You are on page 1of 6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

SearchEnergy.gov

HomeFactsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure

Factsheet: An Initiative to Help Modernize


Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution

Infrastructure

July29,201410:55am
Tweet

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT


2025864940

CAPSTONE ROUNDTABLE ON REDUCING METHANE EMISSIONS: IMPROVING


SAFETY, THE ECONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND CREATING JOBS
Today,theWhiteHouseandtheDepartmentofEnergyarehostingaCapstoneMethaneStakeholderRoundtable.
Inaddition,DOEisannouncingaseriesofactions,partnerships,andstakeholdercommitmentstohelpmodernize
thenationsnaturalgastransmissionanddistributionsystemsandreducemethaneemissions.
TheCapstoneeventistheculminationoffourpreviousindepthRoundtablesatwhichleadersfromindustry,
environmentalorganizations,stateregulators,consumergroups,academia,andmanufacturingandlaborunions
wereaskedtoprovideAdministrationandotherrepresentativeswiththeirindividualperspectivesonopportunities
tomodernizenaturalgasinfrastructureandreducemidanddownstreammethaneemissions.
ThefundamentallessonlearnedfromtheRoundtables:thereisbroadstakeholdersupportfortakingactionthat
reducesmethaneemissionsfromnaturalgastransmissionsanddistributionsystems.Thedriversforthese
actions,however,varybythegroupsrepresentedattheRoundtablesandinclude:thepotentialforincreasingjobs
associatedwithtransmissionanddistributionsystemmaintenanceandequipmentupgradesopportunitiesfor
enhancingcostrecoveryforinfrastructureinvestmentsandexpandingmarketsconcernsaboutprovidingreliable
andaffordableutilityservicethecommitmenttoimprovingsafetyandaddressingneartermopportunitiesto
addressclimatechange.Roundtableparticipantsidentifiedarangeofopportunitiesacrossthesemanyfronts.
ThepathforwardemergingfromtheMethaneRoundtablesakeydeliverableintheClimateActionPlanStrategy
toReduceMethaneEmissionsalsoaddressesseveralkeyAdministrationgoals,including:
Enhancingjobcreation,affordableenergy,infrastructuremodernization,andtheroleofnaturalgasinaclean
energyeconomy
Reducingmethaneemissionsfromnaturalgassystemsand
ProducingthefirsteverQuadrennialEnergyReview,focusingonAmericasenergyinfrastructure.
http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

1/6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

Representativesfromalloftheparticipatingsectorsarecomingtogethertodaytodiscusslessonslearnedand
actionsthatwillbetakentomodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistributioninfrastructure.Itisnotintendedto
beanendpointforaction,ratheraninflectionpointforarangeofactionstofollow.DOEsinitiativeInvestingin
GasT&DInfrastructure:ImprovingSafety,theEconomy,theEnvironment,andCreatingJobsincorporates
manyofthelessonslearnedfromtheRoundtablesand,togetherwithstakeholdercommitments,establishesa
pathforwardtoaddressthesecriticalissues.
INITIATIVE TO MODERNIZE NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION INFRASTRUCTURE
TheDepartmentofEnergyisannouncingseveralnewinitiativesandenhancingexistingprogramstomodernize
infrastructureandreducemethaneemissionsthroughcommonsensestandards,smartinvestments,and
innovativeresearchtoadvancethestateoftheartinnaturalgassystemperformance.Theseinitiativesinclude:
EfficiencyStandardsforNaturalGasCompressors.Today,DOEwilltakethefirststeptowardestablishing
energyefficiencystandardsfornewnaturalgascompressorunitsbyissuingaRequestforInformation.Gas
compressorunitsareestimatedtoconsumeover7percentofnaturalgasenduseinthiscountry,and
improvedefficiencywillprovidemeaningfulenergysavingsandreductionsingreenhousegasemissions.
IncentivesforModernizationofNaturalGasTransmissionSystemInfrastructure.Followingdiscussions
withChairwomanCherylLaFleur,theSecretaryofEnergyisrecommendingthattheFederalEnergyRegulatory
Commissiontoexploreeffortstoprovidegreatercertaintyforcostrecoveryfornewinvestmentin
modernizationofnaturalgastransmissioninfrastructure,aspartofFERCsworktoensurejustandreasonable
naturalgaspipelinetransportationrates.Theseeffortsmayincludeadditionalconsiderationofasimplified
costrecoverymechanismforgastransmissioncompanieswhoreplaceoldandinefficientcompressorsand
leakpronepipesandperformotherinfrastructureimprovementsandupgradestoenhancethesafeandreliable
operationofthepipeline.
AdvancedNaturalGasSystemManufacturingR&DInitiative.DOEislaunchingacollaborativeeffortwith
industrywiththegoalofestablishinganAdvancedNaturalGasSystemManufacturingR&Dinitiative.The
initiativewillevaluateandscopehighimpactmanufacturingresearchanddevelopmenttoimprovenaturalgas
systemefficiencyandreduceleaks.ThiswillincludeaformalRequestforInformation,publicworkshops,and
technicalanalysisandwillleveragetechnologydevelopmentareasalreadyinprogressthroughthe
AdministrationsAdvancedManufacturingPartnership(AMP2.0),includingAdvancedSensors,Control,and
PlatformsforManufacturingAdvancedMaterialsManufacturingandAdvancedReciprocatingEngine
Systems.
PipelineEfficiencyResearch,DevelopmentandDemonstrationProgram.DOEisproposingtoestablisha
newnaturalgasinfrastructuretechnologyprogram,focusingonRDD&Dtoenhancepipelineanddistribution
systemoperationalefficiencyandreducemethaneemissions.Thegoaloftheprogramistodriveresearchand
technologydevelopmenttoimproveidentificationofmethaneleaks,forexample,bydevelopingsmartsensor
technologiesthatcollectandcommunicatedataonavarietyofoperationalparameterssuchasoperating
pressureandflowrates.
ProvidingLoanGuaranteesforNewReductionTechnologies:AdvancedFossilEnergyProjectsthat
ReduceMethaneEmissions.DOEwillconductoutreachtoindustriesintheadvancedfossilsectorandother
stakeholderstoincreaseawarenessofthe$8billionsolicitationthatDOEissuedinDecember2013toprovide
loanguaranteestospurcommercializationofinnovativetechnologiesthatreducemethaneemissionsfromgas
transmissionanddistributionsystems.Thisincludes,butisnotlimitedto,projectsinvolvingnewwellhead
drillingtechnology,flarereduction,methanecaptureandcollection,orreducingmethaneleakagefrom
pipelinesanddistributionnetworks.
InvestinginTechnologiesforLeakDetectionandMeasurement.DOEseffortswillbuildonthemethane
sensinginitiativeunderwayatARPAE,whichonApril29,2014,releasedafundingopportunityannouncement
forupto$30millionfortheMethaneObservationNetworkswithInnovativeTechnologytoObtainReductions
http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

2/6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

(MONITOR)program.Thisprogramseekstofunddisruptivetechnologiesforlowcost,highlysensitive
systemsforthedetectionandmeasurementofmethaneassociatedwiththeproductionandtransportationof
oilandnaturalgas.
QuadrennialEnergyReview.DOEwillcontinuetoconductanalysisandengagewithstakeholdersandthe
publicthroughmeetingsfortheQuadrennialEnergyReview(QER).TworecentQERmeetingsinPittsburgh
andDenverfocusedinpartonnaturalgastransmissionanddistributionsystemsandtheneedfor
modernization.Thesemeetingsareengagingstakeholdersandthepublicinthedevelopmentofthefirst
installmentoftheQER,whichfocusesspecificallyonenergytransmission,storage,anddistribution
infrastructure.ThisQERwillincludeanalysistoestimatethejobcreationfrommanufacturing,installingand
maintainingequipmentassociatedwithreducingnaturalgassystemleakagethroughaspecificsetofbest
practices.
PARTNERSHIPS & ENHANCED COORDINATION
BuildingonsuggestionsfromRoundtableparticipantstoenhancecoordinationwithintheAdministrationandwith
stakeholders,DOEisannouncingthefollowingnewpartnershipsandcollaborativeefforts:
StateLeadershipforEfficientNaturalGasDistribution.DOEwilljoinwiththeNationalAssociationof
RegulatoryUtilityCommissioners(NARUC)inatechnicalpartnershiptoenableinvestmentsininfrastructure
modernizationandrepairstonaturalgasdistributionnetworks.TheroleforDOEwillbetoprovidegrant
fundingandtechnicalassistancetohelpinformdecisionmakingbystateutilitycommissioners.Through
researchandtechnicalworkshops,NARUCandDOEwillalsoworkwithotherfederalagenciestoconvene
decisionmakers,includingthePipelineandHazardousMaterialsSafetyAdministration(PHMSA),tohelp
establishleakmeasurementprotocolsandtoidentifynewtechnologiesandcosteffectivepracticesfor
enhancingpipelinesafety,efficiencyanddeliverability.
SharingSolutionsonMethaneMeasurementandReduction
EstablishingaClearinghouse.Incloseconsultationwithstakeholdersandotherfederalagencies,DOE

willdevelopapublicclearinghousetoshareinformationonsuccessfulstrategiesformeasuringand
reducingmethaneemissions,suchasinformationonmethanemeasurementstudies,technologyR&D,job
creation,policies,andincentives,amongotherquantifiablecobenefitsordriversofinfrastructure
development.Thefirststepswillbetoconsultwithindividualroundtableparticipantsandpotential
clearinghousepartners,conductbroaderoutreach,surveyexistingresourcesandidentifygaps,andidentify
potentialpartners.
ConveningWorkshops.DOEwillalsohostworkshopsontechnicalsolutions,financialmodelsandother
bestpracticestostimulatepublicdiscussionandinformcompanyinvestmentsandpolicyactions.This
willincludemeasurementtechnologiesandtheirvariousapplications,strengthsandlimitationsaswellas
policyoptionsthatcandrivetheadoptionofimprovedsensingtechnologiesintothemarketplace.
FollowonCoordinationandCollaboration.TheMethaneCapstoneisaninflectionpointinoureffortsto
workwithotheragenciesandstakeholders.
IntraDOEcollaboration.SeveraldifferentDOEprogramofficesareactivelyinvolvedwithimplementing
variousaspectsoftheAdministrationsStrategytoCutMethaneEmissions.DOEhasinitiatedan
internalmethaneworkinggrouptohelpcoordinatetheseactivitieswithinDOEandtocontinueengagement
withexternalstakeholders,andtoensurethattechnologyandpolicydevelopmentactivitiesaresharedwith
otheragencies.
Interagencycollaboration.TheWhiteHouseisworkingwithDOE,DOT(PHMSA),EPA,DOIandother
agenciesundertheumbrellaoftheQuadrennialEnergyReviewandtheInteragencyMethaneStrategyto
sharethelessonslearnedfromtheroundtables,collaborateontherangeofnewactivitiesunderthisnatural
gasinfrastructureinitiative,andmakeiteasierforstakeholderstoengageontheseissues.
http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

3/6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

Stakeholdercollaboration.AsdiscussedattheRoundtables,DOEwillcontinuetoworkwithstakeholders
ontheseinitiativestomodernizethenationsnaturalgastransmissionanddistributionsystemsandreduce
methaneemissions.
COMMITMENTS FROM ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS

SAVE ENERGY, STOP LEAKS, START WORK


Capstoneparticipantshavedemonstratedleadershiponmethaneleakagereductionsandaremakingspecific
commitmentsgoingforward.Forexample:
Agroupoffiveunions,theUnitedAssociationofPlumbersandPipefitters,theInternationalBrotherhoodof
ElectricalWorkers,theUtilityWorkersUnionofAmerica,theLaborersInternationalUnionofNorthAmerica,
andtheUnitedSteelworkers,areannouncinganexpansionofapprenticeshipandtrainingprogramstomeet
theneedforskilledconstructionandutilityworkerstomeetthegrowingdemandforemployeestoreplaceand
repairexistingdistributionpipelinesystems.
TheInterstateNaturalGasAssociationofAmericasmembershiphasgreatlyreducedleaksoverthelast30
years,aspartofvarioussafetyimprovementstheypledgetoreducemethanereleasesevenfurtherby
focusingonmajorleaksaroundkeyequipment,anddevelopingguidelinesfordirectedinspectionand
maintenanceatthosefacilities.
ThroughinitiativesoutlinedintheAmericanGasAssociationdocumentTheLDCStory:AFocusonSafety
AlsoBenefitstheEnvironment,thenaturalgasutilityindustrywillcontinueitsconcertedefforttoupgradeand
modernizeournationspipelinenetworktoenhancesafety,whichhasalsocontributedsignificantlytoa
decliningtrendinemissionsfromthenaturalgassystemwhilebalancingcostswithaneyetowardsproviding
cleannaturalgastocustomersataffordableprices.
NationalGridisinvestingmorethan$1billioninitsnaturalgasinfrastructurethisyearand$6billionoverthe
nextfiveyears,tobothgrowthedistributionnetworktomeetcustomerdemandsandreducemethane
emissionsthroughmainpipelinereplacementandtechnologydeployment.NationalGridiscommittedto
workingwiththeAdministration,federalandstateregulators,otherenergycompanies,localcommunities,and
otherstakeholders,tobringthenation'senergynetworkintothe21stcentury.
PSE&GrecentlyreachedasettlementonitsEnergyStrongproposalwiththeNewJerseyBoardofPublic
UtilitiesBPUthatwillallowthemtoproactivelyprotect,strengthen,andmodernizeaportionofthegas
systemsagainstsevereweatherconditions.Theresultwillbeanincreaseinresiliency,safety,anda
continuationofdecliningemissionsreductions.
PG&E,thesecondlargestgasutilityinthecountry,istakingactionstodaythatenhancesafety,createjobs
andprotecttheenvironmentbydeployingadvancedleakdetectiontechnologiestoefficientlyfindandfix
leaks,acceleratingpipereplacementandeliminatingcastiron,improvingthewayemployeesdotheirwork,
andpartneringwithkeystakeholderstomoreaccuratelymeasureandaccountformethaneassociatedwith
theoperationofthenaturalgasdeliverysystem.
NWNaturaliscommittedtocompletingitspipelinemodernizationprogram,withremovalofcastironpipes
completedin2000andthelastoftheirbaresteelpipescheduledforreplacementin2015.Thecompanyis
alsoassessingnewmethodstofurthertightenthesystemthroughmodificationsofequipmentanduseof
advancedemissionreductiontechniquesduringpipelinemaintenance.
TheNationalAssociationofRegulatoryUtilityCommissionerswilljoinDOEinatechnicalpartnership.
TheBlueGreenAlliance(BGA),anationalpartnershipoflaborunionsandenvironmentalorganizations,will
launchanationalpubliceducationcampaignsupportingacceleratedrepairandreplacementofAmericas
naturalgasdistributionpipelineslaterthisyear.TheBlueGreenAlliancerecentlypublisheditsreport,
Interconnected:TheEconomicandClimateChangeBenefitsofAcceleratingRepairandReplacementof
AmericasNaturalGasDistributionPipelines,thatshowstheU.S.cangroworsustainover300,000jobsby
triplingthecurrentrateofrepairandreplacementofpipesinthedistributionsystem.
http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

4/6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

EnvironmentalDefenseFundiscollaboratingwithgroupsofindustry,academics,andotherexperts,to
conductfoundationalsciencetoimproveunderstandingofthescaleandsourcesofmethaneemissionsacross
thenaturalgassupplychain,aswellasconductingindependenteconomicresearchtodemonstratewherethe
mostcosteffectivereductionopportunitiesexist.
ParticipantsintheDownstreamInitiative(ConsolidatedEdisonCompanyofNewYork,Inc.,NationalGrid,
PacificGas&Electric,PublicServiceElectric&Gas,andXcelEnergy)arecommittedtoworkingwiththe
Administration,federalandstateregulators,andstakeholderstoaddresstechnical,regulatory,andworkforce
challengestomodernizeinfrastructureandachieveadditionalmethaneemissionsreductionsfromthe
distributionsegment.Whilenaturalgasutilitycompanieshavemadeprogressovertheyearsreducing
methaneemissions,theyarecommittedtotakingaleadershiproleanddoingmoretomodernizeinfrastructure
goingforwardtorealizethesafety,economic,environmental,andhealthbenefitsthatnaturalgasprovides
theircustomers.
SouthwesternEnergyCompanybelievesthatopportunitiesexisttocosteffectivelyreducemethaneemissions
fromthenaturalgassector,andistakingstepstopursuetheseopportunitiesthroughmeasurementR&D
implementingnewtechnologiesandpracticestoreducemethaneemissions,includingacompanywideleak
detectionandrepairprogramandcollaboratingwithothercompaniesacrossthenaturalgassupplychainto
identifycosteffectivesolutionsforreducingmethaneemissionsandenhancingtheenergydeliveryefficiency
ofthenaturalgassupplychain.
PeoplesGasiscommittedtoreducingmethaneemissionsthroughanacceleratedinvestmentinitsnatural
gasdistributionsysteminChicago.Morethan1,000highlyskilledworkersacrossmultipletradesare
replacingtheinfrastructuretoreducemethaneemissionsby192,000metrictonsofcarbondioxideequivalent
(CO2e),comparabletotaking38,000carsofftheroad.

Tweet

RELATED ARTICLES
DOELaunchesNaturalGas
InfrastructureR&DProgram
EnhancingPipelineand
DistributionSystemOperational
Efficiency,ReducingMethane
Emissions
DOEtoLaunchCollaborative
EffortwithIndustrytoImprove
NaturalGasSystems

Methane
Stakeholder
Roundtables
http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

5/6

01/09/2015

Factsheet:AnInitiativetoHelpModernizeNaturalGasTransmissionandDistributionInfrastructure|DepartmentofEnergy

CAREERS&INTERNSHIPS

CONTACTUS

1000IndependenceAve.SW
WashingtonDC20585
2025865000

ABOUTTHISSITE

ENERGYDEPARTMENT

FEDERALGOVERNMENT

WebPolicies

Budget&Performance

TheWhiteHouse

Privacy

Directives,Delegations&
Requirements

USA.gov

NoFearAct
WhistleblowerProtection
InformationQuality
OpenGov

FOIA
InspectorGeneral
PrivacyProgram
SmallBusiness

Accessibility

http://energy.gov/articles/factsheetinitiativehelpmodernizenaturalgastransmissionanddistribution

6/6