February 2012, Vol. 239 No. 2


Business Meetings & Events

February 2012 Ad Index

Advertisers from the print edition of <em>Pipeline & Gas Journal</em>, February 2012, Vol. 239 No. 2.

FMC Acquiring Control Systems

FMC Technologies, Inc. announced Feb. 17 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Control Systems International, Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

PipeLine Machinery Opens Head Office In Houston

PipeLine Machinery, the pipeline-focused worldwide Caterpillar dealer, officially opened a new headquarters building adjacent to its equipment facilities just north of Houston on February 9.

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook: The Public Question

There’s an intriguing story in Philadelphia that offers insight into whether cities should own utilities.


Completing A Challenging Directional Drill In The Marcellus Shale

Your geologists found natural gas hiding thousands of feet underground. Your legal team negotiated rights of way with landowners. Your drilling team went down a mile or so, made a horizontal turn and “fracked” the shale bed, releasing the gas. Your well is producing. So now what?

Compressor Control Is Moving Beyond Black Boxes

Until recently, many compressor operators considered black boxes the best available technology to maintain consistent compressor control, despite the technology’s many drawbacks. Chief among those are: 1) the lack of interoperability with other plant controls, 2) the difficulty of quickly accessing critical operating data, 3) the need for specialized tools to maintain or expand compressor control systems and 4) the demand for more redundancy and energy efficiency.

Developments In Diagnostic Capabilities Of DP Meters

Differential Pressure (DP) flow meters have been widely used since Herschel first developed the Venturi meter in the 1880s. The orifice plate meter, possibly the most popular flow meter ever, is a derivative of the Venturi meter. Weymouth introduced the orifice meter a century ago.

Gas Training Takes Giant Leap Forward

What does it take to make a dream come true? First and most importantly, you start with a leadership that has a vision. This is how Atmos Energy’s Charles K. Vaughan Center became a reality. For those unfamiliar with the natural gas industry’s leading technical training facility, let us make the introduction.

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.

Next Generation Cyber Attacks Target Oil And Gas SCADA

Anyone working with SCADA or industrial control systems (ICS) in the oil and gas industry is aware of the pressure to increase productivity and reduce costs through network integration. For example, sharing real-time data from field operations with management is standard practice for most companies. Similarly, the demand for remote support has made many pipeline control systems accessible via Internet-based technologies.

SCADAs New Role Looms Large In Future

Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (“SCADA”) systems have matured over their 20 years of mainstream use in the oil and gas industry. This article will take a look at the current trends and SCADA’s future direction as perceived by the writer.

Toward A Smarter Gas Pipeline Grid

What used to be talked about only among a few natural gas industry insiders is now talked about loudly in wider energy circles under the rubric of “smart grid, smarter pipeline network,” and more recently, “smart energy” topics. With safety, reliability and market drivers all coming into play, the natural gas highway is readying itself for some increased electronic scrubbing and manipulation.

Unbreakable SCADA Security Essential For Pipelines

Located In the heart of Russia, the rich Samotlor hydrocarbon field was discovered in the 1960s. It is the largest oil and gas field in the country. It lies in Western Siberia where temperatures can range from minus 58°F in winter to 95°F in summer.

Virtual Reality 3D Training For Pipeline Employees

Companies in the midstream energy industry are under pressure from all directions. While operating efficiently, it is mandatory that they comply with increasingly stringent health, safety and environmental regulations.

From the Burner Tip

Oil & Gas Activities Pay Double Dividend In Manpower Growth And Local Economics

U.S. oil and gas exploration and production have a primary goal of increased fuel supplies. But they have an additional benefit almost as good as the first – job creation and increased economic growth in the area. The new and increased liquids and gas production coming from the development of shale reservoirs have not only been a boon in energy resources but have immensely helped the economy in job growth and economic benefits to regions, including business and government.


Pipeline VOC Emission Limits Will be Finalized By Feb. 28; EPA Makes Changes To Pipeline GHG Reporting Rule

Natural gas transmission companies are very unhappy with the EPA's decision to tighten industry air emission limits. A consent decree signed by the EPA requires the agency to revise both New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for the natural gas industry, including for pipelines, by the end of February.

In The News

Alaskan Gas Producers Studying Exports To Asia-Pacific

Alaska may still get a natural gas pipeline though it’s possibly going to be directed in a different route than was originally envisioned. The chief executives officers of ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil met Jan. 5 with Gov. Sean Parnell to discuss building a pipeline from the North Slope to a liquefied natural gas plant in the middle part of the state before exporting the gas to the Asia-Pacific region, according to news reports.

EIA Says Northeast Refinery Closures Could Lead To Fuel Price Spikes

Recently announced plans to idle more than half of the regional refining capacity in the Northeast are likely to affect supplies of petroleum products in the region.

Eric Thomas Receives Edward N. Henderson Award

Eric Thomas, Chief Operating Officer for PRCI, has received the Edward N. Henderson Award for distinguished service to the industry and to the Gas Machinery Research Council (GMRC).

Kinder Morgan Boosts Ownership In BOSTCO Project to 98%

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. has purchased TransMontaigne Partners L.P.’s 50% interest in the Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal Company, LLC (BOSTCO) project. KMP now owns 98% of BOSTCO and began construction Dec. 14 on the $430 million oil terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel. The remaining 2% will be held by a customer at the BOSTCO facility.

Lucas Energy Acquires Eagle Ford Trend Acreage From Hall Phoenix Energy For $6.4 Million

Lucas Energy, Inc., an independent oil and gas company, has closed a purchase and sale transaction with Hall Phoenix Energy, LLC for all of Hall Phoenix's right, title and interest in certain oil, gas, and mineral leases in the Eagle Ford/Eaglebine/Austin Chalk Trend. The properties are located in Wilson, Leon and Madison counties in Texas.

More Rockies Gas Supply Being Displaced From Northeast Market

BENTEK reports that the Rockies gas supply is increasingly being displaced from the Northeast demand market as capacity expansions have allowed growing local supply from the Marcellus shale to serve a greater share of local demand. This has reduced the price spreads necessary to attract Rockies gas and significantly reduced utilization of the REX Pipeline.

National Energy Board Reports Injury Rates Has Fallen Again

The injury rate for pipeline workers in Canada dropped to near historically low levels, said a report by the National Energy Board. The NEB’s annual report found that the injury rate fell nearly 50% from one injury for every 100 workers in 2008 to 0.53 injuries for every 100 federally regulated pipeline workers in 2009. This marked the second year in a row that the injury rate has been cut in half.

PRCI Announces 2012 Program For Pipeline Research

Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. (PRCI), said its 2012 Research Program will pay particular attention to corrosion-related issues as well as nearly aspect of pipeline and facilities operations. These will include:

Western Gas Partners Acquiring Midstream Assets From Anadarko

Western Gas Partners, LP will buy the Red Desert Complex and related assets, primarily in the greater Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming, from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for $483 million.


China Petroleum Corp. Acquires Big Stake In U.S. Fields

China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec) has made a multibillion-dollar deal with Devon Energy Corp. for a one-third stake in five U.S. shale oil and gas fields.

CRC-Evans Pipeline International Signs Agreement With Technip Norway

CRC-Evans Pipeline International, Inc. announced a new strategic agreement between its offshore division and Technip Norway.

CRC-Evans/Technip Norway Welding Service Agreement

CRC-Evans Pipeline International, Inc. announced a new strategic agreement between its Offshore division and Technip Norway.

DCP Midstream Expands West Texas Connections

DCP Midstream LLC announced Feb. 28 that DCP Sand Hills Pipeline LLC has purchased approximately 60 miles of existing 20-inch pipeline in Andrews and Ector counties in West Texas from Odessa Fuels LLC.

Enterprise, Genesis Finalize Gulf Of Mexico Transportation Agreements

Enterprise Products Partners and Genesis Energy have executed crude oil transportation agreements with a consortium of six Gulf of Mexico producers which will provide support for construction of a crude oil gathering pipeline serving the Lucius development area in southern Keathley Canyon.

Huge Natural Gas Pipeline Envisioned Near Timor

A Malaysian company representing Germany's Europipe GmbH is working on a deal to build a much-needed gas pipeline from a massive oil and gas field off the waters of Timor Leste to its mainland.

India May Execute Pipeline Saboteurs

In an effort to secure its strategically important oil pipelines from acts of terrorism, India’s Parliament has voted to enact the death penalty for such crimes.

Kims Death Raises Question About Proposed Pipeline

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is raising questions about the future of the proposed Inter-Korean Gas Pipeline to run between Russia's Far East region via North Korea to South Korea. Kim led negotiations on the project, meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in last August.

Regency JV To Build West Texas Gas Processing Plant

Regency Energy Partners LP will build a processing facility in Ward County, TX to process natural gas delivered from the Bone Spring and Avalon Shale formations.

Total Makes $2.3 Billion Investment In U.S. Shale Gas

French oil group Total SA is paying $2.3 billion to help develop U.S. shale gas reserves in Ohio through a deal with Chesapeake Energy Corp. Total will take a 25%t stake in a joint venture covering the Utica Shale area of eastern Ohio.

TransCanada Proceeds With Cushing To Gulf Coast Portion Of Keystone XL

TransCanada announced February 27 that it was proceeding with the Cushing, OK to Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL as a stand-alone project, at the approximate cost of $2.3 billion. The pipeline would be subject to regulatory approvals but not the state department permit required for cross-border pipelines, and the pipeline would be expected to be in service by late 2013.

Turkey Grants Permit For South Stream

Turkey granted Gazprom permission for construction of the South Stream gas pipeline in its territorial waters. Construction should begin within the next 12 months.

Ukraine Gas Production Has Potential to Attract $10 Billion Annual Investment

Ukrainian gas production has the potential to more than triple to 70 billion cubic meters per annum (Bcma) by 2035 but would require gas sector investment to increase tenfold to some $10 billion per year, according to a new IHS CERA special report.


New Lightweight Pig Passage Search And Track Device

Technology moves on but instruments to search, monitor, or record the passage of a pipeline pig have not kept up and are often very short on features and high on price. Some devices simply provide a means to view the strength of a 22-Hz signal and, perhaps, log a low-grade pig passage time.