October 2012, Vol. 239 No. 10


Business Meetings & Events

October 2012 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of <em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>, October 2012, Vol. 239 No. 10.

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: Nightmares Of The Past

Sometimes there is an event so horrible that the only saving grace might be that we were not alive when it happened.


3D Laser Scanning Technology Benefits Pipeline Design

The prolific Greek mathematician and geographer Eratosthenes came to understand that the world wasn’t flat when he calculated the circumference of the earth in the third century BC. Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan – 1,800 years later - again reminded us that the earth was not flat when his fleet successfully circumnavigated the globe in 1522 AD. Awareness that the earth is not flat has existed for centuries, yet we continue to constrain our engineering design efforts to two dimensions.

CP System For Slurry Line With Three-layer Coating In China

This case study describes the design and commissioning of an impressed current cathodic protection (CP) system for a 10-inch OD, 106.2-mile welded steel pipeline with a three-layer coating system. It describes the adventures of cross-cultural technical communications, differences in equipment specifications and understanding and conducting the survey in the lush green mountains of southern China in torrential rains and lightning storms.

Establishing MAOP Through Records Verification

The clock is ticking. The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R.2845) signed by President Obama in January further confirms the direction federal regulators are taking with respect to pipeline security and safety. The Act, along with advisories from the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) largely address the post-failure findings of the San Bruno, CA pipeline failure in 2010.

Integrating Leak Detection Into SCADA Systems

For pipeline operators, deciding to implement leak detection is easy. However, determining how to accomplish it is hard. Leak detection is a good tool for quickly raising alarms for theft, identifying product loss due to wear and corrosion to the pipe, and/or preventing environmental events caused by spills. Whether driven by safety and production concerns or regulatory requirements, the method chosen for leak detection has a significant impact on its effectiveness.

Measurement Data Synchronization: Achieving One Version Of The Truth

This article offers a look at streamlining operations between the field and the office by automatically synchronizing measurement data.

Measuring Control Room Mental Workload With A Multi-Dimensional Measure

This article concerns satisfying PHMSA regulatory requirements for pipeline control room management. What causes a human factors engineer, a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology and experienced pipeliners from Pipeline Performance Group (PPG) to be invited to over 20 pipeline control rooms in the 2011-2012 time period? Because companies need assistance in complying with a requirement in the PHMSA Control Room Management Rule 195.446(e)(5) and 192.631(e)(5):

Merger Indicative Of Natural Gas Meeting Electric

In recent years the increased number of opportunities in the North American oil and gas industry has led to a spate of merger and acquisition activity as companies from around the world seek out suitable partners with skill sets necessary to compete in this challenging but profitable environment.

Opportunities For Offshore Oil And Gas Contracting

It is estimated by Barclay’s Capital in a recent industry survey that nearly $600 billion will be spent by oil and gas exploration and production companies in 2012 (an increase of 10% over 2011). One reason is that the oil industry is mature which is reflected by the rising costs. From 1995-2004, $2.4 trillion of capital expenditure resulted in an increase of global oil production of 12.3 MMbpd; in the following six years, 2005-2010, despite the same spend oil production fell by 0.2 MMbpd.

Practical Considerations Of Gas Sampling Systems: Part 2

<em>In <a href="http://pipelineandgasjournal.com/practical-considerations-gas-sampling-systems">Part One</a> (P&GJ July 2012) we discussed the practice of natural gas sampling, challenges, current standards and the basic equipment that is available for the measurement technician.

Societal Risk Criteria And Pipelines

While the discussion of societal risk criteria for the process industry began in the 1970s - led primarily by the Dutch and British governments - the literature on the societal risk of hazardous goods transportation, particularly by pipeline, has been much more limited. For fixed facilities, F-N curves and individual risk calculations are broadly used to assess the risk to the general public.

TransCanada Updates Keystone XL Route

TransCanada Corporation announced on Sept. 5 that it has submitted a Supplemental Environmental Report (SER) to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) for the preferred alternative route for the Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska.

Where Has It Gone?: Carbon Capture/Storage

Like the prodigy that everyone assumed one day would be a world-renowned virtuoso only to fade into obscurity, carbon capture and storage (CCS), the ultimate weapon of choice against climate change just a few years ago, seems also to have slipped into the background.

From the Burner Tip

Department Of Energy Makes Excellent Choice In New EIA Leader

Energy – a major player in a nation’s growth from Dark Ages to great economic, social, and technology power! No question, efficient, economic and plentiful energy sources have played a major role in the growth of this country. So important is energy considered that in the 1970s, when natural gas supplies were so low that schools and factories had to close and the oil-producing countries formed OPEC causing the price of oil to zoom up five to seven times, that Congress put all of the government agencies concerned with energy into one Cabinet-level organization, the Department of Energy (DOE).


Obama Drilling Expansion In Alaska Falls Short For Some

ConocoPhillips Alaska, among the most active companies exploring for oil and gas in northern Alaska, found a lot not to like in the Obama administration decision in mid-August with regard to development of the 22.8 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

In The News

Boardwalk, General Partner Acquire PL Midstream

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of its general partner, which has entered into an agreement to acquire PL Midstream LLC from PL Logistics LLC, a portfolio company of Lindsay Goldberg, LLC, for $625 million in cash.

Crestwood Completes Acquisition Of Assets From Devon

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP has completed the acquisition of gathering and processing assets from subsidiaries of Devon Energy Corporation for $87.1 million, which reflects a $2.9 million reduction to the originally announced acquisition price for estimated closing adjustments and operating activity since July 1, 2012.

Eagle Rock Buying BP Assets In Texas Panhandle

Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P. signed a definitive agreement to acquire BP America Production Company's Sunray and Hemphill processing plants and associated 2,500-mile gathering system serving the liquids-rich Texas Panhandle for $227.5 million.

Egyptian Fertilizer Company Taps Iowa For $1.4 Billion Plant

Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt’s largest company, plans to spend $1.4 billion building a fertilizer plant in Iowa, tapping into cheap U.S. natural gas supplies and the nation's role as the world's most important food exporter. Natural gas is a key raw material used to make fertilizer, particularly for use in corn fields.

Flint Hills May Expand Texas Refining Capacity

Flint Hills Resources is considering spending more than $250 million to enable its West Refinery to process more Eagle Ford crude oil while extending its ability to reduce criteria air emissions.

NiSource Discloses Pipeline Modernization Plan

NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage’s (NGT&S) Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia) reached a customer settlement that provides for Columbia to modernize its natural gas pipeline infrastructure under a program that will initially span the next five years, with provisions for potential extensions thereafter.

Oil Imports Ready To Hit 20-Year Low

A boom in oil production from the shale formations of North Dakota and Texas has the U.S. on a course to cut its reliance on imported crude oil to about 42% year, the lowest level in two decades.

Riverstone Holdings, Kaiser Midstream Invest Up To $500 Million In Sage Midstream

Sage Midstream, LLC is partnering with investment funds affiliated with Riverstone Holdings LLC, an energy and power-focused private equity firm, and Kaiser Midstream, an oil and gas midstream services company owned by George B. Kaiser, to form a new company with up to $500 million of equity commitments. Sage will pursue natural gas liquids- related midstream opportunities in North America’s liquids-rich production plays.

Ryckman Creek Resources Commences Gas Storage Service

Ryckman Creek Resources, LLC, wholly owned subsidiary of Peregrine Midstream Partners LLC, has begun commercial gas storage services at its new high-deliverability, multi-cycle (HDMC) Ryckman Creek Gas Storage Facility in southwestern Wyoming near the Opal Hub. Notice of Ryckman Creek's commencement of service was filed with the FERC Aug. 21, the date customers began injecting gas at an aggregate rate exceeding 230 MMcf/d.

Shell Ends Plans For Arctic Drilling This Year

Shell has ended drilling for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska this year following continued problems with its spill containment barge. Officials announced the decision Sept. 17 after testing of the Arctic Challenger, the oil spill containment barge Shell has been unable to get ready and certified to support its Arctic Alaska exploration.

Statoil Looking For More U.S. Shale Acreage

Statoil is looking to pick up more shale acreage in the United States even though it nearly has all the assets it needs to meet its 2020 production plans, a top official recently told Reuters.


Argentina's YPF In Talks With Gazprom

Argentina's state-controlled YPF energy company has reached a strategic accord with Gazprom.

Cheniere Files FERC and DOE Applications for Proposed Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project

Cheniere Energy, Inc. has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC has filed an application with FERC for authorization to site, construct and operate an LNG export facility near Corpus Christi, Texas.

Cheniere Issues Notice To Proceed For LNG Export Facility

Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. issued a notice to proceed to Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. to construct the first two liquefaction trains of the Sabine Pass liquefaction project.

Construction Begins On Parkway Pipeline

Construction is under way on the 136-mile, 16-inch Parkway Pipeline. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is building the pipeline to transport gasoline, jet fuel and diesel from refineries in Norco, LA to an existing petroleum transportation hub in Collins, MS, owned by Plantation Pipe Line Company. (Kinder Morgan owns 51% of Plantation Pipe Line Company and operates the system.) From this hub the refined petroleum products will be transported by pipeline systems, including Plantation, that serve major markets in the southeastern United States.

CX-15 Buoyant Tower En Route To Peru

The CX-15 buoyant tower, designed by a joint venture between GMC and Horton Wison Deepwater for BPZ Energy and completed at Wison Offshore & Marine’s yard in Nantong China, was transported to Peru.

Dominions Applachian Gateway Project Completed

Dominion Transmission has placed its Appalachian Gateway Project into service on time and within budget. The project will allow the transport of 484,260 Dth/d in firm transportation of natural gas produced in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania to storage fields and pipelines in Pennsylvania.

Excelerate Energy Wins Permission To Export LNG

The U.S. Department of Energy has granted Excelerate Energy a long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG to free trade agreement nations from its Lavaca Bay LNG project, currently under development.

Exova To Create Global Corrosion Facility In UK

Testing company Exova said it will invest £3 million to develop a new world-class corrosion facility to service increasing global demand.

Gazprom Delaying Development Of Shtokman Gas Field

Development of the vast Shtokman gas field are on hold indefinitely until a more cost-effective plan can be worked out, Gazprom said. The firm agreed with partners Total and Statoil that the project was unfeasible at current costs. No new decision will be made until 2014.

Global Oil, Gas Capital Expenditure Breaks $1 Trillion Barrier

Increased activity in the exploration and production sector will be the primary driver in pushing oil and gas capital expenditure to an enormous $1,039 billion for 2012, according to GlobalData.

Governors Coalition Points Out Flaws In Proposed OCS Leasing Plan

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued the following statement regarding a letter from the OCS Governors Coalition to President Obama, airing concerns with the Proposed Final OCS Leasing Plan for 2012-2017:

Greece Reiterates Support For TAP Project

Debt-stricken Greece has renewed its support for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) which could improve the pipeline's chances of winning a long contest against Nabucco West, also competing for transporting Azeri gas to the EU.

Heerema Wins Topside Contracts

Heerema Fabrication Group’s Hartlepool yard in the UK received a frame contract from GDF Suez E&P UK for the fabrication and commissioning of four topsides for the Cygnus gas field development on the UK Southern North Sea.

Hurricane Response Team Monitor Oil And Gas Operators Activities

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico continue to restore production following Hurricane Isaac. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal.

Load Testing Of 145-Ton Crane

The Unique Maritime Group announced a project involving Seaflex WaterLoad Test Weights in Victoria, Australia.

McDermott Awarded Contract In Gulf

A McDermott International, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a contract by the Discovery system for offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

McDermott Orders High Capacity Reeled Pipelay Vessel

McDermott International, Inc. plans to build another high capacity reeled pipelay vessel with top-tier payload capacity, tentatively named Lay Vessel 108 (“LV108”).

Oiltanking Partners $70 Million Terminal Expansion

Oiltanking Partners, L.P. recently announced a $70 million expansion project to construct approximately 3.3 million bbls of new crude oil storage capacity at its Houston terminaling facility.

Papua New Guinea LNG Expansion Looming

Competition from lower-cost LNG in North America and East Africa will favor expansion of existing LNG projects in and around Australia over costly new developments, Bernstein Research analysts said Sept. 6.

Pipeline To Transport West Texas Crude

Although Sunoco Logistics Partners has received sufficient binding commitments to enable Permian Express Phase I, a project to transport West Texas crude oil to Gulf Coast markets, to proceed, the binding open season was continued until September 6, 2012.

Regency Plans System Expansion

Regency Energy Partners will construct an expansion of its Dubach processing facility in North Louisiana.

Successful Open Season For Allegheny Access Pipeline

Sunoco Logistics announced a successful open season for Sunoco Pipeline L.P. and Inland Corporation’s Allegheny Access pipeline project, which will transport refined products from the Midwest to eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania markets.

Technip-NPCC Consortium Awarded Project In Abu Dhabi

Technip, in a consortium with National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), was awarded by Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) a lump sum engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation, commissioning and start-up contract for the Upper Zakum 750K project in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Three Company Partnership Announce Pipeline Plans

DTE Energy, Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Corp. plan to jointly develop the NEXUS Gas Transmission (NGT) system, a project that will move growing supplies of Ohio Utica shale gas to markets in the U.S. Midwest, including Ohio and Michigan, and Ontario, Canada.

Turkey Rethinking Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline

Turkey is revisiting the trans-Caspian gas pipeline project, aligning with the European Union, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, to support transportation of Turkmenistan’s gas to Turkey and onward to Europe.

Work Begins On Multi-Million Dollar Improvement Project

TECO Peoples Gas is set to begin an aggressive program to replace all cast-iron and bare steel distribution pipes to improve the safety, integrity and reliability of its system.


A Redundant, Immune, Calibrated Gas Detector

OptoAcoustic gas detection determines gas content via the measurement of acoustic pressure waves that are propagated as a gas is irradiated under an appropriately tuned light. A gaseous mixture sample passes through a membrane into a measurement cell which contains an optical light source and a microphone. Incident light modulated at a specific frequency is briefly absorbed as intermolecular energy by the gas molecules and then released as translational energy, creating periodic temperature and pressure changes that generate measurable acoustic pulses.