June 2015, Vol. 242, No. 6


Business Meetings & Events

June 2015 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of Pipeline & Gas Journal, June 2015, Vol. 242, No. 6.

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: When It Comes to Polls You've Got to Question the Questions

After 25 years of covering the oil and gas industry, I can still find time for a good laugh; either that or shake my head in frustration, yank out some gray hairs and ask, “why”? The other day I was perusing emails when this grabbed my attention. “Poll: Key Primary Voters Support Arctic Drilling, Say Energy is Important Issue in 2016 Race.”


Business Roundup

<strong>Association News </strong> The Society of Petroleum Engineers, Aberdeen, Scotland section, named Shankar Bhukya chairman, replacing Ross Lowdon who left due to re-location to Houston. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors elected Cindy B. Taylor chair and Kevin McEvoy vice chairman for 2015-16 at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. <strong>Personnel Changes </strong>

Caspian Regions Newly Independent Nations Look for Higher Gas Profits

The Caspian region of Central Asia is one of the world’s most important oil and gas-producing regions. Until recently, Caspian gas traveled thousands of miles via largely Soviet-built pipelines to eastern Russia where a portion of it was re-exported to Europe at two and even three times the purchase price. Since 2010, however, newly built pipelines have carried natural gas east to China, which receives about 50% of Caspian gas exports, surpassing Russia and Europe’s share 26% and Iran and Turkey take of 24%.

Changes to PHMSA Rules Affect Wide Range of Inspections, Reports

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a new final rule amending the pipeline safety regulations for both gas (§192) and liquid (§195) in multiple subject areas. The final rule also made several editorial changes in the regulations. The changes are effective Oct. 1.

Control Room Management Best Practices

<em>(Editor’s note: This is the second article of two articles.)</em> Pipeline controllers work in an environment with continuous interruptions and distractions. With every new SCADA upgrade there is the potential to increase the amount of information presented on the displays, causing the amount of distraction to grow side by side with industry innovation. Such distractions can become “noise,” confusing or distracting a pipeline controller from making timely decisions that affect the safe operation of the pipeline.

Developing Engineering-Based Integrity Programs for Pipelines, Plants

Integrity assessment has always been a part of operations and maintenance activities. As plant piping and pipeline infrastructure has aged, industry first developed basic tools, and as their importance became apparent, these tools improved to meet those increasing needs.

Engineering Mounded, Vertical, Cylindrical, Welded, Carbon Steel Tanks

Kerosene-type jet fuels are sometimes required to be stored in bulk in tanks with earthen backfill. No single code or standard addresses the requirements for construction of such tanks, which needs a multidisciplinary approach. This article provides a concise basis for aviation fuel storage in mounded, vertical, cylindrical, welded, carbon steel storage tanks.

External Corrosion Mapping, Anomaly Assessment Using Eddy Currents

Evaluating pipeline anomalies remains a vital task in the pipeline industry. Properly identifying, assessing, and repairing defects is crucial in ensuring public and environmental safety. Recent technological advancements have automated this process and drastically increased its overall efficiency.

High-Speed Compressors Spawn Need for Better Guidelines

With the growing use of high-speed separable reciprocating compressors in natural gas storage and transmission applications, the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC) sees the need for better guidelines and practices to govern the specification, design and application of this class of compression equipment.

Major Pipeline Operators to Evaluate Aerial-based Safety Technologies

Three of North America’s largest pipeline operators - Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corporation, and Kinder Morgan Canada - have signed a Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety.

Oil, Gas Operators Managing Risks When Energy Prices are Down

Today, let’s imagine that we are a company producing oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale, the Permian Basin, and the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Colorado. We own and operate well pads, pipelines flowing from wells to facilities treating those flows, and bigger pipelines which take our products to sales points and “ring the cash register.”

Opportunities Burning Bright for Natural Gas, AGA Chairman Says

At least for his new role as 2015 chairman of the American Gas Association Terry D. McCallister doesn’t have far to travel. The 59-year-old natural gas executive who is chairman and CEO of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas Light Co., the 165-year-old utility company that services the Potomac region, has plenty on his plate these days, as this interview found, so time is at a premium.

PG&E Completes Cast-Iron Replacement, Earns Safety Certifications

Since Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) finished replacing all 835 miles of cast-iron pipeline in its system ahead of its 2014 year-end goal, the company has turned its attention to further modernizing its infrastructure with the latest gas-safety technology and by building a skilled workforce. The decommissioning of cast-iron pipe, which began in 1985, covered enough distance to run from Seattle to San Francisco, and has been followed by implementation of one of the most comprehensive modernization programs in the nation.

PGC Report Shows Record-High Resource Evaluation of US Natural Gas

The United States possesses a large and growing domestic abundance of natural gas. The biennial report,<em> Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States,</em> developed by the Potential Gas Committee (PGC), details the nation's total technically recoverable resource base of natural gas, which provides the foundation for stable prices, customer savings, energy security and more.

Presidents Report Finds Energy Infrastructure Needs Major Investments

The need for major changes to the nation’s energy infrastructure is why President Obama initiated a quadrennial cycle of energy reviews to provide a multiyear roadmap for U.S. energy policy. The result is the recent release of the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review 2015 (QER) prepared by the White House task force.

Shell Takeover of BG Group Could Reshape Global LNG Map

Shell Oil Co.’s purchase of British rival BG Group for 47 billion pounds ($69.7 billion) in cash and stock, the largest energy deal in years, may signal a new wave of mega-mergers as the energy industry adapts to the world of lower prices.

Williams Cos. Have Caught the Growth Train and Dont Want to Get Off

When Michael Grande was cutting his teeth as an energy analyst at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, he thought the Tulsa, OK-based Williams Cos. Inc. a takeover target as its credit ratings were languishing below investment grade. That was 2007, though. Today, Grande, now director of S&P’s utilities and infrastructure group, has a different take on the company after watching it closely the past eight years.


Government: House Leaders Sound Alarm over Slow Pipeline Safety Regulations

Key House members berated the federal pipeline safety agency in advance of upcoming efforts by Congress to reauthorize federal pipeline safety laws. Leaders of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials were harshly critical of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for failing to complete numerous rulemakings stemming from the 2012 Pipeline Safety Act. Hearings in the subcommittee took place April 14. That unhappiness could result in more onerous safety regulations for natural gas transportation companies.

In The News

BP Sells Equity in CATS Pipeline/Processing Facilities in North Sea

BP is selling its equity in the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business in the UK North Sea to Antin Infrastructure Partners for $486 million. CATS can handle over 1.7 Bscf/d of natural gas and is considered one of the most significant events in UK’s natural gas industry. Operated by BP, CATS transports and processes gas for over 20 customers, including most major North Sea producers.

In The News: Obama Gives Final Approval to Cove Point LNG Terminal

The Obama administration on May 7 granted final approval to a $3.8 billion natural gas export facility in Calvert County, MD – the first gas export site on the East Coast. Environmentalists sued within hours to stop the project.


Erickson Wins Mexico Pipeline Construction Contract

Erickson Inc. has contracted with Group Desarrollo Infaestructura (GDI) to transport pipe via helicopter for a project by TransCanada’s Mexican subsidiary, Transportadora de Gas del Noreste in Mexico. They will use an S-64 E Aircrane to transport over 1,000 natural gas pipeline segments that will complete the 329-mile Topolobampo project. TransCanada expects to invest $1 billion in the project which is supported by a 25-year contract with Mexico’s national electric company, CFE. The 30-inch pipeline will be 329 miles long and have contracted capacity of 670 MMcf/d.

Exova Wins Contract on 727-Mile Alaskan Pipeline Project

Exova won a contract with the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) to provide a material and weld qualification program for AGDC’s Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project. AGDC is engaged in front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the $10 billion North Slope natural gas project. In its first contract with the company, Exova’s Houston laboratory is qualifying selected pipe mills and welding contractors specified by AGDC to work on the 727-mile, 36-inch mainline.

Magellan, TransCanada Pursue Houston Pipeline Connection

Magellan Midstream Partners and TransCanada have a joint development agreement to connect TransCanada’s Houston tank terminal to Magellan's East Houston terminal. The $50 million project would include a 9-mile, 24-inch pipeline under a 50/50 ownership agreement. It would give TransCanada’s Keystone and Marketlink shippers access to Magellan’s Houston and Texas City crude oil distribution system.

SemGroup to Build Maurepas Pipelines

SemGroup plans to build and operate three pipelines in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana. Collectively named the Maurepas Pipelines, they will support Motiva Enterprises efforts to interconnect its refinery operations.

Venture Global Moves Ahead with Liquefaction-Export Facility

Venture Global LNG has hired two manufacturing and engineering companies for its Calcasieu Pass Project in Cameron Parish, LA. Chart Energy & Chemicals will provide midscale modular technology and Tecnicas Reunidas will handle engineering design for the gas liquefaction and export facility project. Chart will provide its IPSMR liquefaction technology and proprietary equipment. Tecnicas Reunidas’ will design a multitrain liquefaction plant with 10 MMtpa LNG capacity, two full containment LNG tanks, a 600-MW combined-cycle power plant and marine facilities.


Actuators Used on PDVSA LNG Pipeline

Rotork GO gas-over-oil actuators have been supplied for vital fail safe valve control duties on a new cryogenic LNG pipeline in Venezuela. In addition to providing the best technical solution for the application, the actuators were selected because of the high level of local support available from Rotork’s well-established company in Venezuela.

Dresser-Rands LNGo System Wins Award

Dresser-Rand, a global supplier of rotating equipment solutions to the oil, gas, petrochemical, power and process industries, was honored with the 2015 Gulf Coast Oil & Gas “New Technology Development of the Year” Award for its LNGo™ natural gas conversion system.

Quorum Enhances Capabilities with Acquisition of Fielding Systems

Quorum Business Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of business information technology solutions for the energy industry, announced completion of its acquisition of Fielding Systems, LLC. Fielding provides cloud-based applications for the oil and gas sector, including field data capture, production reporting and remote SCADA monitoring. The acquisition expands Quorum’s product suite and advances the company’s strategy to deliver industry-leading software and services which enable clients to better manage data across their organizations.

What's New

PA11 Pipe to Connect Landfill Gas to Local Distributor

Arkema Inc., Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC, and BioResource Development LLC (BRD) have partnered on a project to install a polyamide 11 (PA11) piping system to connect landfill gas to the local gas distribution system near Omaha, NE.

What's New June 2015

New products and services from Case Construction, Inline Services, TT Technologies, QPS Engineering and more.