World-Wide Pipeline Construction Plans Remain Strong

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

Africa
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.

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.

South America, Central America, Caribbean

Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina have major pipeline projects under construction and planned.

A 530-mile ethanol pipeline is planned by Petrobras to link main ethanol-producing regions to consuming centers in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The pipeline will have a transport capacity of 21 MMcm/a.

Work is scheduled to start on the 2,575-mile Noreste Argentino Gas Pipeline (GNEA), to bring gas from Bolivia to Argentina. Argentina announced the first phase of construction will begin later this year to increase shipments of natural gas from Bolivia to 27.7 MMcf/d. The pipeline will cost an estimated $5 billion and will provide 3.4 million people in six provinces access to natural gas.

Colombia has seen a dramatic increase in oil production following a period of steady decline. Much of the increase is credited to regulatory reforms designed to make the sector more attractive to foreign investors. Colombia has implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry.

Expanded oil production will require further investment in transport infrastructure and refining capacity which China has expressed interest in financing.