The pipeline community do not usually think in terms of individual years - the projects are usually too long-term for that. But some individual years are special. 2020, for example, will be interesting in various respects.
On the one hand, legal disputes about specific projects are moving into the next round. Coastal GasLink, for example, continues to face problems, while Trans Mountain Tar Sands has the green light. But will it stay that way? Environmental groups and other organizations have repeatedly proven in the past that they never tire of taking legal action against pipeline projects time and time again. Other companies, such as Energy Transfer Partners, face investigations by various authorities and have to pay record fines.
Just as important, perhaps even more important, are the political obstacles that hamper various projects. Keystone XL, backed by the Trump administration, is moving forward on its long road to completion. Perhaps 2020 will be the year that decides the fate of this highly controversial pipeline.
Only the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is even more controversial, with various players facing each other as opponents. The blatant threats of the US government against participating companies have had an effect and the project has been halted for the time being. Russia is making every effort to push the project forward and digest this setback. It remains to be seen whether this will succeed, as Berlin’s adherence to the project (as the most important supporter of the project) is likely to lead to serious disgruntlement with Washington.
Another major development concerns Africa. The continent is constantly being supported by China and for good reasons. Many view Africa as the next big thing in the global pipeline industry. Fossil fuels are an important export commodity and millions of people need to be supplied with water, gas and fuel. And many new pipeline projects will be necessary to achieve that. The German government for example is pushing its companies to start initiatives in this promising continent. One of these initiatives is the IDA – Infrastructure Development Africa, organized by the same company responsible for the renowned Pipeline Technology Conference (ptc). It will focus on pipelines, water and waste water solutions and harbors and logistics, because these are the most pressing issues on the continent. Make sure to check out the events homepage and to evaluate if your company could participate in the upcoming business ventures.
ptj wishes you all the best for 2020.