Pipeline-Construction Industry Bursting With Expansion

Compiled By Dave Schafer The natural-gas pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. is experiencing the largest wave of expansion since the early 1960s, according to Industrial Information Resources Inc. (IIR), a Houston-based information provider for the industrial process, heavy manufacturing, and energy-related market sectors. IIR attributes the expansion to consumer demand, gas-fired electrical generation, existing pipelines nearing capacity, and an energy-friendly White House. Since 1997 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted permits for 55 major onshore and offshore natural-gas pipeline projects totaling over 7,800 miles of pipeline, 1.8 million hp of compression, and 21.5 billion cu ft of capacity, representing an investment in the industry of over $10 billion, IIR says. Another 22 major onshore natural-gas pipeline projects, totaling $3.3 billion, are still awaiting FERC approval, IIR says. In the long term, 25,000 miles of natural-gas transmission pipeline will be constructed by 2010 and an additional 13,000 miles by 2015, IIR says.

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