Operations

Natural Gas Storage Ends Winter Heating Season at Record High

Working natural gas inventories ended the winter heating season at 2,478 billion cubic feet (Bcf), exceeding the previous end-of-March record high of 2,473 Bcf, set in 2012, according to EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. Inventory withdrawals during the traditional heating season (November th..

TransCanada Resumes Oil Shipments Through Keystone Pipeline

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — TransCanada Corp. has resumed sending oil through the Keystone Pipeline after a weeklong shutdown prompted by a leak and oil spill in southeastern South Dakota. The pipeline came back online Sunday, but with a reduced pressure. The company says it is continuing cleanup and ..

Oil Majors Only Replace 75% of Oil and Gas Produced in 2015

The oil majors failed to replace all of the oil and gas reserves that they burned through in 2015, a worrying sign for the industry’s future. The Wall Street Journal reported that the seven largest oil and gas companies only replaced about 75 percent of the reserves on average that they produced la..

New Pipeline Safety Proposal Contains Multiple New Requirements

Pipeline industry executives are pouring over the 500-plus page safety proposal from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an effort that will take some time before informed comments can be made. The initial comment deadline is at the end of May. “The typical 60 days in..

NACE International Brings the Corrosion Fight to Vancouver, BC

NACE Corrosion 2016, held March 6-10 in Vancouver, B.C., brought together a widely diverse representation of those involved in the coating and anti-corrosion materials fields. In all about 6,500 attendees whose interests ranged from applications for highway and bridge construction to wastewater pro..

NACE International’s IMPACT Breaks New Ground in the Study of Corrosion Management

Over past decades there have been significant studies in various parts of the world on the cost of corrosion and how it affects a country’s economy. The often-cited 2002 study, “Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States,”1 revealed that the total annual estimated direct cost of ..

Pipeline Industry Leaders to Produce Safety Leadership Training Program

Caterpillar, in collaboration with PipeLine Machinery International, Inc. (PLM) and a group of industry leading companies, is now offering the Pipeline Safety Leadership Program, a first-of-its-kind training course produced specifically for pipeliners. With a focus on personal accountability for saf..

SwRI-Designed Computer Model Predicts Corrosion Risks

Oil and gas pipelines crisscross the nation beneath critical infrastructure, such as highways, railroads and waterways, as well as passing through population centers. Because over half of U.S. pipelines date to the 1950s and 1960s, corrosion prevention and related repairs are increasingly important ..

CO2 Corrosion Prediction: Consider the Need for Validation

Carbon dioxide (CO2) corrosion modeling software is used by asset owners, contractors and consultants in the oil and gas industry to predict the CO2 corrosion rate at both the design and operation phases of pipelines and well tubing. Prediction results from a dozen CO2 corrosion models are known to ..

Improving Pipeline Corrosion Protection Systems with Computer Simulation

Computer-modeling technology has developed over a number of years and is now widely used to verify the performance of cathodic protection (CP) systems used in combination with coatings to manage the corrosion risk to underground assets. Modeling can be used to verify the protection provided by the ..

Apache Faces More Charges in Canada over Safety

The Alberta Energy Regulator said Apache could be slapped with a penalty of up to $2.5 million for a spill in northwestern Alberta two years ago. In that incident, contaminated water spilled about 40 km from Whitecourt, affecting a nearby creek. Apache has been charged on five counts under the Pipel..

Considering Corrosion Allowances for High-Strength Steels

Due to great chemistry and metallurgical innovations of the steel industry, higher strength steels have made significant strides, in specified minimum yield strength (SMYS), wall thickness control, toughness and weight per foot. However, one significant factor in these great improvements was no con..

Liquid Pipeline Safety Proposal Criticized from All Sides

Reaction to the PHMSA’s proposed rule (NPRM) to tighten liquid pipeline safety regulations has run along predictable lines. The pipelines think the proposal is too expansive and expensive. The environmental community and some notable safety experts believe the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety..

High Production, Low Prices Mean Little Change in Natural Gas Storage Capacity

High levels of natural gas production and relatively low natural gas prices are affecting markets for seasonal natural gas storage, including the value of additional storage capacity. For the second year in a row, no new natural gas storage facilities were added, and the slight changes, both positiv..

Ultrasonic Metering, Creative Insulation Engineering, Aid LNG Plant

A major East Coast storage facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG) had a flow metering challenge on one line.  The problem was directly related to the temperature of the product. LNG is liquefied to concentrate its volume for shipping and, as a result, the temperature of the liquid drops to a cryog..

New View on Oil and Gas Facilities

Spatial information – an object’s location, size, shape and relationship to other structures and objects – is an essential component in planning, constructing and operating energy facilities. In order to support efficient production and transport of oil and gas, energy producers must have accurate,..

Storage Site Leak Raises Environmental, Reliability Concerns

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) detected a major leak Oct. 23 at Aliso Canyon, an underground natural gas storage facility located 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon storage facility, which has 115 wells, is the second-largest natural gas storage field in the western Unit..

Henry Hub, Marcellus Spread Narrows as Pipeline Capacity Grows

Natural gas spot prices around the United States are often compared to prices at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. At trading points in and around the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, natural gas prices consistently trade below the Henry Hub national benchmark pric..

Measuring Methane Emissions: Part of Gas Pipelines’ Future

When examining the growing cottage industry of methane emissions control, it is clear upfront that it is one of the toughest sub-specialties in the emerging conglomerate that makes up the national response to climate change impacts. Researchers, engineers and public-policy wonks must start with the ..

OPEC Says $95 Oil Coming, But Not Until 2040

This week opened with the average global price of oil at an 11-year low, yet OPEC expects its own producers eventually will cut back on production, causing prices to rebound to $70 per barrel by 2020. That may seem a long time for producers to wait for oil to become more profitable, but in OPEC’s annual World Oil Outlook, issued Wednesday, the oil cartel does not see oil prices returning to the heights of $110 per barrel, where it was before the price crisis began in June 2014. Instead, it says it doesn’t expect prices to reach even $95 per barrel until 2040.

Oil Jobs Drive North Dakota to Lead US in Population Growth Again

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is once again leading the nation in population growth, and the number of residents in the state is at an all-time high, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau's most recent estimate put the state population at 756,927 in July, an increase of 16,887 residents — or about 2.3% — compared to July 2014. That percentage, far higher than the national average, is largely driven by people in search of jobs in oil-rich western North Dakota.

Columbia Pipelines Looking to Spend $1.1 Billion on Modernization

Columbia Gas Transmission has filed a customer agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend its long-term system modernization program by three years, through 2020.The agreement, with a requested approval by March 31, would provide for $1.1 billion of additional investment. Parent company Columbia Pipeline Gas (CPG), has invested about $1 billion under the modernization programs over the past three years, placing more than 100 projections into service. These include: • Replacement of more than 130 miles of bare steel pipelines and wrought iron facilities

AP Investigation: US Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyber-attackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.

Crestwood Equity Completes Open Season on Pipeline Expansion

Crestwood Equity Partners completed a non-binding open season on Dec. 7 seeking shipper support for the Delaware Takeaway crude pipeline system (Delta), a 164-mile crude and condensate pipeline header system originating at a Crestwood terminal to be built north of Pecos, TX. The pipeline would have potential downstream connections to multiple downstream interconnects that will provide shippers access to end markets including El Paso, Midland, Cushing, Houston and Corpus Christi.

Dont Expect Crude Exodus Because Export Ban Ending

Congress is on the verge of passing a major budget deal that includes some of the largest changes to energy policy in some years. Tucked into the budget bill is a repeal on the ban on crude oil exports from the United States, a highly sought after goal on behalf of the oil and gas industry. In exchange for lifting the export ban, Republicans agreed to extend tax credits for wind and solar for five years.

Mexico Oil Sector Sees Most Successful Auction So Far

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's third auction to open oil and gas blocks to private investment was the most successful yet, with all 25 blocks drawing bids Tuesday. Officials awarded exploration and production rights to mostly Mexican companies, as well as one Canadian firm plus consortiums involving U.S. and Dutch investments. No major multinational oil companies participated in the bidding.

AP Analysis: Why US Will Export Oil for 1st Time in Decades

NEW YORK — The United States, seemingly awash in crude oil after an energy boom sent thousands of workers scurrying to the plains of Texas and North Dakota, will begin exporting oil for the first time since the 1973 oil embargo. The lifting of the embargo is part of a spending deal expected to be pushed through the House and Senate by the end of the week. Here's a brief look at why the ban was in place, and the reasons why that ban is now being lifted after four decades.

Fuel Thefts from Mexican Pipelines Rise 55% Despite Pemex Efforts

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities say illegal taps drilled into government pipelines by fuel thieves have risen by about 55% this year, reaching almost 500 per month. Fuel theft is skyrocketing despite efforts by the Pemex oil company to make it less attractive, by shipping fuel that lacks final additives through some pipelines. According to government figures made public Monday, 3,286 clandestine taps were found in the first 11 months of 2014, compared to 5,091 in the same period of 2015. The thefts averaged 497 taps in the last five months of 2015.

Bourdon Named Chairman of American Midstream

Lynn L. Bourdon III was appointed as chairman, president and CEO of American Midstream Partners LP, the company said Dec. 14. Steve Bergstrom retired from those positions, effective Dec. 10, the company added. Bergstrom will continue serving as a director on the board of directors. Most recently, Bourdon was president and CEO of Enable Midstream Partners LP. Prior to that, he was group senior vice president of NGL and natural gas marketing, petrochemical, refined products and marine services at Enterprise Products Partners LP.

Company Plans Gravel Island to Extract Arctic Offshore Oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC drew protests on two continents this year, but a more modest proposal for extracting petroleum where polar bears roam has moved forward with much less attention. While Shell proposed exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea about 80 miles off Alaska's northwest coast, a Texas oil company wants to build a gravel island as a platform for five or more extraction wells that could tap oil 6 miles from shore in the Beaufort Sea.