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Benjamin Franklin once wrote that in this world the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Had the often prophetic statesman been born decades later and found himself working in the pipeline business, he most assuredly would have added a third area of guaranteed distress – corrosion.

The Sichuan-Shanghai Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Project is the most significant gas pipeline built in China since the West East Pipeline was completed in 2005. The Sichuan-Shanghai pipeline is somewhat shorter than the West East Pipeline; however, its degree of difficulty in both design and construction makes it equivalent in stature.

ONEOK Partners, L.P. has completed three projects that are part of its previously announced $4.7-5.3 billion growth program through 2015, including:

A TransCanada executive said opponents of the Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline should consider one consequence of delays in building the oil pipeline - an increase in dirtier and more dangerous rail transport. Alex Pourbaix, president of energy and oil pipelines at the Calgary-based pipeline company, said although rail has an important role to play in moving oil sands crude to market, there are downsides to consider.

Natural gas has long been recognized as a preferred fuel for residential or commercial heating, industrial processes, and power generation, as well as a valuable chemical feedstock. However, despite its myriad advantages and uses, it has had difficulty reaching a market share reflective of its technical potential. The key question is if the resource base unlocked by the shale gas revolution will result in reduced prices and volatility. Infrastructure growth is at the heart of this question.

A panel discussion was recently waged by a Canadian, an American and a Mexican talking about North America’s energy future as the new Middle East for the rest of the world. Hyperbole was cheap, but chances of the provocative scenario becoming a reality ride squarely on the shoulders of Mexico. And everyone was OK with this.

U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico grew by 24% to 1.69 Bcf/d in 2012, the highest level since the data collection began in 1973. With imports now accounting for over 30% of its total supply, Mexico's natural gas use is also at its highest level ever.

The Eagle Ford Shale, stretching from the mid-south of Texas just shy of Corpus Christi north nearly to San Antonio and west to the Mexican border, continues to attract massive investments from energy companies. It’s not hard to see why. The play contains economically recoverable light crude oil and natural gas liquids in high proportion to currently low-priced gas.

With 297 registered attendees, the INGAA Foundation’s spring meeting had a record turnout. Normally held in Texas, the conference was moved to Amelia Island, FL to dovetail with an INGAA analysts’ event.

It isn’t hard to find companies that traditionally would not be involved in pipelines taking an active role in the industry. When an executive who is arms-deep in software technologies finds a special liking for the energy business, and is located about as far away from pipelines as one can be in the United States, he, too, must be a special individual.

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