CEPA: Report Uncovers Diluted Bitumen Not Corrosive…

A report published on February 25 by a division of the UK-based Penspen engineering firm reveals diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude.

Brenda Kenny, President and CEO, of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), is pleased with the results of the report, which finally dispels the myth that industry critics have been spreading regarding the transportation of diluted bitumen.

“We have always known, based on scientific facts and our pipelines operational histories, that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude,” Kenny said. “Now, this manufactured myth can stop and Canadians can be further assured that our pipelines are safe regardless of the type of product they carry.”

According to CEPA, the report examined 40 studies addressing the behavior of diluted bitumen and conventional crude.  In these studies, which spanned over 40 years, the research concluded that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive when compared to conventional crude oil.

“It is important to have scientific evidence in front of Canadians, so they can make their own informed decisions, and not rely on misinformation”, Kenny said.

The report also showed that tests were carried out using internationally recognized standards, which found that small differences in some components of the product did not increase the chances of corrosion developing in oil transmission pipelines.  In addition, monitoring and preventative maintenance programs used by transmission pipeline operators on conventional crude oil pipelines were equally as effective on pipelines containing diluted bitumen.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 110,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2011, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. CEPA members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

SOURCE: http://www.cepa.com/new-report-reveals-diluted-bitumen-not-corrosive

Pipeline Construction Expansion Expected – LNG

New oil and gas gathered at shale plays already has had a significant impact for pipeline construction companies — and if the U.S. government permits more companies to export liquefied natural gas, pipeline construction companies could hit new highs.

A report from consulting firm within the energy industry, estimates that between 2013 and 2017, companies are expected to spend $216 billion on onshore pipeline projects.

The new estimate is an increase of 12 percent compared to onshore pipeline expenditures during the past five years.

Due to the rising global energy demand, oil and gas production is expected to increase, the report said.

Because of this increase in production, companies around the U.S. are already investing in more pipelines to transport oil and gas from shale plays to refineries on the Gulf Coast. For example, Tenaris SA (NYSE: TS), a Luxembourg-based steel pipe manufacturer that has its North American headquarters in Houston, just reveled Feb. 15 that it would spend up to $1.5 billion on a new steel pipe plant just outside of Houston. The driving force behind this plant was increased oil and gas production in areas such as the Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas.

However, other countries besides the U.S. are hankering for natural gas produced in U.S. shale plays. If the U.S. approves more permits for LNG to be exported to these areas, this could increase the demand for pipelines even more than the current demand.

SOURCE: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/nuts-and-bolts/2013/02/lng-expected-to-drive-pipeline.html?page=all

 

US East Coast Refineries Coming Back to Life

The shutdown of several refineries serving the Northeast and the possibility they would not reopen threatened to boost New England’s already­ high gasoline prices by as much as 15 cents a gallon was a reality 1 year ago.

But an influx of cheaper crude oil extracted from shale rock formations in the United States has helped save most of those facilities and stabilized gas ­prices.

The influx of domestic crude, known as “tight oil,” has allowed East Coast refineries to decrease their reliance on more expensive foreign oil, increase profit margins, and regain their economic competitiveness, refinery operators say. They estimate the domestic crude cuts oil costs by a few dollars per barrel, which can have a huge impact on their bottom line.

“A savings of $1 per barrel across our entire refining system is worth several hundred million dollars of net income to Phillips 66,” said Dennis Nuss, spokesman for the Houston company operating the Bayway refinery in New Jersey.

In Philadelphia, domestic supplies have helped resurrect a facility that accounts for nearly one-fourth of East Coast refining capacity. It was put up for sale in 2011 and expected to close for good last summer as high oil prices and slackening demand made it barely profitable. Today, it is refining up to 330,000 barrels of oil a day, getting about 10 percent of its crude from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota.

Phil Rinaldi, chief executive of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the company that now operates the refinery, said the domestic supplies are pressuring foreign producers to keep their prices competitive.

“It allows us for the first time in a very long time to have some genuine diversity of supply,” he said. “The shale plays are game-changers.”

Learn how MATCOR provides Turnkey Cathodic Protection Solutions to these “game-changers.”

Last week, the average Massachusetts gas price was $3.68 a gallon, 12 cents higher than a year ago and up 25 cents in the last month alone, according to AAA Southern New England. If the refineries had stayed shuttered, however, prices would have been driven even higher, analysts believe.

SOURCE: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/02/18/shale-oil-reviving-east-coast-refineries/kBQmoNp4RNdXU4KREkv6sM/story.html

Shippers keen on TransCanada’s natural gas line conversion to carry crude eastward

EDMONTON – TransCanada Corp.’s plans to convert one of its main natural gas lines to carry crude oil from Alberta to Quebec and likely on to the Maritimes is set to move into high gear.

The firm said Tuesday it is considering an open season for shippers within a few months, and will schedule consultations with communities along the 4,800-kilometre route as soon as it is appropriate to do so.

And if all goes well, TransCanada will file for regulatory approval by the end of 2013, with construction to begin in 2015 and the line in operation by 2017. It could have a capacity of about one million barrels per day, sending light oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as synthetic crude from oilsands upgraders to Eastern refineries that currently import expensive oil from Africa and the Middle East.

“There is a great deal of interest, we are advancing discussions with shippers and are pleased the way they are going,” said Alex Pourbaix, the firm’s president for energy and oil pipelines, during a conference call Tuesday to discuss fourth-quarter earnings.

Based on expressions of interest, TransCanada expects to have an open season for shippers within a few months, allowing firms to make formal commitments. He said when intentions are clear and a route proposed, TransCanada will immediately begin consultations with communities along the route.

The existing pipe that ends in Montreal has the necessary size for the conversion process, but east of that TransCanada expects it will install new pipe along its existing rights-of-way.

“We know there is 400,000 barrels per day of demand in the domestic market of Quebec (from refineries in Montreal and Quebec City) and a further 400,000 barrels per day in the Maritimes, largely at Irving’s refinery in Saint John,” said Pourbaix.

But while domestic demand is the initial target, there are also export possibilities to the U.S. eastern seaboard.

“(The U.S.) is importing 1.5 million barrels a day and that suggests a market for domestic production to attach to that market,” said chief executive Russ Girling.

The idea of cutting through Maine to shorten the route to the Maritimes is a non-starter for TransCanada, with Pourbaix stressing that the new streamlined National Energy Board approval process offers certainty to project builders.

For TransCanada, the stalled Keystone XL line from Hardisty south to Oklahoma is perhaps a good example of the kind of costly delays they hope to avoid.

But Pourbaix said Tuesday final approval seems to be only a few months away. He said the firm has been led to believe an amended environmental impact statement should be approved in a matter of weeks.

“At that point, we are of the view that the U.S. State Department will have every piece of information it could require to make a decision,” he said, adding that when the required statutory notice periods are included, the department should be able to make a decision in two to three months.

TransCanada also explained details of its recently announced $3 billion, 500-kilometre Grand Rapids pipeline project, a 50 per cent joint venture with Phoenix Energy Holdings to bring diluted bitumen from Fort McMurray to the Edmonton region and transport diluent northward.

The dual line will be built in stages, with the smaller pipe in operation by 2015 and carrying diluted bitumen. When the larger 900,000 bpd pipeline is completed by mid-2017, the smaller line will revert to carrying 330,000 bpd of diluent north.

For the fourth quarter, TransCanada said profit fell 19 per cent as shipments on natural gas pipelines declined. Net income dropped to $306 million, or 43 cents a share, from $376 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier.

TransCanada is moving less natural gas because a glut in North American supplies has reduced prices, resulting in more of the fuel being kept in storage. Deliveries on its Canadian Mainline system fell 19 per cent to average 4.2 billion cubic feet a day during the quarter.

“While the majority of our assets continued to generate stable and predictable earnings and cash flow, plant outages at Bruce Power and Sundance A along with a lower contribution from certain natural gas pipelines did adversely affect our financial results,” said Girling.

SOURCE: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Shippers+keen+TransCanada+natural+line+conversion+carry+crude+eastward/7955127/story.html#ixzz2Kng7Fr00

MATCOR Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Following a rigorous evaluation process, MATCOR, the leading cathodic protection products manufacturer obtains esteemed certification that reflects the Company’s continued commitment to the highest quality standards.

Doylestown, PA  – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions announced today that the Company has achieved its ISO 9001:2008 certification.

This independent certification validates MATCOR’s commitment to quality and affirms that MATCOR has thoroughly documented its quality processes while meeting the stringent qualifications for the global ISO 9001:2008 standard.

ISO 9001:2008MATCOR’s Quality Management System was assessed by an accredited registrar that performs independent assessments against the requirements of the national and international standards for quality.  On February 5, 2013 MATCOR received formal registration approval and is now officially recognized as an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

“Achieving ISO 9001:2008 Certification is an important milestone for MATCOR. This certification confirms to our global clients our commitment to quality at all levels of our organization,” said Jeff Stello, President and CEO. “Clients want to be confident that they are doing business with an organization that consistently meets or exceeds their needs, and helps to better position their company to achieve overall business goals…”

ISO 9001:2008 is globally regarded as the most comprehensive body of standards on quality management systems and practices. It was established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an organization of national standards institutes of 175 countries and the foremost authority on quality standards and is designed to provide companies with a set of principles that ensure a systematic approach to achieving client satisfaction.

ABOUT MATCOR
MATCOR, Inc. is a leading cathodic protection and corrosion prevention engineering design firm, providing environmentally beneficial systems and services to global clients for nearly 40 years. An expert in the field of cathodic protection, MATCOR offers proprietary corrosion protection products, installation, cathodic protection testing, maintenance and complete corrosion protection project management. MATCOR specializes in protecting the infrastructure of the oil and gas, electric utility, water/wastewater and other infrastructure industries. 
To learn more about MATCOR, visit our website at matcor.com or call 800 523 6692.

Natural gas growth means more pipelines in Chesco

WEST CHESTER – Local officials look to Columbia Gas Transmission’s plans to install another pipeline as an inevitable progression in Chester County due to the growth of the natural gas business in Pennsylvania.

“As I’ve often said, Chester County is already pipeline-central, and their numbers are going to increase, not decrease, in the years ahead,” said State Senator Andy Dinniman, D-19th of West Whiteland. “I am not against natural gas. I am for protecting our communities, our property values and our natural resources like the Brandywine Creek against harm from companies simply looking to get their product to ports in Philadelphia, Wilmington or Baltimore – or anywhere else – as quickly as possible.”

Columbia Gas Transmission is planning to install 8.8 miles of natural gas pipeline that will travel from the Eagle Compression Station and into West Bradford.

State Senator Andy Dinniman on Friday said that the natural gas pipeline proposed for Chester County by Columbia Gas Transmission is only the latest and will certainly be followed by others as the natural gas industry moves more and more Marcellus Shale natural gas to market.

Dinniman said this is why he took the lead last year in demanding the strictest state oversight of Williams Gas Pipeline’s 7-mile pipeline replacement project, and why he is introducing a three-bill package aimed at increasing the public’s ability to stay informed about pipeline projects and at protecting people’s homes, communities, and taxpayer-funded farmland from being harmed by pipeline projects.

According to Chevalier Mayes, communications manager for NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage, the pipeline, 26 inches in diameter, will affect 180 landowners in the pipeline’s right-of-way once construction for the project begins, which is anticipated to begin in April 2015. The pipeline is expected to be operational in September of that year, and would lie adjacent to an existing pipeline which is also owned by NiSource, parent company of Columbia Gas.

Mayes also said that the expansion project is a planned response for the need to meet increased demand for additional capacity in natural gas traveling through pipelines.

Columbia’s next steps for the project will be to enter into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s pre-filing process. The purpose of requesting entry into the commission’s pre-filing process is to allow stakeholder and environmental issues to be identified and resolved at earlier stages in the project’s development and planning. According to Martin Indars, spokesman for state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19th of West Whiteland, the pre-filing process is expected to begin later this month.

Tommy Ryan, township manager of West Bradford, said that although representatives from NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas, had reached out late last year to advise them of their intended pipeline, he hopes that communication will not cease there. While NiSource representatives have contacted residents in the pipeline’s Right of Way, as well as to those within 50 feet of it, Ryan said he expects regular updates from NiSource as they move through the approval and installation process. About 14 properties will be directly affected by the pipeline in West Bradford.

According to Mayes, once they have entered into the pre-filing process, Columbia representatives will notify the public through open houses and other informational events. Those types of meetings will be ongoing throughout the project until the pipeline is operational.

A toll-free number will become available at an unknown later date and company representatives will be available to answer any questions stakeholders may have.

The pipeline is part of Columbia’s Side Expansion project, which will feature looping pipelines in both Chester County and Gloucester County, N.J. The pipeline will cross wetlands and waterways in the area; however, the exact number of crossings has not yet been determined.

SOURCE: http://www.dailylocal.com/article/20130210/NEWS/130219975/natural-gas-growth-means-more-pipelines-in-chesco#full_story

Natural gas-fueled power plant in Lawrence County gets site approval

A $750 million plant in Lawrence County, powered by Marcellus shale gas, could begin generating electicity by 2016, officials said.

LS Power Development LLC received North Beaver supervisors’ approval this week to build a 900-megawatt plant along the Mahoning River at the site of a former American Cyanamid Co. explosives manufacturing plant. Construction could begin early next year.

The New Jersey-based company needs state and federal permits, and the state Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing several requests, project manager Casey Carroll said on Wednesday.

“We’re trying to respond to the large number of proposed retirements — some 3,000 megawatts” of power generation capacity in northwest Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio, he said, addressing how the company chose the location. One megawatt can power about 800 homes.

The proposed Hickory Run Energy Station also needs access to high-voltage lines, interstate natural gas pipelines and a water supply source.

LS Power’s project is moving forward as electric generation companies are closing less efficient coal-fired plants or converting them to run on cheaper natural gas before tougher federal air pollution standards take effect in 2015.

FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron, American Electric Power of Columbus and GenOn Energy Inc., which NRG Energy of Princeton, N.J., acquired for $1.7 billion in December, along with other operators announced closings of dozens of plants last year.

Natural gas plants account for 95 percent of generation planned in grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC’s territory covering 13 states and the District of Columbia, spokeswoman Paula DuPont-Kidd said. Wind used to be the fastest-growing sector, she said.

Pending deactivations of coal-fired plants add up to more than 16,000 megawatts of generating capacity, PJM documents show.

Carroll said LS Power, with offices in East Brunswick, N.J., and St. Louis, has a contract to buy the Hickory Run site off Route 551, about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. owns and operates the gas lines that would supply the plant, and has a system that runs from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast.

Carroll said 500 workers would be needed to build the plant, with an estimated payroll of $100 million. The completed power station will employ 25.

LS Power owns or is developing power plants that run on natural gas, coal or renewables such as wind and solar, and is building high-voltage transmission lines, its website said. In Pennsylvania, the company has a natural gas-fired plant under development in Berks County.

SOURCE: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/3435126-74/power-gas-plant#axzz2KFdbNDtK

Genesis Energy to construct new infrastructure for Baton Rouge Refinery

US-based midstream company Genesis Energy has announced its plans to invest $125m to expand its existing infrastructure and construct new assets to connect into Exxon Mobil’s Baton Rouge Refinery in Louisiana.

The refinery with a capacity of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) is one of the largest refinery complexes in North America.

The company will improve its existing terminal at Port Hudson, Louisiana and build new 29km long 20in diameter crude oil pipeline to connect the port to the Maryland Terminal and to the Anchorage Tank Farm.

The new pipeline is expected to have a capacity of about 350,000bpd and will also have the potential to access other local refineries representing about 140,000bpd.

Genesis Energy chief executive officer Grant Sims said the company is planning to expand its operations in the state of Louisiana.

“This project positions Genesis as an efficient conduit for crude oil supply and logistics in the region,” Sims added.

Genesis Energy also has plans to build a new crude oil unit train facility at the Baton Rouge Maryland Terminal.

The company is also planning to build a storage capacity of 200,000 barrels to complement its 216,000 barrels of existing tank capacity, apart from improving the truck station and barge dock.

Project work is scheduled to begin early in 2013, while upgrade, expansion, and completion work at the Port Hudson and new crude oil pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

The Maryland Terminal completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.

SOURCE: http://www.genesisenergy.com/assets/_Investors/Press_Releases/2013-02-04.pdf

Bid to block Spectra gas pipeline through Hudson County denied by judge

Spectra Energy Corp.’s plan to build a 16-mile pipeline to bring natural gas into Manhattan from New Jersey was cleared by a New York state judge who rejected an environmental group’s challenge to the project.

Justice Eileen A. Rakower denied a petition from Sane Energy Project and other groups to block construction of the pipeline, saying the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has authority over the licensing of interstate natural gas lines, according to a ruling dated Jan. 16 and posted last week.

The Natural Gas Act gives the U.S. Court of Appeals jurisdiction to hear challenges involving the licensing of interstate natural gas pipelines, and federal law also preempts state and local environmental-review requirements for such pipelines, Rakower said. A proper challenge should be brought with the commission or in federal court, she said.

The $1.2 billion pipeline would bring 800 million cubic feet of gas a day from Linden, New Jersey, to Manhattan’s West Village, by way of Staten Island and Jersey City. Spectra has said the project, which started in July, may lower prices for customers in New Jersey and New York by bringing more gas from abundant shale fields such as the Marcellus region in Pennsylvania.

The commission said in March that the project would have a “less-than-significant” environmental effect. Spectra, based in Houston, completed a section of the pipeline between Jersey City and Manhattan, U.S. Transmission President Bill Yardley said at a Jan. 16 conference.

SOURCE: http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/02/bid_to_block_spectra_gas_pipel.html

Canadian Pipeline proposal is a realistic option, expert says

A pipeline bringing crude oil from Alberta to New Brunswick could be more realistic than building a pipeline to the west coast, according to an energy expert.

Premier David Alward is in Alberta for three days to meet with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, oil executives and tour the oil sands in an attempt to drum up support for a pipeline to New Brunswick.

Warren Mabee, director of the Institute of Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen’s University, said TransCanada Corporation’s proposal to convert an existing natural gas pipeline might be more realistic than other plans to move Alberta oil to the west coast.

“It’s caught a little bit of the public imagination,” he said.

“This is something that really would bring together a lot of Canada. The real question is, will it bring us together? Or will it open up more wounds and more divisiveness?”

The energy expert said the terrain is relatively flat between Alberta and New Brunswick, making the idea feasible.

If the west-to-east pipeline were to be approved, it would still take several years before western crude would be flowing into Saint John’s Irving Oil Ltd., the largest refinery in Canada.

Mabee said it would take five years if the project started now.

TransCanada Corporation has said it wants to convert an existing, underused natural gas line to do the job, but it would be up to the National Energy Board to approve the projects.

TransCanada has not yet formally submitted the proposal.

SOURCE: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/02/04/nb-pipeline-future-119.html