Tag Archives: Natural Gas

New Marcellus Shale Pipeline Projects

The Marcellus Shale, an enormous natural gas reserve in Appalachia, is dramatically altering the traditional landscape of America’s natural gas industry.

Stretching across almost 100,000 square miles, the Marcellus Shale is the largest natural gas supply in the U.S. and second in the world. The depth and width of the Marcellus Formation vary, but studies indicate the shale’s deepest and thickest points are located in northeastern Pennsylvania, making it a prime area for drilling.

Estimates of the amount of recoverable natural gas in the reserve have varied over the years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Marcellus Shale produced 3.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable natural gas in 2013– accounting for 18% of the country’s natural gas. In August 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the Marcellus shale will ultimately generate a total of 84 TcF of technically recoverable natural gas, a massive jump from its 2002 prediction of two trillion cubic feet.

Pipelines Under Pressure

As the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas production increases, so does the need for an efficient, modern, sophisticated pipeline system to transport the natural gas to various regions around the country. In 2012, Marcellus’ booming natural gas output caused pipelines to bottleneck. Such high load conditions inflict stress on pipelines essential to the country’s natural gas delivery system.

The following year, pipeline constraints were a major contributing factor to exorbitant natural gas prices in the Northeast region. The rest of the country was not exposed to the increased costs due to adequate pipelines with few constraints.

To help alleviate stress on current infrastructures, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved three pipeline projects in February 2014. The projects include Texas Eastern’s TEAM 2014 Project, Williams’ Constitution Pipeline, and Iroquois Pipeline’s Wright Interconnect Project. All three projects have in-service dates slated for 2015-2016.

Texas Eastern’s TEAM 2014 Project

Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Appalachia to Market Expansion 2014 (TEAM 2014) Project will add approximately 33.6 miles of 36 inch diameter pipeline loop to the existing Texas Eastern Transmission, increasing the existing system’s capacity by approximately 600 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). Once complete, the Texas Eastern system will deliver natural gas from Appalachia to the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Gulf Coast regions. The technologically advanced TEAM 2014 Project will be optimized for bidirectional flow.

Williams’ Constitutional Pipeline

The Constitution Pipeline is expected to measure 124 miles and have a diameter of 30 inches. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Marcellus shale in northern Pennsylvania to areas in the northeastern U.S. It will have the capacity to transport 650 MMcf/d, fulfilling the daily needs of 3 million homes. The Constitution will be an “open access pipeline,” allowing local municipalities and public utility services to access the line.

Iroquois Pipeline’s Wright Interconnect Project

Iroquois’ Wright Interconnect Project (WIP) will work in tandem with the Constitutional Pipeline. Unlike the other projects approved by FERC, WIP is not a pipeline. It will update and expand Iroquois’ current compression facilities located in Wright, New York. The terminal will connect the Constitution to the Iroquois and Tennessee Gas Pipelines, facilitating the delivery of natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Play to New York and New England.

The Importance of Cathodic Protection

Propane storage tanks at MarkWest Energy Partners’ Houston fractionation and marketing complex in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Propane storage tanks at MarkWest Energy Partners’ Houston fractionation and marketing complex in Washington, Pennsylvania.

While the Marcellus Formation continues to produce high levels of natural gas, it is imperative that the operators for newly approved pipeline projects, as well as existing pipelines, storage tanks, and associated facilities take appropriate steps to protect their assets. Corrosion of metal surfaces is one of the most common and dangerous threats to midstream infrastructures. Cathodic protection is the most effective method of protecting against corrosion.

According to John Rothermel, Vice President of Sales at MATCOR, the leading cathodic protection company with expertise in protecting oil and gas pipelines from corrosion, the companies behind the Marcellus pipeline projects can’t afford not to protect their assets.
“As long as the Marcellus Shale continues to produce such unprecedented amounts of natural gas, the midstream infrastructure needed to get product to market will likely be running at full capacity, making it essential that these facilities operate reliably, efficiently and safely,” Rothermel said. “Designing and installing cathodic protection of pipelines into these projects helps to protect the significant investments being made, and helps to ensure these assets last well into the future.”

“Giant Marcellus shale coming of age” The Bismarck Tribune, March 20, 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.

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

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

Williams Partners seeks Transco Pipeline expansion to NYC

Williams Partners LP is seeking federal approval for an $182 million expansion of its Transco Pipeline to New York City, the Tulsa-based natural gas infrastructure company announced Monday.

The Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project would move about 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day to National Grid’s distribution system in the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs of the city, according to reports. Construction on the pipeline expansion, once approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would begin late this year with service expected by the second half of 2014.

“The project would create an additional delivery point from the existing Transco system into National Grid’s distribution network, enhancing service reliability and serving growth in the region,” Frank Ferazzi, general manager of the Transco system, said in a statement.

“This project is critical to providing the additional natural gas supplies New York City needs.”

The 26-inch diameter Rockaway delivery project would include 2.9 miles of offshore and 0.3 miles of onshore pipeline.

Williams would utilize subsurface directional drilling in the sea-to-shore portion of the pipeline to avoid impacts to beaches and near-shore areas.

Last month, Williams Partners announced it would seek federal approval for a Transco natural gas pipeline expansion in Virginia and North Carolina.

The $298 million Virginia Southside Expansion, scheduled for service by 2015, would move 270,000 dekatherms of natural gas to the nearby markets.

The Transco Pipeline is a 10,500-mile interstate system bringing natural gas from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. The system moves about 9.7 million dekatherms per day, with a dekatherm being equivalent to one million British thermal units of energy.

SOURCE: http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=49&articleid=20130108_49_E1_Willia670452

Williams Partners gets FERC approval for pipeline

Williams Partners LP said Wednesday that it received federal approval for a $341 million expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline, which should expand capacity in the Northeast by this time next year.

Williams said the project will expand the Transco Leidy Line and Transco mainline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, to transport natural gas to the Northeast. It will add 12 miles of new pipe, mostly along existing pipeline routes, and a compressor facility in Essex County, N.J.

Construction of the compressor station begins this month, with pipeline construction starting in the spring. The new line should be in service by November 2013, the company said.

The project needed approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

SOURCE: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-11-07/williams-partners-gets-ferc-approval-for-pipeline

PVR’s Wyoming Pipeline Comes Online

PVR Partners, L.P. ( PVR ) announced the completion of construction activities of its latest natural gas trunk line in the north-central province of Pennsylvania. The midstream project, Wyoming Pipeline, also came online commercially. The pipeline system was initially constructed by Chief Gathering LLC until it got acquired by PVR Partners in May 2012.

The pipeline is 30 miles in length and spans across the northern Wyoming County southward to connect with the Transco interstate pipeline system in Luzerne County. The 750 million cubic feet per day (“MMcfd”) capacity system will provide midstream services to the producers operationally active in the Marcellus Shale play. The program was bankrolled by funds that were added in the financing agreement during the purchase of Chief Gathering.

Presently, the partnership has secured contracts for reliable and efficient services on the Wyoming Pipeline from five independent producers and expects more agreements to come on the table. These agreements are wholly fee based and are insulated from any direct commodity price risks. For 2012, the initial firm transportation volume contracted by the producers totaled 255 MMcfd.

We believe the acquisition of Chief Gathering LLC is a strategic fit and will be a profitable addition to the partnership’s asset portfolio. The timely execution of this cost-effective project will enable the partnership to carry out its high-quality programs in the Marcellus play smoothly and also contribute positively to its future business plans in the region.

The partnership faced constraints in supplying volumes from its Susquehanna/Wyoming gathering facility to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline 300 Line which impacted PVR Partners’ operations. However, the partnership expects the Wyoming Pipeline-Transco Pipeline connectivity will lead to increase in volumes on the Susquehanna/Wyoming gathering facility by more than 20%.

The ongoing developments at the Susquehanna/Wyoming gathering unit will enable supply volumes to Wyoming Pipeline to further expand with the linking of additional wells thereby increasing productivity.

Although natural gas prices are currently on a downhill, we anticipate with rising demand for electricity in the U.S., gas prices will improve steadily, which could add to the partnership’s near term top-line. Nonetheless, unexpected infrastructure outages and pipeline accidents are risks that could pose serious challenges to the partnership’s operations.

We remind investors that the partnership had divested its Crossroads natural gas gathering system and processing plant for roughly $63 million to DCP Midstream Partners, LP ( DPM ), in mid-June 2012, to focus on the development of its core midstream business in the Marcellus shale and Texas plays.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the third quarter and full year 2012 for PVR Partners are pegged at 9 cents per unit and 54 cents per unit, respectively. One of its competitors is Missouri-based Arch Coal Inc. ( ACI ).

The partnership owns and operates a string of natural gas midstream pipeline systems and processing plants and is also involved in the management of coal as well as natural gas properties. PVR Partners’ current market capitalization stands at $2.21 billion.

SOURCE: http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-10/pvrs-wyoming-pipeline-comes-online-analyst-blog.aspx?storyid=178825#ixzz28XP80bvO