Operations

Remote, Real-Time Monitoring Prevents Potential Problems

With utilities adding more and more residential and commercial endpoints to their distribution systems, the need to prevent and detect leaks has never been more challenging – or more critical. Thankfully, advanced technologies have emerged that allow utilities to harness new capabilities such as data analytics and remote monitoring to stay on top of leaks and address them before they create significant safety issues.

Growing Role of Digitalization in Pipeline Integrity Management

Digitalization is playing a bigger role in pipeline integrity management – in particular, relating to the threat of internal corrosion.

Addressing Legal Risk Through SAFETY Act

Legal Perspectives By Eric Hutchins, Principal, H2 Legal, P.C., and Ted Murphy, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth  On the morning of Aug. 15, 2012, most Saudi Aramco employees were home celebrating Ramadan. Suddenly, the few remaining at work noticed problems with their computers. Screens flickered, a..

Compressor Stations Doing the Difficult Work

An updated look at the the scope, functionality and variations of compressor stations and their essential role in the transmission of natural gas from production fields and re-gasification ports to end customers around the world.

Death Toll Reaches 94 in Mexico Fuel Pipeline Fire Horror

People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed at least 94 people say the section of pipeline that gushed fuel has been a habitual gathering site for thieves, repeatedly damaged and patched like a trusty pair of jeans.

Thieves Siphon Whole Pipelines; Mexico to Ship Gas on Trains

Fuel thieves in Mexico have grown so bold they are drilling illegal taps under warehouses in big cities and siphoning off the entire contents of pipelines, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said. He cited one pipeline carrying gasoline that thieves had drilled into so many times they had siphoned all the fuel in the duct.

PG&E Board Chair Sees Chapter 11 as ‘Only Viable Option’

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said this week it will file for bankruptcy, raising concern that rates for electricity and gas will rise and victims of California wildfires who are suing the nation’s largest utility won’t get all the money they may be owed.

SoCalGas Asks Customers to Reduce Use, Cites Limits on Pipelines

Southern California’s gas utility extended its request for consumers to reduce natural gas use through the weekend, to avoid straining the system as cold weather lingers over the area.

Lawmakers Urge US Agency to Bolster Pipeline Cybersecurity

Two Democratic lawmakers urged the Department of Homeland Security to better protect U.S. oil and gas pipelines from cyber-attacks, after a report they requested detailed a lack of federal oversight of the critical conduits.

EAG

The EAG VOC Plus analyzer measures total VOCs from stationary sources with real-time continuous logging and multiple measurement ranges.

Government

Change of Class Location Draws Opposition Citizen organizations and state regulators are opposing interstate pipeline efforts to convince federal regulators to provide an alternative to the class location system, which requires pipelines to take steps when there is population growth around a pipeli..

Global News

Natural Gas Utilities Testing Demand Response Programs Demand Response (DR) programs have become a fairly common method of reducing electricity demand during summer peak periods, and now the approach is being tried by natural gas utilities – most recently due to concerns about limited pipeline capa..

Assuring Integrity of Polyethylene Gas Pipeline Systems

To maximize benefits, gas transporters continue to push polyethylene pipe design with more demanding applications, larger diameters and higher operating pressures. The risk of rapid crack progression and variables affecting performance must be considered when increasing the diameter and wall thickness of PE pipe.

Columbia Gas’ Merrimack Valley Accident: Fallout Just Starting

Federal and state agencies immediately jumped into action to uncover causes and preventative lessons that might be learned from the fatal September explosions, but other investigations could have implications for pipeline operations far beyond Massachusetts.

Retiring Stavropoulos Leaves PG&E a Safer Utility

Eight years after joining PG&E in the wake of the San Bruno explosion, Nick Stavropoulos retired as an industry role model for restoring a sense of pride at the giant San Francisco utility.

7 Most Important Questions to Ask a Fabricator

The process you use to select a fabricator can make or break your project. Here are some questions every company should ask before they choose a fabricator.

Human-Centric Approach to Improving Pipeline NDE Reliability

Non-destructive evaluation is essential to assure long-term integrity of existing pipelines, and human performance is a key element of the NDE process. This article summarizes an effort to identify human performance factors that influence NDE measurements and reliability.

Panel to Take Closely Watched Vote on Atlantic Coast Pipeline Station

A massive winter storm delayed a closely watched vote in Virginia on a natural gas pipeline compressor station that's been the frequent target of protests. Dominion Energy needs the State Air Pollution Control Board to sign off on a permit to build a station in Buckingham County to pump gas through the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Keeping Up with the Times: Mechanical Grooved Couplings Still Deliver

It is not often that looking backward provides insight into the future, but examining the evolution of the world’s first mechanical coupling can give us an indication of what lies ahead.

Gas Remains Key to UK Energy

Gas is a key element of the U.K.’s energy mix, but the closure of Centrica’s Rough long-term storage facility last year reduced U.K. gas storage to only 14 days of capacity, compared with 87 in France, 69 in Germany and 59 in Italy.

Senstar

Senstar introduced the FiberPatrol FP7000 fiber-optic pipeline integrity monitoring system for both gas and liquid-carrying pipelines. It can also be used for fence-mounted intrusion detection.

Improving Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Transmission, Storage

Interstate natural gas transmission companies are committed to minimizing methane emissions. This article explains methane emission sources for the transmission and storage sector and the basis for emissions commitments that INGAA members have voluntarily adopted.

The Future Arrives: Virtual Reality Safety Training

Companies such as Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas Company have begun to explore virtual reality platforms to supplement traditional gas meter safety and inspection training.

Feds Open Criminal Probe into Natural Gas Explosions

Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into the natural gas explosions and fires that rocked three communities north of Boston in September.

NuStar Energy Agrees to Sell Its European Operations to Inter Pipeline

NuStar Energy agreed to sell its European terminals and related assets to Inter Pipeline’s European storage subsidiary, Inter Terminals, for $270 million.

Evacuation Lifted after California Gas Pipeline Scare

Emergency crews extinguished a fire burning dangerously close to a Chevron underground natural gas pipeline Thursday and lifted an evacuation order that had forced some 4,000 residents from their homes the night before.

Evacuation Ordered Near Chevron Gas Storage Fire

A fire that ignited in an underground natural gas storage area in the San Francisco Bay Area prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents, as Chevron emergency crews worked Thursday to purge gas from a pipeline and prevent an explosion, officials said.

GITA's Limbruner sees Bright Future for Sector

Mark Limbruner, the current president of the Geospacial Information & Technology Association (GITA), shares his perspective after three decades in the geospatial industry.

GE's Avitas Gains First BLVOS Approval after Shell Oil Study

Avitas Systems, a GE venture, received the first civil approval to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle with radar beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) after a successful study with Shell Oil, marking an important step toward long-range pipeline monitoring with drones.

Firefighters Sue SoCal Gas over Aliso Canyon Leak

Firefighters who worked in and around the site of a massive natural gas leak have sued Southern California Gas Co., alleging the utility knowingly let them be exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.