Ethanol Just One Item On PRCI’s Full Plate

By Jeff Share, Editor | September 2009 Vol. 236 No. 9

Our compressor program began in the 1980s and is the largest of our three facilities programs (measurement and underground storage are the others). It continues to be an important area for PRCI research with the largest part of the program focused on legacy, reciprocating engines and the need to cost-effectively meet current and pending air emission regulations, thus avoiding the premature replacement of vital horsepower while continually improving fuel efficiency.

A larger part of our program (72%) remains engaged on the pipeline side but the facilities side has been growing in recent years through member voting. But overall, our program – both pipelines and facilities – has a strong bias toward system integrity and reliability, both of which are core drivers for system productivity and life extension.

With the infusion of liquid members over the last five years, we have added a pump program within the compressor program to form the Compressor and Pump Station Technical Committee.

Meyer: The move in recent years to permit members to vote their subscription dollars toward their preferred projects has resulted in significant innovation and has caused the best and most widely supported projects to proceed. This relatively recent evolution was supported by existing members and has attracted many new members.

P&GJ: As you head for Berlin for a technical conference, what are your thoughts on making the “I” in PRCI truly representative of the international community?
Tenley: We’re very proud of the “I” in our name and determined to extend it. Gasunie from the Netherlands was our first international member in 1980. To sustain this model and meet our goal of greater technical diversity perspective, we need to do that in Europe and elsewhere including Asia and more in South America.

We have formal tripartite relationships with the European Pipeline Research Group (EPRG) whose greatest strength is in steel manufacturing, and the Research and Standards Committee of the Australian Pipeline Industry Association (APIA), best known for its strong materials program. The agreement calls for information sharing in all phases of research development and cost sharing on projects of strong mutual interest (e.g., we have co-founded welding projects with APIA.

As an affiliate organization of the International Gas Union, we are active on the R&D Task Force which will set the global strategy for pipelines at the International Gas Congress next year.

We also have an informal but very active and broad coordination with NYSEARCH, the research arm of the New England Gas Association, and the Operations Technology Development program administered by the Gas Technology Institute, under which we share research planning and project development where the distribution focus of those organizations intersects with the pipeline focus of PRCI (e.g., the internal inspection of unpiggable pipelines).