World-Wide Pipeline Construction Plans Remain Strong

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

Ecopetrol, one of the four principal petroleum companies in Latin America, is partnering with an international consortium to develop the Oleoducto Bicentenario pipeline. The $4.2 billion project will have a capacity of 450,000 bpd and is scheduled for completion late next year.

Sociedad Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia A.S. plans to build and operate a private-use oil pipeline between Casanare and Covenas that will be 596 miles long and have a final capacity of 450,000 bpd. The pipeline will be the largest of its kind in Colombia and developed in phases. The entire project is estimated to cost $US4.2 billion. Completion is scheduled in December 2012.

Venezuela remains a significant supplier of crude oil to the world market although no significant pipeline construction is reported. Still awaiting a construction is the $2.1 billion, 293-mile natural gas pipeline linking Venezuela’s Sucre and Anzoategui states and a second gas pipeline linking Venezuela to Argentina that will go through Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia. On the oil side, construction is expected to start in 2012-13 on the pipeline planned by state-owned PdVSA and Russian oil transporter Transneft for development of the Orinoco oil belt.

FSU, Eastern European countries
The slowest projected energy growth among non-OECD regions is for non-OECD Europe and Eurasia, which includes Russia and the other former Soviet republics. Growth in energy use for the region totals 17 percent from 2007-2035 as its population declines and substantial gains in energy efficiency are achieved by replacing inefficient Soviet-era capital equipment.

Nevertheless, Russia and nations in the FSU and Eastern Europe hold promise for future oil and gas activity and several are constructing and planning extensive pipeline networks to reach Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Kazakhstan is expected to see increased oil and gas activity. Full development of major oilfields could make it one of the world's top five oil producers within the next decade. With production of 1.54 MMbpd in 2009, Kazakhstan is expected to at least double its production by 2019. Steadily rising natural gas production is also transforming Kazakhstan from a net gas importer to a net exporter. Natural gas development has lagged behind oil due to the lack of pipeline infrastructure linking the western-producing region with the eastern industrial region as well as insufficiency in export pipelines. But the Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline will enable the transport of gas to Kazakhstan's industrial region along with increased gas exports when it comes online in 2014.