PIPE launched to considerable enthusiasm
FOLLOWING a considerable period of planning and deliberations, the Professional Institute of Pipeline Engineers (PIPE) has been now launched and is receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the oil- and gas pipeline industry. With its overall aim of improving the status of both pipeline engineers within their profession, and of the discipline of pipeline engineering in society generally, the PIPE has already received over 150 applications for ‘founder membership’ in the first month since the site at www.pipeinst.org was inaugurated.
The new Institute is the brainchild of UK-based John Tiratsoo, Editor of the Journal of Pipeline Engineering (JPE), and his partner and JPE Associate Publisher, Houston-based BJ Lowe. Between them they have set up an international group of founding board members, who’s ultimate responsibility will be to direct the PIPE, to ensure that membership criteria are set and met, and to oversee the management of its affairs in general. In this current inauguration phase, however, the Institute’s secretariat is being run by Scientific Surveys Ltd (co-publisher of the JPE). Ultimately, it is intended that the PIPE will become a not-for-profit organization, and could even receive charitable status, thereby ensuring that its members needs are at all times put first.
As visitors to www.pipeinst.org will see, the aims of the PIPE are ambitious and wide-ranging, and yet totally-focussed on the needs of pipeline engineers. In summary they are:
To promote the importance of maintaining and improving the standards of pipeline engineering for all types of pipeline for transportation of hydrocarbons and associated materials, both on- and offshore, and to acknowledge and promote the status of those involved with their design, construction, operation, and maintenance.
To promote the importance of operating these pipelines with the highest possible standards of integrity and safety.
To be proactive in the promotion and establishment of best practice in the minimization of environmental impact from pipelines of all types.
To provide an opportunity for identifying research opportunities in this field, and eventually to be a source of funding for collaborative R&D projects.
To provide a forum for discussion of all the issues concerned with pipeline engineering and integrity.
To provide a network so that those involved in maintaining pipeline integrity and safety are able to exchange ideas and experiences among their peer group.
To create, and maintain the standard of, a professional qualification for those involved in this industry which reflects their personal experience and status.
The scope of PIPE will encompass planning, design, construction, operation, and continuing maintenance of hydrocarbon and associated pipelines of all types, and it will provide a forum for engineering issues to be discussed, as well as providing an opportunity for engineers to receive a recognized qualification to establish their credibility in this field of engineering. Members will receive:
a quarterly newsletter (free)
the annual directory of members (free)
a 10% discount at all pipeline-related conferences and courses organized by Clarion Technical Conferences and Global Pipeline Monthly
a 50% discount on subscriptions to The Journal of Pipeline Engineering
a signed membership certificate
Individual members will also be entitled to access to the subscriber-only area of the PIPE’s website, which is to be established shortly, and which will ultimately contain a news service, a members’ forum, an on-line database of members’ details (which it will be optional to be included in), and other useful profession-related information.
Individual members who join PIPE prior to 1 October 2007 will be granted Founder Member status; this status will not be available to those joining on or after that date. To be accepted as a member of PIPE, members will need either two or more years work as an engineering postgraduate in some aspect of pipeline engineering, or five or more years working in pipeline engineering for those without an engineering degree or similar qualification.
For further information, see www.pipeinst.org, or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
World energy patterns showed evidence of shifting in 2006
AS THIS issue of the JPE was being prepared, BP released its annually published Statistical Review of World Energy for 2006. This seminal document is available in both hard copy and via the BP site at www.bp.com; the online Review includes an interactive energy charting tool, with data back to 1965, and a conversion calculator. Data can also be downloaded as Excel files, and the printed Review is available in pdf format. While not directly aimed at oil and gas cross-country pipelines, the conclusions of the Review are naturally germane to the pipeline industry.
BP’s Review shows that 2006 was another year of high and volatile energy prices, although despite this world energy consumption growth remained above average, continuing the trend of recent years. Energy use also increasingly shifted away from OECD countries, and became more carbon-intensive. It was a year when energy markets were once again the centre of attention, attracting the interest of politicians, consumers and policy-makers alike.
The pattern of recent years, which has seen robust demand in Asia Pacific and China in particular, was repeated with Chinese energy consumption rising more than 8%. China’s usage of all forms of energy rose in the year, taking the country’s share of total global consumption to more than 15%. Continued high energy prices resulted in slower consumption growth amongst the main energy importers, particularly the US where primary energy consumption fell by 1% compared with 2005, despite economic growth. Oil, natural gas and coal usage were down while nuclear energy and hydro-electricity were up very slightly.
Oil and gas reserves were largely unchanged in the year with the reserves-to-production ratio remaining above 40 years for oil and 60 years for gas. Despite a small decline in 2006, oil reserves are still some 15% higher than a decade ago, at 1,208 billion barrels. Global gas reserves were slightly higher at 181 trillion cubic metres, with the US and several OPEC members showing increases.
A 400,000brl/d fall in OECD oil consumption, the biggest decline from that grouping for more than 20 years, underlines the impact of rising oil prices. Prices peaked at more than $78/brl last August, as the average price of dated Brent increased by nearly one fifth to $65.14/brl in 2006. The OECD fall was the main factor behind the weakest global growth rate for oil since 2001, at 0.7%, or half the average for the past decade.
Overall global production was up around 0.4% to 81.7m brl/d. Faced with weak demand, OPEC cut production late in 2006 for the first time in nearly two years. For the year as a whole, OPEC increased its production by an average 130,000brl/d to 34.2m brl/d.
Amongst OPEC producers the main increases came from United Arab Emirates and Iraq while there were declines in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria. Outside OPEC, output was up by around 300,000brl/d in 2006, though this rise was less than half the 10-year average. The biggest growth came from Russia, up by 220,000brl/d, and Azerbaijan, Angola and Canada. Oil production was down in the UK for the seventh year in a row, and in the US for the sixth year in a row.
Consumption, strongly fuelled by demand growth in Russia and China, rose by 2.5% in 2006, close to the average of the past decade, these rises in demand offsetting the declines in the US and Europe. The European fall was due to a combination of higher prices and warmer-than-normal weather. Russian gas demand – almost as large as the total consumed by the whole Asia Pacific region – increased by 7% in 2006, accounting for 40% of the global increase. China’s consumption grew more than 20% to 55.6bn cum.
Gas production was up more strongly than it has been for many years, by about 3%, led by Russia. The US also staged a recovery following the severe hurricane damage in 2005. UK production, however, fell for the sixth year in a row.
Dominated by China, coal was once again the world’s fastest-growing hydrocarbon. For the eighth year in a row China’s demand grew, but at 8.7% was well down on the double-digit growth of recent years. China still accounted for 70% of the global growth in coal consumption; even excluding China, global coal consumption is increasing. While US consumption was down for the second year in a row, consumption in the UK and elsewhere in the OECD was up for the third consecutive year.
Nuclear and hydroelectricity
The OECD countries accounted for the lion’s share of the global increase of about 1.4% in nuclear output, mainly through increased capacity utilization and capacity upgrades. Hydroelectric generation was above the decade average at 3.2%, with notable capacity-related increases in China, India, and Brazil. Increased rainfall in the US offset declines in Canada and Scandinavia.