4 Dec /12

Energy Highways: Pipeline projects reflect the changing balance of power in the supply chain

pipeline projectsPipelines are the arteries of the world’s energy grid. They deliver the fuels that keep houses warm, economies thriving, and cars running. Pipelines are also marvels of modern engineering as they traverse the ice-fields of Alaska and cross the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. Pipelines can, however, become sites of both national and international contention. As new players enter the world’s energy market, new pipeline projects unsettle the established balance of power in the supply chain.

The debate over the planned Keystone Pipeline in North America, for instance, has pitted not only environmentalists against energy executives, but has lead whole nation to debate over the advantages and risks of America’s energy agenda. It will allow oil from the thriving Canadian fields to the refineries on the Gulf of Mexico, thereby reducing America’s need for imports. Similarly, plans of Russian premier Vladimir Putin to fund the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India) pipeline is creating tensions with Iran who favors the construction of an Iranian-Pakistani pipeline. To the West, Russia’s position as Europe’s leading gas supplier has come under attack by the agreement of Azerbaijan and Turkey to construct a new pipeline that will deliver Azeri gas to the European market. The so-called TANAP pipeline will reduce the dependency of central Europe on Russian gas pipelines to the North by connecting to the existing Trans-Adriatic Pipeline or Nabucco West. Construction for the $7 billion project has already begun and, according to Azerbaijani’s energy minister Natiq Aliyev, will be completed as early as 2017.

At least in the short run, however, Russia does not have to fear to lose its leading position in the European market. At a recent conference in Bern, Switzerland, former German chancellor and Gazprom spokesman Gerhard Schroeder announced that the energy giant’s Nord Stream 2 line is now operational and will deliver 27.5 billion m3 per year via the Baltic Sea bed to German homes. For Gazprom, the new line represents a major achievement as it frees the company from having to deliver gas through old pipelines that run across Ukraine and subject the company to hefty transit fees.

The world of oil and gas is changing. If you are a company involved in pipeline planning, construction, and maintenance EVS Translations can help you capitalize in the changing market. As an FPAL-registered translation Company, with more than twenty years of experience and over 100 in-house employees, we can cover all language requirements – from a one page initial survey report to a one million words pipeline construction blueprint.

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