September 2015, Vol. 242, No. 9

Features

Pipeline Reversals and Conversions: Case Studies, Best Practices

The boom in U.S. shale plays and Canadian oil sands has provided North America with a huge new source of petrochemical and energy-generation feedstock. For the most part, the results of this “shale boom” have been quite positive. But the sudden abundance of oil and natural gas is putting pressure on North America’s existing pipeline infrastructure, which simply cannot cope with this additional demand. This pressure is compounded by the fact that most of this new oil and gas production is happening in regions not currently served by the existing pipeline infrastructure (Figure 1). Before the Marcellus boom, for example, Pennsylvania and West Virginia relied largely on natu

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