Share Icon

Natural Gas Production in the Utica Shale Formation to Expand

Utica Shale Petrochemical Plant

Blue Racer Midstream, a new joint venture, has announced long-term agreements with producers in Ohio and West Virginia that will expand processing capacity in the Utica Shale formation.

Several producers working with Blue Racer Midstream have plans to increase natural gas production through new wells within the year. For new drill sites, cathodic protection for wells prevent long term investments from rusting.

Blue Racer is developing 600 miles of pipeline that will cross 24 counties and will have the capacity to transport over 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.

As companies like Blue Racer Midstream are investing significant assets to extract natural gas from the Utica Shale Ohio region, the need for cathodic protection equipment is paramount.

“Increased natural gas production and capacity in the Utica Shale formation in Ohio and West Virginia regions provides new opportunities for jobs and investment.  Increased domestic production of low cost, clean burning natural gas will lead to new investments in chemical and petrochemical plants in the region as reliable energy sources are extremely important for the chemical processing industry,” said Ted Huck executive vice president, practice lead – plants/facilities, at MATCOR. “With hundreds of miles of new pipeline and the development of next generation of plants and facilities in the region, cathodic protection has never been more vital to protect significant investment in the region.”

What is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection is used to combat corrosion of metal surfaces. MATCOR’s use of mixed metal oxide (MMO) anode cathodic protection has become an industry standard in cathodic protection.

Blue Racer expands its midstream infrastructure,” Vindy.com, March 1, 2014.

Posted in Cathodic Protection, Natural Gas, Shale | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bakken Oil Production Boom Could Result in Greater Cathodic Protection Needs

Bakken Oil ProductionAfter eight years of extensive oil exploration to define the Bakken formation boundaries, oil production companies are ramping up drilling operations to “harvest” the Bakken oil formation.

There are currently more than 10,000 producing wells in North Dakota, with the majority in the Bakken region. The expansion of oil production has grown at an exponential rate and the area will soon be producing 1 million barrels a day.

While there’s currently a well located on nearly all of 8,000 spacing units, there remains plenty of opportunity to increase well density in the region. In 2013, the permit applications were limited to four wells on a single 1,280 acre unit, but the maximum is expected to increase from eight to 20 wells per unit, depending on the local geology.

As oil companies drilling in the Bakken formation continue to increase well density, the region could see another phase of this oil boom.

“The Bakken area has enjoyed great success over the last decade, and with more opportunities for companies drilling in the Bakken oil field, it’s vital that they protect their assets,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president, engineering at MATCOR.

“Protecting future investments from the devastation caused by the corrosion of pipelines and storage tanks is paramount as the Bakken region continues to see expansion of oil production,” said Shreffler. “Cathodic protection is among the most cost effective means and efficient ways to halt corrosion activity.”

In business for almost 40 years, MATCOR specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems to oil and gas industries nationwide.

Oil lands claimed, the focus shifts now to ‘harvesting it,” The Bismarck Tribune, February 25, 2014.

Posted in Corrosion, MATCOR | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipeline Petroleum Transport Investment May Predict Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

If Warren Buffet’s investment strategy is any indication, pipeline efficiency is going to start playing a bigger role in moving crude oil and natural gas in the United States.

The Berkshire Hathaway luminary is pipeline-efficiency-cathodic-protectionspearheading a swap of about $1.4 billion in shares of Phillips 66 for full ownership of the energy company’s pipeline petroleum transport services business. The business unit’s focus is polymer-based additives that are used to move crude oil and natural gas through pipelines more efficiently by reducing drag.

The shift in Berkshire’s investment strategy comes amid a boom in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production. Since many liquids pipelines in the United States are operating at capacity, producers can use the pipeline petroleum transport additive to quickly increase capacity without immediately growing pipeline infrastructure.

Although future pipeline projects may be in the works to meet the sharp increase in demand, the process of gaining approval for new pipeline projects can be slowed by permitting.

A greater reliance on existing pipelines for transporting liquids means that producers and pipeline owners need to pay even more attention to cathodic protection management, according to Kevin Groll, project management director for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in cathodic protection products and services.

“Any time you have pipeline you have to protect it from corrosion,” Groll said. “And that’s especially true when you increase the value of a pipeline by increasing its capacity. If that pipeline were to develop a corrosion problem you’d be facing a situation where your profitability could suffer significantly.”

“With pipeline owners using additives to push greater volumes of liquids it becomes imperative to use cathodic protection products such as impressed current anodes and cathodic protection rectifiers to protect the increased capacity and profitability of the pipeline infrastructure.”

Further Reading

Berkshire Swaps $1.4 Billion in Phillips 66 Stock in Deal,” Bloomberg, December 31, 2013.

Posted in Anodes, Cathodic Protection, Corrosion, Gas, Infrastructure, MATCOR, Natural Gas, Oil, Pipeline, Pipeline Integrity, Safety, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment