Last updateFri, 05 Jun 2020 3pm

Enbridge Proceeding with Great Lakes Pipeline

Despite legal challenges still pending, Enbridge Inc. is moving forward to “design and build a disputed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan,” The Associated Press reports.

“The Canadian company is forging ahead with plans to begin construction work next year on the tunnel, which would replace twin pipes that have lain across the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan since 1953.”

Chemical Activity Barometer Rose in February

The American Chemistry Council’s Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) rose 0.4% in February on a three-month moving average basis following a 0.7% gain in January. On a year-over-year basis, the barometer increased 2.0%.

The unadjusted February data showed a 0.4% decline following a 1.5% increase in January and a 0.3% gain in December. The diffusion index rose to 68% in February. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for January was revised upward by 0.44 points and that for December was revised downward by 0.26 points.

U.S. Crude Oil Production Reached Record Level in 2019

Annual U.S. crude oil production reached another record level at 12.23 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019, 1.24 million b/d, or 11%, more than 2018 levels. The 2019 growth rate was down from a 17% growth rate in 2018. In November 2019, monthly U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.86 million b/d, the most monthly crude oil production in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Petroleum Supply Monthly. U.S. crude oil production has increased significantly during the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tight rock formations developed using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract hydrocarbons.

U.S. Specialty Chemical Markets Start 2020 on Solid Note

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported a solid start to the year for U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes, with a 0.5% headline gain in January following a 0.7% gain in December. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, 18 expanded in January – up from 15 in December – nine markets declined and one was flat. Large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred in antioxidants, catalysts, cosmetic chemicals, electronic chemicals, mining chemicals, plastic compounding, printing ink, and rubber processing chemicals. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 66%, up from 55% in December.

API Issues New Pipeline Standard

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has issued a new standard for pipeline inspectors to enhance safety and sustainability during pipeline construction. The pipeline standard, API Recommended Practice (RP) 1169, Pipeline Construction Inspection, Second Edition, updates the issues that pipeline inspectors should review when overseeing each phase of a pipeline’s construction. While the first edition of RP 1169 concentrated on new pipeline construction, the second edition expands the scope of covered activities to cover all pipeline construction along the right of way, including repairs and excavations of existing lines. The inspector’s role under the updated standard begins during the pre-construction phase of the pipeline project, and extends through the surveying process, construction activities and related work that occurs immediately after construction has been completed.

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