March 2023, Vol. 250, No. 3


Uganda Approves Construction of 898-Mile Crude Pipeline

Uganda Approves Construction of 898-Mile Crude Pipeline  

Uganda approved an application to build an 898-mile (1,445-km) pipeline designed to transport the country’s crude oil to international markets. 

The $3.5 billion pipeline, planned by a company controlled TotalEnergies, will run from Uganda’s oilfields in the west to a port on Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast.

The cabinet approval for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Ltd. (EACOP) project is a major step forward for development of the nation’s oilfields,  which has been stalled for two decades due to a lack of infrastructure and rifts between the government and oil companies. 

France’s TotalEnergies (62%) is the largest shareholder in EACOP. Other investors are the state-run Uganda National Oil Company (15%), Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (15%) and China’s CNOOC (8%). 

Government geologists estimate that the country has gross reserves of 6 billion barrels, with 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil. 

Biden Backs Scaled-Back ConocoPhillips Alaska Oil Project 

President Joe Biden’s administration will back a lesser version of ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil and gas drilling project in Alaska but has not yet made a final decision. 

The $6 billion Willow project area contains about 600 million barrels of oil and carries local significance it that would offset oil production declines in a state that relies heavily on the drilling industry. 

Biden vowed during his 2020 election campaign to end federal oil and gas drilling as part of a move toward a decarbonized economy,  but lawsuits from drilling states and pressure to boost production following the Ukraine invasion caused a jump in energy prices. 

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published the project’s final environmental review, selecting a “preferred alternative” with three drilling sites and a reduced amount of infrastructure than proposed. ConocoPhillips had had wanted up to five drill sites, dozens of miles of roads, seven bridges and pipelines, according to Reuters. 

According to BLM’s analysis, the design it endorsed would reduce the project’s impact on habitats for species like polar bears and yellow-billed loons. Alaska officials and ConocoPhillips backed that option in letters submitted to the agency in recent months. 

Construction of 106-Mile Gas Pipeline to Serbia Underway 

Bulgaria began the construction of a long-stalled natural gas link with Serbia that will allow flows of non-Russian gas to Belgrade. 

The 106 mile (170-km) gas pipeline, which will run from the town of Novi Iskar, Bulgaria, to Nis, Serbia, is expected to be online by the fourth quarter. 

The pipeline, first considered in 2012, is partially financed through European Union aid and will give Serbia access to non-Russian supplies from the Southern gas corridor and LNG terminals in Greece and Turkey. 

The pipeline, which will allow gas to flow in both directions, will diversify routes linking Bulgaria to the European gas network. 

Bulgaria, which was cut off from Russian gas imports last April, has opened a new gas interconnector link with Greece that currently transports 1 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas per year. Sofia has also sealed a long-term capacity deal with Turkey to import LNG. 

Currently, the only gas link between the two countries transports Russian gas from the TurkStream gas pipeline to Serbia. 

Coastal GasLink Pipeline Costs Expected to Top $10 Billion 

TC Energy now puts the cost for finishing the Coastal GasLink project at billion $10.89 billion (C$14.5), citing bad weather and a shortage of skilled labor as the primary reasons. That is about a 30% increase over the previous estimate. 

Announced in 2018, the 416-mile (670-km) pipeline will transport natural gas to the Shell Plc’s LNG Canada’s first LNG export terminal, on the west coast of British Columbia.  

The project has faced several construction delays due to COVID-19 disruptions and protests from environmentalists and some First Nations. Work crews also were attacked by masked assailants who damaged equipment and construction trailers in February. 

Separately, MEG Energy, an oil shipper which has booked 20,000 bpd of capacity on the pipeline, said recently it is expected to begin being filled with oil late this  year. 

Carbon Pipeline Company Sues Over Local Iowa Siting Ordinance 

The developer of a carbon capture pipeline network sued an Iowa over an ordinance it said restricts the siting of pipelines in a manner that has been overruled by a federal pipeline safety law. 

In its filing, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions told an Iowa federal court that the rule, passed in November, could delay a segment of its pipeline network, effecting several Midwest states. Summit asked the court to bar implementation of the ordinance. 

The developer proposed a 1,900-mile network of underground pipelines  that would connect five states, allowing ethanol plants to ship liquefied carbon emissions captured during production to sequester sites in North Dakota.  

Sequestering carbon is needed to ensure state ethanol producers can comply with increasingly strict emissions laws in some of Iowa’s biggest markets for ethanol including California, Oregon and Canada, according to the lawsuit. 

Peninsula Pipeline Gains Approval to Expand in Florida 

Peninsula Pipeline Company (PPC), a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities, received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to provide natural gas to about 4,000 new residences and businesses in the Nassau County, Florida. 

Phase one of construction involves three new pipeline segments, which consist of steel pipe, new regulator stations and improvements, a new gas injection point and three new points of delivery. Phase two of the project involves the installation of two new steel pipeline segments. 

“Growth in Florida continues to be strong, significantly outpacing the national  

Florida Public Utilities (FPU), a Chesapeake Utilities subsidiary, already serves 1,500 residences and commercial buildings in the 24,000-square-acre Wildlight development, where construction began in 2017. By 2027, Wildlight will include 22,000 residential units and numerous commercial businesses. 

Argentina Inks $540 Million Deal for Gas Pipeline Projects 

Argentina’s government said it reached a $540 million deal with the CAF development bank to extend natural gas pipelines and related infrastructure linked to the country’s massive Vaca Muerta basin. 

The infrastructure plan, expected to be approved this month, would boost a pair the La Carlota-Tio Pujio and Reversal del Norte gas projects, as well as building compression plants. 

“With these projects we will be able to supply the entire north with gas from Vaca Muerta and increase the possibilities of gas export volumes to Chile and Brazil,” Economy Minister Sergio Massa, said in a Twitter post. 

Indonesia Approves Revised Plan for Kasuri Gas Project 

Indonesia approved a revised development plan for the Phase 1 of the by  Genting Oil & Gas project in West Papua, following revised production estimates, according to the nation’s energy ministry. 

The altered plan shows an increased amount of 2.67 Tscf/d in the Kasuri block, which is a significant revision over the 1.73 Tscf/d, the ministry said. 

“Production from this field will be utilized by a fertilizer plant in Papua and for a liquefied natural gas plant,” said Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif Arifin. 

Genting Oil & Gas also signed an agreement with an Indonesian state-controlled fertilizer producer, Pupuk Kaltim, to supply 102 billion British thermal units of gas per day to its $1.5 billion fertilizer plant, the statement said. 

French Operator GRTgaz Looks at Building Hydrogen Pipeline 

French gas transmission system operator GRTgaz opened a call for interest to determine the viability of building a hydrogen pipeline linking the French side of the Franco-Spanish pipeline BarMar, with a local storage facility. 

The BarMar project is expected to connect Spain and France by the end of the decade, through an undersea pipeline between Barcelona, Spain, and Marseille, the initial French entry point at Fos-sur-Mer. 

The call for interest is for a section of the pipeline between the Fos-sur-Mer port, near Marseille, and storage capacity near Manosque, also in southern France. 

Nord Stream Inquiries Ongoing, UN Security Council Told 

Investigations by three nations into explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines are still underway, the three countries told the U.N. Security Council in a letter on Tuesday ahead of a meeting called by Russia on the September incident. 

Russia wants the Security Council to seek an independent inquiry into the explosions, which released into the Baltic Sea.  

Denmark, Germany and Sweden told the Security Council in a joint statement that the “Russian authorities have been informed regarding the ongoing investigations,” which have thus far determined the damage was caused by “powerful explosions due to sabotage.” 

Williams Strikes Gas Gathering Deals with Oil Major Chevron 

Williams signed deals with oil major Chevron Corp.’s unit to support natural gas development in the Haynesville basin, as well as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. 

Williams will provide natural gas gathering services to Chevron’s 26,000-acre Haynesville assets, while the oil major agreed to a long-term capacity commitment on Williams’ Louisiana Energy Gateway (LEG) project. 

Williams had recently reached a final investment decision to build its proposed LEG project to gather natural gas produced in the Haynesville shale basin. 

In another mover, Williams said it will use existing infrastructure to serve production from the Blind Faith platform, located 160 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Chevron is developing the Ballymore tieback to the Blind Faith platform. 

Using existing connections to Blind Faith, Williams will provide offshore natural gas gathering and crude oil transportation services as well as onshore natural gas processing services for the production. 

The Haynesville shale basin covers parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. 

Greece, Bulgaria Giving 186-Mile Oil Project Another Look 

Greece and Bulgaria may breath life back into an oil pipeline project that would ship crude from the Alexandroupolis, Greece, on the Aegean Sea, to Burgas, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea, Greek government sources said. 

Bulgaria has sought to build the 186 miles (300 km) trans-Balkan oil pipeline to secure non-Russian crude oil supplies for its only oil refinery on the Black Sea. 

Greece would like to become a key European transit route for gas traveling to the Balkan region through the Mediterranean Sea and further to the north thanks to new gas infrastructure under development. 

In 2022, Greece increased it LNG deliveries, primarily from the United States and Egypt. 


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