gas
Pacific Gas & Electric
Questar Corporation (now Dominion)
San Diego Gas & Electric
Shell Global Solutions, Inc.
Southern California Gas Company
Southwest Gas Company
California Water Service
Golden State Water
Eastern Municipal Water District
Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power
Orange County Sanitation District
Orange County Water District
Valley County Water District
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA)
Caltrans
City of Alhambra
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Orange County Sanitation District
Orange County Water District
ARB, Inc.
Compressor Systems, Inc.
Doty Brothers Construction
HDR Engineering, Inc.
Jacobs Field Services
Moffatt & Nichol
Parsons-HNTB JV
Stetson Engineers
Southwest Contractors
WEBB