Energy Pipeline Construction Remains Strong

By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | November 2012, Vol. 67, No. 11

With its high economic growth rates and 15 percent of global population, analysts expect India’s oil and gas import demands to increase. Several import schemes, including LNG and pipeline projects, have been implemented or considered.

Australia was the world’s largest coal exporter and the fourth-largest exporter of LNG in 2009. Its prospects for expanding these exports are promising as Asian demand for coal and LNG is rising along with Australia's proven natural gas reserves. Because the distances between Australia and its key natural gas export markets in Asia discourage pipeline trade, all exports are in the form of LNG.

Australian LNG exports have risen 48 percent over the past decade and are expected to continue to increase over the short to medium term. Japan is the main destination, but other customers include China, South Korea, India, and Taiwan.

While the potential energy resource base appears ample, there remain challenges and important considerations that may continue to deter oil and gas development, including but not limited to political, economic, operational, and geopolitical risks

Despite these challenges, pipeline are being planned and constructed. One of the most ambitious is the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) planned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and Algeria’s Sonatrach. The 2,565-mile project will take gas from fields in the Niger Delta north through Nigeria to Algeria and then to the coast. It could be on line in 2015. Estimated cost is in the $10 billion range with $3 billion for upstream gas development. EU officials say the pipeline could supply 20 Bcm/y of gas to Europe by 2016.

In South Africa, construction is ahead of schedule on the 338-mile Durban-Gauteng multi-products pipeline for which Transnet received a license from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to construct and operate, along with an associated 160-mile, 16-inch inland pipeline network. Transneft officials said the project would be completed by September.

Western Europe, EU Countries
Western Europe and the EU countries hold promise for future activity with a decision by the European Commission to provide US$1.9 billion in grants to ensure that some 30 gas projects are not delayed. Those to receive grants include the 500-mile Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) project, 130-mile Poseidon Pipeline, 281-mile Skanled Pipeline, 2,050-mile Nabucco Pipeline, 235-mile Odessa-Brody project and the 130-mile Slovakia- Hungary Interconnector.

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