Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A truck driver was fatally struck in the head by one of the 12-foot long plastic pipes he was unloading at Gary Carlson Equipment in Blaine, MN,

Truck driver fatally hit by large pipe during unloading in Blaine
The incident occurred at a construction equipment business.

By Paul Walsh Star Tribune
October 25, 2016 — 8:51pm 


A truck driver was fatally struck in the head by one of the large plastic pipes he was delivering Tuesday morning to a construction equipment business in Blaine, police said.

The incident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. at Gary Carlson Equipment in the 10700 block of Mankato Street, just west of Radisson Road NE., said police Lt. Dan Pelkey.

The semitrailer truck driver, in his 20s and from Missouri, was unloading the 12-foot-long pipes from his trailer when “one came off the trailer and struck him,” Pelkey said.

The man was taken by emergency responders to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids with critical injuries and later died, the lieutenant said. The driver’s name has not been released.

Emergency scanner traffic indicated that the pipe hit the man in the head and left him unconscious but still breathing as he was taken from the loading area.

The man’s death is being investigated by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For the five years ending in 2015, workplace deaths in Minnesota involving “contact with object/equipment” averaged nearly eight per year, according to state statistics. That category includes contact with vehicles such as trucks, forklifts and front-end loaders, said agency spokesman James Honerman.

That category also accounts for the most common instances of workplace fatalities, making up 42 percent of the 92 deaths overall from 2011-15.

Transporting loads is a very dangerous operation. It might seem like a simple task of getting stuff from one place and bringing it to another. But loading, unloading and transporting cargo can cause serious injury and even fatality. Workers loading and unloading cargo are exposed to serious danger in that heavy objects may hit or fall on them if they don’t follow the right procedures in securing loads.

Drivers may meet accidents if they don’t drive safely while carrying heavy loads. The same thing can happen if the weight of the cargo is not distributed well, thus compromising the driver’s control of the vehicle.

What makes transporting loads more dangerous is the possibility of risking lives of other drivers on the road. This can happen when loads are not securely fastened to the vehicle and they end up rolling onto the road and hitting other vehicles or obstructing their path.

Now that you know how hazardous transporting loads can be, it’s time you learn more about securing loads properly. Here are guidelines you should follow for this important task:

1. Loading areas should always have good lighting. They should also be away from both vehicles and pedestrians.

2. Loading areas should be firm, flat and free from potholes and other obstructions that may cause slips or trips.

3. Inspect the vehicle and make sure that horns, reflectors, lights and other safety features are in good condition.

4. Provide guards for dangerous parts of the vehicle such as chain drives, power take-off and exposed exhaust pipes.

5. Before loading transport, ensure that the vehicle is braked and stabilized.

6. Clean off first any junk or loose materials (crates, cables, wires, chains, and bins) in the vehicle before loading tools or equipment.

7. A rule of thumb when securing cargo in the vehicle: one tie-down must be used for every ten feet of cargo. Make sure, though, to use at least two tie-downs for any cargo regardless of its length.

8. Use a red flag to mark loads that extend more than three feet beyond the body of the vehicle. When transporting cargo at night, use a red light instead.

9. Use at least 4 binders for loads like pipes and logs that are 27 feet long. Ensure that the spacing between binders is equal.

10. Never load unsecured items on the backseat or rear window deck of the vehicle. This can cause the load to hit passengers or the driver when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop.

11. As much as possible, use a compartment or tool box to keep small items secure in a vehicle. If this is not feasible, use a tarp to cover the small items, making sure that it is securely tied down with ropes or straps.

12. When on the road, stop frequently to check your cargo. This is all the more necessary when traveling long distances.

Unloading cargo can be as dangerous as loading and securing it. That’s why employees must remain cautious when carrying and unloading tools, equipment and other materials from vehicles. This should not be a problem when they’re properly trained in this procedure.

A tractor-trailer carrying 44,000 gallons of ammonium nitrate slurry caught fire Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 67 near Reyno, Arkansas


4:52 p.m. UPDATE: Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble told Region 8 News that the road south of the scene of this afternoon's truck fire is back open. A wrecker has been called to the scene for cleanup.
Catch LIVE reports coming up on Region 8 News at 5 and 6.

4:24 p.m. UPDATE: The fire is now out, according to Bo Graham, the Randolph County director of emergency management.
The tires, brakes and air bags caught fire, he said. 
Graham confirmed there was no chemical release of the ammonium nitrate slurry on the trailer.
Arkansas State Police will be in charge of moving the trailer. They are contacting a wrecker service.
Officers are diverting traffic along the old highway. 

4:20 p.m. UPDATE: Whitney Green, public information officer for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, tells Region 8 News there was no release of the chemical.
She said the truck tires were the only thing that caught fire.
Crews on the scene have not confirmed if the fire is out or not.

3:55 p.m. UPDATE:  Randolph County Judge David Jansen confirms the truck is loaded with 44,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate.
The Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad is on the way to the scene and local crews are suiting up to fight the fire.
Meanwhile, they have evacuated a half-mile radius from the scene. Jansen said it is "not very populated," so he was not sure how many homes would be affected.
Jack Adams, manager of Cole's Grocery in Reyno, said that police are rerouting traffic onto the old highway. No one, he said, is allowed below Reyno.
He said that they have received no evacuation notices in town.

3:07 p.m. UPDATE:  Randolph County Judge David Jansen says the fire is located 15 miles north of Pocahontas, between Biggers and Reyno.
Sheriff Gary Tribble is en route to the scene.

Crews are responding to a report of a semi truck loaded with explosives on fire.
The truck, according to a Randolph County sheriff’s deputy, is located in the 14000-block of Highway 67 North.
Motorists should avoid this area.


REYNO, Ark. (AP) - A tractor-trailer rig carrying ammonia nitrate caught fire and burned in northeast Arkansas, forcing the evacuation of homes for about a half-mile around the fire near the town of Reyno.

Randolph County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Bo Graham says the fire was put out Tuesday afternoon and there are no injuries.

The number of people forced to leave their homes or businesses was not immediately known.

Graham says the brakes on the trucks caught fire as the truck traveled on Highway 67.


Tractor-trailer carrying ammonium nitrate catches fire on Arkansas highway

By Austin Cannon

  October 25, 2016

No injuries were reported after a tractor-trailer carrying 44,000 gallons of ammonium nitrate caught fire Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 67 near Reyno, said a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Whitney Green said none of the chemical escaped the truck and that only the truck’s tires, rims and brake pads caught fire. The emergency management department’s local coordinator reported the fire about 3:30 p.m., she said.

Firefighters from the Biggers-Reyno and Pocahontas departments helped extinguish the flames, Green said.

Brad Smithee, an official with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said traffic had been blocked off a substantial distance away from the fire and that it was being diverted onto a county road west of the highway.

Ammonium nitrate is a component in some plant fertilizers. It’s normally a stable chemical, but when it’s exposed to fire, it can cause additional, uncontrollable fires or explosions, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate was stored at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas. Its plant exploded in April 2013, killing 15 people.

Maintenance worker died after he fell inside a 35-foot-deep concrete wastewater tank at the Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant on Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay

OCTOBER 26, 2016

Sheepshead Bay, New York
A man has died after falling to the bottom of a 35-foot-deep concrete wastewater tank while on the job at a Brooklyn treatment facility Wednesday, police and fire officials said.

The man, who sources said is a contractor in his early 30s, was working at the Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant on Knapp Street in Sheepshead Bay when he fell into the tank and became trapped at the bottom around 12:30 p.m., authorities said.

Police and firefighters, including members of elite marine units and scuba divers from the NYPD and FDNY, arrived at the scene and desperately searched for the man before finally finding him submerged about 8 minutes later and pulling him out, said FDNY Deputy Chief John Hodgens.

“He fell and he went right to the bottom,” Hodgens told reporters, adding, “There was no sign of him on the surface of the water.”

When the man was pulled out of the tank, “Immediately CPR was started on him to try and get a pulse,” said Hodgens.

The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was rushed to Coney Island Hospital in critical condition and emergency responders performed CPR on him right up until they reached the hospital, officials said.

But the man died shortly after.

The wastewater the man fell into is the final stage of treatment before the water gets funneled out into Plumb Beach Channel, which is located near the plant.

It was not immediately clear how the man fell into the tank.

“It’s a unknown environment,” said Hodgens of the conditions of the water. “We have zero visibility. They performed a difficult search in order to recover this member. It wasn’t cut and dry by any means.”


Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant 


The Coney Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, New York. Its borders are located at Avenue Y to the North, Voorhies Avenue to the South, Coyle Street to the West and Shell Bank Creek to the East. The plant has been in operation since 1952. The plant site is approximately 30 acres, of which 8 acres are dedicated to recreational facilities for the adjacent community.

To comply with the Clean Water Act, beginning in 1983 until completion in 1993 the plant was upgraded from a modified aeration plant to a full secondary plant. Because the site is limited, the upgrading was performed in a series of 12 construction phases and construction contracts at a cost of over $600 million. Today it provides treatment for 110 mgd of wastewater at average conditions and has a maximum capacity of 220 mgd of wastewater for the 684,569 New Yorkers it serves. 


Project is scheduled to be completed in December 2011. 


Cost of the Coney Island Wastwater Treatment Plant project is $48 million. 

Community Issues

Because of the close proximity to the neighborhood, odor control is an on-going issue at the plant. To alleviate any odor issues, the plant is equipped with an extensive odor control system and the primary and aeration tanks are covered.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho found there had been improper grand jury testimony and dismissed the indictment against Carlos Pino.

Charges dropped against limo driver in Long Island crash that killed 4

Updated 17 mins ago
CENTRAL ISLIP, New York (WABC) -- A judge on Wednesday dismissed criminally negligent homicide and other charges against a limousine driver whose four passengers were killed in a crash after leaving a vineyard on Long Island.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho found there had been improper grand jury testimony in the case and dismissed the indictment against Carlos Pino.

Pino, 59, had been awaiting trial on an array of charges, which included assault and reckless driving offenses.

He refused to answer questions from reporters as he left the courthouse Wednesday.

Four women at a bachelorette party were killed after a limousine was hit by a pickup truck on the eastern end of Long Island. 

Pino's attorney, Leonard Lato, said prosecutors "knew all along that this was not a criminal case" but presented it to a grand jury "rather than have the integrity and actually tell that to the families of these poor girls who died."

Authorities have said Pino was trying to make a U-turn at an intersection along Route 48 in Cutchogue after leaving a nearby winery when a pickup truck broadsided the limo on July 18, 2015. Brittany M. Schulman, 23, of Smithtown; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; and Amy R. Grabina, 23, of Commack, were killed.

Four other women and the limo driver were hospitalized.

Lato had argued in court papers that Pino wasn't criminally responsible because he did nothing more than fail to perceive the proximity of an approaching truck as he made the turn. Steven Romeo, the driver whose pickup truck collided with the limo, was charged with drunken driving offenses, but prosecutors said he wasn't criminally responsible for the crash. A case against him is still pending; Romeo has said he isn't guilty.

Romeo made an application for dismissal but it was denied because prosecutors introduced evidence that his blood alcohol content was more than .08 at the time of the accident.

Pino is the defendant in several lawsuits brought by the families of the women who were killed and injured in the crash. Family members of some of the victims attended the court proceeding Wednesday but declined to comment.

Pino's attorney concedes that his client, as well as the truck driver, might have liability in the civil cases.

"He should've seen the oncoming car," Lato said. "Was there civil liability? Yes. Was it a criminal case? No."

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said he would appeal the judge's decision.

Spota issued a statement which read in part:

"We are extremely disappointed that Justice Camacho determined the actions of Carlos Pino on July 18, 2015 were not criminal. Pino's actions were far from just careless. Pino, an experienced professional limousine driver carrying eight passengers, turned blindly into a roadway when his view was completely blocked by another car. Pino was driving a vehicle he knew or should have known could never make a safe U-turn under the circumstances. Justice Camacho's decision appears to ignore this critical and distinguishing fact. Simply because others made the turn without harm did not make doing so safe or lawful when done blindly as Pino did.

There is no evidence that the grand jurors were confused by the thorough, fair and impartial legal instructions given to them by prosecutors. The grand jury with the benefit of hearing the testimony of numerous witnesses, including from crash reconstruction experts, reached their decision. The grand jury found that Pino's heedlessly executed U-turn was serious enough to "constitute conduct that should be condemned" by an indictment."

Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Stations and Major Natural Gas Transportation Corridors

Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Stations and Major Natural Gas Transportation Corridors

Natural gas pipeline compressor stations, like this one on the Trailblazer Pipeline in northeastern Colorado, offer strong opportunities for clean and renewable energy from waste heat recovery.

Natural gas compressor stations using compressors driven by gas turbines or internal combustion engines offer strong opportunities for waste heat recovery.

Transporting natural gas from producers to consumers requires an extensive and elaborate distribution system, which consists of a complex network of pipelines.  Compression stations, usually placed at 40 to 100 mile intervals along the pipeline, are required to ensure proper pressurization of natural gas. The natural gas enters the compressor station, where it is compressed by a turbine, or engine.  Compressor stations move on average about 700 million cubic feet (MMcf) of natural gas per day, with the largest moving upwards of 4.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day.

Although natural gas compressor stations vary widely in size and layout, the basic compressor systems are comprised of two components - the "mechanical drive" that provides the shaft power that drives the compressor, and the "compressor" itself.  The mechanical drive can be an internal combustion (IC) engine, gas turbine, or electric motor.  The compressor itself can be a reciprocating, centrifugal, or screw compressor. IC engine and gas turbine drives burn natural gas from the pipeline.  Electric motor drives can be used on any type of compressor but require reliable electrical power supply.

Source: Energy Information Administration, Office of Oil & Gas, Natural Gas Division, Natural Gas Transportation Information System.  The EIA has determined that the informational map displays here do not raise security concerns, based on the application of the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Guidelines for Providing Appropriate Access to Geospatial Data in Response to Security Concerns.

Facts and Figures

According to U.S. DOE natural gas pipeline data, the U.S. features:

·         More than 210 natural gas pipeline systems.

·         305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines

·         More than 1,400 compressor stations that maintain pressure on the natural gas pipeline network and assure continuous forward movement of supplies (see map above).

·         More than 11,000 delivery points, 5,000 receipt points, and 1,400 interconnection points that provide for the transfer of natural gas throughout the United States.

·         24 hubs or market centers that provide additional interconnections.

·         400 underground natural gas storage facilities.

·         49 locations where natural gas can be imported/exported via pipelines.
 -    8 LNG (liquefied natural gas) import facilities and 100 LNG peaking facilities

The national natural gas delivery network is intricate and expansive, but most of the major transportation routes can be broadly categorized into 11 distinct corridors or flow patterns.

5 major routes extend from the producing areas of the Southwest

4  routes enter the United States from Canada

2 originate in the Rocky Mountain area. 

A summary of the major corridors and links to details about each corridor are provided below.  

Corridors from the Southwest Region

More than 20 of the major interstate pipelines originate in the Southwest Region. Some extend to the Southeast through Louisiana and Arkansas, others to the Central and Midwestern States through Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and to the Western States through New Mexico. This area of the country exports about 45 percent (6.1 trillion cubic feet in 2007) of its production, which is 47 percent of the total natural gas consumed elsewhere in the lower 48 States.

Pipelines exiting the region have the capacity to accommodate as much as 45.2  Bcf per day: 62 percent to the Southeast Region, 20 percent to the Central Region, 13 percent to the Western Region, and the rest to Mexico. Much of the pipeline capacity directed toward the Southeast traverses the region en route to Midwestern and Northeastern markets. To a lesser degree, this is also true for the pipeline capacity exiting to the midsection of the country, much of which is ultimately destined for the Midwestern States.

1. Southwest-Southeast: from the area of East Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico, to the Southeastern States.

2. Southwest-Northeast: from the area of East Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico, to the U.S. Northeast (via the Southeast Region).

3. Southwest-Midwest: from the area of East Texas, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, and Arkansas to the Midwest.

4. Southwest Panhandle-Midwest: from the area of southwestern Texas, the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, western Arkansas, and southwestern Kansas to the Midwest.

5. Southwest-Western: from the area of southwestern Texas (Permian Basin) and northern New Mexico (San Juan Basin) to the Western States, primarily California.

Corridors From Canada

6. Canada-Western: from the area of Western Canada to Western markets in the United States, principally California, Oregon, and Washington State.

7. Canada-Midwest: from the area of Western Canada to Midwestern markets in the United States.

8. Canada-Northeast: from the area of Western Canada to Northeastern markets in the United States.

9. Eastern Offshore Canada-Northeast: from the area of offshore eastern Canada (Sable Island) to New England markets in the United States.

Corridors From the Rocky Mountain Area

In the Central Region, only two major interstate pipelines originating within the region provides transportation services directly to another region, Kern River Transmission Company and the Rockies Express Pipeline Company. All the others operate primarily within the Central Region itself or originate in other regions. Shippers using these interregional lines to move supplies outside the region take advantage of the interconnections these lines have with the interstate pipelines traversing the region, principally those coming out of the Southwest Region.

10. Rocky Mountains-Western: from the Rocky Mountain area of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to the Western States, primarily Nevada and California with support for markets in Oregon and Washington.

11. Rocky Mountains-Midwest: from the Rocky Mountain area to the Midwest, including markets in Iowa, Missouri, and eastern Kansas. 

Details about the Transportation Corridors

Southwest to Southeastern US

Two fairly distinct subcorridors extend into the Southeast Region from the Southwest: one goes eastward into Mississippi and continues further east, and the second goes northward into Tennessee and Kentucky. Along the first route, five major interstate pipeline companies -- Centerpoint Energy Transmission Company, Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT), Gulf South Pipeline Company, Gulfstream Natural Gas System, and Southern Natural Gas Company (SONAT) -- transport the vast majority of natural gas that is delivered within the Southeast region. Together they can handle at least 13.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day for shippers in the region.

Since 2006, several major transmission pipeline expansions have taken place on this route as expanding natural gas development and production in the Barnett shale and Bossier formations in east Texas has needed to find access to new markets. Centerpoint Energy Transmission Company and Gulf South Pipeline Company have both extended and expanded their mainline systems to reach interstate pipeline interconnections in Mississippi and Alabama, increasing capacity along this route by 3.7 Bcf/d. By 2010, three more interstate pipelines are scheduled to be built along this corridor, adding 4.2 Bcf/d. They are: Texas Gas Transmission Company's 1.1 Bcf/d Fayetteville/Greenville Laterals, the 1.7 Bcf/d Gulf Crossing Pipeline and the 1.4 Bcf/d MidContinent Express Pipeline.

Varying amounts of capacity on several other large interstate pipelines that follow this subcorridor also serve limited markets in the region. For instance, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (Transco) serves customers in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina as it continues along its route up the east coast. However, this service only represents about 1.1 Bcf per day, or 30 percent, of the 3.5 Bcf per day found on the Transco system as it enters the region. Yet, in North Carolina it is essentially the only source of natural gas supplies to the State.

Along the second subcorridor, one pipeline company Texas Gas Transmission Company (TGT) predominates, at least in terms of delivery points. While this system extends into the Midwest Region, more than 70 percent of its delivery points are located in the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. TGT provides substantial deliveries to underground storage facilities in northern Kentucky that supplement supplies to the local market and to the Midwest Region during the heating season.

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (Tenneco) and Texas Eastern Transmission Company (TETCO) are two additional systems operating along this subcorridor, but most of their delivery points are outside the Southeast Region. Tenneco, however, is the principal supplier of gas to two regional interstate pipelines: Enbridge Pipelines (AlaTenn), mostly operating in northern Alabama, and the East Tennessee Gas Company (Tennessee and Virginia).

The underground storage facilities located along this corridor are defined by their location. Those facilities at the corridor's southern end in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are mainly high-deliverability salt storage sites to support shippers and traders who want to acquire supplies for shipment to market. Of the 11.6 Bcf of daily storage deliverability (withdrawal) available in the area, 56 percent is from salt cavern sites.

This feature provides shippers using these corridors access to very flexible storage, which can be used to enhance their deliverability schedule, avoid transportation imbalances, and support any gas trading or hedging activities they may wish to engage in. In northwestern Kentucky, along the western subcorridor, storage facilities are devoted primarily to providing seasonal supplies. They are supported, for the most part, by deliveries from the Texas Gas Transmission system. The majority of the storage in Mississippi and Alabama is available to shippers using either subcorridor.   

Southwest to Northeastern US

The Southwest-to-Northeast corridor consists of two routes. The first extends from East Texas and Louisiana northeastward through Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio to enter the Northeast Region via West Virginia or Pennsylvania. The second route begins as the first but then extends northeastward from Mississippi via the east coast States and enters Virginia from the south. The principal interstate pipeline systems operating along the corridor include Tennessee Gas, Columbia Gulf Transmission, and Texas Eastern Transmission on the western segment, and Transcontinental Gas Pipeline on the eastern segment. These four pipeline companies represent approximately 10.2 Bcf per day of total corridor capacity, making this corridor the largest of the major transportation corridors in North America.

During wintertime peak periods, each of the systems is almost fully utilized. During the summer months, however, usage rates for the pipeline systems operating along this corridor tend to drop substantially. The principal factor affecting summertime usage rates on several of these pipeline systems is the demand for gas to refill underground storage sites in the States of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and, to some degree, Ohio and New York as well.

The majority of the more than 190 underground storage sites located along this corridor are accessible to shippers. At the southwestern terminus of the corridor, more than 30 sites with a working gas capacity of at least 624 billion cubic feet and a daily withdrawal capability of 13 Bcf per day are located within 20 miles of the subject pipeline systems. Most of this capacity is used by producers, who use it to store short-term excess production, and by market centers.

This corridor links with some of the most active trading points located outside the Southwestern production area. One of the most significant is the Ellisburg-Leidy center in Pennsylvania, which provides interconnections and transportation services between the pipelines comprising this corridor and the other major interstate pipelines operating primarily within the Northeast States. Shippers using the corridor may also utilize the services of several natural gas market centers to expand their marketing and transportation options.

Southwest to Midwestern US

The Southwest-to-Midwest corridor extends northward out of East Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas (Arkoma Basin production) and generally through Tennessee/Kentucky into the Midwest Region, although a part of it also travels through Missouri. The principal interstate pipeline systems operating along this corridor are: ANR Pipeline Company (ANR), Midwestern Gas Transmission Company (via Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company), Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL), Texas Gas Transmission Company (TGT), Texas Eastern Transmission Company (TETCO), and Trunkline Gas Company. Mississippi River Gas Transmission Pipeline Company also transports gas along this corridor but it terminates in the St Louis, Missouri, area. Its operations in Illinois are confined to the area east of St Louis.

The portions of these systems located along this corridor represent approximately 7.8 Bcf per day, or 28 percent of the total pipeline capacity feeding into the Midwest Region (27.5 Bcf per day). They also account for more than 30 percent of the total pipeline capacity exiting this area of the Southwest.

Little underground storage is located along the midsection of this corridor. However, shippers have access to significant amounts of storage at either end. This corridor also links together two major gas trading centers: the Henry Hub in Louisiana and the Chicago Center in northern Illinois. In addition, the corridor also includes several natural gas trading (and price discovery) locations accessible to shippers and traders via the several major commercial electronic trading systems set up in the United States and Canada.

During the heating season, these markets are actively used by shippers and other market participants as a way to balance their receipts/deliveries, for arbitrage between the two markets, and to smooth market and price fluctuations through hedging.  

Southwest Panhandle to Midwestern US

This route is a major link between the Waha area (Permian Basin) of southwestern Texas and the Chicago area market. It extends from the West Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle areas northward through the major gas production fields (including Hugoton and Panhandle) located in southwestern Kansas, and then northeastward toward the Midwest marketplace. In Nebraska, it links with another corridor (see Rocky Mountain-Midwest section) bringing supplies in from the Rocky Mountain areas of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.

There are four major interstate pipelines that run along this corridor: ANR Pipeline Company, Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company, Northern Natural Gas Company, and Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America. These four pipelines alone constitute 67 percent of total pipeline capacity exiting this area. These pipeline routes, however, represent only about 17 percent of the total capacity into the Midwest Region. The Trailblazer Pipeline system ties in Rocky Mountain supplies with an interconnection to Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in Nebraska.

Market centers and commercial trading points located in the Waha and Panhandle area of West Texas serve this transportation corridor at its apex. At its terminus, shippers and traders can link their Texas trading with the Chicago market. In addition, trading centers located in south central Kansas provide shippers with the opportunity to do business with traders in the other two areas. All four pipelines operating in the corridor have direct or indirect links with each other.

Only a limited amount of underground storage capacity is available to transporters along this route. However, during the nonheating season a sizeable amount of capacity on these systems is used to transport supplies for injection into storage facilities in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The ANR Pipeline system in particular has a number of open-access sites located at the northern end of its system in Michigan. NGPL has a number of storage sites located in Illinois.  

Southwest to Western US

The Southwest-Western corridor is used to transport supplies from the Permian Basin area of West Texas, through New Mexico (where the northern route taps into the San Juan Basin production area), and westward primarily to Arizona and California. Two major interstate pipelines, El Paso Natural Gas Company and Transwestern Pipeline Company, operate along this corridor. Both of these pipelines end at the California or Nevada State borders, where they deliver supplies to Southwest Gas Company (Nevada), Southern California Gas Company, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the largest pipelines serving the California marketplace. In addition, Transwestern Gas Pipeline Company links with the Mojave Pipeline Company, an interstate pipeline that transports natural gas supplies to the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and cogeneration customers located in Kern County, California.

Joining El Paso Natural Gas Company and Transwestern Pipeline Company along the northern route, in 2002 Questar's Southern Trails Pipeline (an oil pipeline conversion) was completed, transporting an additional 90 MMcf per day between the San Juan Basin area and the California border.

Much of the natural gas flowing along this corridor is produced in the San Juan Basin. The TransColorado Pipeline system, completed in 1996, can move as much as 590 MMcf per day from north central Colorado and the Ignacio area of the southern Colorado San Juan Basin to interconnections with the El Paso Natural Gas and Transwestern Pipeline systems in the Blanco area of northwestern New Mexico. Northwest Pipeline Company also can deliver up to 250 Mmcf per day into these two systems.

A significant amount of West Texas and New Mexico gas supplies also are transported along the southern portion of this corridor, which consists primarily of the El Paso Natural Gas Company's Line 2000 which has a throughput capacity of approximately 2.4 Bcf per day. This section of the corridor primarily serves southern Arizona and southern California, but in 2002 it also began service to the new North Baja Pipeline system, designed to transport up to 500 MMcf per day to Mexico. (In 2010, the North Baja Pipeline system will become bidirectional, having the capability to transport up to 2.0 Bcf per day from LNG import facilities in Mexico to Western U.S. markets.)

There is very little underground natural gas storage capacity associated with this corridor. At the extreme eastern end of the corridor, only one site, the Washington Ranch facility operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company, is reserved primarily for system support services and is not available for customer use. At its western end, in southern California, a limited amount of storage capacity is available to shippers at five sites operated by Southern California Gas Company (SoCal).

Although some of the natural gas injected into these storage sites comes from producing fields in southern California, a significant amount of the working gas stored at these sites comes out of this corridor. The combined withdrawal rate capability of the four sites is 3.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day, while their total working gas capacity is 120 Bcf. This translates into roughly 32 days of backup from these sites.

Western Canada to Midwestern US

This transportation corridor lies between Western Canadian supply areas and the U.S. Midwest and links two Canadian systems, TransCanada Pipeline Ltd. and Foothills Pipeline Company, with three United States pipeline systems, Great Lakes Gas Transmission Company, Northern Border Pipeline Company and Viking Gas Transmission Company. In addition, the 1,300-mile Alliance Pipeline, completed in late 2000, provides a direct transportation route for "wet" (natural gas high in liquids content) between producing fields in northwestern British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, and a gas-processing plant (Aux Sable) located outside Chicago, Illinois. These tie-ins represent about 6.2 Bcf per day of pipeline capacity, or about 41 percent of total U.S. natural gas import capacity in 2006. Between 1990 and 2006, capacity on this route more than doubled, going from 3.1 Bcf per day in 1990 to 7.2 Bcf per day in 2006.

The Northern Border Pipeline (NBP) system extended its pipeline system to Illinois (from it original terminus in Iowa) in 1998 and to Indiana in 2001, now providing almost a Bcf per day to the Chicago area and to customers in Indiana. In 2000, another pipeline, the Vector Pipeline system, located between Chicago, Illinois and Dawn, Ontario, at the eastern end of the corridor, was placed in service. It can transport up to one Bcf per day between the United States (Michigan) and Canada (Ontario). It was developed primarily to provide an alternative expansion route for Canadian gas and service to customers in Ontario, Canada. It also lies along a route that can be expanded to potentially accommodate gas transportation of Western Canadian gas to Northeast U.S. markets via the Empire/Millennium gas pipeline system that is scheduled for development in New York State in 2008.

A large number of underground storage facilities are located in proximity to several of the pipeline systems operating in this corridor, although not all of them are directly accessible to shippers. For instance, nine sites (1 Bcf per day injection, 1.8 Bcf per day withdrawal capability) are directly accessible to shippers using the Great Lakes Gas Transmission system, while the storage facilities located in Illinois and operated by Northern Illinois Gas Company (eight sites, 3.4 Bcf working gas capacity) are available only through the Chicago Market Center, which is affiliated with the company, or through the company itself. Altogether, the daily injection capability at storage facilities linked to the receiving end of this corridor represents the potential use of about five Bcf per day of pipeline capacity during the storage refill period from April through October.

Western Canada to Northeastern US

The western portion of the Canada-Northeast corridor links the TransCanada Pipeline system (and Western Canadian gas production) to seven pipeline companies in the Northeastern United States. The seven are: Iroquois Pipeline Company, North Country Pipeline Company, the Portland Gas Transmission System, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, Empire Pipeline Company, Vermont Gas Company, and St. Lawrence Gas Company. Indirectly, the corridor also supplies gas to the National Fuel Gas Supply Company and Dominion Transmission Company.

The seven systems transport gas primarily into New York and the New England States at a total capacity level of 3.4 Bcf per day. While the vast majority of the Canadian capacity that comes into the U.S. Northeast is off the northern tier of the TransCanada system, about five percent represents capacity that traverses the U.S. Midwest (on the Great Lakes Transmission system), crosses back into Canada through Ontario, and is imported once again at Niagara, New York.

In Canada, at the western end of this corridor in Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces, approximately 4 Bcf per day of daily storage deliverability is available at 12 sites interconnected with the TransCanada Pipeline System. In addition, over 25 storage sites located at Dawn, Ontario, Canada, are available to shippers transporting supplies to the area via the Great Lakes Transmission system. In the U.S. Northeast, storage deliverability of up to 14.8 Bcf per day is available to these shippers.

Eastern Canada to Northeast (New England)

This corridor consists primarily of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline system, completed in late 1999. It can transport more than 445 MMcf per day into the United States from off the eastern coast of Canada at Sable Island. The current system merges with the Portland Gas Transmission System at Wells, Maine to deliver almost 628 MMcf per day in northern Massachusetts to customers on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. Beginning in 2002, with the completion of Phase III of the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline system, shippers have had the option of transporting up to 230 MMcf per day of this capacity to the Boston, Massachusetts area on the system.  

Canada to Western US

The Canada-Western route brings natural gas from Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, through the States of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, with terminating points in Nevada and California. In Canada, Spectra Energy Corporation's Westcoast Gas Transmission Ltd. and Alberta Natural Gas Ltd. (in association with Foothills Pipeline Ltd.) receive gas from the TransCanada Pipeline (NOVA) in Alberta (the principal pipeline system in the region linked into the major production areas in Alberta and British Columbia) and transport that gas to the U.S. border. There the supplies are received by Northwest Pipeline Company (from Westcoast Gas Transmission) and Gas Transmission Northwest from Alberta Natural Gas. The two pipelines have a combined capacity of 4.4 Bcf per day, 99 percent of import capacity in the area. This route represents one-quarter of the total capacity reaching the United States from Canada.

While the Gas Transmission Northwest Company transports most of its gas, about 76 percent in 2006, directly southward to California, the Northwest Pipeline Company system extends south and eastward from its border receipt point, operating on a bidirectional basis along much of the eastern section. At the northern Nevada State line, Northwest Pipeline Company links with the Paiute Pipeline Company, which until recently was the only gas supplier to the Reno, Nevada, area. Only one new pipeline has been added to the corridor since 1990, the Tuscarora Pipeline Company (110 MMcf per day) in 1995. This pipeline interconnects with the Gas Transmission Northwest Company system at the northern California border and transports gas to the Reno, Nevada area.

Access to underground storage for shippers along this corridor is limited. Much of the storage capacity on the southern portion is owned and operated by local distribution companies and is used exclusively to support their own seasonal storage needs. Nevertheless, shippers can acquire access to storage services on an as-available basis through several independent storage operations. The California Gas Transmission Company provides limited access to its three storage sites in northern California. At the Canadian end of the corridor, much of the available storage is intricately linked with market center operations, providing parking and loaning services primarily to producers shipping gas to the United States. These Canadian sites are capable of handling up to 6 Bcf per day deliverability and have a working gas capacity level of about 412 Bcf.

Rocky Mountain Area to Western US

This system extends from the Opal, Wyoming area southwestward through Nevada, just north of Las Vegas, to Kern County, California. In California, the Kern River Pipeline system physically merges with the Mojave Pipeline system (400 MMcf per day) to form one line serving customers primarily in Kern and San Bernardino Counties in California. Mojave receives its supplies from Transwestern Gas Pipeline Company and El Paso Natural Gas Company at the Arizona-California border. Its capacity is approximately 885 million cubic feet per day.

The Kern River Pipeline system was developed primarily to carry gas to the enhanced oil recovery market in southern California, which has been a large natural gas market. In 1997, its service was extended to the Las Vegas electric power generation market with the opening of an expanded metering facility with Southwest Gas Company, the major natural gas distributor in the Las Vegas area. Its system capacity was doubled in 2003 to approximately 1,750 MMcf/d to accommodate the growing demand along its route.

Underground storage facilities, although available at the apex of this corridor in Wyoming and Utah, do not play a major role in the operations of the Kern River Pipeline system. Although six sites are in the vicinity, with a combined daily deliverability of 0.7 Bcf per day and 57 Bcf of working gas capacity, only one, Questar Pipeline Company's Clay Basin facility (0.4 Bcf per day, 51 Bcf), is accessible to shippers.  

Rocky Mountain Area to Midwestern US

This corridor links Rocky Mountain natural gas supplies from Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado with markets in the Midwestern United States and with several sizable metropolitan markets in eastern Kansas and Missouri. While the corridor itself does not yet extend into the Midwest, the several pipelines currently operating along this route interconnect with major trunklines that bring natural gas supplies from the Southwest Region to Midwestern markets.

The Trailblazer System, which is a contiguous linkup of the Overthrust, Wyoming Interstate, and Trailblazer pipelines, operates from western Wyoming to eastern Nebraska, where it offloads to the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America pipeline. Similarly, Colorado Interstate Pipeline Company ’s Cheyenne Plains Pipeline, built in 2004, provides more than 730 MMcf/d of gas transportation for Wyoming and Colorado production from the Cheyenne Hub located in northeastern Colorado. The Cheyenne Plains Pipeline terminates with interconnections to Northern Natural Gas and Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in southwestern Kansas. Natural gas transported on these pipeline systems is subsequently delivered to customers in the eastern portion of the Central Region and in Midwestern markets.

The Southern Star Central Pipeline (formerly Williams Natural Gas Co – Central) and the KM Interstate Pipeline Company also have operations along this corridor, but these two pipelines serve primarily local regional markets. However, the KM Interstate Pipeline Company system does include its Pony Express Pipeline (255 million cubic feet per day) segment which runs from central Wyoming to south of Kansas City, Missouri. Currently this segment does not provide any interconnections with the two major interstate pipelines connecting this corridor to Midwestern markets; rather, its full capacity is committed to customers located in the Kansas City area.

In 2008, the second segment of the 1.8 Bcf/d Rockies Express Pipeline system, which will eventually comprise more than 1,660 miles and transport Rocky Mountain natural gas to Midwest and Northeast markets, was placed in service. The first segment of the new system, completed in early 2007, involved the construction of a 327-mile pipeline system from the Meeker Hub in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, to the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, in northeastern Colorado. Completion of the entire system, which is scheduled for early 2010, will mark the first time that Rocky Mountain natural gas supplies would be delivered directly to Midwest and Northeast markets.

Customers using this corridor have a limited number of underground storage facilities available for their use. At the terminus of the corridor in Wyoming and Colorado are 18 sites that customers may access. Much of the storage located at this end, however, is used to support local producers and distribution companies. In the Chicago area corridor, shippers also have access to several storage facilities associated with the Chicago market center.

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