By widely embracing natural gas as a primary fuel source, U.S. colleges and universities have joined the ever-growing movement for energy change. Spurred by organizations like the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) - which was created to help institutions meet ambitious, long-term energy goals - higher education is demonstrating that natural gas is an effective “green” solution in more ways than one: it reduces one’s carbon footprint and saves money on long-term energy costs.

Citing the harsh conditions, complex systems and potentially catastrophic consequences of missteps within the modern oil and gas industry, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration has entered into a contract with Deloitte LLP to offer consulting services through Deloitte to the oil and gas industry, focusing on safety and risk mitigation efforts for “black swan” events, incidents of “low probability and high consequence.”

As baby boomers begin to make their exodus into retirement, many companies have found themselves seeking top talent in a competitive market. But, what kind of engineers are in demand and what are companies doing to win and retain top talent in this environment?

That Alaska would like to commercialize its 35 Tcf in known reserves of North Slope natural gas doesn’t exactly come under the heading of “new news” to anyone in the energy business.

According to a study released by BDO USA, LLP, 80% of the 100 biggest publicly traded exploration and production companies by revenue listed insufficient pipeline, storage or trucking capacity as among the potential risks to their business for 2013. The study was conducted on the companies’ SEC 10-K filings, which list possible threats to their financial performance.

It was hard not to do a double take when the story broke last November: By 2017, the headlines read, the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. And by 2025, the U.S. could be exporting more oil and gas than it imports.

ExxonMobil’s report “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040,” released at a press conference with executives last spring, predicts world energy demand rising by 35% over the next 30 years, mostly due to increasing demand in Asia and population growth worldwide.

Securing pipeline and gas companies’ critical infrastructure is an evolving process. Embracing that fact is a key element in the development of a logical program that will ensure safety, security and effectiveness. There are four logical phases in this process with defined actions that can be measured and coordinated.

Good practice in reducing risks to pipeline integrity, and taking quick and effective action when potential threats develop, have long been part of sound pipeline operation. However, new technology trends, including social media, are amplifying public concern around how pipeline operators manage environmental, social and economic impacts.

Increased natural gas utilization, and to a lesser extent oil development, is being hampered by a lack of market liquidity and spot pricing for the commodities both domestically and abroad. Roadblocks include insufficient pipeline connectivity in North America and into Europe, a dramatic lack of international energy infrastructure in Asia, and the regulatory and environmental delays that prevent the necessary investments from going forward.

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