October 2010 Vol. 237 No. 10


Business Meetings & Events

Dr. Robert Austin Assumes GITA Presidency

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) has announced that Dr. Robert Austin has assumed the position of president of the association. In accordance with association bylaws, Austin will complete the unfilled term of his predecessor then serve his regular term through the end of 2011.

Laney Names Kevin Fox CEO

Laney Directional Drilling Co. announced Oct. 12 the appointment of Kevin R. Fox as CEO. Fox joins Laney after a 19-year career with Willbros Group, Inc. where most recently he was president of the Willbros Construction division of Willbros Group, Inc. and had previously served as president of Willbros Engineering.

McJunkin Acquiring Dresser Oil Tools & Supply Assets

McJunkin Red Man Corp. will acquire operations and assets from Dresser Oil Tools & Supply as part of its strategic focus to increase its presence and commitment to customers in the active shale basins across North America. The operations and assets to be purchased relate to the business of the sale and distribution of pipe, valves and fittings (PVF), oilfield production and drilling supplies and related products.

October 2010 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of <em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>, October 2010, Vol. 237 No. 10.

One-Stop Pipeline Training Center

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM), Caterpillar’s global pipeline equipment dealer, has recently teamed with ek pass for the provision of global training and consulting services for the pipeline industry.

Pipeliners Association Of Houston Hears About Spiral Line Pipe

About 200 members and guests of The Pipeliners Association of Houston attended the group’s first meeting of the 2010-2011 year Aug. 30. Speakers, Rick Steinheimer, of Stupp Corp., and Winston A. Johnston II, of J-II Consulting, discussed advances by Stupp Corp. with construction of its leading-edge spiral pipe mill in Baton Rouge, LA.

Technip Wins 2010 Global Pipeline Award

Technip has been awarded the 2010 Global Pipeline Award in the field of Pipeline Transportation during the International Pipeline Conference in Calgary, Canada, for its Subsea Cryogenic Pipe-in-Pipe Pipeline Transfer System (C-PiP).

Editor's Notebook

Letter To The Editor: INGAA Responds To P&GJ's San Bruno Questions

Dear Mr. Share: It is important that we get the facts straight about the San Bruno accident before drawing conclusions about its causes and what they may mean for improving pipeline safety practices, pipeline safety technology and pipeline safety regulation. Consequently, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America was disappointed with Pipeline & Gas Journal’s assessment that “what we know from published reports indicate that the San Bruno main had a good chance of failing sooner rather than later.” (“<a href="http://pipelineandgasjournal.com/plenty-questions-about-san-bruno">Plenty of Questions About San Bruno</a>,” October, 2010).

Plenty of Questions About San Bruno

In the wake of the deadly San Bruno, CA “incident,” as the industry likes to call it, that came in the wake of Enbridge’s problems in Michigan, Illinois and New York, which came in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the pipeline industry is going to have to come clean about the state of its infrastructure. Exactly how safe is the delivery system?


2010 Large Directional Drilling Rig Census

When horizontal directional drilling (HDD) professionals discuss the size of an HDD rig, they usually refer to the maximum pullback force the unit can develop. The most common industry standard for a large directional drilling unit is defined as having a minimum of 100,000 pounds of pullback force. In addition to pullback, the most common specifications used to categorize HDD equipment are rotary torque of drill stem, rotation speed and the size of drill pipe.

Advanced Research Under Way On PE Pipe For Natural Gas

Modern polyethylene (PE) pipe’s capabilities and characteristics have improved greatly since first installations more than 40 years ago. Interest in PE pipe has expanded widely throughout the gas distribution industry. NYSEARCH/Northeast Gas Association is conducting research that is revealing the strengths and durability of modern PE pipe with notable results. Incorporating these revelations into industry standards could result in benefits on many levels.

Big Easy Offered Work, Networking And Fun For AGA Crowd

NEW ORLEANS, LA.-There has never been a time when representing the energy industry has been an easy job. In fact, that’s probably an understatement in this year of the oil spill that has brought unprecedented attention to the petroleum industry.

Bolivian Pipeline Project Presents Special Construction Challenges

Transredes, the transportation branch of Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), is building a natural gas pipeline in Bolivia between Carrasco and Cochabamba at a cost of $US168 million. Known as the Gaseoducto Carrasco Cochabanba (GCC) pipeline, it is designed to ensure natural gas supply to the western part of the country.

Efficiency And Operating Characteristics Of Centrifugal And Reciprocating Compressors

Reciprocating compressors and centrifugal compressors have different operating characteristics and use different efficiency definitions. This article provides guidelines for an equitable comparison, resulting in a universal efficiency definition for both types of machines. The comparison is based on the requirements in which a user is ultimately interested. Further, the impact of actual pipeline operating conditions and the impact on efficiency at different load levels is evaluated.

Finding And Mitigating SCC On An Oil Pipeline In Mexico

To identify and mitigate the presence of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in a 30-inch, 340-km oil pipeline owned and operated by Pemex Refinación, a plan was developed and executed by Weatherford Pipeline & Specialty Services (P&SS) and Pemex Refinación.

NACE Determined To Take Fight To Pipeline Corrosion

Far too often these days we’re hearing about oil and gas pipelines giving way to the forces of corrosion. This is an issue that is drawing even more attention because of the combination of an aging infrastructure network, encroachment into urbanized areas and inadequate protection of some sort – be it coatings, cathodic protection, faulty welding, etc. that leads in faulty maintenance.

Ready For Anything: A Transportation Exec Says Its All About Rolling With The Punches

Bruce Munro is a busy man. At 60, T.G. Mercer’s executive vice president of field operations is tanned and restless, juggling phone calls and emails even when he’s theoretically out of touch. Looking for a few moments of free time to answer questions, he suggested between 2 and 4 a.m. “Those times, I really don’t have anything going,” he jokes.

Russian Pipeline Readied To Supply Gas For 2014 Olympic Games

In 2014, the Winter Olympic Games will take place in the Russian resort town of Sochi. At the moment, large-scale construction works are being developed there – hotels, sport and infrastructure facilities are in the process of being built. Existing gas transportation facilities are insufficient to provide for the increasing demand in the region, and in order to solve this problem, OJSC Gazprom launched construction of the Dzhubga-Lazarevskoye-Sochi pipeline in 2009.

SHRIMP Helps Utilities Create DIMP Plans

In 2005 the American Public Gas Association (APGA) created the APGA Security and Integrity Foundation (SIF) to assist small operators to comply with their security and pipeline safety responsibilities. “Small operators” includes not only natural gas utilities but also master meter systems and propane piping systems that fall under the jurisdiction of pipeline safety rules. Initial efforts focused on training and operator qualification, but in 2006 when Congress mandated that PHMSA issue DIMP rules, the SIF, with support from PHMSA, began developing a model DIMP plan.


Approvals For TransCanada Tar Sand Pipeline Gets Sticky; Plus PMHSA Low-Stress Tug-Of-War And FERC Posting Edict

Despite criticism of his company's proposed nearly 2,000-mile pipeline through six states, Robert Jones, vice president, Keystone Pipelines, TransCanada Corporation, is very confident the U.S. State Department will approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In The News

AMI Releases Global Steel Pipe Coating Market Report

The global steel pipe coating market is worth circa EUR 5 billion, according to a study by Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI). The report notes that while the pipe coating industry was affected by the recession, the magnitude varied broadly from region to region and even among countries in the same region. 

Enterprise To Provide Services For EOG Resources In Eagle Ford Shale

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. has signed long-term agreements with EOG Resources, Inc. to provide a comprehensive package of midstream energy services that will service EOG's growing crude oil and associated liquids-rich natural gas production in the prolific Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. Enterprise will use its existing assets and build additional infrastructure to provide EOG with a full range of midstream services for its Eagle Ford production, including crude oil transportation, storage and exchange; natural gas transportation, treating and processing; and natural gas liquids (NGL) transportation and fractionation.

Magellan Midstream Finishes Acquisition

Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. completed acquisition of 7.8 MMbbls of crude oil storage and 100 miles of active petroleum pipelines from BP Pipelines (North America) Inc. for $289 million. The partnership will also acquire crude oil tank working inventory for $50 million.

Oil Industry Financed Study Questions Ease Of Raising Ethanol Blends

Raising the amount of ethanol in gasoline blends would be much more complicated than ethanol supporters claim, according to the authors of a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute. Introducing higher blends of ethanol into gasoline sold at pumps across the U.S. would require changes in federal and state fuel-blending requirements, the distribution system of pipelines, tanks and pumps and labeling requirements, said analysts at Sierra Research who completed the study.

PG&E Ordered To Check Thousands Of Miles Of Pipes

The California Public Utilities Commission ordered Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to check for leaks in all of its thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines as federal investigators continued to investigate the deadly Sept. 2 San Bruno rupture and explosion.

Review Blames Alyeska Spill On Technical Glitch, Potential Design Failures, Human Error

An internal report by Alyeska Pipeline Co. said the May 25 spill of about 190,000 gallons of oil at a pump station near Delta Junction fits into part of a pattern of similar "significant" pipeline incidents over the past three years.

Spectra Energy Completes Acquisition Of Bobcat Gas Storage Assets

Spectra Energy Corp. completed the $540 million acquisition of the Bobcat Gas Storage assets and development project from Haddington Energy Partners III LP and GE Energy Financial Services. The company expects to invest an additional $400-450 million to fully develop the facility by the end of 2015, bringing the facility's total working gas storage capacity to 46 Bcf.

Summit Midstream Announces Start-Up of Arlington Gathering Station

Summit Midstream Partners, LLC reports its wholly owned subsidiary, DFW Midstream Services LLC, has commissioned the Arlington, TX #1 gathering station with the start-up of an initial 19,800 horsepower of compression.

Williams Partner Acquires 49% Ownership In Overland Pass Pipeline Co.

ONEOK Partners L.P. has completed a transaction to sell 49% of its ownership of Overland Pass Pipeline Co. LLC to Williams Partners L.P. for $424 million. ONEOK Partners and Williams Partners each now owns 50% Of Overland Pass Pipeline Company LLC. Previously, ONEOK Partners owned 99% of the joint venture and Williams Partners owned the remaining 1%.


Air Products Plans 180-Mile Interstate Hydrogen Pipeline

Air Products, a global hydrogen provider, announced plans October 13 to construct a new 180-mile long pipeline connecting its existing Louisiana and Texas hydrogen pipeline systems, creating the world's largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network.

Baker Hughes Opens Marcellus Shale Repair and Maintenance Center

Baker Hughes announced Oct. 21 the opening of its Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania, repair and maintenance center. The facility will support natural gas well drilling, completion and production operations in the Marcellus Shale.

Bunde-Etzel Pipeline Contracts Awarded

Ghizzoni SpA is charged with construction of the Bunde-Etzel Gas Pipeline for BEP, a joint venture made up of companies from the energy industry in Europe.

Canada To Train Aboriginal People To Work On Pacific Trail Pipeline Project

Canada’s federal government has announced $US9 million in funding for the Pacific Trail Pipeline Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Project.

Caterpillar To Open Hydraulic Excavator Manufacturing Facility In Texas

Caterpillar Inc. has selected Victoria, TX as the location for its state-of-the-art hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility.

Enbridge Plans Montana, North Dakota And Canadian Expansions

Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. (EEP) and Enbridge Income Fund (ENF) are proceeding to expand crude oil pipeline capacity to accommodate growing production from the Bakken and Three Forks formations in Montana, North Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Energy Transfer Partners To Construct Two Eagle Ford Shale Pipelines

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. announced October 18 that it will construct two natural gas pipelines to provide transportation services from the prolific Eagle Ford Shale located in South Texas.

Genesis Energy, L.P. Announces Acquisition of 50% Interest in Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline Company

Genesis Energy, L.P. announced Oct. 25 that it has executed a definitive agreement to purchase Valero Energy Corporation’s indirect 50% equity interest in Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline Company, a partnership, for $330 million in cash.

Iroquois Holds Compressor Project Open Season

Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. is holding a binding open season for its Wright Transfer Compressor (WTC) project which would add up to 15,400 horsepower of transfer compression at Iroquois' existing interconnection with Tennessee Gas Pipeline's 200 Line in Wright, NY.

Lincoln Electric Intermountain Training Center Opens In Utah

Lincoln Electric has partnered with Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) to open its new Intermountain Training Center in Kaysville, UT.

Michels awarded work on Keystone XL Project

Michels Pipeline Construction has been awarded spreads 1-4 of TransCanada’s Keystone XL Gulf Coast Expansion Project.

New Drilling Rules Announced, Administration Suggests Offshore Ban Might Lift Early

Ken Salazar, secretary of the interior for the Obama administration, announced a collection of new rules for offshore drilling Sept. 30 that the adminstration suggests may lead to the early lifting of the deepwater drilling ban it enacted after the BP/Deepwater Horizon rig blowout on April 20 this year. The moratorium is scheduled to lapse Nov. 30.

Project To Improve Marcellus Producers Access To High-Value Markets

NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage and UGI Energy Services Inc. are partnering to develop a natural gas pipeline to provide Marcellus Shale producers in Pennsylvania improved access to high-value markets.

Southern Union Companys Trunkline Gas Pipeline Signs Long-Term Transportation Agreement with DCP Midstream

Southern Union Company announced Oct. 26 that its Trunkline Gas Company subsidiary has signed a precedent agreement with DCP Midstream, LLC to provide long-term, firm transportation service on a portion of Trunkline’s pipeline system in South Texas.

Storage Fields In New York Offered For Sale Or Sublease

NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage (NGT&S) announced that Columbia Gas Transmission plans to make the Greenwood and North Greenwood storage fields in Steuben County, NY available for sale or sublease.

TransCanada Launches Cushing Marketlink Open Season

TransCanada Corp. recently launched a binding open season to obtain firm commitments from interested parties for the Cushing Marketlink Project, which would provide crude oil transportation service from Cushing, OK to the U.S. Gulf Coast.


SSOE Group No Stranger To Pipelines Or Terminals

Being in Houston, one would rightfully assume that we are in the heart of the oil and gas industry. While that is true, that should not imply that all of the business is centered here. A case in point is SSOE Group, a engineering conglomerate based in – of all places – Toledo, OH. Founded in 1948, SSOE has carved a wide niche in international architecture, engineering and construction management and ranks as the 11th-largest such firm in the U.S.


Attention To Surface Preparation Yields Big Value Additions

Shot and grit-blasting have traditionally been underestimated as to their importance by those who learn by trial and error. The lesson, in those situations, is learned belatedly when the task rises up and bites the unaware. That’s because, when it is not done properly, shot and grit-blasting can immediately turn what should have been something crisply and efficiently executed into a costly, professionally embarrassing procedure.

Pipe Rehabilitation Coating With Brains

Corrosion causes billions of dollars of damage every year. Pipeline coatings tend to especially fail in their capability to protect against corrosion during rehabilitation. Practice teaches that many rehabilitated coating failures are caused by lapses during application and improper surface preparation (NACE study 1996).