Category Archives: Infrastructure

New Pipeline Announced as Bakken Oil Production Rises

A new pipeline has been announced that will dramatically expand the exportation capacity of oil and natural gas by pipeline to handle increased Bakken oil production out of North Dakota.

Enterprise Products Partners LP proposed the new pipeline on June 24, 2014, which will be the first pipeline to move oil from North Dakota to a storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. The pipeline will be 1,200 miles and have the capacity to transport 340,000 barrels per day.

Enterprise is hoping to succeed where other companies have failed. Since 2012, five companies have proposed pipelines: Enterprise, Enbridge, ONEOK Partners LP, Koch Pipeline Co LP and Energy Transfer Partner. Of those, only pipelines from Enterprise and Enbridge are currently moving forward.

Bakken Oil Production Outpacing Infrastructure

Oil and natural gas production in North Dakota has steadily increased over the past few years, as the current infrastructure supporting this economic boon is struggling to keep up with demand.

Currently, between 60-70 percent of the production out of North Dakota is being shipped by rail. This delivery method is less reliable than pipelines and recent train accidents highlight the dangers of shipping oil by rail.

The pipeline proposed by Enterprise will have the capacity to ship half the crude currently being shipped by rail.

“As production increases in the Bakken Formation, the stress on existing infrastructure becomes immeasurably exacerbated,” said Kevin Groll, director of project management for MATCOR. “The new pipeline project by Enterprise represents an opportunity to expand this infrastructure moving into the future.”

“It is vital that these new pipeline projects take the necessary steps to protect the significant investment in oil pipelines through the implementation of cathodic protection products and services like those offered by MATCOR.”

What Is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection is a technique used to prevent the corrosion of metal surfaces. MATCOR uses a mixed metal oxide anode system that has become an industry standard in cathodic protection.

With Bakken Oil Pipeline, Enterprise Goes Where Others have Failed,” Reuters, June 24, 2014.

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.

Pipeline Cathodic Protection News: New Spectra Natural Gas Pipeline Construction

Pipeline cathodic protection industry received a boost this week: proposed high-volume natural gas pipeline construction across 3 Southeastern states. Spectra, the company behind this jolt of economic opportunity, has dubbed it the “Renaissance Project”. The natural gas pipeline proposes several lines branching off the main pipeline to potential customers along the route.

The pipeline is a complex project and will require a number of business services such as pipeline cathodic protection. MATCOR’s pipeline protection program uses a number ISO 9001:2008-certified solutions to protect such a project. For example, MATCOR’s SPL™-FBR linear Anode and Durammo™ Deep Anode System would help lower total cost of ownership on the pipeline.

The proposed pipeline is almost 300 miles with three different pipeline diameters. The natural gas pipeline will feature two compressor stations to maintain line pressures, according to officials. It was stated the line will have a capacity of 1 billion cubic feet per day, and can be expanded to over 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.

Spectra plans for the pipeline to run from the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, through Alabama and towards the Atlanta, Georgia area. “We are continuing to work with multiple potential customers to design a project to fit their supply demand needs,” Grover said in a statement on the project.

Furthermore, Spectra executed letter of intent with the AGL, the parent company of Chattanooga Gas Co., and Atlanta Gas Light Co.to explore a joint arrangement for local distribution. Sources close to the matter state the “Renaissance Project” could be up and running by mid-2017.

“From a project kickoff standpoint, we continue to reach out to federal, state and local public officials informing them of the project,” she said. “We’ll send letters and start contacting landowners along our proposed study corridor pending further market feedback.” Grover stated Spectra the Renaissance Project study corridor map is in the final stages. Currently, the map highlights 15 counties across Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Economic groups across these states laud the move as one that will stimulate the economy and bring jobs to the region. “It’s going to be a good project and the infrastructure for natural gas is such that, industry-wide, there’s a great demand for it,” one source familiar with the matter said. Experts familiar with the project say it is a crucial move to support industrial expansion and business growth in the region.

 

MATCOR’s Insight That Works

The Renaissance pipeline is indeed poetically named. The Southeastern region has recently seen improvements to its economic state and industrial competitiveness. However, key investments such as the natural gas pipeline and other infrastructure must be put in place to attract jobs, manufacturers and families into these committees. That said, the pipeline is a key cog to the continued rebirth of this region. MATCOR and other service providers will be stewards of this bright future, protecting valuable assets that power communities.

SOURCE: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/aug/20/proposed-tri-state-natural-gas-pipeline-taking/

MATCOR is a leading provider of ISO 9001:2008-certified cathodic protection for pipelines and cathodic protection management. Our team maintains the highest quality standards of cathodic protection for systems for storage tanks and other products that let you focus on your business operations.

Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines & Safety: Major Washington Expansion

The Washington State natural gas transmission pipelines and safety landscape received a big announcement this week. Multiple sections of pipeline in Washington will be expanded, according to federal filings by Northwest Williams Pipeline.

The current gas transmission pipelines are 30 inches. The proposed expansion will place 36 inch pipeline next to the old 30 inch pipeline. The construction, expected in early 2017, will also create continuity between existing 36 inch pipeline. The pipeline expansion is a perquisite for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export station in Astoria. The project will encompass a wide range of work, including natural gas pipeline safety and protection.

In total, the pipeline project will span 140 miles from the Oregon state and Canadian national borders. The Oregon Pipeline Company will connect the southern expansion into Oregon through an installation underground the Columbia River. The finished product is LNG that will be shipped to Asia from the Astoria natural gas terminal.

Northwest Williams Pipeline estimates the project cost at $870 million. Upon completion, the pipeline will be made available to other customers in the Northwest, including Washington and Oregon. The company also stated it expects the pipeline to generate over $10 million in property taxes, per year across Washington.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) received the application request in June. FERC officials have announced the plan will be reviewed in tandem with the Oregon LNG pipeline plans.

 

MATCOR’s Insight That Works

The proposed pipeline expansion holds a great deal of promise for all involved. The Astoria LNG terminal is poised to service rapidly expanding markets in Asia.  Northwest Williams Pipeline will help bring a great deal of economic benefit to Washington. At the same time, the project is highly complex by joining multiple existing pipeline sections. Natural gas pipeline safety and pipe protection are large concerns. The company is making a large investment that will require expert cathodic protection to secure continued profit. Technology such as linear SPL anodes could make a huge impact for Northwest Williams Pipeline.

  SOURCE:  http://tdn.com/news/local/company-awaiting-federal-approval-to-expand-natural-gas-pipeline-in/article_0318cc90-f26f-11e2-92af-0019bb2963f4.html

MATCOR is a leading provider of ISO 9001:2008-certified cathodic protection management. Our cathodic protection installation team offers turnkey project management for many corrosion engineering services, including AC Mitigation. MATCOR’s cathodic protection equipment is backed by an unmatched 10 year guarantee.

Williams Partners’ Mid-South natural gas pipeline expansion now in service

Williams Partners LP’s expansion of its interstate Transco pipeline into parts of the Southeast U.S. is completed and in service. the Tulsa-based natural gas transporter announced Monday.

The fuel is going to power generators in North Carolina and Alabama as well as a local distribution company in Georgia. The expansion’s added capacity provides enough natural gas for service to approximately one million homes, Williams Partners estimated in its release.

“This expansion represents another milestone in our build-out of Transco, the nation’s largest gas pipeline system and a significant platform for growth,” Rory Miller, Williams’ senior vice president of the Atlantic-Gulf unit, said in a statement. “We’re executing on more than $1.5 billion in additional Transco expansion projects primarily to create efficient access between the prolific natural gas production areas in the Northeast U.S. to growing demand centers in numerous Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states.”

The Mid-South Expansion includes about 23 miles of new pipeline, a new compressor facility in Dallas County, Ala., and upgrades to existing compressor facilities in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Transco is one of three interstate pipelines owned and operated by Williams Partners. The 10,200-mile system moves natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the eastern United States. Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. owns a controlling stake in Williams Partners.

MATCOR is a leading provider of ISO 9001:2008-certified cathodic protection products for the pipeline systems worldwide. Learn more about our services and cathodic protection installation that carry a 10 year guarantee. MATCOR offers the latest insights on anodes for cathodic protectioncathodic protection equipment and more.

SOURCE: http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Williams_Partners_Mid_South_natural_gas_pipeline_expansion/20130610_49_0_Willia705646?subj=298

Expansion of Anadarko’s Natural Gas Plant – Eagle Ford Shale

 

MATCOR has learned that Anadarko is close to completing its new $100 million natural gas processing plant in Texas.

The Cathodically Protected Brasada plant will process natural gas produced from the company’s Eagle Ford shale wells.  Components like methane, ethane, propane and butane will be separated before they they are transported through the cathodically protected pipeline for further processing.

Anadarko’s plant is designed to process 200 million cubic feet of gas per day but can expand to process up to 400 MMcf/d.  This could lead to capacity expansion if Anadarko undertakes processing of third party gas at some point.

Although the Eagle Ford Shale region has a lot of potential for company’s such as MATCOR it cannot be optmized until the supporting midstream infrastructure comprising of gathering systems, pipeline and processing plants are developed to move oil and gas to to market.

Anadarko’s Eagle Ford Operations

Anadarko explores for shale oil and gas in a gross area of 400,000 acres in the Dimmit, LaSalle, Maverick and Webb Counties in the Eagle Ford region. Its current resources are estimated at over 600 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE), 65% of which is estimated to be liquids. In 2012, the company achieved a gross processed production record of approximately 152,600 BOE per day. With its higher-margin oil and natural gas/condensate, the Eagle Ford shale region is among the most capital-efficient shale plays in Anadarko’s U.S. onshore portfolio.

Anadarko currently operates approximately 380 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines throughout the southwest Texas region, with additional gathering facilities that support more than 50% of its Eagle Ford shale production. In March 2012, Anadarko and Western Gas Partners began construction of the Brasada gas processing plant. The Brasada plant and the construction of an additional 200 miles of gathering lines will enhance the value of Anadarko’s Eagle Ford assets.

The Brasada Plant

All of Anadarko’s Eagle Ford acreage is located to the west of the Brasada plant, and a pipeline network will bring natural gas into the facility as well as move it off site to market. The pipeline will enable the company to eliminate its dependence on trucks. This will speed up transportation of its gas as there are too many trucks on the road in the region which causes a slowdown in the overall movement.

The Brasada plant also will also reduce flaring of methane in the field because Anadarko will be able to move it directly to market through pipelines. Flaring of methane is a common industry practice in cases where transportation is not viable.

From the plant, natural gas liquids will travel further through a pipeline to a plant in Yoakum and to fractionation facilities in Mont Belvieu, east of Houston. Gas also will go south to Corpus Christi, where it can be used in refining or fed into the existing network of interstate pipelines

Enbridge – Work on pipeline to begin later this year in Michigan

A portion of a large-diameter interstate crude oil pipeline that runs through Oxford and Addison townships (Michigan) is due to be replaced later this year by Canadian-based energy distribution company, Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge, Inc. will begin work on Oxford and Addison’s portions of what is known as Line 6B at some point between June 1 and Dec. 31, according to Jack Manshum, a spokesman for the company.

“That’s the plan as of right now,” he said. “We’re in the process of developing the construction timeline.”

Line 6B is a 285-mile crude oil pipeline that begins in Indiana, crosses southeastern Michigan and ends in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. It serves refineries in Michigan, Ohio and eastern Canada.

This year, Enbridge plans to replace approximately 50 miles of Line 6B with new 30-inch diameter pipeline (the same size as the existing one) from Ortonville to the St. Clair River in Marysville. The portion that runs through Oxford is approximately 6.5 miles in length, while Addison’s portion is approximately 6 miles long, according to Manshum.

This is part of a much larger construction project that spans approximately 210 miles across Michigan and Indiana.

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved Enbridge’s application for this phase of the pipeline project on Jan. 31

“We’ve haven’t formally announced the details yet as to when we’ll be in each county or in each area,” Manshum said. “We’re in the middle of outlining that entire plan. So, I don’t know exactly when we’ll be in Oakland County.”

The old underground pipeline will not be removed to make way for the new one. It will be left in place.

“It will run parallel and adjacent to the existing line that’s in place now using the same right-of-way,” Manshum said. “When the new line is tied in and activated, the old line will be deactivated.”

Deactivation will involve purging all the oil from the old line and cleaning it thoroughly to remove any remaining crude, he explained. The old line will then be “taken apart in small segments” and capped.

“Each chunk of that pipe will have caps on it and then it’s filled with nitrogen,” Manshum said. “We will monitor the pressure inside that line as long as the line exists. The reason you fill it with the nitrogen and you monitor the pressure is to help make sure it doesn’t have any internal corrosion.”

With regard to the line’s exterior, he said Enbridge will maintain the cathodic protection that’s already on it to ensure there’s no external corrosion either.

Enbridge can’t simply walk away from the old pipeline.

“It’s a federal requirement,” Manshum said. “You have to maintain it as if you were using it.”

Manshum explained that leaving the old pipeline in place is “pretty standard in the energy transportation industry.”

“To completely take that line out of service, then replace it with a new one” is not practical for Enbridge’s customers, which are oil refineries.

“(The pipeline) would be out of service for six to 12 months – there would be no product flowing through (it),” Manshum said. “(The refineries) don’t have enough storage capacity to go that long.”

Once the new line is up and running, why can’t Enbridge come back and remove the old one? “That’s more of an inconvenience for landowners,” Manshum said. “We’re already there during one construction season, digging up their property, creating the trench.”

If Enbridge returns for another construction season, the workers will “basically redig everything that we just put back into place the year prior.”

Manshum noted it would involve the “same amount of time and process” to remove the old pipeline as it did to install the new one.

“It’s much less disruptive to landowners for us to only be in there once, instead of having to come back,” he said.

SOURCE: http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-News-i-2013-03-20-250883.113121-sub-Work-on-oil-line-to-begin-later-this-year.html

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

Kinder Morgan Buys Copano Pipeline for $3.22 Billion

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners will buy natural gas pipeline operator Copano Energy for $3.22 billion to tap into growing demand for infrastructure to transport vast supplies from the shale fields of Texas and Oklahoma.

Private equity firm TPG Capital, Copano’s top shareholder with a stake of more than 14 percent, will get a 41 percent premium to its $300 million investment made in 2010, if the deal goes through.

The deal is the latest in a flurry of multi-billion-dollar takeovers in the U.S. pipeline industry over the past two years as companies rush to cash in on a shortage of pipelines to move gas and gas liquids such as ethane and propane.

The oversupply of gas and gas liquids, largely due to the advent of new drilling methods such as hydraulic fracturing, has also hurt prices.

Many companies have announced plans to build new pipelines, but stricter regulations and environmental concerns have delayed the completion of several projects.

“Copano is already executing on a substantial backlog of expansion projects for which it has secured customer commitments and is exploring a significant amount of projects incremental to these,” said Kinder Morgan Chief Executive Richard Kinder.

“As a result of this acquisition, we will be able to pursue incremental development in the Eagle Ford Shale play in south Texas, gain entry into the Barnett Shale Combo in north Texas and the Mississippi Lime and Woodford Shales in Oklahoma,” CEO Kinder said.

Copano owns an interest in or operates about 6,900 miles of pipelines with capacity of 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of gas and nine processing plants with more than 1 bcf/d capacity.

Kinder Morgan Energy owns an interest in or runs about 46,000 miles of pipelines that transport gas, gasoline, crude oil and other products, while its 180 terminals store petroleum products, chemicals and such other products.

SOURCE: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100419283

New England needs to expand gas pipelines

New England’s strong and increasing reliance on natural gas is well documented, with almost half of electricity currently generated by natural gas, up from just 15 percent in 2000, according to ISO New England.

That trend line will only increase in coming months and years with more and more homes and businesses converting to natural gas from heating oil. NStar has estimated that conversions here have tripled over the past three years and National Grid said conversions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire increased 34 percent.

All these are positive trends, particularly considering the abundance of cheap, available natural gas – and the possibility of far more due to the shale gas revolution happening throughout the nation.

However, the region will need to do more to increase our capacity to bring this abundant energy source to our businesses, institutions, and homes. That presents a problem which New England ought to see as an opportunity and move quickly to expand the available pipeline for natural gas into the region.

There is a clear need for additional gas pipeline capacity in New England, not only for electric generation on the relatively infrequent peak-gas-demand days and to fill the gaps from the growing use of intermittent renewable resources but, in general, for the rapidly growing end-use demand for gas.

We need new capacity to take advantage of the nation’s rising supplies of natural gas. Currently, the delivery cost of gas in New England is increasing rapidly and will likely keep rising, unabated, until pipeline capacity increases and more gas starts flowing into the area.

In New York, the key financing for an expansion was secured when marketers and transmission companies signed on to firm contracts after a period of significant increase in primary delivery costs. As a result, marketers are now concentrating in that key, new open market. After this new capacity, New York’s primary delivery cost is now approximately $2/therm lower than what Massachusetts end users are paying, as highlighted in a recent report by the US Energy Information Administration. That report also states that New England has the highest average spot prices for natural gas in the nation.

For New England, it doesn’t make sense to wait until the cost of gas increases to the point where it hurts commercial, industrial, and residential customers. For PowerOptions members, who use roughly 13 million dekatherms annually, matching New York’s primary delivery cost would translate into $26 million of savings.

While it is a bad idea to saddle the electricity market with the full cost, smart expansions of pipeline capacity make sense and regulators and the marketplace should consider a range of expansion solutions and include all potential sources of financing support.

The truth is, we can’t continue to provide the incentives we do to end users for the conversion from oil heating and steam to natural gas and then not expand our ability to bring more gas into the region. That math doesn’t add up.

Bottom-line, this is a very complex problem. There are no simple answers and a wide net of potential solutions must be cast. But simple answers like greater efficiency and leak prevention in our pipeline are simply not enough. Smart but bold action is needed – and soon.

SOURCE: http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/Voices/Perspective/Online-Perspectives-2013/Winter/002-Arcate-New-England-needs-to-expand-gas-pipelines.aspx