The U.S. government deems 16 sectors of our nation’s economy as critical infrastructure, citing that—without a stable energy supply—health and welfare are threatened, and the economy cannot function. The midstream industry, in particular, bench presses virtually every business, household and community to ensure vital fuels are gathered, transported, processed, refined and exported wherever they are needed. Which is every day. Around the clock. All year long. Our nation’s dependence on energy infrastructure isn’t simply limited to growth and production that keep our economy alive and breathing, but to our very way of life.
In its most recent summary of U.S. critical infrastructure, the Department of Energy describes the energy sector as a “lifeline function upon which all other critical infrastructures rely,” including national security.
The DOE divides the nation’s energy critical infrastructure into three segments: electricity, oil and natural gas—all of which depend on midstream bones. Pipelines serve as the arms and legs of our energy’s critical infrastructure doing most the heavy lifting to distribute the oil and gas supplies that feed the economy, regardless of commodity prices, geopolitical squabbles, or a global pandemic. Their function goes on almost invisibly. And where, merely a few years ago, America faced aging and insufficient energy infrastructure, or a void altogether, the shale revolution launched a midstream calvary of new and expanded gathering and transmission lines, processing plants, and export terminals to connect supplies with demand.
We’ve met—and are still meeting—more need in the midstream space, along with implementing new technologies, enhanced safety protocols and cyber security, creating the most advanced energy infrastructure in the world. And so, the rhythm of the midstream industry to prevent disruption in our daily lives plays on. Even if most don’t see it or give it a second thought.
What do you think?