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Power and automation technology giant ABB last month opened a new factory in northwest Houston that will build fully integrated analyzer shelters for downstream oil and gas industry customers. The new 40,000-square-foot Analytical Systems Integration Facility will manufacture integrated shelters containing analyzer systems that are designed to help oil refineries and petrochemical plants maximize product quality. The new facility is one of ABB’s many recent investments in the U.S. Gulf Region.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency on June 4 released a much-anticipated study of whether hydraulic fracturing contaminates drinking water supplies, concluding that while there have been some cases of contamination, the issue is not widespread.

With Congress riled about PHMSA's slow implementation of the last pipeline safety law, the Obama administration has nominated a new administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration who lacks pipeline and hazardous materials experience. Nor has she ever been a regulator.

Marie Therese Dominguez began in the Clinton White House and worked her way through administrative positions in the
Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Postal Service and the Army, where she spent the last two years as deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

Three of North America’s largest pipeline operators - Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corporation, and Kinder Morgan Canada - have signed a Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety.

Evaluating pipeline anomalies remains a vital task in the pipeline industry. Properly identifying, assessing, and repairing defects is crucial in ensuring public and environmental safety. Recent technological advancements have automated this process and drastically increased its overall efficiency.

Quorum Business Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of business information technology solutions for the energy industry, announced completion of its acquisition of Fielding Systems, LLC. Fielding provides cloud-based applications for the oil and gas sector, including field data capture, production reporting and remote SCADA monitoring. The acquisition expands Quorum’s product suite and advances the company’s strategy to deliver industry-leading software and services which enable clients to better manage data across their organizations.

After 25 years of covering the oil and gas industry, I can still find time for a good laugh; either that or shake my head in frustration, yank out some gray hairs and ask, “why”? The other day I was perusing emails when this grabbed my attention. “Poll: Key Primary Voters Support Arctic Drilling, Say Energy is Important Issue in 2016 Race.”

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a new final rule amending the pipeline safety regulations for both gas (§192) and liquid (§195) in multiple subject areas. The final rule also made several editorial changes in the regulations. The changes are effective Oct. 1.

The need for major changes to the nation’s energy infrastructure is why President Obama initiated a quadrennial cycle of energy reviews to provide a multiyear roadmap for U.S. energy policy. The result is the recent release of the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review 2015 (QER) prepared by the White House task force.

The Caspian region of Central Asia is one of the world’s most important oil and gas-producing regions. Until recently, Caspian gas traveled thousands of miles via largely Soviet-built pipelines to eastern Russia where a portion of it was re-exported to Europe at two and even three times the purchase price.

Since 2010, however, newly built pipelines have carried natural gas east to China, which receives about 50% of Caspian gas exports, surpassing Russia and Europe’s share 26% and Iran and Turkey take of 24%.

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