Category Archives: Infrastructure

PHMSA Rule Making Updates – a look at what is ahead on the US Regulatory Front

Overall
The US Pipeline regulatory environment is poised to see several new rules implemented to expand the scope and effectiveness of pipeline regulations with a goal to improve the integrity and safety of hazardous material pipeline. These rule changes were all initiated years ago and have been winding their way through the regulatory process, soliciting input from the industry and from concerned citizens, environmental groups and other interested parties.

The Liquids “Final Rule”
In January of 2017 in the last few days of the Obama Administration, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule amending its Rule 49 CFR 195 that among other things expanded integrity management and leak detections beyond high consequence areas (HCA’s). The Final Rule tightened standards and broadened data collection and monitoring requirements for pipeline operators. A few days into the Trump administration, the White House issued a directive to federal agencies to freeze sending new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and withdrawing any regulations sent to the OFR. Thus the liquids “Final Rule” that was 6 years in the making was withdrawn and is awaiting resubmittal by the new administration.
While the exact requirements of the Final Rule may be changed, some of the key changes from the withdrawn rule included:

• Assessment of non-HCA pipeline segments every 10 years in compliance with provisions of 49 CFR Part 195.
• Increased use of inline inspection tools for all hazardous pipelines in HCA.
• Requirement for leak detection systems for covered pipelines in both HCA and non-HCAs.

PHMSA anticipates coming out with their revised “Final Rule” in the Fall of 2018.

The Gas “Mega Rule”
On the gas side of the pipeline regulatory environment, 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192, several public meetings have been held regarding PHMSA’s proposed gas rules, often referred to as the Gas Mega Rule. The rulemaking changes originally recommended would have nearly doubled the current number of pages in the regulations. PHMSA has announced that instead of one Mega Rule, the effort would be broken into three separate rules that are expected to be introduced in 2018 and to go into effect in 2019. Part 1 addresses the expansion of risk assessment and MAOP requirements to include areas in non-High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and moderate consequence areas (MCAs.) Part 2 of the rule making focuses on the expansions of integrity management program regulations including corrosion control to gathering lines and other previously non-regulated lines. Part 3 of the gas rule making is expected to focus on reporting requirements, safety regulations and definitions to include expanding into related gas facilities associated with pipeline systems.

Anode Current Ratings and Soil Resistivity

We appreciate the question: “How does soil resistivity impact current rating.”  The short answer is that resistance has nothing to do with anode rating. Here is a more detailed response:

  1. Anode current rating – all anodes have a current rating based on how long they can be expected to operate at a given current rating.  All anodes have some defined expected life based on current output and time – so many Amp-Hours of service life.  For example a magnesium anode may have an expected consumption rate of 17 lb/Amp-year (7.8 kg/amp) so if a 17 lb anode is operated at 0.1 amps it would have a life of 10 years.  For MMO anodes, they too have an expected life.  For our linear anode rated at 51 mA/m it is important to know that that rating is actually 51 mA/m for 25 years.  So a 100m anode segment with this rating would have an expected life of 127.5 Amp-years.  If this anode were operated at 5.1 amps (full rated capacity) it would be expected to operate for 25 years.  IF it were operated at 2.55 amps (50% of rated capacity) it should last 50 years.  The anode life is generally linear.  Please note that resistance has nothing to do with the anode current rating – the anode current rating merely calculates the life of the anode as a function of how many amps for how long of time.
  2. Actual current output – just because you install an anode rated for 5.1 amps for 25 years (our 100m segment of 51 mA/m SPL-FBR) does not mean that the anode will output this amount of current.  It just means that at that current rating you can expect 25 years of life.  The anode is merely one component of the overall cathodic protection circuit.  The actual output of the anode is function of Ohms Law ( Voltage = Current * Resistance).  It would make sense to note that if the system Voltage were zero (the rectifier were turned off or disconnected) then the anode would not have any current output.  Likewise if the 100m anode segment were installed in a very low resistance environment and driven by a powerful rectifier, the current could be much higher than 5.1 amps which would result in a much shorter life.
  3. Why anode rating is important to the CP designer – the CP designer is tasked with protecting a specific structure for a given period of time (protect this pipeline for 30 years.)  The CP designer then calculates, based on actual testing or established guidelines, the amount of current that should be sufficient to achieve appropriate CP levels to protect the structure.  This results in an answer of some number X of amps required.  If the requirements are to protect the structure for Y number of years, then the anode life required is X * Y (# of amps times # of years).  This defines the minimum amount of anode life that is needed.
  4. The next question the CP designer must address, once it is determined how much current is needed, is how to design a system that will generate that amount of current.  Since Ohms Law dictates that Voltage = Current * Resistance (V=IR) then if we know that the Current = Voltage/Resistance (I=V/R.)  Thus the CP designer must understand how to calculate system resistance (R) and must provide sufficient driving force (V)  Several factors affect system resistance (R) including anode geometry – the longer an anode, the lower its resistance – which in many applications is a big benefit to the linear anode.  One of the great benefits of the linear anode is that because of its length, in most applications the soil resistivity plays a lesser role since the anode resistance to earth is generally low for a wide range of soil resistivities due to its length.  For extremely high resistance environments, linear anodes may be the best option since short anodes will not have a low enough resistance.
  5. There are other factors that go into CP design including current distribution and making sure sufficient current is being applied across the entire structure.

CP Design can be very complicated.  I hope that the above explanation is helpful, but if there is a specific application to evaluate, please contact us with the details.  We are also available, for a reasonable engineering fee, to develop and/or review CP system designs.

Ted Huck

VP, Technical Sales

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.

MATCOR to Present at The Bakken | Three Forks Shale Oil Innovation Conference & Expo

Chalfont, PA – February 7, 2014, MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems and corrosion engineering solutions, announces that Ted Huck, Vice President, will present Cathodic Protection and Corrosion Control for the Bakken Oil Infrastructure Build Out at The Bakken | Three Forks Shale Oil Innovation Conference & Expo, taking place February 10-12 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Ted Huck, Vice President, MATCOR, Inc.Mr. Huck’s presentation will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in Track 3: Logistics & Downstream Infrastructure, from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm in Ballroom 1 at the Alerus Center. Visitors can view the full conference agenda here.

The rapidly expanding footprint of oil and gas infrastructure across the Bakken region is having a lasting impact on the economy and the landscape of the region.  Properly protecting these investments from the ravages of corrosion is essential to maximize the economic usefulness of these assets and to avoid devastating environmental damage that can result from corrosion of pipelines, storage tanks, and well casings.  Cathodic Protection is one of the surest and most cost effective means to halt corrosion activity and sustain the life of operating assets.

Mr. Huck’s presentation will discuss how cathodic protection works, the applications where cathodic protection is typically used, the common types of cathodic protection systems for these applications, and briefly discuss the regulations, testing and maintenance issues around cathodic protection.

“The Bakken region has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, and we expect this growth to continue,” said Douglas Fastuca, president of MATCOR. “The need for Bakken exploration & production, midstream and terminal operators to properly protect their assets from corrosion will become increasingly important. MATCOR is in unique position to support these companies with a full set of corrosion and cathodic protection solutions.”

MATCOR Iron Gopher® HDD Cathodic ProtectionMATCOR’s most recent innovation is the patented Iron Gopher®, the industry’s first linear anode product developed specifically for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) installation.  For further technical and product information about Iron Gopher or any of MATCOR’s innovative cathodic protection products, or to contact your MATCOR Account Manager, visit www.matcor.com or call (US. & Canada) 1 800-215-4362 (Worldwide) +1-215-348-2974.

ABOUT MATCOR

MATCOR is a full-service, ISO 9001:2008 certified provider of customized cathodic protection systems to the oil & gas, power, water and other infrastructures industries. Cathodic Protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface through the application of electric current. MATCOR has an array of proprietary cathodic protection products and systems combined with high-quality corrosion engineering, installation and maintenance services.

In business for 40 years, MATCOR is considered the technology leader in the cathodic protection and corrosion engineering fields. MATCOR is headquartered in Chalfont, PA, has a service office in Houston, TX and recently established a presence in Ahmedabad, India. The company 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.

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