Transportation news briefs, Sept. 27

Pembina Pipeline � Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America � Nicor � Horizon Pipeline � Global Industries Offshore � Unocal � BP � National Steel & Shipbuilding

Pembina Pipeline Corp., Calgary, resumed limited operation Sept. 22 of its Pembina West pipeline in British Columbia after hydrostatic testing of the line. A rupture in the line Aug. 1 triggered a major oil spill into the Pine River near Chetwynd, BC, and threatened that town�s water supply. The spill was brought under control, but the pipeline system was shut down. Pembina says it has now resumed limited service on a section of the line from Taylor, BC, to Prince George, BC, and to a Husky Oil Ltd. refinery at Prince George. The line has capacity of 50,000 b/d of crude but will move an average of 10,000 b/d. The balance of area production will continue to be moved to markets on other Pembina pipeline systems in the area. The company said it is reviewing options for the remainder of the system from Prince George to Kamloops, BC.

Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc., and Nicor Inc. said last week that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had issued a positive preliminary determination decision regarding their proposed Horizon pipeline project. Final certification awaits a pending environmental review. Horizon Pipeline Co., a joint venture of NGPL and Nicor, plans to construct 28.5 miles of 36-in. pipeline and 8,900 hp of compression facilities from near Joliet, Ill., into McHenry County, thus connecting the supply hub at Joliet with the northern part of the Nicor Gas distribution system and an existing NGPL pipeline. The pipeline will have capacity of 380 MMcfd. If all goes well, construction on the $75 million pipeline should begin in the summer of 2001, with completion expected in the spring of 2002.

Global Industries Offshore LLC, a subsidiary of Global Industries Ltd., Carlyss, La., said Monday it's installed 7 miles of 14-in. pipe this summer for Unocal Corp. to support natural gas production from the Muni development in Ship Shoal Block 295 off Louisiana. Global used the pipelay/derrick barge Iroquois to lay the pipeline in water depths to 240 ft between the Ship Shoal 295-A platform and a subsea tie-in location at Eugene Island Block 302. The platform is owned and operated by Spirit Energy 76, a unit of Unocal, El Segundo, Calif. All tie-in services for the project�as well as testing and commissioning of the pipeline�were completed by Global in August.

BP has awarded General Dynamic Corp.'s wholly owned subsidiary National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. a $630 million contract for the construction of three double-hulled tankers for the carriage of crude oil from Valdez, Alas., to US West Coast ports. The contract includes options for three additional vessels. The design includes redundant diesel-electric propulsion systems in independent engine rooms, two propellers, and twin rudders. The new 185,000 dwt design will have capacity of 1.3 million bbl.

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