NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- PG&E | Southern Natural Gas | Bear Head LNG | LNG Exports | California Drought Conditions | BLM Flaring Rule

San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) averaged 32.8% renewable-based power supplies for the electricity it distributed last year. California has set a goal for the major utilities like PG&E to hit 33% by the end of 2020. Because of its large hydro electric fleet and the state's only major nuclear power plant, PG&E had nearly 70% of its power supplies last year come from greenhouse gas-free resources. The company said it is well on the way to hitting a 50% renewable power goal by 2030 that was set by the state.

FERC staff will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for Southern Natural Gas Co. LLC's proposed Fairburn Expansion Project, which calls for building pipelines and associated infrastructure in Georgia [CP17-46]. The $240 million project calls for constructing two pipeline segments, a compressor station and three meter stations, and for acquiring an existing pipeline lateral and modifications to two nearby meter stations. The project would provide 343,164 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity to delivery points in SNG Zones 2 and 3. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it will accept public comment on the project through April 19.

A review of Bear Head LNG Corp. Inc.'s proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in the Strait of Canso in Point Tupper, Richmond County, Nova Scotia has been completed by Transport Canada. The TERMPOL (or Technical Review Process of Marine Terminal Systems and Transhipment) review process is a technical review of marine terminal systems and transshipment sites. It is a voluntary review of the proposed shipping route and marine terminal, but mandated under a separate environmental assessment process. It identifies navigational and marine transportation-related recommendations to support a safe shipping environment. Bear Head said it will comply with all of the recommendations of the TERMPOL review.

Charlie Riedl, executive director of the Center for LNG and senior vice president of the Natural Gas Supply Association, appealed in a letter Monday to key lawmakers for “a clear and efficient regulatory path for LNG [liquefied natural gas] exports, a measure that held broad bipartisan support in the previous Congress but unfortunately was not passed.” Riedl called for legislation to expedite LNG export approvals. Riedl wrote to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, Vice Chairman Joe Barton and Ranking Member Frank Pallone; Senate Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell; as well as Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “Greater regulatory certainty for LNG export applications will enable America to compete on a global level, encourage investment here at home and create tens of thousands of American jobs,” Riedl said.

Two years have seen a dramatic reversal of California's water levels as state officials said snowpack statewide is at 158% of normal, compared to a near-zero measurement on the first day of spring in 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday. "Although the drought emergency declared in January 2014 is still in place, drought conditions have noticeably improved, and the northern half of the state is no longer classified in any stage of drought severity," EIA said. California grid officials plan to release hydropower projections in April. State energy officials also have indicated that natural gas-fired generation is expected to decline after remaining at about 60% for the past five years, but some of that drop relates to continued improvements in efficiency at gas-fired generation plants, the California Energy Commission said.

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) is urging U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to support the repeal of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) rules governing flaring and venting of associated natural gas on public and tribal lands. OOGA said the rule would have a "disastrous impact" on local legacy producers that operate wells on or near public land in southeast Ohio. There are currently more than 2,000 wells in the state that could be targeted by the rule, which was approved during the Obama administration. Many of the wells are older and have low production, the trade group said. OOGA estimates that conventional producers could pay up to $50,000 per well to retrofit them with emissions control equipment as required. The final rule was to be implemented in stages, but the House voted for a resolution to repeal it in February. The Senate must take similar action and President Trump must approve it before the rule is repealed. 

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