Pipeline Opportunities Conference Draws Record Crowd

By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6
  • Oil and gas prices are down but there is still intense interest in addressing energy policy in Washington;
  • Congress is likely to adopt a national renewable energy standard, which could be both good and bad news for the gas industry;
  • Key congressional leadership changes to committees that have energy oversight responsibilities and new faces at the FERC could have far reaching implications for the gas industry;
  • The Obama administration’s proposal to repeal the deduction for intangible drilling and development cost tax incentives is causing alarm in the industry;
  • Natural gas is affected by what is going on in Congress even if gas is not the focal point of the energy or environmental legislation that is being considered; and
  • The administration’s climate change policy is going to be a game changer for U.S. energy policy and it will impact natural gas markets and the various sectors of the natural gas industry.

“Clearly, policy makers are not thinking about the harm they can cause the gas supply and industry if they are not careful,” Santa warned.

Santa also noted that while the Obama administration had expressed support to build a pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to the Lower 48, so far, no significant steps have been taken.

In the New Technologies for Pipeline segment that followed, panelists representing the Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) discussed ongoing new technologies designed to help natural gas and oil products pipeline operators.

In the session Moving Energy Products, Mike Howard, president of Energy Transfer Partners, provided attendees with an overview of recently completed pipeline projects and projects under way. He used the accompanying slide to show that during 2008, Energy Transfer completed more than 440 miles of large diameter pipeline projects and more than 310 miles in 2009.

Turning to construction activity in 2009 to 2011, Howard noted that construction of the 160-mile Texas Independence Pipeline, expected to begin service in the third quarter of 2009, will connect the Partnership's existing central and north Texas infrastructure to its East Texas pipeline network. With the addition of compression, the project may be expanded to transport natural gas volumes in excess of 1.75 Bcf/d.

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