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Valve misalignments are a real issue in the petrochemical industry where misalignments in tank fields and blending areas can result in financial losses from product quality and environmental safety issues. This article describes an electronic pin board software solution developed by Matrix Technologies, Inc., a certified member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), to mitigate valve misalignments and improve efficiency in the alignment process. It also details some of the underlying technologies used in the software and the gains that have resulted from its use.

The late 19th century’s most brilliant businessman, J.D. Rockefeller, was an oil tycoon who discovered that the best way to take advantage of his country’s growing thirst for oil was to control distribution. Although the pipeline that Rockefeller built in the 1870s wouldn’t look like much compared to today’s sophisticated pipeline networks, it was an engineering feat that helped his company ensure oil got to the clients who needed it most.

The EnLink Midstream companies, EnLink Midstream Partners LP and EnLink Midstream LLC, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Coronado Midstream Holdings LLC, which owns natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Permian Basin.

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.

People who work in the oil and gas pipeline industry have a convenient new way to locate experts, equipment and software they need for integrating control systems at their facilities. The Industrial Automation Exchange is an online community introduced last year by the only nonprofit, trade association for system integrators, the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). The community features profiles of system integrators and industry suppliers as well as a clearinghouse for information about industrial automation.

The need for reliable, rapid pipeline inspection systems and services is growing as the pipeline network, both domestic and international, ages and expands. Inspection and defect reporting have become time-sensitive as incident prevention becomes a top priority.

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.

Corrosion, erosion and other forms of material degradation can cause critical damage to steel pipelines and riser systems, potentially resulting in health and safety hazards and costly repairs for oil and gas operators. Inspection technologies are available to evaluate pipeline integrity, and as a result, maximize the economic recovery of oil and gas reserves.

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.

With a name like Steele in Pennsylvania, you’d expect Steele Construction, Inc. owner Bill Steele to specialize in structural steel building or own a foundry. Instead, he’s one of the premier builders of timber-framed homes in the state.

As things changed and housing starts dipped during the recession beginning in 2007, Steele expanded his business on the strength of the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom.

“We were lucky enough to get into a gas contract, and now our company is pretty much evenly split between the building of heavy timber frame and moving dirt,” said Steele.

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