If the North American shale gas boom is a decades-long game-changer as many pundits predict, natural gas pipelines need to stay tuned and the same can be said for the storage operations that have grown up along many of those pipelines. In the West the situation seems ripe for redefinition and reconfiguration of the storage landscape.

After the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, a philanthropist and nonprofit organization joined forces to introduce a contest to improve ocean water oil spill cleanup techniques. On Oct. 11 the winners were awarded their prizes: the first prize recipients earned a $1 million purse for technology that in tests was able to recover oil from the sea surface at a rate of 4670 gallons per minute and 89% efficiency, almost twice the rate targeted by the contest's organizers and three times the highest rate previously achieved under controlled conditions.

An experienced gas utility field distribution crew struggled with frozen ground and sub-freezing January temperatures in northern Idaho a few years ago. They were seeking to pinpoint and resolve a natural gas leak in a rural corner of Avista Utilities’ three-state service area. Avista is based in Spokane, WA. The search for the leak was routine, at best, for the crew, but time-consuming.

Getting the lowest possible bid prices from contractors - consistent with safety and quality - is the goal of every utility, pipeline or other infrastructure owner. But how can the client ensure that the contractor provides the most comprehensive, lowest pricing for timely, quality work?

The pipeline safety recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Aug. 30 puts significant pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to respond to problems discovered as part of the NTSB investigation of the PG&E San Bruno explosion in September 2010.

In the past several years, few have doubted the growing importance of natural gas in the global supply picture. In this Q&A, Bill Colton, vice president, Corporate Strategic Planning, discusses the company’s global energy outlook through 2030, and the critical role that natural gas will play in meeting energy needs.

Construction of the $160 million Gibraltar-Bucaramanga gas pipeline in Colombia was recently completed. Gas Natural E.S.P. entered into an agreement with TransOriente E.S.P. for construction of the Gibraltar-Bucaramanga gas pipeline that will transport gas from the Gibraltar field to Bucaramanga Refinery where it will connect with Colombia’s national gas transport system.

Bluestone Gathering has signed a long-term agreement with Southwestern Energy Services Company to build and operate a natural gas gathering system in Susquehanna County, PA and Broome County, NY.

Dominion is proceeding with its next major project in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions, construction of a large natural gas processing and fractionation plant along the Ohio River in Natrium, WV. The first phase of construction includes facilities that can process 200 MMcf/d of natural gas and fractionate 36,000 bpd of NGLs. This phase of the project is 90% contracted and is expected to be in service by December 2012.

Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power has applied to state regulators to build a $158 million gas-fired power plant - the first natural gas-powered electrical generating plant in the state. Construction would start on the 120-MW, three-turbine power plant in 2013. It would go online in 2014, if approved by the state utilities commission.

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