August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8


Business Meetings & Events

August 2011 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of <em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>, August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8.

Darby Equipment Expands Offices

Darby Equipment has settled into recently completed offices immediately adjacent to their manufacturing plant in Tulsa.

Dyna Torque On The March Worldwide

For 13 years, Dyna Torque Technologies, Inc. of Houston has worked diligently to establish the ultimate global turnkey pipeline service. Andrew Scherfenberg, president of Dyna Torque, began with a redesign of the pipe-facing machines (PFMs) that hadn’t seen a significant upgrade in 23 years. The new design streamlined pipe size changes and included the patented “boss” connectors that eliminate hydraulic spillage.

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: Northern Light

Sometimes it’s hard to know when bad news is really a blessing in disguise, at least for some. Shell has announced plans to dump its 11.4% stake in the proposed Mackenzie natural gas production and pipeline project, thus dealing another crippling, if not fatal, blow to the long-discussed northern Canada venture.


Advances In ILI Allow Assessing Unpiggable Pipelines

Advances in inline inspection (ILI) tools and other inspection technology today allow for detailed assessment of unpiggable or difficult-to-pig pipelines. In pipe systems considered unpiggable or difficult-to-pig, hydrotesting has been the primary fitness-for-service (FFS) assessment methodology. While regulatory compliance may be achieved by hydrotesting some lines, such testing does not provide a complete picture of the condition of a pipeline.

Automatic Multiple Cleaning Pig Launching System Passes Test

A patented automatic multiple pig launching (AMPL) system has been developed and undergone its first commercial use. The system individually launches multiple pigs from a preloaded cassette. The system requires no modification to the existing pipeline launcher because the pig launching process is controlled by a hydraulic system incorporated with the pigs rather than by using complex pipeline on the launcher.

Can Technology Chart Safer Future For Pipelines?

While no one would ever label the natural gas pipeline industry as “high-tech,” technology nevertheless is playing a major part in the industry’s response to a series of deadly pipeline incidents in North America in the past 18 months. For example, today there can be a digital footprint created and stored on new pipe literally as it is being buried in the ground.

Chemically Assisted Pipeline Cleaning For Pigging Operations

A successful cleaning chemical formulation process for hydrocarbon transportation pipelines has been developed and applied in pipelines in the U.S. Case studies are included in this article.

Customized Security Eases Work In Unfamiliar And Difficult Places

Anyone who has traveled through central Asia -- or “flown” virtually via Google Earth -- can see why many armies throughout history have been stymied by the rugged terrain, remoteness and the lack of roads. Other regional hazards may include threats of abduction, illness and military activity.

First Tier 4 Machines Tested On Tennessee Valley Gas Line Construction

The Tennessee Valley Authority serves 9 million customers in seven states, and two-thirds of its power is generated from coal. So the fact that Spectra Energy is installing a 24-inch gas pipeline through northern Tennessee to feed a TVA power plant is news in itself. But the construction of the North East Tennessee pipeline (NET), due to be completed in September, touches on some of the most discussed issues in the industry.

Fixing Americas Pipeline System With Ring Expansion Testing

Ring expansion testing could provide a cost-efficient solution to the need to comply with a new regulation that will potentially require American utility operators to evaluate the integrity of their gas pipelines. Ring testing also could help prevent the re-occurrence of ruptures such as the disastrous San Bruno, CA explosion last year.

Impact Of Japan's Nuclear Disaster On New And Planned Facilities

Japan’s March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident dealt a tremendous blow to nuclear facilities, both planned and operating, around the globe. It also ignited fresh interest in natural gas and added to the pressure on countries to replace coal power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Keystone XL Will Pipe Energy, Economic Security To U.S.

When it comes to energy and the economy, the U.S. and Canada have a long and prosperous history. As our top trading partner, Canada plays an integral role in U.S. job creation. It is also our largest supplier of oil, providing nearly 2 million barrels per day, or more than 20% of U.S. imports.

New Outlook Says Natural Gas Could Help Industrial Sector Recover

The latest “Summer Outlook” by the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) indicates that consumers of natural gas will benefit from stable and steady natural gas prices, which should also help the nation’s recovering industrial sector.

Pipeline & Gas Journals 2011 International And Offshore Report

<em>P&GJ</em>’s latest international survey indicates 89,233 miles of new and planned pipelines are under construction and planned. Of these 49,488 miles account for projects in the planning and engineering phase and 39,745 miles are in various stages of construction.

The Long Road For Natural Gas Vehicles

Natural gas has made only small inroads in the world's transportation market, where the fuels of choice remain those refined from crude oil. The global market for cars and trucks powered by natural gas has been growing, however, and the technology improving, spurred by tax incentives, high gasoline and diesel prices, and a blossoming green movement.

Toward Better Pipeline Data Governance

<em>“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.” </em>– W. Edwards Deming On April 18 at the National Pipeline Safety Forum, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Debbie Hersman posed the following question to a panel of industry representatives:

Ultrasonic Guided Wave System Developed By PetroChina

PetroChina Pipeline Research Center (PPRC) developed the PUGW-1 pipe screening system based on ultrasonic guided wave (UGW) theory during 2005-2009. PRRC is China’s largest research center focusing on oil and gas transmission and storage-related research.

What Will Valve Industry Look Like In 2025?

Because industrial valves have existed since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the industry can be perceived as mature, traditional and resistant to change. Those of us in the industry know we have played a vital role in global development and evolve dynamically to adapt to industry’s needs. In fact, without innovations from valve suppliers, much of the world’s infrastructure could not exist, and access to essential natural resources would be impossible.


House GOP Seek To Force State Department Action On Keystone XL; EPA Gives Ground On GHGs; 4G Wireless May Threaten GPS

A House committee voted out a bill 33-13 on June 15 which would force the State Department to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline, an expansion of an existing TransCanada pipeline which would bring oil from Alberta and North Dakota to U.S. refineries.

NTSB faults PG&E and government oversight in San Bruno explosion

On August 30 the five-member National Transportation Safety Board announced that its nearly year-long investigation into the San Bruno pipeline explosion has determined that Pacific Gas & Electric's lax approach to pipeline safety and inadequate oversight from the California utility commission and PHMSA were the ultimate cause of the most devastating pipeline accident in a decade.

In The News

Chevron Taking Measured Approach To Shale Gas

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, added 228,000 acres in the Marcellus shale in May to follow up on its $3.2 billion acquisition of Atlas Energy, which gave Chevron its first big stake in the northeastern field.

ExxonMobil Told To Improve Safety On Damaged Pipeline

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) told ExxonMobil to make safety improvements to the Silvertip pipeline in Montana that ruptured and spilled oil into the Yellowstone River July 1.

Goldman Sachs Sees Natural Gas Prices At $6 By 2015

While predicting that U.S. natural gas prices will reach $6 per million Btus by 2015, Goldman Sachs analysts projected they will average just $4.25 in the near term as new shale gas continues to flow into the market.

Kinder Morgan-Copano Increase Presence In Eagle Ford Shale

Eagle Ford Gathering LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP and Copano Energy, LLC announced two long-term agreements to provide transportation, processing and fractionation services to Petrohawk Energy Corp. and Rosetta Resources Operating LP, an affiliate of Rosetta Resources Inc., two of the leading operators in the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas.

Natural Gas Industry Spent $3.5 Million Lobbying In PA

A report by the <em>Scranton Times Tribune</em> found that the natural gas industry spent more than $3.5 million last year to lobby lawmakers and state officials on issues concerning Marcellus Shale gas extraction.

Natural Storage Development Entities Form New Company

QNGS Holdings, LLC, a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, LLC and Larry Bickle, chairman of the combined entities, announced that the company is combining its two natural gas storage development entities, Merchant Energy Partners, LLC of Denver, Colorado and Icon NGS, LLC of Houston.

New Marcellus Pipelines Could Encounter Opposition

Reuters reports that an equally vexing battle - if less controversial than hydraulic fracturing - now looms in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale gas region: ensuring that enough pipelines are built, quickly enough, to funnel the gas into the deep Northeast market.

Pipeline Costs In Shale Gas Regions

Ziff Energy has released a report that analyses the costs for new natural gas transportation infrastructure in the seven North America shale gas regions: Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Woodford, Fayetteville, and Horn River.

Report Says New Drilling Permits Could Add Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs

A just-released economic analysis of natural gas and oil development in the Gulf of Mexico indicates the United States could add $45 billion to the American economy and 430,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs in the next two years.

Rockies Express Pipeline May Reverse Flow To Move Shale Gas

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP is now considering reversing its Rockies Express Pipeline, acknowledging that with plenty of natural gas along the East Coast, the pipeline may better serve customers in the West.

State, Fed Technicians Remove Bomb from Oklahoma Pipeline

The FBI announced Aug. 11 the discovery of an explosive device attached to a natural gas pipeline in Okemah, OK, about seventy miles east from Oklahoma City.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline Study Examines Low-flow Safety Issues

A study done for Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. concludes that the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)  can be operated safely down to 350,000 bpd if measures are taken to prevent ice and wax buildup and corrosion, problems that accompany low flow.


680-Mile Ruby Pipeline Begins Service

El Paso Corp. placed its Ruby Pipeline in service on July 28. Ruby is a 680-mile, 42-inch interstate natural gas pipeline, providing transportation service from Opal, WY to interconnections near Malin, OR.

Bulgarian Move Nettles Russian Officials

Russia's oil pipeline operator Transneft is considering if it should attempt further cooperation with Bulgaria on the trans-Balkan Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

China Reports Oil Spills Basically Under Control

CNOOC Limited reported that oil spills which occurred in PengLai 19-3 oil field had been brought “basically under control” on July 5.

ConocoPhillips Boosting Investment In Alberta Oil Sands

ConocoPhillips Canada plans to invest $1.5 billion in oil sands assets in Alberta in 2011.

Crosstex Energy Companies Seek Permits For NGL Project

Crosstex Energy, L.P. and Crosstex Energy, Inc. are completing engineering studies, pipeline routing work and environmental permitting for an NGL project that will expand Crosstex’s Louisiana fractionation facilities and expand access to these facilities and Louisiana product markets through a new NGL pipeline.

Eagle Rock Energy Plans Processing Plant In Granite Wash Play Area

Eagle Rock Energy Partners plans to install a 60 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility in Hemphill County, TX in the heart of the prolific Granite Wash play.

EIA tallys shale oil and gas resources

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) has released a report estimating the volumes of gas and oil recoverable from shale plays in the 48 contiguous United States: about 750 trillion cubic feet of gas, and 24 billion barrels of oil.

GL Noble Denton Wins Services Contract For Australian LNG Project

QGC has selected GL Noble Denton to provide verification services for the development of the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, which is expected to supply more than 8.5 MMta of LNG through development of two LNG trains.

Global Pipe Company Targets Production Facility For Mid 2012

Global Pipe Company, a Saudi-German joint venture with a total investment of SR. 660 Million has planned commissioning of a production facility in Jubail Industrial City by the second quarter 2012.

Korea Gas Joins Northeastern B.C. Shale Gas Play

Korean Gas Corp., the world's biggest LNG purchaser, is buying into a northeastern B.C. shale gas play in a move that proponents say promises to accelerate LNG exports to Asia.

Lithuania Bars Gazprom From Operating Pipelines

Lithuania’s parliament adopted legislation barring Gazprom from owning or operating pipelines in the country.

Monroe Gas Storage Announces Non-Binding Open Season

<p> <p><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; color: black;">Monroe Gas Storage Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cardinal Gas Storage Partners LLC, has announced the start of a non-binding, 15-day open season to gauge market interest in available capacity in its 12.0 Bcf multi-cycle, interstate natural gas storage facility located in Monroe County, MS. </span></p>

NAEP Awarded Pipeline Construction Contracts

North American Energy Partners Inc. (NAEP) received three new contracts, including a five-year civil construction and mining deal with Suncor Energy and two large-diameter pipeline contracts.

Pembina Completes Nipisi And Mitsue Pipelines

Pembina Pipeline Corp. completed construction and has initiated start-up of its Nipisi heavy oil pipeline, Nipisi Pipeline, and Mitsue diluent pipeline, Mitsue Pipeline, which will service the Pelican Lake and Peace River heavy oil regions of Alberta.

Plains All American Increases Throughput Of Mesa Pipeline System

Plains All American Pipeline has increased the available throughput capacity of the 80-mile Mesa Pipeline System by 100,000 bpd to 420,000 bpd.

PSE&G Expands Investments In Upgrades and Energy Efficiency

Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) is planning investments to accelerate its electric and gas infrastructure and energy efficiency program.

ROSEN Awarded Pipeline Baseline Inspection Project

ROSEN Group won four major baseline pipeline inspections worth $9 million for the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project in Western Australia.

Shell Pipeline Considers Houma-To-Houston Pipeline Reversal

Shell Pipeline Company LP is considering reversal of the Houma-to-Houston (Ho-Ho) pipeline system.

Two Expansion Projects Planned By Holly Energy Partners

Holly Energy Partners (HEP) announced two expansion projects to provide 60,000 bpd of additional crude pipeline take-away capacity resulting from increased Delaware Basin drilling activity in southeast New Mexico.

Willbros Settles Contract Dispute With TransCanada

Willbros Group, Inc. reached full and final agreement with TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. on the amount due to its U.S. construction subsidiary under a cost-reimbursable target price construction contract for seven pump stations in Nebraska and Kansas.

What's New

New Fillet Weld Grinder

Metabo Corporation, a manufacturer of professional grade portable electric power tools and abrasives for industrial, construction and welding applications, now offers the KNSE 12-150 Fillet Weld Grinder.

Pigging Products and Services Association Buyer's Guide

The Pigging Products and Services Association has compiled the following buyer's guide to illustrate which industry companies provide which products and services. <a href="/sites/">Download the PDF</a> for full information. Note: Inspection companies can generally arrange for the pipeline to be cleaned/prepared prior to inspection.