Energy Update: Southcross completes natural gas pipelines


Southcross Energy Partners LP of Dallas has completed its new 9.5-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline that extends north from its Bee Line pipeline. The pipeline was built to move liquids-rich gas from the central Eagle Ford shale area to the company’s’ Woodsboro and Bonnie View processing and fractionation complex. Fractionation is the process of separating natural gas liquids. The extension provides Southcross increased access to Karnes County in South Texas, which is considered among the most prolific gas-producing counties in the Eagle Ford. Southcross also has completed a new propane pipeline connecting its Bonnie View fractionator in Refugio County along the Texas Gulf coast to Enterprise Products Partners LP facilities. The completion gives Southcross a second pipeline outlet, in addition to its pipeline to Dow Chemical Co. facilities, for propane delivery. Adding to newly announced Southcross activity is construction of a 3.5-mile pipeline addition to its McMullen County system west of Refugio County. A new gas supply contract anchoring the pipeline is expected to provide more than 15 million cubic feet per day of new liquids-rich gas to Southcross’ processing and fractionation complex beginning in fourth-quarter 2013.

UT Austin announces interactive rig Offshore drilling has gone interactive with the Petroleum Extension Service at University of Texas at Austin launching an interactive virtual offshore oil rig. The 3-D e-product provides a unique learning perspective on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig used in offshore drilling operations. The virtual rig gives users an inside view of the unit – what it does and where each component is located – and lets users zoom in for expanded views. Detailed audio describes 10 different areas, including a 360-degree rig view, power and hoisting equipment, and others. The product includes an online assessment that tests users’ learning progress. A passing score earns users a completion certificate from PETEX and UT-Austin. Developed by PETEX learning specialist Itzel McClaren and the university’s Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering, the product was a collaborative effort between scholars and oil and gas professionals. More information about the interactive rig is available at or by calling 1-800-687-4132.

Alon USA Energy among new Oil Insurance members Alon USA Energy Inc. of Dallas has joined energy insurance company Oil Insurance Ltd. Other new members are Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of Houston, Arena Energy LP of The Woodlands near Houston and Cenovus Energy Inc. of Canada. Alon USA Energy is an independent refiner and petroleum products marketer. Its operations include refining, asphalt and retail-branded marketing spanning the western and south-central United States. Oil Insurance Ltd. insures more than $2 trillion of global energy assets for more than 50 members with property limits up to $300 million totaling more than $11 billion in total A- rated property capacity.

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BlueFire working in Permian Basin BlueFire Equipment Corp. of Houston is establishing relationships for its proprietary polycrystalline diamond cutter drill bit technology for use in the Permian Basin. Current oil and natural gas production in Permian and Eagle Ford shale sites is estimated to exceed one million barrels per day, according to Reuters. BlueFire considers its drill bit design a breakthrough in drilling technology due to its ability to reach higher rates of penetration and longer bit runs in hard rock formations and shales, Attempting to improve performance and reduce drilling cost per foot, BlueFire has designed its bits to employ large cutter face volumes for rapid drilling of shales, sandstones, limestones and sticky clays. Those attributes improve performance and reduce drilling cost per foot, according to the company. The bits use premium polycrystalline diamond cutters for better rates of penetration. Conventional bits use nozzles that eject drilling fluid into the bottom of the wellbore, resulting in what the company considers uneven distribution at the point of contact.

Comanche Peak unit marks 20 years Luminant’s Comanche Peak nuclear power plant Unit 2 began commercial operations on Aug. 3, 1993, and has since generated more than 180 million net megawatt-hours of electricity. The company is observing that milestone as the Somervell County plant, where almost 1,000 permanent full-time positions support units 1 and 2. Since 1993, Luminant has contributed more than $1 billion to neighboring communities through taxes, payrolls, purchases and other spending. In addition, employees and contractors spend more than $1.8 million in the local economy during regularly scheduled maintenance outages. Luminant is a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. More information is available at,

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