UTEC Survey was recently hired to provide a positioning solution for the installation of a monopod liquid natural gas platform and 30-km, 10-inch LNG pipeline for a major operation located in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Twenty-four field personnel were mobilized and engaged with Coda Octopus Products for use of their Echoscope technology to provide positioning and survey services for five vessels.

The frustrations of an oversupplied LNG market and low prices were evident as about 100 LNG buyers, sellers, lenders, advisers and goods and services suppliers gathered in London earlier this fall.

“How do you plan your business in an environment like that,” said David Ledesma, managing director of South-Court Ltd., a UK-based oil and gas consultancy. “How are you going to go out and make final investment decisions?”

Oil and gas engineers face a major problem in accurately and reliably measuring and monitoring the various fluids that are introduced into oil pipelines from well site pumping stations. A thorough understanding of both the oil separation process and the properties of valves and actuators is required to correctly specify a system that will sufficiently measure and monitor these various types of fluids. Also, the conditions downstream from each well are different, requiring valves and actuators to be highly customized to their specific role in the process.

Any inspection device used internally must be introduced into the pipeline to be investigated. This implies that the line is accessible. “Piggable” lines need suitable launchers and receivers and are generally inspected in a unidirectional mode. If tool traps are not available or suitable, access has to be achieved via other means. Accessibility can be achieved through technical and/or procedural means.

The development of North America’s unconventional oil and gas resources has brought new life to the region’s midstream sector. The infrastructure necessary to gather and transport commodities to resurgent downstream and chemicals sectors, new gas-fired power generation, and other new demand requires investment approaching a trillion dollars by some estimates.

The U.S. midstream oil and gas construction industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, forcing industry stakeholders from across the nation to work together under extreme environmental conditions, compressed project schedules, persistent labor fluctuations and ongoing cost pressures.

Geophysical surveys can be the bedrock – pardon the pun – of environmental projects, from locating abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs) and utilities, to complex mapping of geology in remedial investigations and finding landfill boundaries and other buried unknown problems.

As President Obama smugly twiddles his thumbs and decides when he’ll put Keystone out of its misery, sides are being taken, mostly along political lines, in the real debate that will decide the fate of the domestic oil industry: ending the outdated 1975 ban on crude oil exports.

Obama, of course, sees no need to lift the ban, though he says he might reconsider IF the oil industry gives up its tax breaks. As one expected, Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic nominee for president, also opposes ending the ban.

The Pipeline & Gas Journal 35th Annual 500 Report is the industry’s most comprehensive listing of U.S. energy pipeline systems. As in past years, the report ranks gas distribution, liquids and gas transmission systems. Gas transmission companies are listed by total miles of pipe. Gas distribution operators by number of customers and liquids pipelines by total crude oil and products delivered.

The digital edition of Pipeline & Gas Journal, November 2015, Vol. 242, No. 11.

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