Department: Features

Deloitte: North Sea Pipeline Deals to Rise this Year

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

The North Sea will see a rise in infrastructure deals this year, with private equity funds playing an increasing role in midstream assets, according to business advisory firm Deloitte. Against the backdrop of a low oil price, more oil and gas companies are looking to rationalize their portfolios and divest non-core assets in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), the firm said – with private equity and specialist infrastructure funds likely purchasers. Deloitte’s latest European Infrastructure Investors survey found that pipelines in particular have provided a solid and steady return over the last five years. The...

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Energy Forecasts Show Urgent Need for Canadian Oil Pipelines

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Forecasted growth in Canadian oil production shows new major oil pipelines are urgently needed to deliver energy to domestic and world markets, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) announced in its 2016 Crude Oil Forecast, Markets and Transportation report. CAPP’s report offered a 15-year outlook for total Canadian crude oil production and Western Canadian crude oil supply. Canadian and regional U.S. refining market demand for this supply is examined along with an update on the transportation projects that could deliver this supply to both new and traditional markets. The report also examines the impact...

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Compromise Allows Big Spending on Israel’s Natural Gas Sector

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Israel’s decision to adopt changes to guidelines under which U.S. developers operate in its massive Leviathan natural gas field will likely lead to the largest infrastructure project the tiny nation has ever seen. The move clears the way for Houston-based Noble Energy’s planned $5 billion natural gas project that would encompass wells connected to an offshore platform, which would initially produce 1.2 Bcf/d of natural gas, though the output could be increased to nearly double that amount. The project, as it stands now, includes development of an undersea pipeline, running to Israel’s coast to serve...

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Guidelines Aim for Better High-Speed Compressor Systems

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

With the growing use of high-speed separable reciprocating compressors in natural gas storage and transmission applications, the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC) identified the need for better guidelines and practices to govern the specification, design and application of this class of compression equipment. A 2½-year research project yielded the GMRC Guideline for High-Speed Reciprocating Compressor Packages for Natural Gas Storage and Transmission Applications that was released in October 2013. GMRC, a subsidiary of the Southern Gas Association (SGA), is a not-for-profit research corporation. As the guideline developed, a need for better reciprocating compressor torsional vibration...

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GIS – Improving Pipeline Risk Assessment

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

While geographic information systems (GIS) have been around in commercial form since the early 1980s, subsequent technologies for data capture, storage and processing have improved rapidly in both resolution and scope. In terms of data capture, technologies that explicitly incorporate spatial referencing are often referred to as “GIS technologies.” Perhaps the most widely known are global positioning systems (GPS), initially a military technology that has become a fundamental part of our everyday lives, enabling geo-tagging of photographs, navigation, and registration of the location of specific pipeline assets, even girth welds. Increasingly, the benefit of GIS-based...

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Asset Management in Cross Bore Safety

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Why Inspect? “Last root-ball before lunch!” thought Joe the plumber, as he ran the snake up the sewer lateral toward a tangle of roots and tissue. The cutting tool spinning at the end of the snake hung up a bit, but the motor powered it through the blockage all the way up under the foundation of the house. As he rewound the coil, Joe didn’t notice that leading the rush of water down past the lateral cleanout were scraps of yellow plastic, the color of the toy dump truck up on the front porch of...

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Energy Opportunities Abound in South America

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

This is an overview of one the world’s most important oil producing regions. South America is the fourth-largest continent (6,890,000 square miles) and is rich in natural resources that include gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin, natural gas and oil. Collectively, the nations of South America produce 6 MMbopd and several of these producers have emerged as important exporters to the United States and other global markets. Although the peoples and nations of this part of the Western Hemisphere are often referred to as Latin America, our worldview is better informed by geology and the...

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DOT Site Security Plans: Potential Application to Pipeline as Offerors

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires “offerors” of hazardous materials to develop and adhere to a site-specific security plan that evaluates transportation security risks and appropriate measures to address those risks. For the midstream sector, questions often arise as to whether or not the activities of a pipeline owner or operator trigger DOT’s site security plan requirements. We briefly address the relevant regulations as well as some of the actions that may trigger these planning requirements.   History Under the Hazardous Material Regulations (“HMRs”), 49 C.F.R. Parts 171-180, the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety...

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Transient Modeling of Natural Gas Transmission Systems

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Transient flow regularly occurs in the gas pipeline during normal operation due to variations in demand, inlet and outlet flow changes, and compressor start and stop. Transients can also occur in natural gas pipelines during filling and line pressurization, emergency shutdown, gas blowdown, line depressurization processes, and pipe leaks or rupture (Mokhatab et al., 2015). There are several reasons for applying transient analysis during the design phase of gas transmission pipelines. First, the designed system must be able to operate under different scenarios. Otherwise, the transmission company could face penalties for not delivering the contracted...

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Need for More Capacity Driving Gas Compressor Market

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Analysis by Frost & Sullivan researchers suggests the oil and gas industry is the single-largest customer in the pipeline gas compressor market, worth over $6 billion in 2014 and forecast to surpass $8 billion in 2021. In the United States alone, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, there are about 1,400 compressor stations along the entire 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines, artificially compensating for the loss of pressure caused by friction as natural gas moves through the steel. Compressor stations also remove water and other hydrocarbons condensed from dry gas as...

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NiSource Opens Employee Training Center Featuring ‘Mock Town’

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

MONACA, PA – Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of NiSource, recently opened a modern, centralized training facility for employees who operate and maintain its natural gas distribution system. The $10 million, 22,000-square-foot facility is the first of four leading-edge training centers that NiSource companies will build and operate in its service territory by 2018. Other centers are planned in Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia. “A well-equipped and highly trained workforce helps reduce risk and keep our customers and communities safe, and ultimately provides a better customer experience,” said NiSource President and CEO Joseph Hamrock. “The...

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Power Generation Moving to Greener Future with Natural Gas

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

The power generation industry is undergoing sweeping change. Global governments finally accept the reality of climate change and are opting for generation with lower carbon footprints, as witnessed in the COP21 agreement and various national policies. Generation is also shifting from a centralized model to distributed, uprooting utility business models as technological improvements allow customers to generate electricity more reliably onsite. And, even as sun-fueled renewables like PV and wind drop in price and flood the market, another fuel is becoming more accessible and affordable thanks largely to the fracking boom: natural gas. The three...

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