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Newly sworn-in Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton told about 165 members of the Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) members in Houston that he will be looking to the oil and gas industry for “good, sound advice” on improving regulations during his tenure. The Texas A&M University graduate said it is imperative to establish a “level playing field for operators” where regulations are concerned and in some ways work as an advocate for Texas’ energy interests, which must compete with other states.

Southeast Asia is considered one of the most problematic regions of the world in which to build pipelines since it encompasses active volcanos and thousands of islands. With a large land area of 4.46 million square kilometers and many countries, it is home to 616 million people, 150 million of whom have no access to electricity.

With the continuing expansion of natural gas development in shale plays across the nation, pipeline infrastructure continues to be built out, with product making the trek from source points to downstream consumers. However, not every end-user has access to affordable natural gas yet.

P&GJ’s 2015 survey figures indicate 100,114 miles of pipelines are planned and under construction worldwide. Of these, 57,201 represent projects in the planning design phase while 42,913 reflect pipelines in various stages of construction.

I hope the industry is paying attention to some regionalized developments that could hamper activity, at least in the short term.

Are your company’s business systems connected in any way to the industrial control systems (ICS), including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), which are used to manage the company’s critical infrastructure? If they are, and the best guess is they are, then the ICS/SCADA could be vulnerable to cyberattacks in addition to the business side of the networks.

The Pilgrim Pipeline project has the potential to do more good for the Northeast than just bolstering the flow of refined products and crude between New York Harbor and Albany, NY - it could also remove 6 billion gallons of petroleum a year from barges on the Hudson River.

SCADA systems provide combinations of field devices, communications infrastructure and software integrated into a system that provides for safe and reliable operation of remote facilities.

Developing new natural gas pipeline capacity in the Northeast isn’t easy. Environmental rules are tough, local residents are well-organized, and - in New England in particular - the electricity market structure is not, shall we say, pipeline development-friendly.

In November, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised the world by agreeing in principle to targets for carbon dioxide emissions in a symbolic effort to address climate change. This is a pact of historic magnitude that recognizes a need for the world’s two largest emitters – both longstanding antagonists – to reduce future release of greenhouse gas. But aside from a handshake and a promise, what will actually come from this mutual recognition?

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