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A federal approval for construction of a major natural gas pipeline that will ship supplies from the Marcellus to underserved New England and the Northeast markets closed out 2014 with a reminder to the industry of good things to come.

Natural gas production and pipeline construction thrive on predictability. They depend on reliably meeting milestones and deadlines in order to connect new sources of energy into supply lines.

Local distribution companies are the most essential ingredient if natural gas is to become the predominant energy fuel in North America. Although strong inroads have already been taken, a number of challenges remain before the LDCs can take their rightful place in the natural gas value chain.

Cold weather can produce threats to the integrity of distribution pipeline systems. Integrity management (IM) concepts required an operator to identify threats as a necessary step to prioritizing integrity assessments and developing mitigations.

Canadian hydrocarbon production is growing and the nation is looking to pursue offshore markets as an important element of a strategy for expanded oil and natural gas sales.

As the 2014 mid-term elections faded from view, one cogent footnote of the political power change was the significant shift in the money and manner of spending it in the national environmental movement. Even some of their harshest critics were noting a higher level of professionalism and use of legitimate spokespersons as they attempted to spend their growing cash infusion more strategically.

Declining crude oil prices will likely lead to reduced production, but consultants at Black & Veatch expect natural gas to meet increasing demands, particularly as new projects begin to come online in the near future.

Heightened activity has supplanted cautious optimism among those in the U.S. natural gas industry.

According to the third annual Strategic Directions: U.S. Natural Gas Industry report from Black & Veatch, that changing sentiment is underscored by its survey respondents, nearly 90% of whom expect electric power generation to dramatically increase gas consumption by 2020.

Construction of ExxonMobil’s PNG LNG Project in Papua New Guinea began in 2010 and delivered its first cargo of LNG in May 2014, ahead of schedule.

The project took over 200 million work hours to complete and employed 21,000 people at its peak.

There are 700 km of pipelines connecting the LNG facilities, which include a gas conditioning plant in Hides and liquefaction and storage facilities near Port Moresby with a capacity of 6.9 million tons per year.

The master limited partnership structure has been popular for pipeline companies for many years, and the shale boom has only intensified its usage—of the roughly 120 MLPs operating today, over 60 percent are less than five years old. But as the industry has adjusted to unconventional production and operations and construction activity assume a new normal, energy companies’ financial moves are becoming big news.

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