Category Archives: Regulation

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.

Cathodic Protection System News from Algonquin Gas Transmission

Pipeline corrosion management and cathodic protection systems will be on the radar screen for Algonquin Gas Transmission.  Due to rapid growth in natural gas demand, the major pipeline is proposing expansion and replacement in the Northeast. This pipeline activity will be followed closely with cathodic protection systems, specifically MMO linear anodes and additional asset protection.

The project spans across Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. Specifically, a 9 mile stretch near Norwich will be replaced with a larger capacity pipeline. The current pipeline begins in the northern part of New London County and continues southeast to the Rhode Island border.

Algonquin Gas Transmission is also laying a new 2.4-mile section of pipeline to connect two sections near Montville, CT west of the Thames River.

The company is adding three pipeline sections throughout Connecticut. The new pipeline will connect existing lines across the state near Kensington, Oxford and Chaplin. This includes a brand new 9.1-mile stretch between Willimantic and Greeneville.

Documents for the project were submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in mid-June. FERC approved the filing on June 27. The approval is a step forward for Algonquin Gas Transmission. Upon approval, a FERC review of the project begins before the formal application is submitted. This process helps to proactively identify and correct any potential issues in the project.

The completed pipeline project allows Algonquin Gas Transmission to dramatically increase its service in the Northeast. A number of gas service companies will be affected. They include Yankee Gas, NSTAR Gas Co., Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas. The pipeline project references the new Comprehensive Energy Strategy advocated by Connecticut lawmakers. The strategy calls to expand Connecticut natural gas pipelines to accommodate almost half a million additional customers. The project impacts just fewer than 500 landowners. Algonquin has already reached out to the land owners, according to filed documents.

Algonquin anticipates conducting property field surveys in September 2013. The company will be hosting informational meetings throughout the summer for landowners.

Documents on the pipeline indicate dozens of federal, state and local officials have been contacted about the pipeline’s environmental impact and protection measures.

MATCOR’s Insight That Works

The Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline is needed for Connecticut and the Northeastern region. The project is quite complex and requires expert coordination in all facets. Harsh weather conditions make Pipeline Corrosion a concern for this pipeline. Technology such as MATCOR’s SPL linear anodes will manage the Cathodic Protection needs for Algonquin Gas Transmission.

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

Commission to hear proposal on regional pipeline

AUBURN, Ala. — County officials in eastern Alabama are set to discuss a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross through parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Lee County commissioners are scheduled to meet Tuesday night to discuss the proposed project by Sabal Trail Transmission, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp.

Logan Gray, a partner at Southern Strategy Group in Montgomery, is scheduled to give a presentation at Tuesday’s meeting, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.

The interstate pipeline system would cover an estimated 465 miles across portions of the three states, the Opelika newspaper reported.

A report on the project states that the plan is a response to a request for proposals from Florida Power & Light Co. to provide natural gas transportation for its power generation needs by May 2017.

The estimated $3 billion project is currently in the early developmental stage and that FPL would likely award the project by July, according to the report. It also noted that Sabal Trail would seek out community response to the project as well as performing surveys to collect information.

MATCOR is a leading provider of ISO 9001:2008-certified cathodic protection products that project many pipelines across the Gulf Coast region. 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.

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

NACE International Moves its Corrosion Certification Programming to the New NACE International Institute

The Institute will support growth and quality of certification for the corrosion control field, improve the business conditions of the industry, and promote public safety, protect the environment and reduce the economic impact of corrosion.

nace-instituteTo comply with IRS rules for certification bodies in the U.S., NACE International has moved its world renowned certification programs to the new NACE International Institute. The Institute’s mission is to support growth and quality of certification for the corrosion control field, to improve the business conditions of the industry, and to promote public safety, protect the environment and reduce the economic impact of corrosion.

“The purpose of the Institute is to operate broadly for the benefit, protection, and preservation of the corrosion engineering and science industry,” said Chris Fowler, President of the NACE International Institute. “This is a unique opportunity to build the profile of the industry and its workforce and also build the job market for corrosion control professionals.”

The NACE International Institute was formed in 2012 to maintain NACE compliance with existing and recently changed U.S. tax laws for not-for-profit organizations that have certification programs. The development of the Institute will also lead NACE’s certification programs toward compliance with the ISO standard for certification bodies (ISO17204).

From the start, the NACE International Institute will focus on meeting industry needs for workforce certification programs, pursuing global consistency of certification requirements, raising industry and public awareness of the purpose and benefits of certification programs, and supporting employment of certified corrosion control professionals. Over time, the Institute will continue to draw more activities into its operations to serve stakeholders based on changing industry needs.

In mid-2013 NACE certification programs will move to the new NACE Institute website at http://www.naceinstitute.org and will maintain the same functionality currently available online at http://www.nace.org, including certification application and renewal, and a tool to search for certification holders worldwide.

“To me, it is always exciting to boost the corrosion control profession for NACE members,” said Fowler, “the growing industry focus on corrosion control knowledge and experience, and related industry certifications, is yet another step toward action that will lower the cost of corrosion for the public at large.”

The members of the NACE International Institute’s Board of Directors are:

Jeffrey Didas – Matcor, Inc.
Dr. Chris Fowler – NACE International Institute President; Exova Group
Helena Seelinger – NACE International Institute Executive Director
Greta Whitsett – NACE International Institute Secretary
Elaine Bowman – Champion Technologies
Bob Chalker – NACE International Executive Director
Dr. Oliver Moghissi – DNV Columbus, Inc.
Frank Rampton – Trenton Corporation

Columbia Gas Transmission Receives FERC Approval Of Customer Settlement Facilitating Pipeline’s Long-Term Infrastructure Investment Plan

Plan addresses pipeline and system upgrades; improves public safety, customer reliability and service; provides economic benefits to communities; work expected to create 7,000 jobs

WASHINGTON and HOUSTON, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – NiSource’s Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia) today received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a customer settlement that facilitates Columbia’s comprehensive pipeline infrastructure investment plan.

The settlement, filed on September 4, 2012 and widely supported by Columbia’s customers, covers the initial five years of Columbia’s investment plan and contains provisions for potential extension thereafter. Among other components, key elements of the settlement identify individual infrastructure projects and establish a mechanism for recovery of Columbia’s revenue requirement for infrastructure investment under the plan.

“FERC’s approval of our customer settlement is a milestone in our efforts to modernize Columbia’s interstate pipeline system in a balanced, thoughtful and transparent manner,” said Jimmy Staton, Columbia’s chief executive officer. “We acknowledge FERC for their timely review and approval, and appreciate the collaboration from our customers. We look forward to getting the job done. The work we do will help ensure safer, more reliable pipeline infrastructure for our customers and the communities across our footprint.”

Under the settlement, Columbia will invest approximately $300 million per year, in addition to a $100 million investment in ongoing maintenance, over the 2013 through 2017 period on system improvements, which include:

  • Replacing Aging Infrastructure – commencing the replacement of approximately 1,000 miles of existing interstate transmission pipelines, primarily bare steel (400 miles in the first five years);
  • Upgrading Natural Gas Compression Systems – replacing and modernizing more than 50 critical compressor units along the pipeline system that will enhance system efficiency and improve environmental performance;
  • Increasing Pipeline System Reliability – uprating pressures and looping systems where needed to ensure gas is reliably delivered to critical markets; and
  • Expanding In-Line Inspection Capabilities – facilitating Columbia’s ability to perform state-of-the-art maintenance and inspections without interrupting services

Infrastructure investment work will take place across Columbia’s footprint, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. More than 7,000 direct jobs are expected to be created as a result of the infrastructure investment program. That work will cover a broad range of activities, including facility engineering and design, permitting, project management and a variety of construction trades.

Working with FERC and other federal, state and local agencies, Columbia will continue to engage key stakeholders, landowners and customers throughout the planning and construction process. More information about the company’s investment projects can be found on www.ngts.com.

Columbia projects that its entire infrastructure investment plan could involve an investment of approximately $4 billion over an extended (10-15 year) period.

SOURCE: http://www.dailymarkets.com/stock/2013/01/25/columbia-gas-transmission-receives-ferc-approval-of-customer-settlement-facilitating-pipelines-long-term-infrastructure-investment-plan/

Nebraska governor approves Keystone XL route

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved TransCanada Corp.’s revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for a final decision from U.S. regulators on the project that would bring Canadian oil to the Texas coast.

The new route avoids Nebraska’s Sand Hills, an environmentally sensitive region overlaying the Ogallala aquifer, the state’s main source of groundwater. The pipeline will still cross the aquifer, though in a less sensitive area, according to a letter Heineman, a Republican, sent Tuesday to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informing them of his decision.

“Keystone would have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska,” Heineman said in the letter. “The concerns of Nebraskans have had a major influence on the pipeline route, the mitigation commitments and this evaluation.”

Heineman requested that Nebraska’s environmental review and route approval be added to the study underway by the State Department, which has authority over the project because it crosses an international border. TransCanada executives have said U.S. approval for the pipeline could come by the end of March. Victoria Nuland, a spokesman for the State Department, said the review won’t be ready by then.

“Keystone XL is the most studied cross-border pipeline ever proposed, and it remains in America’s national interests to approve a pipeline that will have a minimal impact on the environment,” Russ Girling, chief executive officer for the Calgary-based pipeline company, said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

Supporters of the 1,661-mile project have said it will provide thousands of jobs and help the United States avoid dependence on energy sources from politically unstable places. Critics have turned the pipeline proposal into an environmental debate over Canada’s oil sands and the heavy crude’s contributions to air and water pollution. Blocking pipeline transport of the oil to markets in the U.S. and overseas might jeopardize development of the resource.

TransCanada’s original permit request to build the $7.6 billion pipeline, planned to stretch from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, was delayed and ultimately rejected last year by the State Department after Heineman and other Nebraska officials criticized the route.

The project should now get “the final green light,” Sen. Mike Johanns, a Nebraska Republican who opposed TransCanada’s original route, said in a statement. “I hope President Obama will swiftly approve the project so we can take a significant step forward in meeting our energy needs.”

After the initial proposal was rejected last year, TransCanada broke the project into two pieces, one running from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., and the other from Oklahoma to Texas refineries. Construction has begun on the southern portion of the pipeline, and environmental activists have been arrested in several areas of Texas after staging protests or chaining themselves to construction equipment.

SOURCE: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Nebraska-governor-approves-Keystone-XL-route-4215201.php#ixzz2Itv8K5O1

U.S. Senate OKs continuation of Glacier natural gas pipeline

The U.S. Senate is giving its approval to a bill that ensures an aging pipeline will be able to continue operating as it passes through Glacier National Park.

The pipeline was first built by Montana Power in 1962 to provide natural gas from east of the Continental Divide to the Flathead Valley.

The line passes through a portion of the park and was initially constructed under a special use permit. However, in 1990 the Park Service decided it didn’t have the authority to issue new permits for the gas line.

That threatened the operation of the 118-mile line and gas supplied to 25,000 customers in the Kalispell area.

But under the provision of the bill co-sponsored by Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, the Park Service is given the authority to issue a permit to Northwestern Energy so it can provide regular maintenance on the pipeline.

“This bill cuts through red tape to keep Kalispell homes heated while protecting one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” Tester said. “Responsible maintenance of the pipeline will prevent accidents and help keep Glacier National Park the ‘Crown of the Continent.'”

SOURCE: http://www.ktvq.com/news/u-s-senate-oks-continuation-of-glacier-natural-gas-pipeline/

Gateway pipeline hearings resume: First Nations get chance to question Enbridge

EDMONTON – Lawyers for an aboriginal group fighting the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline have raised more questions about who could end up with ownership stakes.

Hana Boye, who represents the Haisla band which claims much of the pipeline’s route as its traditional territory, queried Enbridge (TSX:ENB) officials on who put up money for 10 $10-million option agreements that could guarantee their holders space in the pipeline and a share of its ownership.

“If we don’t know who these investors are, we’re not able to determine if they’re financially viable, if they’re market-force driven or if it’s in the interest of Canadians,” she said.

Lawyers for environmental groups had already raised questions at hearings earlier this month about the possibility of Chinese interests buying control of the project.

On Monday, Enbridge vice-president John Fisher said most of the purchasers have been identified. Those who aren’t are covered by a confidentiality agreement, he said.

Under further questioning, Fisher conceded that the Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec owns one of the $10-million units.

Boye then asked if the purchasers of the other units would be able to sell them and whether Enbridge would have any influence on who would be able to buy them.

“It would be a private transaction between those two parties,” Fisher said. “It could happen.”

Boye pointed out that Chinese energy firms are buying Canadian companies who have purchased option units. The China National Offshore Oil Corp. has purchased a share of MEG Energy, which is an option owner. As well, Chinese interests are also trying to buy Nexen (TSX:NXY), which owns another one of the 10 options.

The testimony came as hearings on Enbridge’s controversial pipeline resumed in Edmonton. It was the first chance for First Nations representatives to cross-examine company officials about the proposed $6-billion line.

Haida and Haisla officials have made statements voicing concerns about the project at earlier hearing sessions.

The pipeline would carry bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to the B.C. coast where it would be loaded onto tankers headed for Asia.

People living along the route and on the B.C. coast fear the impact of possible spills, but supporters of the pipeline argue it’s needed to expand Canada’s export options.

The latest round of hearings in Edmonton are to last all week.

SOURCE: http://www.firstperspective.ca/news/1859-gateway-pipeline-hearings-resume-first-nations-get-chance-to-question-enbridge