Category Archives: MATCOR

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.

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.

Following our success in 2013, MATCOR is expanding by hiring new talent for cathodic protection, corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR is a full service provider of customized cathodic protection systems to the oil & MATCOR_Vertical_webgas, power, water/wastewater and other infrastructures industries.  Cathodic Protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell.  MATCOR has an array of proprietary cathodic protection products and systems combined with high-quality corrosion engineering services, and installation and maintenance services.

In business for over 40 years, MATCOR is considered the technology leader in cathodic protection and corrosion engineering.  MATCOR is headquartered in Chalfont, PA, has a major service operation in Houston, TX, provides turnkey services throughout the United States, and has a growing list of international distributors.  MATCOR has been named to the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Because of strong continued growth, MATCOR is seeking talented new team members to fill cathodic protection and corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR employees and culture are driven by three core principles. Whether a technician, engineer or manager, these principles guide us toward positive relationships with our clients and positive outcomes to every project we undertake.  These core values are:  We Respect Others, We Honor our Commitments and We Act in a Safe and Responsible Way.

“Our cathodic protection and corrosion engineering job openings, from technician to management positions, offer you the opportunity to grow with our team of seasoned cathodic protection experts and become part of a unique culture,” said Doug Fastuca, president of MATCOR, “As we are experiencing tremendous growth and request for our products and service offerings, this is an excellent time to join MATCOR.  In addition to competitive benefits, you can become NACE certified and enjoy other advanced educational opportunities.”

Our ideal job candidates will possess these values and hold a positive attitude.  This is a rapidly growing company with many new career opportunities.  Your cathodic protection, corrosion engineering and management job opportunity is here, today!

View the open position here: http://matcor.applicantpro.com/jobs/

Marcellus Shale Production Data Hints at Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

Production from the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves is expected to exceed 13 billion cubic feet per day this December, nearly seven times the 2 billion cubic feet per day it produced during the same period in 2010, according to a recent report.

The report on Marcellus Shale production data, by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said the figure would equal about 18 percent of total U.S. natural gas production during the month.

One of the Marcellus Shale companies that’s taking advantage of the natural gas boom is Cabot Oil & Gas Co., based in Houston, which claimed 15 of the 20 highest-producing natural-gas wells in the area during the first half of the year.

According to Dan O. Dinges, Cabot’s chief executive officer, 10 wells from a single well pad in Auburn Township produced enough natural gas in 30 days to meet the average monthly demand of the entire city of Philadelphia.

Cabot plans to increase its Marcellus Shale drill rigs from six to seven in 2013, with each rig capable of drilling 20 wells during the course of the year.

The sharp rise in natural gas reserves production hints at the growing need for Marcellus Shale companies to incorporate pipeline corrosion control equipment like cathodic protection rectifiers into their gas delivery infrastructure, according to Chris Sheldon, who works as utilities practice lead for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based cathodic protection company.

“Marcellus Shale companies are experiencing a tremendous upswing in natural gas production and are building new drill rigs and digging new wells to take advantage of the vast natural resource at their feet,” Sheldon said. “That means a lot of new pipes are going to be laid. And more pipes means more opportunities for corrosion.”

“At MATCOR, we’re here to help Marcellus Shale companies, as well as other pipeline companies and natural gas producers, with a full line of advanced cathodic protection equipment, systems and services designed to help them meet their corrosion control needs.”

Further Reading

A Marcellus Natural-Gas Bonanza,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2013.

MATCOR Offers Take on Natural Gas Liquids Production and NGL Transportation

“There is much discussion about the abundance of natural gas deposits in Marcellus Shale, and there is tremendous focus in extracting this precious resource. However, the industry’s ability to get this product to the end user is impacted by the infrastructure that currently exists.

“While rail is a means to transport natural gas, MATCOR is working with a growing number of midstream companies in expanding transmission and distribution piping networks. The key is to get product to market in a cost-effective and safe manor, and MATCOR’s cathodic protection products and services help ensure any new pipeline, regardless of the product it delivers, is in compliance and protected from corrosion.”

John Rothermel, PE

Vice President of Sales, MATCOR

Pipelines Planned for NGL Transportation Through Central Pennsylvania

At least one company is looking to take advantage of the rapid growth of natural gas liquids production from two of the largest shale regions in the nation.

Sunoco Logistics, a Philadelphia-based company that transports, terminals, and stores crude oil and refined petroleum products, recently announced that it was surveying land for a new pipeline, dubbed Mariner II East, that would connect production of natural gas liquids (NGL) from the Marcellus and Utica  shale regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to one of the company’s oil and diesel tank farms outside of Mechanicsburg.

The company also has plans to convert its existing Mariner East I pipeline, which used to carry oil and diesel fuel west, so that it carries propane and ethane east to its facility in Marcus Hook, which had also been idled.

The company bought the refinery from the former Sunoco Co. earlier this year for $60 million and is spending an unspecified amount of money to upgrade it and bring it back online as a natural gas liquids production refinery.

Sunoco Logistics is betting on the continued growth of natural gas production, of which NGLs like propane and ethane are byproducts. Natural gas production has increased in recent years thanks to hydraulic fracking, which has resulted in a larger supply that has driven prices down and has therefore, like a circle, created bigger demand for natural gas.

As a result of this process, NGL production has climbed during the last four years from 50 million to 70 million barrels per month. But, without greater avenues for NGL transportation, the increased production is moot.

Sunoco Logistics says that its plan to build a new NGL transportation pipeline, and convert an old pipeline for NGL transportation, will help create a northeast NGL hub in Marcus Hook that will help meet the demands of NGL producers and local and overseas consumers.

The Mariner East projects are only a few of the pipelines being planned by Sunoco Logistics. The company has roughly a dozen oil and gas projects on the books over the next 12 months at a cost of $1.3 billion, four times what it spent on capital expenditures each of the last four years.

MATCOR offers cathodic protection safety products and services to companies like Sunoco Logistics, which require cathodic protection equipment to maximize safety, efficiency, and capital investment in their pipeline projects.

Further Reading

Sunoco Logistics Plans Marcellus, Utica Pipeline Through Susquehanna Valley,” The Patriot News, Nov. 21, 2013.

New Global Cathodic Protection & Corrosion Costs Study Announced By Corrosion Society

NACE International has begun an expansive global study that will examine the cathodic protection and corrosion costs across a variety of industries. The effort will provide research on controlling corrosion-related costs, which will help improve corrosion and cathodic protection strategies. 

NACE International, an international corrosion and corrosion engineering society based in Houston, Texas, has announced the launch of a two-year global cathodic protection and corrosion costs study that will examine the financial and societal effects of corrosion on a variety of industries and provide data about methods for controlling costs related to corrosion.

Industries covered by the corrosion costs study include manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, utilities and government. The study will integrate research from partners in international and regional industry and academia and will be managed by Elaine Bowman, a longtime corrosion industry advocate and former president of NACE International.

“Corrosion is an inevitable, but controllable process which can result in destructive, even catastrophic incidents when not properly prevented and managed,” Bowman said in a press release. “Costs associated with corrosion control include direct expenses like repair and replacement of assets. But there are additional indirect costs like production lost due to closure for repairs or the environmental and physical impact of corrosion-related failures.”

The cathodic protection and corrosion costs study will help asset owners identity ways to save up to 30 percent on costs related to controlling corrosion, Bowman said.

“The NACE corrosion costs study will likely provide invaluable data for us and our customers going forward,” said Ted Huck, who works as the practice lead for plants and facilities with MATCOR, a cathodic protection company that specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems.

“Essential information and comprehensive scientific modeling about corrosion will only improve our understanding of the impact of corrosion on the oil and gas and other industries we serve,” Huck said. “And that means even better corrosion and cathodic protection strategies and tactics for our customers.”

An earlier corrosion costs study in 2001 estimated that the annual direct costs of corrosion in the U.S. was $276 billion. The study, funded by the U.S. Congress with Federal Highway Administration oversight and NACE International support, resulted in the development of a Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) office within the Department of Defense.

“Quantifying the costs of corrosion is an important effort in educating asset owners to the value of investing in asset life extension technologies such as cathodic protection to provide the lowest total cost of ownership,” said Huck. “Corrosion is a hidden, and often avoidable, cost to asset owners and something that can be mitigated with the appropriate use of current, available technologies.”

The CPO demonstrated a return as high as 40-to-1 on investments for corrosion control programs implemented by the Department of Defense. The 2001 study also resulted in congressional support for the world’s first undergraduate degree in corrosion engineering.

Further Reading

NACE International Commences Global Study on Corrosion Costs and Preventative Strategies,” Press Release, Nov. 14, 2013.

Houston Researcher Begins Phase 2 of Corrosion and Cathodic Protection Scale Study

Brine Chemistry Solutions is beginning phase two of a project researching corrosion and scale prediction. The corrosion and cathodic protection study will examine prevention in extreme pressure and temperature environments that could make drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico safer and more productive.

Brine Chemistry Solutions, a Houston-based researcher of water chemistry issues in the energy industry, announced it has begun phase two of a research project that will evaluate corrosion and scale prediction and prevention at extreme pressure and temperature (xHP/HT).

Phase one of the research involved conducting experiments with instrumentation capable of studying corrosion and scale formation at up to 24,000 psi and 250°C (482°F). Phase one produced methodology and data that will be used in phase two to further develop the company’s models.

Phase two will include additional xHP/HT testing of corrosion and scale in additional alloy types and complex brine systems and will screen multiple inhibitors for thermal stability and effectiveness.

Brine Chemistry Solutions will use an autoclave reactor, proprietary flow-through apparatus, and vertical scanning interferometry to focus on kinetics and behavior at xHP/HT while simultaneously studying the thermal stability of inhibitors.

Modeling during phase two will also focus on solvent behavior in electrolytes that have specified chemical properties and will expand to include the quantification of kinetic factors during water-ion and ion-ion interactions. Modeling will incorporate the equation of state based on statistical associating fluids theory.

 “The corrosion and scale research being performed by Brine Chemistry Solutions is good for the Gulf of Mexico,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president, engineering at MATCOR, a  cathodic protection company that specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems to oil and gas and other industries.

“There are a literally hundreds of oil and gas production wells in the gulf but there’s not a lot of data about corrosion and scale in deepwater, extreme pressure and temperature environments,” Shreffler said. “That means this research has the potential to provide a great deal of information, including  predictive models, that will help us help our customers enhance production and improve safety and reliability.”

The corrosion and scale research is part of a larger, $4.5 million project that was awarded to Brine Chemistry Solutions by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America.

SOURCE: http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2013/11/brine-chemistry-solutions-launches-phase-ii-of-research-for-rpsea-project.html

State regulators clear way for Florida Power and Light natural gas pipeline

A proposed $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline took a leap forward last Thursday and by 2017 is expected to be providing fuel to run Florida Power and Light Co.’s plants.

Florida’s two pipelines, the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline, and Gulfstream pipeline deliver gas primarily from such offshore areas as the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline’s northern 465 miles is a joint venture of Houston-based Spectra Energy subsidiary Sabal Trail Transmission and a newly formed subsidiary of Florida Power and Light’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., called U.S. Southeastern Gas Infrastructure LLC. The southern 126 miles, known as Florida Southeast Connection, is a subsidiary of NextEra.

The pipeline will travel through four Alabama counties, eight Georgia counties and 13 Florida counties. It will end at Florida Power and Light’s Martin County plant near Indiantown. The new pipeline will connect to FPL’s new plants under construction in Riviera Beach and Hollywood.

Commissioner Eduardo Balbis said the pipeline will help mitigate supply interruptions and price fluctuations. It’s also a plus that the cost is $450 million below that of other options.

The project is projected to create more than 6,600 jobs.

Jeff Householder, president of Florida Public Utilities Co., said the additional gas supplies, especially the cheaper shale gas, are needed for the state’s growth and economic development. He expects his company and others will build lateral lines from the pipeline.

Florida Power and Light has signed agreements with the two entities that will own the new pipeline for an initial 400 million cubic feet per day beginning in 2017 with an option for an additional 200 million cubic feet in 2020 and later.

Florida Gas Transmission’s pipeline has a capacity of 3,100 million cubic feet per day, and Gulfstream’s pipeline has a capacity of 1,300 million cubic feet per day

The project approved Thursday differs from a proposal the PSC rejected in 2009 when Florida Power and Light sought to build the 280-mile Florida EnergySecure Line itself.

The pipeline must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal and state agencies. It would give the state 25 percent more natural gas capacity.

SOURCE: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/state-regulators-clear-way-for-fpl-natural-gas-pip/nbXkw/

MATCOR’s Durammo™ Deep Anode System Provides Enhanced Performance

As we reach the home stretch of 2013, well drilling continues to advance at a strong pace, thanks to improvements of drilling technology. Advanced horizontal and directional drilling has opened a range of possibilities for energy companies and local economies. Along with the improved drilling technology, MATCOR has helped advanced the cathodic protection technology for wells.

Properly configured deep well anode systems are an integral portion of reliable cathodic protection wells. For deep well anode systems, which output less than approximately 75 amps, MATCOR has designed the Durammo™ continuous mixed metal oxide (MMO) wire anode systems to provide second-to-none value for those in need of high-quality cathodic protection systems.

Essentially, there are two basic types of anode configurations:

Discreet Anodes
Here, several individual anodes are placed a minimum of ten feet apart throughout the system in order to avoid mutual anode interface effects. In this configuration, it is not abnormal to have 10 or 15 discreet anodes throughout the system (old technology).

Continuous Anode Assembly
In MATCOR’s deep anode assembly system, Durammo™, a continuous wire that is fed from a cable at each is used in lieu of many individual anodes. In order to create electrical redundancy, factory connected jumper cables are installed to the wire anode every ten feet. This arrangement effectively eliminates risk of mutual anode interference.

Additionally, MATCOR’s Durammo™ Anode System is made with MMO as opposed to graphite or high silicon cast iron to create a light, stable anode that has the capability of operating at higher current densities. They also use MATCOR’s Super-Vent™ pipe assembly to enhance overall venting capability and cabling with a chlorine-resistant PVDF layer for protection.

Overall, for deep well systems with outputs under 75 amps, MATCOR’s Durammo™ technology provides superior value through several performance enhancements and greater longevity.

To learn more about MATCOR’s Durammo™ continuous anode system contact MATCOR or learn more about MATCOR’s other cathodic protection products.

Spectra Energy to add as much as 7.3 bcfd pipeline capacity by 2017

Spectra Energy has more than 3.3 bcfd of US natural gas pipeline expansions under way, with another 4 bcfd of capacity in development.

Spectra Energy projects currently under way include the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project, Texas Eastern Appalachian Market (TEAM 2014), Kingsport Projects, Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN), Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM Expansion), and Sabal Trail Transmission LLC.

The 800-MMcfd NJ-NY Expansion will extend Texas Eastern’s reach further into New Jersey and into New York City for the first time, connecting Marcellus shale supplies in northeastern Pennsylvania with a delivery point in Manhattan. Customers of the $1.2 billion project include Chesapeake Energy Corp., Consolidated Edison, and Statoil Natural Gas. Spectra Energy expects the project, currently 95% complete, to enter service next quarter. Construction includes 15.9 miles of 30-in. OD pipe extending from Staten Island to Manhattan.

TEAM 2014 (600 MMcfd) will deliver gas from Marcellus producer customers to the northeast, Midwest, and Henry Hub markets. Customers include Chevron Corp. and EQT. Spectra Energy expects TEAM 2014 to enter service fourth-quarter 2014 at a cost of $500 million. Preliminary construction includes 33.5 miles of 36-in. OD loop at seven sites at four compressor units with a total 77,000-hp net addition.

Spectra Energy’s Kingsport projects will provide additional supplies to Eastman Chemical Co.’s power generation plant in Kingsport, Tenn. Spectra Energy expects to have 25-MMcfd of expanded capacity operating by next quarter, with an addition 61 MMcfd in service by first-quarter 2015. The $120 million project includes replacing 5.8 miles of 8-in. OD pipe with 24-in. pipe on the East Tennessee pipeline and installing 5.4 miles of 16-in. loop and 4.1 miles of 16-in. pipe between the Fordtown compressor station and the Eastman plant.

OPEN will deliver 550 MMcfd of Ohio Marcellus and Utica shale gas to US Gulf Coast and east coast markets. The $500-million project is underpinned by anchor shipping agreements with Chesapeake Energy Marketing and another producer. The projects features 73 miles of 30-in. OD pipe the Kensington gas processing plant in the Utica shale to Texas Eastern’s Clarington compressor station. A new 18,800-hp compressor station will be added along this line, with 5 existing Texas Eastern stations totaling 139,450 hp reversed to east-west flow. All components are expected to be operational by second-half 2015.

The AIM Expansion will move 300 MMcfd of Marcellus production from the Stoney Point compressor station to the Algonquin City Gate outside Boston. At an estimated cost of $850 million, Spectra Energy expects the project to enter service second-half 2016 serving customers such as UIL Holdings, National Grid, NiSource, and Northeast Utilities. Additional horsepower at almost every compressor station and expanding portions of the line to 42-in. OD from 26-in. will provide the additional capacity.

Sabal Trail Transmission LLC is a joint venture of Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy Inc. to deliver more than 1 bcfd via 480 miles of 36-in. OD greenfield pipeline from Transco Station 85 to the Central Florida Hub. Florida Power & Light is the charter customer, with others expected before the $3 billion project enters service first-half 2017. The pipeline will include five compressor stations totaling 210,000 hp.

Transmission projects Spectra Energy has in development include:

  • Uniontown to Gas City (U2GC), Appalachia to Midwest, 425 MMcfd, in-service second-half 2015.
  • South Louisiana Expansion (Sola), expand Texas Eastern to South Louisiana industry, 600 MMcfd, first-half 2016.
  • Gulf Markets Expansion, Texas Eastern to US Gulf Coast, 650 MMcfd, second-half 2016-17.
  • Renaissance, Appalachia to Northern Georgia-Atlanta, 1.3 bcfd, first-half 2017.
  • NEXUS, Appalachia to Eastern Canada local distribution companies and power markets, 1 bcfd, second-half 2017.


Pipeline Editor – Oil & Gas Journal

SOURCE: http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-10/general-interest/spectra-energy-to-add-as-much-as-7-3-bcfd.html