midstream

The need for major changes to the nation’s energy infrastructure is why President Obama initiated a quadrennial cycle of energy reviews to provide a multiyear roadmap for U.S. energy policy. The result is the recent release of the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review 2015 (QER) prepared by the White House task force.

The Caspian region of Central Asia is one of the world’s most important oil and gas-producing regions. Until recently, Caspian gas traveled thousands of miles via largely Soviet-built pipelines to eastern Russia where a portion of it was re-exported to Europe at two and even three times the purchase price.

Since 2010, however, newly built pipelines have carried natural gas east to China, which receives about 50% of Caspian gas exports, surpassing Russia and Europe’s share 26% and Iran and Turkey take of 24%.

Since Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) finished replacing all 835 miles of cast-iron pipeline in its system ahead of its 2014 year-end goal, the company has turned its attention to further modernizing its infrastructure with the latest gas-safety technology and by building a skilled workforce.

The decommissioning of cast-iron pipe, which began in 1985, covered enough distance to run from Seattle to San Francisco, and has been followed by implementation of one of the most comprehensive modernization programs in the nation.

When Michael Grande was cutting his teeth as an energy analyst at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, he thought the Tulsa, OK-based Williams Cos. Inc. a takeover target as its credit ratings were languishing below investment grade. That was 2007, though. Today, Grande, now director of S&P’s utilities and infrastructure group, has a different take on the company after watching it closely the past eight years.

SemGroup plans to build and operate three pipelines in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana. Collectively named the Maurepas Pipelines, they will support Motiva Enterprises efforts to interconnect its refinery operations.

Magellan Midstream Partners and TransCanada have a joint development agreement to connect TransCanada’s Houston tank terminal to Magellan's East Houston terminal. The $50 million project would include a 9-mile, 24-inch pipeline under a 50/50 ownership agreement. It would give TransCanada’s Keystone and Marketlink shippers access to Magellan’s Houston and Texas City crude oil distribution system.

At least for his new role as 2015 chairman of the American Gas Association Terry D. McCallister doesn’t have far to travel. The 59-year-old natural gas executive who is chairman and CEO of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas Light Co., the 165-year-old utility company that services the Potomac region, has plenty on his plate these days, as this interview found, so time is at a premium.

The Obama administration on May 7 granted final approval to a $3.8 billion natural gas export facility in Calvert County, MD – the first gas export site on the East Coast. Environmentalists sued within hours to stop the project.

The job began as a relatively straightforward directionally drilled creek crossing to install 600 feet of steel gas pipe. However, a change in the size of pipe, unexpected site restrictions, difficult soil conditions, and limited hours to work made this project far from routine.

It was exactly the type of project suited for California contractor Accu-Bore Directional Drilling, a horizontal directional drilling contractor that also provides engineering services and complete turnkey and design-build capabilities.

It’s trite but true: The only thing constant is change. Especially in our industry, it seems. There’s always a new technology or tool to consider or a proposed regulation to ponder. Access to capital restricts and relaxes. Individual rig or well performance can vary widely.

Even the location of our best prospects can confound us: North Dakota?

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