News Release
Nov. 12, 2002

DUKE ENERGY GAS TRANSMISSION NAMED EPA TRANSMISSION PARTNER OF THE YEAR

 

HOUSTON -- Duke Energy Gas Transmission has received the 2002 Transmission Partner of the Year award from the Environmental Protection Agency. The award was given in recognition of DEGT’s efforts to reduce methane released into the atmosphere during the course of standard natural gas transportation operations.

 

DEGT entered the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program in 2000 and received the award after only one year of eligibility. The company accomplished methane emission reductions of 535 million cubic feet (MMcf) in 2001 -- generating an estimated cost savings of $1.6 million. Methane is the primary component of natural gas.

 

“It was our first time at bat, and I’d say we hit a home run,” said Theopolis Holeman, senior vice president of transmission and engineering for DEGT. “We’re honored to receive EPA recognition as being a good environmental steward. Plus, we are able to save our customers money by reducing the amount of gas that gets lost in transportation.”

 

From 1993 to 2001, DEGT has quantified methane emission reduction of almost

4 billion cubic feet – about half as much natural gas as DEGT has the capacity to transport daily.

 

Membership in the Natural Gas STAR program is voluntary; about 100 natural gas-related companies are members.

 

“When you look at the reduction and savings numbers, they are very significant,” Holeman said. “The EPA looks for companies that are very proactive in their emissions reduction programs. We went back to 1993, and we were able to show some very proactive numbers.”

 

Methane can escape during pipeline venting and repair or, to a lesser extent, from valves and seals at compressor stations. DEGT uses four methods to reduce emissions:   hot taps for new connections, sleeve repairs, pipeline pull downs and emergency shutdown practices.

 

Hot taps

The method resulting in the highest emission reduction for DEGT -- hot taps -- is used to connect a lateral to a mainline without shutting down the mainline. A connector tap is welded to the pipeline and then a hole is bored into the mainline so that gas will flow through the connector into the lateral – while it continues to flow along the mainline.

 

“In this method, the pipeline keeps operating, and we don’t lose through-put capability while we connect the lateral,” said Dwayne Teschendorf, DEGT principal engineer. “Last year alone, we saved 57 MMcf of natural gas by using hot taps. From 1993 to 2001, DEGT saved 1,677 MMcf.”

 

Sleeve repairs

A “sleeve” is a steel or composite wrap that is welded, bolted or otherwise attached to the pipeline. A sleeve is an acceptable alternative repair method to pipe replacement for some anomalies.

 

“To replace a section of pipeline, we first have to ‘blow down’ – or vent gas to the atmosphere – the line between two isolation valves,” Teschendorf said. “A sleeve

repair can be safely and successfully completed without removing gas from the pipeline.”

 

For 2001, DEGT saved 275 MMcf of natural gas. For the eight years of recorded data, DEGT saved 1,335 MMcf of natural gas with sleeve repairs.

 

Emergency shutdowns

Annual emergency shutdown tests are conducted per Department of Transportation regulations at DEGT facilities without venting natural gas to the atmosphere. The technicians accomplish this feat by capping the blowdown vents.

 

“Our field personnel gather information from each compressor station and pipe yard then factored the expected gas loss based on the facility’s size and operating pressure,” Teschendorf said.

 

In 2001, DEGT saved 37 MMcf of natural gas in this manner. From 1993 through 2001, this practice saved 340 MMcf of natural gas.

 

Pipeline pulldowns

In some areas along DEGT’s system – most prevalently along Texas Eastern Transmission – more than one of the company’s pipelines can lie near one another in the same easement. In this case, DEGT temporarily connects two parallel pipelines, redirecting the natural gas from the pipeline scheduled for maintenance into an adjacent DEGT pipeline rather than venting it to atmosphere.

 

“We still have some gas that we must blow down, but that amount is reduced by roughly 600 pounds to 800 pounds per square inch, depending on the circumstances,” Teschendorf said.

 

DEGT saved 163 MMcf in 2001. Using data available from 1999 to 2001, DEGT saved a total of 641 MMcf of natural gas.

 

“We receive no monetary incentives from EPA to perform these emission reductions,” Teschendorf said. “However, we save money by transporting the gas instead of venting it to the atmosphere. Our participation in the Natural Gas STAR program also further builds our relationship with both the EPA and our neighbors by showing that we use many methods to reduce methane emissions.”

 

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing energy infrastructure and connecting major natural gas supply basins to growing markets. The company’s natural gas operations include more than 18,900 miles of interstate transmission pipeline and 250 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information on DEGT can be found at www.degt.duke-energy.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

 

Contact: Liz Johnson
Phone: 713/627-5011
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: evjohnson@duke-energy.com