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One top federal pipeline regulator left her job and a prominent state regulator is coming to Washington to fill a second high-profile pipeline job. Cynthia Quarterman left as administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Oct. 3. No replacement has been named. Meanwhile, the White House nominated Colette Honorable as a commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). When confirmed, which is likely, she would probably be appointed chairman. Honorable is chair of the Public Service Commission in Arkansas.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and others on Thursday appealed a proposed $1.4 billion penalty against PG&E in a deadly 2010 gas-pipeline explosion, in a case that has raised repeated accusations of cozy relations between the utility and state regulators.

The INGAA Foundation Inc. and ICF International are making available analytical data supporting the Foundation’s North American Midstream Infrastructure Through 2035: Capitalizing On Our Energy Abundance report, (see P&GJ May 2014, Pg. 30 for an excerpt from the report).

Pennsylvania technology company Quantum Vortex (QVI) has completed construction of its first 100-bpd crude oil upgrader, powered by QVI Hammer Technology™.

When global business consulting giant Accenture finished a recent treatise on shale oil and natural gas development, it identified eight key factors needed to make exploitation of shale viable, and the first three are found in abundance in successful U.S. shale plays from North Dakota’s Bakken to Texas’ Eagle Ford. They are geology, land considerations and the existence of an unconventional energy resource service sector.

Natural force damage from earth movement and heavy rains or floods accounts for only 8% of all pipeline failure incidents. However, these type of incidents account for 34% of all property damage.

GE and Accenture last month announced the launch of the Intelligent Pipeline Solution, the first-ever Industrial Internet offering to help pipeline operators make better decisions concerning the condition of their critical machines and assets in the oil and gas pipeline industry.

Several public utility commissions in the United States have approved programs allowing local gas distribution companies to recover the cost of replacing and repairing pipeline infrastructure. Now the rush is on to design and construct the resulting main replacement (MR) programs.

There’s no question why the University of Houston keeps a close eye on the energy business. “Energy is 50% of the economy in the greater Houston area,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer for the school.

The most commonly used materials for gas flowlines are carbon steel (CS) and duplex stainless steel (DSS). Selection of flowline materials should take into account the service for which the flowline is intended, the operating envelope and the life cycle costs (LCC).

For highly corrosive environments corrosion-resistant alloys (CRAs), in particular DSS, remains the most cost-effective option since the risk of corrosion failure on CS lines is high and use of corrosion inhibition with CS is often either impractical, costly or poses too high a risk.

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