World-Wide Pipeline Construction Plans Remain Strong

By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

CNPC plans to double the length of pipelines laid during its 12th Five Year plan – 2011-2015 - vs. the 2006-2011 Five Year plan when 167,775 miles of pipeline were constructed. This would indicate construction of some 335,550 miles, or 67,100 miles per year, by the end of 2015.
CNPC’s most significant construction project is the second West-to-East Gas Pipeline Project (WEPP), one of the largest infrastructure projects in China. The first part of the WEPP is a 2,485 miles long and capable of transporting 17 Bcm/a from Xinjiang to Shanghai.

Construction of the second part of the WEPP will have a total length of 5,656 miles and capacity of 30 Bcm/a of gas. The entire pipeline is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.
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.

GAIL (India) Limited is constructing the 870-mile Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline. Punj Lloyd is charged with laying seven of the 10 spreads totaling 510 miles. Two spreads were won by the KSS-KSSIIPL Consortium and the remaining spread by Advance Stimul Consortium.

Also in Thailand, Punj Lloyd is building a 185-mile, 42-inch pipeline for PTT LNG to transport gas from an LNG terminal being built near Rayong. The project requires 45 horizontal directionally drilled crossings and is set for completion by year-end 2013.

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.

For this reason, much of the activity in Australia is closely tied to numerous LNG terminals planned or under development. One is the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), a 50/50 joint venture between Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips to deliver coal seam gas to a plant in Gladstone. The APLNG project is designed to span from gas fields in the Surat and Bowen Basins in Queensland along a 280-mile pipeline to an LNG facility near Laird Point on Curtis Island off Gladstone.

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