Pipeline Inspectors May Soon Carry Guns

Eagle Ford Roadways Used for Criminal
Eagle Ford Roadways Used for Criminal

The drug war is now affecting parts of the Eagle Ford as pipeline inspectors express concern for their safety.

As energy companies moved into the Eagle Ford, they have cleared brush and build dirt roads in order to make way for pipelines to carry their product.

This development has had the unintended consequence of providing potential pathways for those smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants, and officials now fear that criminals may come into contact with energy company employees, regulators and landowners.

The issue of the drug cartels exploiting the Eagle Ford Shale’s network of private roads has been a concern since 2012.

Related: Drug Smugglers Using Location Roads to Bypass Border Patrol

The federal government has been ineffective in preventing illegal activity along the border and with the unprecedented amount of oil and gas activity in the Eagle Ford Shale in recent years, Commission inspectors in South Texas have voiced concerns about their safety. It is the Railroad Commission’s duty to protect the health and safety of all Texans – and as Railroad Commissioners, this responsibility extends to ensuring that our staff is protected while doing this important work.
— Texas Railroad Commission Chairman, David Porter

Porter has implemented policy changes to keep inspectors safe including:

  • Ensuring that RRC staff and inspectors who want to carry firearms for self-protection on duty have the opportunity to obtain their concealed handgun license in a timely manner.
  • Requiring inspectors in areas of concern to use the “buddy system” to ensure they are not alone in potentially dangerous areas.
  • Purchasing cell phone boosters for inspector vehicles in remote areas of South Texas that are close to the border and have limited access to mobile communications.

For more  information, go to rrc.state.tx

NuStar Announces Open Season

NuStar: South Texas Crude Pipeline System
NuStar: South Texas Crude Pipeline System

NuStar energy announced this week that it has opened up space for new shippers in its South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline System during an open season scheduled for April 2-23rd.

During these open seasons, shippers can reserve space in a pipeline by promising a long-term financial commitment to the project. NuStar’s current project is a new origin point to enter the South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline System and is located at highway 99 in McMullen County. This location will provide space for an additional 10,000 barrels per day to potential shippers.

Related: NuStar Energy Planning Eagle Ford Oil Pipeline Expansion

Interested shippers seeking pipeline space in Eagle Ford Shale can receive more information about rates, service and routes by contacting Rick Webb, Vice President-Business Development, at 210.918.2000.

NuStar Energy is based in San Antonio and is one of the largest independent liquids terminal and pipeline operators in the nation. The company’s South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline System consists of over 200 miles of crude transmission and gathering lines throughout Texas including from LaSalle, McMullen, Frio and Live Oak Counties.

Read more at NuStarEnergy.com

Natural Gas Header Complete - Eagle Ford Gas Ready To Flow

Tres Palacios Pipeline Header and Storage
Tres Palacios Pipeline Header and Storage

Inergy, LP has completed a 20-mile, 24-inch pipeline header extension that will allow natural gas to flow from Kinder Morgan's Houston Central gas processing plant in Colorado County to the Tres Palacios storage hub in Matagorda County.

The Tres Palacios Header crosses ten interstate & intrastate pipelines and connects the Tres Palacios storage hub to the Houston Central processing plant.

  • Tres Palacios gas storage facility is located in Matagorda County, TX, and includes 38.4 bcf/d of working gas storage capacity
  • Houston Central plant has capacity to process 700 mmcfd of gas and fractionation capacity of 22,000 b/d. The plant is being expanded to process an additional 400-800 mmcfd of rich gas from the Eagle Ford. The facility was formerly known as the Copano Houston Central Plant
Beyond providing Eagle Ford Shale producers with significant new market options, we believe our new Houston Central interconnection will increase liquidity at the Tres Palacios hub point for marketers to access supply.
— Bruce Page, VP

This is one of several midstream developments that will enhance the value of natural gas and NGLs being produced in the Eagle Ford.


TexStar Midstream Buys Tierra Pipeline & Transportation Assets

Tierra Pipeline Map
Tierra Pipeline Map

TexStar Midstream and affiliated companies have agreed to buy Tierra Pipeline, LP, and Tierra Transportation.

TexStar Midstream Services will operate the Tierra Pipeline and Black Creek Well Services will operate Tierra Transportation. Black Creek Well Services is a sister company to TexStar Midstream.

The primary assets trading hands are:

  • Tierra Pipeline - 140-mile pipeline with right-of-way from San Antonio to Corpus Christi
  • Tierra Transportation - 60 employees and 35 tractor trailers
We have been talking to Tierra on and off for years. The time was finally right for us to move. We are extremely excited about having Tierra Pipeline and Tierra Transportation as part of our asset base and team. We are buying this because we really like the business that Tierra has built and we want to grow it.
— Phil Mezey , CEO of TexStar Midstream and Black Creek
As we have always known, both the Tierra Pipeline and Tierra Transportation assets are strategically located in Central Texas. A multi-line right-of-way that extends from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and intersects the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale has proven to be a unique asset;
— Tierra Companies CEO, Glen Gonzalez

Read the full press release at prnewswire.com

Plains All American Planning Cactus Pipeline - McCamey to Gardendale

Plains All American Eagle Ford Assets
Plains All American Eagle Ford Assets

Plains All American Pipeline announced a new $350 million pipeline that will move 200,000 b/d of crude oil from the Permian Basin into the Eagle Ford region. The Cactus Pipeline will be a 310-mile, 20-inch crude oil pipeline from McCamey, TX, to the Gardendale Area in La Salle County, TX.The pipeline is supported by a long-term capacity commitment and is expected to be in service in the first quarter of 2015. Plains estimates total costs will come in around $350 to $375 million.

From La Salle County, crude will have access to the Gardendale rail or Plains and Enterprise's Eagle Ford Joint Venture system. The Eagle Ford JV Pipeline provides direct access to Corpus Christi and Three Rivers, as well as access to Houston through Entrprise's South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline. In Corpus Christi, oil has access to marine terminals.

In an oil price environment with large basis differentials, options can create a lot of value. Permian crude will now have access to barges, railroads, and pipelines in South Texas.

Read the full press release at paalp.com