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Compressor Stations, Natural Gas Still Creating A Public Stir


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As more gas compressor stations cover the landscape due to the shift in natural gas usage, the public perception remains grim.

In Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood residents are torn over a proposed ordinance change that would permit gas companies to place compressors only on industrial-zoned and planned development sites, but would grandfather in compressors already established on 41 sites. While residents like the zoning restrictions, they are worried those living on the grandfathered sites would lose protection.

In Vermont, the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing in the United States, Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has pledged his support behind natural gas by allocating federal dollars for a US$90 million expansion of the state’s Gas System’s pipeline. The governor also attended a groundbreaking ceremony at a natural gas compressor station in Milton, Vermont. These moves have put some media members at odds with him, calling his actions “ironic.”

In Pennsylvania, Mount Pleasant Township and Samuel Fulton, an Arlington, Virginia resident, are at odds because the township has been sending him $578.50 daily citations. The township claims he is violating its land-use ordinance because MarkWest Energy Partners is operating a natural gas compressor on property that should have been subdivided, according to the township. Officials think it will take six to eight months before the Commonwealth Court makes a decision in the case.

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Caterpillar Releases Valves, Seats For Pressure Pumping Customers

Caterpillar has released its Cat valves and seats for well stimulation pump fluid ends. Cat 4- and 5-series valves and seats are designed to maximize interchangeability across the Cat well stimulation fluid end line and be dimensionally compatible with industry standard fluid ends in the 2000 to 3000 hp (1491 to 2237 kW) range. Fluid end valves and seats are highly-consumed parts in well stimulation operations and, as a result, are frequently replaced. Historically, Caterpillar uses valves and seats obtained from alternate sources. Caterpillar’s new fluid end valves and seats provide decreased wear and extended life to pressure pumping customers, the company said. The material life of the fluid ends is extended by optimizing the geometry of the Cat valve and seat, increasing the contact area and improving the distribution of forces, resulting in reduced material fatigue, Cat said. The flow area is increased by balancing the pressure drop across the Cat valves, reducing flow restrictions and the potential for cavitation. Additionally, impact forces are reduced as the contact area between valve and seat has nearly doubled from previous designs. Caterpillar manufacturers a line of pressure pumps with maximum inputs ranging from 600 to 3000 bhp (447 to 2237 kW). The new valves and seats can be ordered from the global Cat dealer network.