NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- Finger Lakes LPG Storage | Comanche Trail Pipeline | Impulsora Pipeline | Shell Pipeline

Finger Lakes LPG Storage, an affiliate of Crestwood Midstream, has agreed to pay a $154,000 civil penalty to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finding of safety violations at its Savona liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility in Steuben County, NY. EPA said it had identified several areas of the facility's operations that had been in violation of the Clean Air Act, including failing to comply with hazard identification and equipment safety requirements such as updated and accurate piping and instrumentation diagrams. Finger Lakes also agreed to spend an estimated $158,000 to purchase equipment and vehicles for three local fire departments near the facility. The company has retained a third-party auditor to address its remaining compliance concerns, EPA said. Crestwood acquired the Savona facility through its merger with Inergy in 2013 (see Daily GPIMay 7, 2013Jan. 12, 2010).

The U.S. government has intervened in an eminent domain case between Comanche Trail Pipeline LLC and the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 (EPCWID) over natural gas pipeline U.S.-Mexico border-crossing facilities in San Elizario, TX. Comanche Trail previously sued to condemn the crossing of various canals and drains in which EPCWID has an interest. The case has now been moved to federal court with the intervention of the United States. A separate pending case from 2014 involves a dispute over property interests between the United States and EPCWID and includes lands subject to the pipeline condemnation proceeding. "Additionally, the United States constructed a fence along the border and located on the government's levee," said the notice of intervention. "It does not appear that the Department of Homeland Security has had an opportunity to review Comanche's plans to cross under that fence." The border-crossing facilities received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in May (see Daily GPIMay 20). According to a status report filed at theCommission, the next steps in border-crossing construction include final reaming and pullback of a 42-inch diameter pipe from the United States to the Mexico side of the Rio Grande. Comanche Trail, an Energy Transfer Partners LP project, is a Texas intrastate designed to transport 1.1 Bcf/d as part of an agreement with Mexico's Comisión Federal de Electricidad (see Daily GPIAug. 4, 2015).

Following weather-related delays, construction has begun on the U.S.-Mexico border crossing facilities for Impulsora Pipeline LLC, according to a construction status report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [CP14-513]. The Impulsora pipeline originates in Texas at the Howard Energy Partners (HEP) Webb County Hub to transport gas to the border crossing in Webb County and in Mexico near Colombia in the State of Nuevo Leon. The Midstream de Mexico pipeline would originate at the border crossing and extend to measurement stations near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Nueva Era, a joint venture of HEP and Grupo Clisa, would provide service to shippers wishing to transport on both pipelines. Impulsora received its presidential permit in May 2015 for the facilities (see Daily GPISept. 28).

Shell Pipeline Company LP is holding a binding open season through Nov. 18 for the 107,000 b/d ethane pipeline system that will feed its planned cracker in Western Pennsylvania's Beaver County. The Falcon Ethane Pipeline System would have two legs and three source points to receive ethane from processing and fractionation facilities in Southwest Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio (see Daily GPI, Aug. 16). Shell said that if shipper demand exceeds the system's initial offered capacity then it would be expanded to accommodate committed volumes. Shell plans to begin construction on the cracker late next year and has said operations would begin in the early 2020s (see Daily GPIJune 7). Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to begin in late 2018. More information about the open season can be found at Shell Pipeline's website.

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