January 2022, Vol. 249, No. 1


Projects January 2022

GIPL Pipeline Construction Nears Completion  

The Gas Interconnection Poland-Lithuania (GIPL) should be fully built by the end of this year, and the interconnection will be launched in mid-2022, according to Amber Grid Corp.  

Amber Grid is the operator of Lithuania’s natural gas transmission system and a member of ENTSOG – the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas. The corporation is the company behind GIPL, which seeks to connect Polish and Lithuanian as well as Baltic and Finnish natural gas transmission systems with the European Union (EU) system.  

The European Commission has recognized this project as a Project of Common Interest, and it should diversify gas supply sources.  

The project includes construction of a 27.5-inch, high-pressure, bidirectional, underground gas transmission pipeline, the first high-pressure gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Poland.   

The GIPL gas pipeline will run from Jauniūnai Gas Compressor Station (GCS) in Širvintos district of Lithuania to the Hołowczyce GCS on the Polish side. The gas pipeline is 315 miles (508 km) with 213 miles (343 km) in Poland and 102 miles (165 km) in Lithuania.  

The pipeline will have a maximum potential capacity of 85 Bcf (2.4 Bcm) annually from Poland to Lithuania, and a maximum potential capacity of 67 Bcf (1.9 Bcm) annually from Lithuania to Poland.   

“The progress of the GIPL construction works in Lithuania and in Poland is more than 90%,” an Amber Grid spokesperson said. “Both countries are moving rapidly towards the end of this strategic energy project.” 

Ironwood Midstream Expanding in South Texas’ Eagle Ford   

Ironwood Midstream Energy Partners II has significantly expanded its crude oil midstream footprint in the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas after an asset combination with Nuevo Midstream Dos. Ironwood II and Nuevo are both financially backed by EnCap Flatrock Midstream.  

The Ironwood II leadership team assumed management of the Nuevo assets, including about 100 miles (161 km) of crude oil gathering pipeline in Lavaca, Gonzalez, and Fayette Counties that feed the Lavaca Terminal, which consists of 300,000 barrels of crude oil storage and a six-bay truck station.  

The system includes a 26-mile (42-km) intermediate pipeline that moves volumes from the terminal to third-party transportation pipelines with access to refineries, petrochemical plants and export terminals on the Texas Gulf Coast.  

“This strategic combination marks an important step for Ironwood as we continue to expand our midstream infrastructure for Eagle Ford producers, offering safe, consistent and competitive access to premium and growing export and industrial markets along the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Ironwood Chairman, President and CEO Mike Williams.   

As a result of the combination, Ironwood II now operates 400,000 bpd of crude oil throughput capacity and 410 MMcf/d (12 MMcm/d) of natural gas throughput capacity in the Eagle Ford region. The company operates 390 miles (628 km) of crude oil and natural gas pipelines with 245,000 dedicated net acres.  

Dakota Natural Gas Expanding Access with Pipeline Project  

Dakota Natural Gas (DNG) completed its 35-mile (56-km) pipeline to deliver natural gas from Viking Pipeline in Minnesota to North Dakota customers, although service installation is ongoing.  

DNG is a natural gas distribution company based in Drayton, North Dakota, with a sister office in Faribault, Minnesota. The company provides natural gas service to a variety of customers, including individual households and large commercial or agricultural customers in rural communities where natural gas was not previously available.   

This year’s project includes about 64 miles (103 km) of distribution main, and DNG should have about 80 miles (129 km) of distribution main by the end of the year, said Cody Chilson, president of DNG. DNG is adding about 650 customers this year, he said.  

The 35-mile pipeline project cost about $9 million, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The pipeline is expected to be in service this year, and its completion of construction in July put it ahead of schedule.  

Several property owners not within the initial year project scope have contacted DNG asking for natural gas, the company said. While they could not be included in this year’s project, DNG said it is committed to future expansion.  

UAE Pipeline Deal Should Be Voided, Israeli Minister Says  

Israel’s energy minister said a deal with partners from the UAE to ship oil from the Gulf to Europe via Israel should be canceled because it was too much of an environmental risk.  

Opposition from Energy Minister Karine Elharrar raises doubts about whether the Israeli government will approve the deal, one of the biggest to emerge from the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE last year.  

The deal was signed between Israel’s state-owned Europe-Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) and MED-RED Land Bridge, a company with Emirati and Israeli owners.  

The idea was for oil to be unloaded from tankers in the Red Sea port of Eilat and then transferred across Israel in an existing pipeline to the Mediterranean coast.  

Israeli officials have said they expect sea traffic to jump sharply with the new arrangement, from a rate of six tankers a year to more than 50 tankers a year docking in Eilat near a coral reef, according to Reuters.  

The companies involved say this land bridge is the shortest, most efficient and cost-effective route to transport oil from the Gulf to the West. But environmental groups, which have petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court to freeze the deal, say the influx of tankers and crude oil is a huge ecological risk.  

“I am calling to cancel the EAPC agreement. It poses many risks to the Gulf of Eilat, to residents, and it does not benefit Israel’s energy market,” Elharrar said in a written statement.  

Pennsylvania Fines Energy Transfer for 2018 NatGas Incident  

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a nearly $2 million settlement with a unit of Energy Transfer LP for a pipeline explosion and fire at its Revolution natural gas pipe in Western Pennsylvania in 2018.  

A portion of the 24-inch Revolution pipe failed after heavy rains caused a landslide in Center Township in Beaver County on Sept. 10, 2018. The fire destroyed a nearby home, damaged power lines and burned several acres of surrounding woodland, the PUC said.  

The settlement includes a $1 million civil penalty and about $975,000 in additional safety-related measures, including added pipeline start-up procedures.  

The 40.5-mile (65-km) pipeline was being brought into service at the time of the incident, according to local media.  

Energy Transfer has said the Revolution pipe returned to service in March.  

Pipelines owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer have had multiple problems in recent years in Pennsylvania.  

The state stopped work several times and fined the company millions of dollars for spills and other problems related to construction of an expansion of its Mariner East system, which moves natural gas liquids from western Pennsylvania to eastern Pennsylvania.  

In addition to the Revolution settlement, PUC ordered Energy Transfer to take actions to improve the safety of its Mariner East system and provide the public with more information about ongoing Mariner East construction.  

Energy Transfer said it expected to put the final segment of Mariner East into service in the first quarter of 2022.  

Exxon Board Debates Dropping Several Major Projects  

 The Exxon Mobil board is assessing whether to go forward with several major oil and gas projects or yield to a push from investors to pursue a more “green-friendly” business agenda, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.  

Foremost, new board members have expresses doubts about  a $30 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique and a second multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam, the publication said.  

Both projects have faced lengthy delays over local protests and high costs associated with sour gas. Exxon has not announced final invest decisions on either project.  

Talks regarding projects are taking place as part of a review of Exxon’s five-year spending plan, on which the board is set to vote at the end of this month, WSJ reported.  

During a review of its five-year spending plan, the report said, Exxon is reviewing the expected carbon emissions from the projects and how this would impact the company’s reduced emissions pledge.  

Navigator’s Heartland Greenway Pipeline System Gains Approval  

Navigator CO2 Ventures said because of commitments received during its binding open season, it has obtained the necessary board approvals to proceed with its proposed carbon capture pipeline system, the Heartland Greenway.  

Based upon the market reception for the project, Navigator is evaluating multiple opportunities to expand the Heartland Greenway’s available capacity and add service offerings for the benefit of its current and future customers.   

Having successfully reached the initial approval phase, Navigator has begun the process to obtain all the necessary permits to construct the Heartland Greenway and start initial system commissioning during late 2024 and into early 2025.  

“The Heartland Greenway is the first substantial, fully integrated CO2 handling system to reach a final investment decision, and we could not be more excited for the path ahead for all stakeholders,” said Navigator CEO Matt Vining.   

The Heartland Greenway’s first phase is expected to begin service in early 2025 and span about 1,300 miles (2,092 km) across five Midwest states to nearly 20 receipt points.   

Enterprise’s Baymark Ethylene Pipeline Being Commissioned  

Enterprise Product Partners’ 90-mile (145-km) Baymark ethylene pipeline in southern Texas is mechanically complete and in the process of being commissioned, a spokesperson said.  

Enterprise could not yet share an estimate of when the pipeline will be in commercial service. It was originally estimated to begin service in the fourth quarter of 2020.  

The pipeline, which is intended to extend Enterprise’s ethylene pipeline and logistics system further into south Texas, starts in the Bayport area of southeast Harris County and extends about 90 miles to Markham, Texas, in Matagorda County.  

The project is a joint venture between Enterprise and Lavaca Pipe Line Company, a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Corp. Enterprise is the majority owner, operator and manager of the pipeline.  

The pipeline should provide access to a high-capacity ethylene storage well Enterprise is repurposing at its Mont Belvieu complex, as well as connectivity to the ethylene export terminal at Morgan’s Point. 

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