Obituary: Doug Tise, Lifelong Pipeliner in HDD Industry

Doug Tise

Doug Tise

Lloyd Douglas (Doug) Tise, 60, passed away peacefully in sleep at home in Conroe, Texas on Oct.11. Tise was a third generation pipeliner and was named after his grandfather Lloyd “Mizzou” Farley, who started pipelining in California back in the 1920s.

Farley started L.E. Farley Inc., which became a major cross-country pipeline firm building many pipelines across the United States, including the first 30-in. natural gas pipeline across the Mississippi River. Tise’s dad, Earl Tise, is also a lifelong pipeliner, who retired from Bechtel in 1983 and was a   superintendent and construction manager on numerous major pipelines in Argentina and Algeria from the late 1950s through the early 1980s and was instrumental in getting the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS) construction kicked off and was construction manager on Spread 1 of  TAPS. Doug also has a brother, brother-in-law, two sons, and three nephews who are all in the pipeline industry.

Doug Tise started working on the pipeline when he was only 12. He was not fond of school although he was always excellent in math, which would help him become very proficient at designing HDD crossings, which he was very good at. In his teen years, he learned how to operate most of the equipment on the pipeline, as well as a double-joint rack. He learned from some of the best pipeliners on spreads in Argentina that laid lots of pipe over all types of terrain from the Straits of Magellan across Patagonia and all across the Pampas. At 19, he was on the other end of the globe driving a belly dump building the haul road to the Yukon River in the winter of 1974-75 on TAPS. Shortly after that he spent some time in Algeria building some major gas export pipelines from the Sahara to the Mediterranean. In the 1980s, Tise would start doing what he loved most when he started with Laney Inc., where he spent more than a decade estimating and helping manage the installation of more than 1,000 HDDs all over the United States, as well as several world record HDDs in Bolivia. On the first HDD in Bolivia the drill rig burned down. Tise persuaded his managers the only way to complete the job on schedule was to fly another rig down on an Antonov, the world’s largest airplane. Three days later Tise had the rig onsite in Bolivia and completed the HDD successfully and on time. This resulted in Laney being awarded another record HDD under the Santa Cruz River in Bolivia a few years later.

One of his favorite memories was going to Iraq right at the end of the second Gulf War and being awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to install multiple HDDs under the Tigris River. Seven days after signing the contract, he had contracted another Antonov and hauled a complete HDD big rig complete with drill stem, track hoe, lowboy and pickups to the U.S. Army Stryker camp a few kilometers from the drill site and he was onsite shortly thereafter surveying in the first drill and sleeping in one of his shipping containers as their camp was not yet ready. Doug had both of his sons and a brother-in-law come over to Iraq to work with him and although the rock and boulders under the Tigris made for some of the toughest drilling in the world, they had some success and were able to get seven pipelines pulled under the river including a 26-in. one, during wartime and despite having their camp shelled several times.

In the early 2000s Doug spent several years managing Laney de Mexico’s HDD operations in Villa Hermosa, Mexico. Tise was currently working for Isaacks HDD of Aransas Pass, Texas, and was looking forward to the start of an 11,400-ft HDD in Port Arthur.

Tise is survived by parents, Paula and Earl Tise of Wimberley; three sons, Thomas (Rachel) of Wimberley, Darrell (Crystal) of Wimberley, and Christopher of Conroe, Texas; a daughter, Coralyn of Conroe, Texas; five grandchildren; two sisters and a brother.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Institute or the charity of your choice. Services will be held Saturday, Oct. 17 at noon at Chapel in The Hills Church, Wimberley, Texas.

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