The Texas Railroad Commission, which given its name seems more likely to have more in common with Amtrak than fracking, uniquely plays a key role with jurisdiction over the Lone Star State's oil and gas pipelines.
GeoCorr Content Team
The wrath of Hurricane Ida last month illustrated once again how natural disasters can affect oil and gas pipelines.
Reuters reported that the Category 4 storm caused widespread power outages and had oil and gas pipeline operators scrambling to inspect infrastructure for damage.
Enbridge, according to Reuters, was mobilizing crews to assess its facilities and had declared it was temporarily suspending some contracts under force majeure on two offshore pipelines, its Nautilus Pipeline and Mississippi Canyon Gas Pipeline.
Onshore pipeline projects may cost 4 to 6 percent more by the end of 2022 as labor, raw materials and transportation prices surge according to Rystad Energy analysis.
Rystad Energy -- an independent energy research and business intelligence company, released its report Aug. 9, 2021 – says that materials, which account for 30 to 40 percent of the total costs for a pipeline, are expected to increase 2 to 3 percent and may approach $1 million per kilometer in leading pipeline regions such as the United States.
Pipeline Inspection companies and their crews need to be flexible enough to handle various pipeline dimensions with new pipeline projects starting in the United States in 2021 ranging from 6 inches in diameter to 42 inches.
There was a time when inline inspections with intelligent pigs could only handle large dimension pipes but advancing technology now allows for pigging devices to handle cleaning and inspections of smaller diameter pipes, all the way down to 3 inches.
The proper maintenance of oil and gas pipelines can extend the life of this critical infrastructure, save on costly repairs, minimize safety risks, and ensure compliance and regulatory standards.
The approximate 3,000 companies, large and small, that operate the 2.5 million miles of U.S. pipelines by law must do maintenance and inspections on their pipelines.
Pipelines are the major arteries of the energy sector, transporting oil, gas and other crucial products that fuel the American economy. Keeping these arteries healthy and free of defects is critical as a failed pipeline can lead to significant property damage, injury, and death.
Corrosion is one of the leading causes of pipeline incidents with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) data showing 18 percent of pipeline incidents on average were caused by corrosion between 1998 and 2017.
Magnetic flux leakage (MFL) has been around since the 1960s but, thanks to technology advances, still has the lion’s share of the global intelligent pipeline pigging service market. MFL, Technology used to detect corrosion and pitting, is one of the most popular inspection tools of in-service pressurized pipelines.
If you have ever wondered what a USA pipeline map would look like, you are in luck, because the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has an interactive public viewer with a treasure trove of data available.
Pipeline safety is always a crucial subject and is at the center of a dispute in the past month between the state of Michigan and a Canadian pipeline company. The Calgary-based Enbridge’s Line 5, which transports up to 540,000 barrels of natural gas liquids and crude oil, under the Great Lakes and across Michigan each day was ordered shut down on May 12 by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer due to safety concerns of the aging infrastructure.
Built in 1953, Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s mainline system which carries fuel from Alberta’s oil sands to Eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest. The pipeline, which runs from Superior, Wisc. To Sarnia, Ontario is key for region refineries to get gas, propane, and home-heating oil to market, as well as supply jet fuel to Toronto and Detroit area airports.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Natural Gas Pipeline Project Tracker showed that new natural gas pipeline capacity increased by approximately 4.4. billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) with four new pipelines came into service between November 2020 and January 2021.
The four projects ranged from Michigan to Texas to West Virginia. Here is a look at the four new pipelines: