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Briefs -- Rio Bravo Pipeline, Williams-ETE, Sempra-TransCanada

Rio Bravo Pipeline Co. LLC is holding a binding open season for firm service on a proposed 137-mile pipeline with receipt points near the Agua Dulce market area in South Texas for transportation to a delivery point adjacent to the proposed Rio Grande liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at the Port of Brownsville. Facilities would include twin 42-inch diameter pipelines running parallel. At full buildout, the pipeline system would have deliverability of up to 4.5 Bcf/d. In-service would be phased, with the first pipeline estimated to start service at 1.5 Bcf/d during 4Q2020. The pipeline and LNG terminal are projects of NextDecade LLC.  Certificate applications have  been filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [CP16-455] (see Daily GPIMay 6). For more information on the open season, visit www.riobravopipeline.com.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has declared effective the registration statement for the proposed acquisition of The Williams Companies Inc. by Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE). Williams shareholders are to vote on the merger at 9:00 a.m. CDT June 27 in Tulsa. Williams' board and management support the transaction, while ETE has pulled back following the collapse in commodity prices (see Daily GPIMay 16). Williams is suing ETE for allegedly obstructing the deal's progress. A trial over tax issues related to the merger is expected to begin June 20. Williams said the transaction is subject to customary conditions, besides shareholder approval, with closing expected during the second quarter.

Sempra Energy unit IEnova is partnering with TransCanada Corp. in bidding in the Mexico Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) tender for the proposed Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline. The companies are partners in Infrastructura Marina del Golfo (IMG), with IEnova holding 40% and TransCanada holding 60%. If it wins the concession, IMG would develop the 500-mile pipeline, which would run undersea from South Texas to the port of Tuxpan on the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico. The pipeline would supply gas to CFE power plants in the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz and serve the eastern, central and western regions of Mexico. According to a project data sheet, CFE estimates the project cost at US$3.1 billion. Awarding of a contract is expected in June with commercial operation of the pipeline expected in October 2018. IEnova already won a bid to construct the Ramal Empalme pipeline in the Mexican state of Sonora (seeDaily GPIMay 6). This followed IEnova's loss to TransCanada in the contest to construct the Tula-Villa de Reyespipeline (see Daily GPIApril 14).

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