P&GJ's worldwide pipeline construction report: picture looks clear for pipeline construction through 2010.

Author:Tubb, Rita
Position::Pipeline & Gas Journal's PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK '09


Last year proved to be a record-setting year for the pipeline sector and ongoing demand for natural gas should continue to drive new and planned pipeline construction in 2009. This is reflected in P&GJ's latest worldwide figures that indicate 160,136 miles of new and planned oil and gas pipelines are under construction and planned.

North American pipeline companies are planning and constructing 35,217 miles of oil and gas pipelines. The remaining 124,919 miles represent new and planned pipelines worldwide.

While planned pipeline mileage in North America exceeds construction, opportunities for future North American construction is anticipated. An excerpt from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, Additions to Capacity on the U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Network: 2007, on page 22, describes where future additions are likely to be concentrated in the U.S. through 2010.

As to other North American projects, a review board panel is weighing a proposal by the Mackenzie Delta Producer Group to build the $12.5 billion Mackenzie Valley Pipeline to ship gas from Canada's Arctic. The Joint Review Panel will release its report in December 2009, months later than expected. If approved, it will then go to the National Energy Board for a final review.

The pipeline, slated to tap massive gas fields under the Mackenzie River's arctic delta, was originally expected to be complete by 2011. As proposed, it will ship up to 1.9 Bcf/d of gas 750 miles along the Mackenzie River Valley to Alberta, where it would link with lines serving Canadian and U.S. markets.

The Mackenzie Delta Production Group is comprised of Imperial Oil Resources, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Group.

Also, TransCanada began awarding contracts to construct the 2,148-mile Keystone Pipeline last year. As proposed, the pipeline will transport crude from Hardisty, Alberta to U.S. Midwest markets at Wood River and Patoka, IL and to Cushing, OK.

The Canadian portion of the project involves conversion of 537 miles of existing Canadian Mainline pipeline facilities from natural gas to crude oil transmission service and construction of 232 miles of pipeline, pump stations and terminal facilities at Hardisty. The U.S. portion includes construction of 1,379 miles of pipeline.

Upon completion in late 2009 Keystone will be capable of delivering 435,000 bpd to Wood River and Patoka. It will be expanded to 590,000 bopd and extended to Cushing in late 2010.

Although currently depressed, Mexico holds promise for future pipeline construction activity as Pemex works to get a handle on the country's declining oil production, Over the next eight years, Mexico plans to invest an average of $15.4 billion annually in its petroleum industry. Oil production is projected to rise from an average of 2.8 million bpd in 2008 to 3.02 million bpd in 2017.

International Activity

International sector activity in 2009...

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