Parkway Pipeline, Louisiana to Mississippi, United States of America
Parkway Pipeline is a 227km underground petroleum product pipeline being constructed in the United States with an estimated cost of $220m.
Midcontinent Express pipeline is a 500-mile (804.67km) natural gas system in the US.
The pipeline, which measures 16-inch (406mm) in diameter, will extend from Norco, Louisiana, to Collins, Mississippi. Construction was started in August 2012 and the pipeline is scheduled to put into service in September 2013.
The project is being undertaken by Parkway Pipeline, a joint venture between Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMEP) and Valero Energy. Kinder Morgan will be responsible for managing the construction and operating the pipeline.
KMEP is a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan and a major pipeline transportation and energy storage firm. It is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Valero Energy is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It is the largest independent petroleum refiner and seller in the world.
Purpose and capacity of Parkway Pipeline
The Parkway Pipeline is being built for the exportation of refined liquid petroleum products such as gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel and turbine fuel from refineries in Norco to facilities in Collins.
The transported products will be sold locally. They can further transported to major petroleum markets located in the south eastern region of the US, via other existing pipeline systems.
The project is being seen as a significant enhancement to the country's pipeline infrastructure to help cope with the nation's growing demands for energy.
At full capacity, the Parkway Pipeline will be able to carry about 23,470m3 of refined liquid petroleum products each day. The initial carrying capacity, however, will be approximately 12,910m3 a day.
Project costs and economic impact
The estimated cost of constructing the pipeline section in Mississippi is $60m. The Louisiana section is expected to cost approximately $140m.
As per Kinder Morgan's estimates, the two states will earn about $5.8m per annum in the form of property and sales tax revenues through the project. Louisiana's share will be about $3.3m, while Mississippi will benefit about $2.5m each year.
The project will also provide financial opportunities for the local businesses as it is expected to create more than 1,200 construction jobs during the peak construction period.
Route of the Parkway petroleum pipeline
The pipeline will originate from the Valero operated St. Charles Refinery in Norco. It will move northward and terminate at Collins, where it will be fastened to the Plantation Pipe Line (PPL), a petroleum transportation hub operated by Kinder Morgan.
St. Charles Refinery, located on about 1,000 acres of area, was originally built in 1980s. Its total processing capacity is about 31,684m3 a day. It produces a wide range of petroleum products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs).
In Louisiana, the pipeline will pass through the parishes of St. Charles, Jefferson, St. Tammany and Washington. In Mississippi, it will traverse the counties of Walthall, Marion, Jefferson Davis and Covington.
Construction and operation of the US pipeline
The Parkway pipeline will be built in three phases. Most important among them is the Lake Pontchartrain section.
Workers will be deployed on barges to weld the 406mm pipe. Once welded, the pipeline will be placed in a specially built trench created by a jetting process. The pipeline is scheduled to be installed about 1.2m below the surface of the lake. North and south sections from the lake form the two other phases.
The pipeline will be installed and operated as per the standards of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Advanced equipment will be used to monitor the pipeline, in addition to regular visual inspections.
Contracts awarded by KMEP and Valero
Liberty Pipeline Services was awarded a contract to provide safety inspection services for the project. Resource Environmental Solutions was contracted to provide wetland mitigation solution for the pipeline. The solution will enable the project to comply with the requirements under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
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