In anticipation of our upcoming involvement at the Pipeline Industries Guild 61st National Dinner, we have dedicated this next article to explore major developments in pipeline industry occurring worldwide. As a company with our roots in the pipeline industry we continually monitor any advancements in the UK and abroad to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry.
Trans Mountain – Canada
Tensions continue to flare between Canadian provinces amidst plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Political point scoring and economic sanctions have been the focus of media attention between Alberta and British Columbia for the last few months as the expansion project gains further backing from the central Canadian government.
The project aims to twin the original Trans Mountain pipeline, operating since 1953, with a new 994km stretch of pipeline running along the same path from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia. According to pipeline owner, Kinder Morgan, the additional pipeline would see the amount of oil transported triple, from 300,000 barrels per day up to nearly 900,000 barrels per day.
The new pipeline has the support of the Canadian government, and is seen as a way of ensuring that Canada gets the full value for the oil that it produces. The oil that Canada currently produces only goes to one market, the American Midwest, however there’s a limit to how much oil that this market needs. This results in Canada often discounting the oil produced in order to ensure that it can continue selling to the market.
Increasing oil production will allow Canada to ship more to other markets via the Trans Mountain’s Pacific tidewater terminal, with revenue expected to increase by $3.7 billion per year, hugely benefitting the Canadian economy.
The benefits do not appear to outweigh the concerns of the residents of British Columbia, many of whom oppose the plans to expand the pipeline. Environmental concerns are prevalent, and understandably so given the impact that previous spillages from pipeline ruptures have had on the community. Pollution from vastly increased oil tanker traffic via the Burrard Inlet and concerns over action plans for clearing up potential spillages along the pipeline are the main drivers for opposition to the planned development.
Recent efforts to delay the progress of the pipeline has seen British Columbia place restrictions on increases of bitumen shipments from Alberta until adequate spill response studies are conducted. This has seen retaliatory actions by Alberta, including the immediate stoppage of wine imports from British Columbia.
With the cost of not going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion roughly estimated at $1.5 billion a year to Alberta trade alone, it is in the best interest of all sides to find an amicable solution to allow works to progress.
This is an interesting case with regular developments, follow the link to read more;
Aqueos Supports Pipeline Installation – Gulf of Mexico
Aqueos Corporation has been awarded a major contract from a world-leading, international contractor for the installation of a large pipeline project located in the Gulf of Mexico.
The project will see Aqueos utilising their state-of-the-art SPLASH DSV vessel to support shallow water installations in depths of up to 100 feet. The use of this technology helps to mitigate risk and is a significant step forward for installation practices.
Ted Roche, President and CEO of Aqueos Corporation, states that “SPLASH™ is well suited for this operation in both a moored and a live-boat mode. With our experienced crews, can-do attitude, and excellent safety record, we are extremely confident that we will exceed our customer’s expectations.”
For more information on Aqueos Corporation and their SPLASH vessel, visit;
Energy Markets – Ineos & North Sea pipeline
The Forties Pipeline System, which carries oil and gas from the North Sea fields, is back online after being shut down due to a faulty feed control valve. The pipeline had previously been shut in December due to the discovery of a hairline crack.
Operator, Ineos AG, decided to close the pipeline following a routine inspection carried out after the purchase of the pipeline from previous owners, BP. Efforts made to avoid a complete shut down included reducing the pressure of internal flow, however despite this the crack increased in size and the decision to shut down the system was made.
The pipeline is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure and provides the transportation for near 40% of the UK North Sea oil and gas production. As a result of the shut down oil prices surged to a 2 year high, with prices reaching $66 a barrel.
Ineos AG have faced criticism over the speed of the repairs, with comparisons drawn to similar pipeline incidents in the US. This was coupled with drone footage showing minimal personnel on site coupled with poor lighting, creating further cause for concern over progress.
The Health and Safety Executive have since decided to carry out further investigations into the shutdown, describing the status as ‘on going’. Further questions have been raised over the robustness of the aging pipeline, which was first commissioned in 1975.
More information can be found here;
South Stream begins construction on receiving terminal in Turkey
It’s been a long and often difficult path for South Stream Transport BV, facing many political and economic problems, however it would appear that progress is being made with the announcement that construction work has commenced for the onshore receiving terminal of the TurkStream Gas Pipeline.
The pipeline has been through its ups and downs over recent years. The project aims to connect Southern Europe with the large gas reserves in Russia by laying several pipes under the Black Sea, creating a reliable energy source.
With construction at the onshore site in Turkey, the pipeline is now on track to be put into operation before the end of 2019. Work is currently being undertaken simultaneously at three sites; onshore in Russia and Turkey and in the Black Sea.
Gazprom, the main contractor, has also been granted the appropriate licences to commence the construction of the second string of the pipeline, taking the pipeline from the Turkish coastline into the Turkish Republic.
For more information, please visit the TurkStream website;
Additional funds awarded for H21 Project
The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has received a £10.3m boost to funds for the H21 project, which aims to convert the Leeds heating network to run on 100 per cent hydrogen.
Proposals start with the conversion in the Leeds city region, and it is hoped that this will then filter through incrementally to other parts of the UK.
Traditional methods of producing heating and hot water for our buildings contributes around 20 per cent to greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen based power is favoured due to its ‘cleaner’ energy credentials, producing only heat and water when burnt, which goes a long way in helping the UK meet its carbon reduction targets.
The money, £9m of which was awarded from Ofgem, with £1.3m from UK gas distribution networks, will be used to finance controlled tests for a city-wide transition which would be expected to take three years to fully complete.
For more information;