midstream

In an environment that is exhibiting disruption and change, being nimble is a necessity. The concept of being flexible rather than rigid in the face of change is one that for many industry participants is counterintuitive.

Bruce Lee might have said it best when he suggested, “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Price Decline Lowers Tax Revenues in Top Oil-Producing States

The Energy Information Administration reported March 12 that the decline in spot oil prices in the last half of 2014 and first month of 2015 has reduced oil and natural gas production tax revenues in some of the largest oil- and natural gas-producing states.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. plans to expand the Vantage pipeline system for an estimated $85 million. The expansion entails increasing Vantage's mainline capacity from 40,000 bpd to 68,000 bpd through the addition of mainline pump stations and the construction of a 80-km, 8-inch gathering lateral.

The mainline expansion is supported by a long-term, fee-for-service agreement, with a substantial take-or-pay component. The gathering lateral is underpinned by a fixed return on invested capital agreement. The expansion is expected to be in-service in early 2016.

If you are lucky enough to have grown up in Texas, you are all too familiar with how popular culture, particularly Hollywood, has glamorized the life of a wildcatter or roughneck. The movie Giant depicts James Dean on a windswept Texas countryside, sopping head to toe in newly discovered oil. While maybe a compelling drama, as a Texas Railroad Commissioner, I can tell you this is far from reality.

The Texas Railroad Commission adopted new rules in December concerning pipeline permit applications involving 16 Texas Administrative Code §3.70. It has been three years since the state Supreme Court’s opinion in Denbury Green, which took a dim view of the commission’s “check the box” rules regarding Form T-4 pipeline permit application which automatically created common carrier status to the pipeline operator.

Crude from the Canadian oil sands deposits gained an additional major outlet in the U.S. when the joint venture of Enbridge, Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. completed construction of its Cushing-to-Texas pipeline and started deliveries in December to Gulf Coast refineries.

The new pipeline’s operations and routes are very similar to TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline project for bringing oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast.

Recently EnLink Midstream invited me out to West Texas to see my first pipeline spread – the Martin County Extension Pipeline. On the way to the line we stopped by the Deadwood gas plant where I met Chris Coleman, EnLink Midstream’s senior landman. He was amiable, genuine and welcoming, even letting me ride shotgun in his work truck, which I had to jump to get into. As we drove across the flat Texas land, kicking up a flurry of red dirt, he began telling me about his job.

Perhaps one of the most important safe guards put in place to maintain the long-term integrity of buried pipelines is a cathodic protection system. Cathodic protection (CP) is an anti- corrosion technique used to prevent the corrosion of metals such as steel and iron in electrolytically conducting environments such as seawater and soils containing water.

Global consulting company Wood Mackenzie has drawn on the knowledge and expertise of senior analysts in compiling a new report, Horizons: What To Look For In 2015.

In discussing the report, Paul McConnell, principal analyst for Global Trends at Wood Mackenzie, pointed out that oil market concerns will be inescapable in 2015. “With no sign that OPEC is reconsidering its decision to leave production targets unchanged, the impetus falls on non-OPEC producers to limit supply growth and bring the market back into balance,” he said.

In summer 2011, executives at super-major ExxonMobil were telling financial analysts during a quarterly earnings conference call about an amazing 70% boost in a year’s time of the energy giant’s unconventional natural gas-weighted portfolio to 76 Tcfe. The reason was simple, according to David Rosenthal, the current controller at ExxonMobil and at the time its investor relations chief. He summed it up in three letters, X-T-O.

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