Utilities

Police: 1 Dead, 15 Injured in North Carolina Gas Explosion

A gas explosion that partially collapsed a North Carolina building and set it ablaze Wednesday morning killed one person and injured more than a dozen others, police said.

Mass. Budgets Statewide Review of Natural Gas Systems

Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a spending bill that funds a statewide examination of Massachusetts’ natural gas distribution system. The review was ordered after the Sept. 13 gas explosions that killed one person, injured 25 others and damaged or destroyed dozens of buildings in the Merrimack Valley.

Con Edison Halts Gas Hookups, Citing Interstate Pipeline Constraints

Consolidated Edison Inc said it will impose a moratorium on new natural gas service in parts of New York's Westchester County to protect system reliability due to limited space on interstate pipelines to the region.

San Francisco Gas Explosion Shoots Fire that Burns Buildings

A gas explosion in a San Francisco neighborhood shot flames into the air for hours Wednesday and burned five buildings, sending panicked residents and workers fleeing into the streets. It took utility crews more than two hours to put out the fire after private construction workers cut a natural gas line, igniting the towering flames.

Global News

Eni’s Indonesia Gas Project may Start Up in 2021   Indonesia’s deputy energy minister said Eni aims to start output of natural gas in 2021 from its offshore Merakes project, which includes construction of subsea systems and pipelines to transport production to a floating production unit (FPU) appro..

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.

PG&E Didn't Cause 2017 Wildfire, but Bankruptcy Still Looms

In a long-awaited report, state investigators say a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Northern California was caused by a private electrical system, not equipment belonging to embattled PG&E.

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.

Pakistan Fires Gas Utility Chiefs over Winter Energy Crisis

Pakistan's Prime Minister fired the heads of Sui Natural Gas Pipeline and Sui Southern Gas Company over a severe winter energy crisis that has seen repeated supply outages.

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.

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..

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.

Replacement Projects Still Boosting Infrastructure Work

A large volume of work remains in the United States for multibillion-dollar infrastructure replacement programs, with many now underway and more destined to follow. In this summary report, P&GJ provides an overview of the current widespread activity.

APGA Chairman to Focus on Safety and Consumer Education

P&GJ talks about industry priorities and challenges with Owen Reeves, 2018-2019 chairman of the American Public Gas Association (APGA), which represents more than 70% of all publicly owned natural gas utilities in the United States.

Gas Service Mostly Restored after September Explosions

Columbia Gas said natural gas service has been restored for 96 percent of customers who were affected by the September explosions in Massachusetts

Pair of Key Canada-to-US Oil Pipelines Hit by Disruptions

Two major pipelines carrying oil from Canada to the United States were hit by weather-related disruptions on Tuesday, the latest hit to Canada's oil industry just days after the Alberta government announced forced cuts in crude production.

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.

Nearly 36 Miles of Pipeline Replaced after Mass. Gas Explosions

NiSource subsidiary Columbia Gas said it has replaced nearly 36 miles of main pipeline in the area of last month's explosions and fires near Boston.

Aqua America to Acquire Peoples in Merger of Water, Gas Utilities

Water and wastewater utility Aqua America said it agreed to acquire natural gas utility operator Peoples in a $4.2 billion deal to create a company that is “uniquely positioned to have a powerful impact on improving the nation’s infrastructure reliability.”

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.

Canada Pipeline Blast Risks Washington Natural Gas Shortage

A pipeline explosion in British Columbia risks cutting off the flow of Canadian natural gas to Washington State, and companies are urging customers to conserve.

Drones: Flights of Fancy or Future of the Energy Industry?

As wildfires again ravaged much of California and other western states, energy industry responders could hardly imagine how their counterparts dealt with similar disasters just a few years ago without drones.

Lawsuit FIled Against NiSource, Columbia Gas over Explosions

BOSTON (Reuters) - A resident of a Massachusetts city rocked by last week's deadly gas blasts that damaged dozens of homes sued utility operator NiSource Inc on Tuesday, accusing it of inadequately maintaining its distribution system. The proposed class action lawsuit targets NiSource and its sub..

PSE&G’s Record Gas Main Project Demonstrates Growing Role of CIPL

When PSE&G identified numerous joint leaks in an aging cast-iron gas main, the Newark-based utility faced the additional challenge of a crowded and complex substructure. Its permanent renewal of the 36-inch main using trenchless methods and a cured-in-place liner set a new world record.

Pipe Pressure Before Explosions was 12 Times too High

The pressure in natural gas pipelines prior to a series of explosions and fires in Massachusetts last week was 12 times higher than it should have been, according to a letter from the state's U.S. senators to executives of the utility in charge of the pipelines.

Official: Pressure Sensors Focus of Gas Explosions Investigation

The investigation into the Boston-area natural gas explosions is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Massachusetts Gas Explosions Shine Spotlight on Century-old Pipelines

Thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts are leak-prone and need repair, utilities have told state regulators, highlighting aging energy infrastructure risks after explosions ripped through three towns outside of Boston this week.

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