natural gas

There probably will be neither tears nor jeers from the pipeline community over the departure of FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. He announced his exit in late May and is staying on until President Obama nominates a successor.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has announced that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) acknowledged that the company has completed three additional safety recommendations of the 12 that were issued in response to the 2010 pipeline accident in San Bruno, CA. In total, PG&E has completed action on seven of the safety recommendations.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

On Feb. 27, the drill head of a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) machine clipped a 5/8-inch gas line in a residential neighborhood of Royal Oak, MI. Escaping gas migrated to a nearby home and soon after the drilling crew left for the day, the gas ignited, destroying one home and killing its owner.

The time to obtain required federal permits from agencies other than the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for interstate natural gas pipeline projects actually has increased since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a law with the stated intent to streamline and expedite federal authorizations for such projects, a new study by the INGAA Foundation finds.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

The November elections are over and the nation has survived. But the question remains: when will the much ballyhooed economic recovery begin in earnest? It looks like 2013 is going to be another interesting and challenging year in which the underground infrastructure market must endeavor to persevere. And we will.

The Department of Energy published a report from NERA Economic Consulting which concludes unlimited exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) will help the U.S. economy, and the greater the exports, the greater the public good. The DOE automatically approves LNG exports to countries with a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. But it must find that exports to countries without FTAs are in the public interest. The DOE commissioned the report to help it decide whether to approve additional non-FTA exports.

ConocoPhillips Alaska, among the most active companies exploring for oil and gas in northern Alaska, found a lot not to like in the Obama administration decision in mid-August with regard to development of the 22.8 million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The Volvo Group will launch a 13-liter liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine within the Volvo brand for the North American market 2014. The engine’s high pressure diesel ignition technology will provide significant fuel efficiency gains compared with current natural gas products.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a Spectra pipeline project which will bring new natural gas supplies to New York City. Spectra subsidiaries Texas Eastern and Algonquin will combine to build the new capacity, which will involve about 20 miles of pipeline, among other construction, such as compressor stations, with the total project weighing in at about $850 million. Texas Eastern and Algonquin hope to have the gas flowing into Manhattan by November 2013.

Oil and gas shale production plays in several regions of the United States are having significant economic impact on the areas of activity and organizations that provide the equipment and services involved in tapping these rich sources of natural gas and oil.

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