Today, many utilities are using online tools and social media to connect and share information with their customers. But what about the one, consistent touch point they have every single month - the utility bill? Can utilities use the monthly invoice more effectively to reduce costs or does there need to be a larger communication strategy in effect?

With the recent spate of material failures in the oil and gas industry around the world, the role of a material and corrosion engineer in selecting suitable material has become more complex, controversial and difficult. Further, the task had become more diverse, since now modern engineering materials offer a wide spectrum of attractive properties and viable benefits.

This article explores the feasibility of exporting shale gas - in the form of LNG - from the U.S. to Japan and Korea considering the break-even gas prices and the liquefaction and transportation costs versus prevailing spot and long-term contract prices of LNG in Japan. Potential risks also are discussed.

The nation’s natural gas distribution industry delivers gas to the homes or places of business of more than 70 million customers every day. These customers consumed approximately 24.1 Tcf of gas in 2010. Some 2.4 million miles of pipeline of varying sizes and pressures are used to transport natural gas annually from the wellhead to customers throughout the U.S.

Cathodic potential (CP) criteria are used as a recommended minimum requirement for controlling external corrosion of buried or submerged steel piping systems. Different and sometimes conflicting CP criteria are given in different global CP standards. This can lead to confusion regarding what criterion is best used for a given condition.

Pipeline leakage, breakage and other critical issues can create multiple environmental problems, cost utilities millions in lost revenue and delay important services to customers. There is no doubt that reliability is key – and that includes starting with the right pipeline distribution system manufactured with the right ingredients.

At its recent Integrity Educational Seminar, Mears Group Inc., personnel focused on the topic of establishing the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of a gas pipeline and the general concept of operating margin of safety.

Despite the higher gas pipeline pressures (up to 1,000 psi) and varying inlet pressures on peak days in recent years, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation believes the most effective pressure-reduction practice is to take a first cut from the supply pipeline in one big step while sizing for minimum contract pressure.

Talk about being the right person at the right place at the right time. For Dave McCurdy and the American Gas Association, it could hardly be a better match.

Now well into his first year as head of AGA, McCurdy, 61, has stepped into a situation filled with opportunity for the natural gas industry, including the nation’s steadily growing distribution sector.

Karl Trauner, outgoing president of the International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Association (IPLOCA) and Managing Director of HABAU, welcomed more thanr 600 delegates to Beijing, for the 45th annual convention. This first IPLOCA convention to be held in China was an opportunity to develop business relationships not only with other members but with clients and partners in the region. Participants were also invited to attend the China International Pipeline Expo which followed the convention.

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