2013 Pipeline Construction Report

By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | January 2013, Vol. 68, No. 1

Underground Construction and Pipeline & Gas Journal’s 2013 survey figures indicate 116,837 miles of pipelines are planned and under construction worldwide. Of these, 83,806 represent projects in the planning worldwide design phase while 33,031 reflect various stages of construction.

Following is a look at new and planned pipeline miles in the seven basic regional groups (see area map): North America – 41,810; South/Central America and Caribbean – 12,285; Africa – 7,999; Asia Pacific – 33,811; Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe – 10,374 ; Middle East – 7,791; and Western Europe and European Union – 2,767. For information on these and other pipeline projects, see our sister publication, Pipeline News.

North American gas
The U.S. rising shale gas production is credited with increasing mileage of new and planned pipelines. DTE Energy, Enbridge Inc. and Spectra Energy Corp. plan to jointly develop the NEXUS Gas Transmission (NGT) system to move growing supplies of Ohio Utica shale gas to markets in the Midwest, including Ohio and Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. The proposed NGT project will originate in northeastern Ohio, include 250 miles of large-diameter pipe, and be capable of transporting 1 Bcf/d of natural gas. Targeted in-service date is November 2015.

The Front Range NGL Pipeline that will originate in the Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJ Basin) in Weld County, CO and extend about 435 miles to Skellytown, TX is planned by Enterprise Products Partners, Anadarko Petroleum and DCP Midstream It will provide takeaway capacity and market access to the Gulf Coast. Initial capacity is expected at 150,000 bpd which can be expanded to 230,000 bpd. Enterprise will construct and operate the pipeline which is expected to begin service later this year.

Enterprise continues to expand its natural gas and NGL infrastructure in South Texas and Mont Belvieu, TX, to accommodate the Eagle Ford Shale play. Construction is progressing on a 350-mile pipeline, a processing facility and an NGL fractionator at the Mont Belvieu complex. Included in the expansion are two additional pipeline segments totaling 168 miles, of which 26 miles of 24-inch pipeline will extend the mainline to the far western reaches of the Eagle Ford. The remaining 142 miles, to be built in two segments, will comprise 30-and 36-inch line in the eastern portion of the Eagle Ford. A new 64-mile, 30-inch line from the cryogenic facility to its Wilson natural gas storage facility in Wharton County will provide takeaway capacity for residue gas.