September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9


Business Meetings & Events

September 2012 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of <em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>, September 2012, Vol. 239 No. 9.

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: The Watkins Legacy

Perhaps you read the obituary. On July 26 retired Admiral James D. Watkins died at age 85. What you should know is this: he was the best Secretary of Energy this country has ever had and was a very important person to our industry.


CO-2 Compression Research Advancing At SwRI

Coal is used to generate about half of all electricity consumed in the U.S. Unfortunately, coal contains high carbon content and produces double the CO-2 emissions when burned compared to natural gas. Because of growing concern over greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. government and utilities are developing technologies to separate carbon dioxide both pre-and post-combustion.

Colonial Completes Expansion Of Distillate Mainline

Colonial Pipeline announced completion on July 31 of the final phase of a 75,000 bpd increase to the capacity of its primary distillate pipeline, which originates in Houston and serves the Southern and Eastern U.S.

Compressor Control Moving Beyond Black Boxes

Compressors play an integral role in the oil and gas industry, helping power the multiple processes that convert oil and gas into thousands of practical products. Yet even today – more than 150 years after the birth of America’s petroleum industry – these critical components are not integrated into the control platforms of most petrochemical plants.

DCP Midstream To Double Capacity In Denver-Julesburg Basin

DCP Midstream LLC reports capital investments under way will double its processing capacity in the Denver-Julesburg Basin by the end of 2014.

Dual Drive Compressor Fills A Need By Cutting Emissions And Costs

There is a new age dawning in compression, according to Energy Transfer Technologies (ETT). For decades, when natural gas pipeline companies went looking for compression services there were only two fuel choices to power the compressors: natural gas or electricity.

Electric Power Industry Stands Ready To Strengthen Regional Electric-Gas Partnerships

<em>(Editor’s Note: One of the most important energy issues now under discussion involves the ongoing integration of electric generation with natural gas. P&GJ will provide a continuing forum for the dialogue in coming months.) </em>

Enbridge Northern Gateway Files Reply Evidence To JRP

Enbridge Inc. announced Northern Gateway has filed Reply Evidence in the regulatory application for the project and, contained in that filing, details further enhancements in pipeline design and operations. These extra measures build on the plan in the application presently before federal regulators that already far surpasses industry codes and standards.

Enbridge Says Its Pipeline System Safe

Enbridge Inc., whose pipelines ship the bulk of Canada's oil exports to the United States, defended the record of its system on Aug. 3 after the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) voiced concerns about the safety of its operations following a series of spills in the upper Midwest.

FERC Market Study Shows Growing Demand For Natural Gas

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recently released State of the Markets 2011 report provides insight into the nation’s plentiful supply of natural gas, the need to develop new domestic and foreign markets and what’s driving changes in electric markets.

Keeping Your High Potentials Engaged

Are you an energy distribution company? Are you having trouble attracting and keeping talented employees? There may be a pool of high potentials already available!

Modern Turbo Compressors For High-Pressure Pipelines

Old-fashioned high-pressure reciprocating compressors and oil-sealed heavy-bolted-head high-pressure centrifugal compressors have been used in high-pressure pipeline stations for decades. However, they seem unreliable, inefficient, heavy, bulky and wasteful. Modern high-pressure gas stations use vertically split, dry-gas-sealed, shear-ring head centrifugal compressors for high-pressure service.

ONEOK Partners Plans Major Growth Project Investments

ONEOK Partners, L.P said it plans to invest approximately $980 million to $1.1 billion between now and 2014 to: * Build a 75,000 natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator, MB-3, at Mont Belvieu, TX, and related infrastructure; * Build a 100 MMcf/d natural gas processing facility – the Garden Creek II plant – in eastern McKenzie County, ND, in the Bakken Shale in the Williston Basin, and related infrastructure; * Increase capacity on the Bakken NGL Pipeline to 135,000 bpd from 60,000 bpd; and * Build a 40,000-bpd ethane/propane (E/P) splitter at Mont Belvieu.

Pipeline Records Verification Compliance Questions For Operators

More than 2.5 million miles of pipelines, including 300,000 miles of gas transmission lines, criss-cross the U.S., carrying natural gas and a host of hazardous liquids that fuel the nation’s economy.

The Design of Natural Gas Pipelines

The modern pipeline design engineer must take into consideration many new factors - for instance, the federal Gas Pipeline Safety Rules, 49CFR Parts 191, 192 and 193. These include requirements such as maximum spacing for mainline shut-off valves, heavier wall thickness in populated areas and some design at 50% of SMYS (specified minimum yield strength).

Training Seminar Held For TCPL Technical Corrosion Staff

In December of 2011, Mears Group Inc. was approached by TransCanada Pipeline (TCPL) to create a viable training seminar for approximately 60 TransCanada technical corrosion staff from the U.S. and Canada.

TransCanada Selected To Develop Northern Courier Pipeline System

TransCanada Corporation was selected by the Fort Hills Energy Limited Partnership to design, build, own and operate the proposed Northern Courier Pipeline project. The project, with an estimated capital cost of $660 million, is a 90-km pipeline system that will transport bitumen and diluent between the Fort Hills mine site and the Voyageur Upgrader located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Ziff Energy Group Now In Its 30th Year

Now marking its 30th year in business, Ziff Energy Group has earned a worldwide reputation for stellar consulting services that focus on groundbreaking operational benchmarking studies of onshore and offshore oil and natural gas fields along with long term natural gas supply, demand, and price forecasts for North America.


Tighter EPA Soot Standard Could Complicate Underground Construction

Companies that do underground construction will be affected - and not in a good way - if the Environmental Protection Agency goes ahead with its proposal to tighten its particulate matter air emissions standard, referred to as the PM2.5 standard (2.5 indicates the size of the particle).

In The News

Atmos Energy Completes Sale of LDC Assets In Missouri, Illinois, Iowa

Atmos Energy Corp. completed the sale of its natural gas distribution assets in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa to Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corp., an affiliate of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. The deal includes transfer of 84,000 residential and commercial meters. Net cash proceeds for rate base and related working capital were $129 million.

Fracking Debate Studies Industry-Funded Research

The University of Texas provost will re-examine a report by a UT professor that said fracking was safe for groundwater after the revelation that the professor wad paid hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Texas natural gas developer, according to press reports.

Growing Need For Pipelines Strains Manufacturers

Pipe manufacturers are having problems keeping up with the rapidly rising demand for new oil pipelines in the U.S. heartland, according to Reuters.

Low Injections Reflect Already High Natural Gas Storage Inventories

The increase in U.S. working natural gas inventories nearly half way through the 2012 injection season - the period from April through October when most natural gas is stored underground to help meet heating demand during the upcoming winter - was the lowest in 12 years.

Plains All American Nears Completion Of Permian Basin Projects

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. has completed or is nearing completion of construction of crude oil pipeline projects that total more than 145 miles and are expected to provide 200,000 bpd of additional takeaway capacity from the Bone Spring, Spraberry and Wolfberry producing areas in nine West Texas counties. Estimated cost of the pipelines is $135 million.

PRCI Expands Inline Research Program

Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. (PRCI) expanded and accelerated its research and development program aimed at enhancing inline inspection (ILI) tools and developing the next generation of technology to ensure pipeline safety, integrity, and reliability.

PUC OKs $5,000 Settlement With Peoples Natural Gas

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission finalized a settlement with Peoples Natural Gas Co. over an informal investigation into an incident involving a contractor striking a public utility service line.


Anadarko Looking To Sell Midstream Assets

Bloomberg reported that Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the second- largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas producer by market value, solicited bids for some of its assets, including coalbed- methane properties in Wyoming and certain midstream holdings.

ANR Holds Non-Binding Open Season

A non-binding open season for ANR Pipeline’s Wisconsin 2015 expansion project closed on Aug.1.

Chenier Gains Funds To Construct LNG Export Facility

Chenier Energy Partners has gained commitments for $3.4 billion to fund the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the first two liquefaction trains at its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.

Crestwood Acquires Gathering, Processing Assets from Devon Energy

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP will acquire a number of gathering and processing assets from Devon Energy Corp. in the liquids-rich southwestern area of the Barnett Shale for $90 million.

Crosstex Moves Ahead With Cajun-Sibon NGL Extension

Crosstex Energy companies, Crosstex Energy, L.P. (the Partnership) and Crosstex Energy, Inc. (the Corporation), announced that commercial contracting is complete for Phase I of the Partnership’s Cajun-Sibon natural gas liquids (NGL) extension and Eunice fractionator expansion.

Financing Approved For Italian Pipelines

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Italian-based Cassa depositi e prestiti (CDP) approved a 20-year finance contract worth EUR 400 million for Snam Spa.

Growth In Global Oil Market Slows

Global oil consumption increased by 0.7% in 2011 to reach an all-time high of 88.03 million bpd, according to research conducted by Worldwatch Institute ( for its Vital Signs Online service.

Itron To Provide 745,000 Gas Meters To Turkeys Largest Gas Utility

Itron Inc. was awarded a contract by Turkey’s largest private gas utility, AKSA, to provide residential as well as commercial and industrial (C&I) gas meters.

Kinder Morgan Signs Processing Services And Storage Deal

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and BP North America have finalized long-term commercial agreements to provide BP condensate processing services and storage at Kinder Morgan’s terminals located on the Houston Ship Channel.

Magellan, Occidental Hold Extended Open Season

Magellan Midstream Partners and Occidental Petroleum held a one-week extension of their binding open season initiated on June 11 to solicit capacity commitments from shippers to transport crude oil from Colorado City, TX to the Houston Gulf Coast area on the proposed <a href="">BridgeTex Pipeline</a>. The binding commitment deadline closed July 18.

MarkWest In Long-Term, Fee-Based Deal With XTO On NGLs

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. has signed a long-term, fee-based agreement with XTO Energy, Inc. a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., to extend MarkWest’s natural gas liquids (NGL) gathering pipeline in northwest Pennsylvania to XTO’s processing plant in Butler County, PA which is expected to start operations in late 2012.

NiSource, Hilcorp Announce Utica Shale JV

NiSource Inc.'s Midstream & Minerals Group, LLC, announced a joint venture with affiliates of Hilcorp Energy Company to construct gathering pipeline infrastructure and NGL processing facilities to support natural gas production in the Utica Shale region of northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

Noble Energy Investing $8 Billion In Niobrara Shale

Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. plans to increase its operations in eastern Colorado with $8 billion in investment over the next five years.

Plains, Enterprise Products Form JV In South Texas

Plains All American Pipeline and Enterprise Products Partners have formed a 50/50 crude oil pipeline joint venture in South Texas.

Pony Express Gets Nod After Successful Open Season

Pony Express Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission LLC, says it has received sufficient binding shipper commitments during its recent open season.

Putin Pressuring South Stream Consortium

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants the South Stream consortium to make a final investment decision by November and insists that Gazprom start construction work by the same date on the pipeline’s section in the Black Sea.

Shale Gas Unlikely Solution To UK's Future Energy Needs

Over recent years the United Kingdom has become ever more dependent on the import of gas to supply its energy needs, presenting risks for its future energy security.

ShawCor Wins Coating Contract In Mexico

ShawCor Ltd.’s pipe coating division, Bredero Shaw, has received contracts with a value in excess of US$40 million from the consortium between Dragados Offshore and Swiber Offshore Construction and from Tubacero S.A. de C.V. to provide pipeline coatings and related products and services for the Linea 5 Pipeline project operated by PEMEX.

Shells Houma-To-Houston Reversal Project Moves Ahead

Shell Pipeline officials say the Ho-Ho pipeline reversal project is progressing as planned, based on shipper requests and new crude production and infrastructure coming online. After completion of this project, shippers will have access to markets and connectivity in Nederland and Port Arthur, TX.

Spectra Announces Gas Transmission Project

Spectra Energy held a non-binding open season for the Renaissance Gas Transmission Project that ended March 30.

Sumitomo Investing $2 Billion In Permian Basin

Sumitomo Corporation has signed an agreement with Devon Energy Corp. to participate in Devon's tight oil development project in the Permian Basin.

Williams Partners Plans Mobile Bay South III Expansion Project

Williams Partners L.P. held an open season from July 24 to Aug. 23 for an expansion of its Transco Mobile Bay South III interstate pipeline to provide firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the Southeast by fall 2014.

Williams, Caiman Energy II JV To Develop Utica Shale Infrastructure

Williams Partners L.P. will be a funding partner in a joint venture with Caiman Energy II to develop midstream infrastructure serving oil and gas producers in the Utica Shale.


T.D. Williamson Unveils Remotely Controlled Subsea Tapping Machine

T.D. Williamson (TDW) recently announced the successful development and field deployment of the Subsea 1200RC Tapping Machine, described by the company as its new compact remote-controlled subsea hot tapping machine. The system is said to be extremely lightweight, allowing hot tapping to be carried out from the safety of a Diving Support Vessel (DSV) or platform, resulting in significant safety benefits and improvement in operational control.