NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- PennTex Midstream | FERC Nominees | Southwest Gas Corp. | Xcel Rate Increase | Crestwood Equity Partners | Rex Energy | PennEast Pipeline | Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. | Climate Change

The general partner ofPennTex Midstream Partners LP has recommended that its unitholders accept a tender offer of $20/unit from Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) for all of the partnership’s outstanding common units. PennTex has assets in North Louisiana. Last fall, ETP announced a $640 million deal to acquire an interest in the assets, which serve Range Resources Corp., among other producers. PennTex received the unsolicited offer from ETP last month.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is expected to vote Tuesday on the Trump administration’s nominations of Neil Chatterjeeand Robert Powelson to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Dan Brouillette to be deputy secretary of the Department of Energy, and David Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior. Trump sent their names to the committee after a “torturously slow” nomination process, according to Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), but their hearingsproduced little controversy or criticism from Senators. If approved by the committee, the nominations will be sent to the full Senate for confirmation.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Thursday issued a $200,000 citation to Las Vegas, NV-based Southwest Gas Corp. for violations in its California utility operations stemming from the utility’s Distribution Integrity Management Program. The violation was found during an inspection by the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division’s conducted last fall jointly with Arizona and Nevada to examine Southwest's integrity management efforts. The underlying violation involved the alleged improper definition and calculation of risk under the program. The utility safety effort is a programmatic approach to identifying, analyzing, and mitigating risk in distribution operator pipeline systems, according to the CPUC. 

Minnesota-based Xcel Energy Corp. is seeking a $139 million rate increase for 2018-2020 to bolster its natural gas utility operations in Colorado, according to a filing with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Xcel has proposed to maintain capital spending of around $300 million annually, similar to spending for 2015-2017.

The initial buildout of the Nautilus gas gathering system in the Permian’s Delaware sub-basin is complete and the system has begun flowing gas, Crestwood Equity Partners LP said. The system includes 20 receipt point meters, 60 miles of pipeline, a 24-mile high-pressure header system, 10,800 hp of compression and a high-pressure delivery point. It is owned by Crestwood Permian Basin Holdings LLC, a joint venture of Crestwood and private equity firm First Reserve. Last September, Crestwood made a long-term agreement with SWEPI LP, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell plc, to construct, own and operate a gathering system in Shell’s operating position in the Delaware. Nautilus is designed to serve a dedication area of about 100,000 acres across Loving, Reeves and Ward counties, TX. It is expected to ultimately include 194 miles of low-pressure gathering lines, 36 miles of high-pressure trunklines and centralized compression facilities, which would be expandable as production increases, providing gathering capacity of at least 250 MMcf/d.

Rex Energy Corp. has regained full compliance with the continued listing requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market. Rex said it received notice from Nasdaq in late May that because the company’s closing bid price has been at or above $1/share for 10 consecutive days, it has regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. Rex received notice in 2016 that it was not in compliance with the standard. In December, it was granted an extension to regain compliance by June 12.

Enbridge Inc. affiliate Spectra Energy Partners LP has closed its purchase of PSEG Power LLC's 10% interest in the $1 billion PennEast Pipeline project. Completion of the deal boosts Spectra's interest in the pipeline to 20% from 10%. PSEG remains committed to the 125,000 Dth/d it has contracted on PennEast, which is expected to enter service in late 2018. The 120-mile greenfield project would transport 1.11 million Dth/d of Marcellus Shale natural gas to markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. PSEG disclosed in March that it wanted to sell its interest in the project to focus on the construction of three new combined cycle power plants and the rest of its generation fleet.

Management of Australia-based Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (LNGL), which is developing gas export terminals in Canada and the United States, is considering moving headquarters to the United States and listing on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq “as the company progresses toward the development of its projects in North America.” Current North American businesses are Magnolia LNG LLC, which is developing an export terminal in Lake Charles, LA; Bear Head LNG Corp. Inc., which is developing an export terminal in Richmond County, Nova Scotia; and Bear Paw Pipeline Corp. Inc., which is proposing to construct a gas pipeline lateral to connect gas supply to Bear Head LNG.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is helping lead a coalition of states, municipalities and groups to meet the voluntary standards under the Paris climate change agreement, has concluded five days of bilateral climate meetings in China with a keynote address at Tsinghua University and in a meeting with the mayor of Beijing. As a follow-up, Brown plans to meet with Germany's Barbara Hendricks, minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. The governor said he went to China because he sees it as an ally in the fight to combat climate change. Brown met with China's President Xi Jinping, leaders from three provinces, and two national government ministers for science/technology and commerce.

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