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Briefs -- Cascade Natural Gas | Xcel Energy | Bechtel-Tellurian | Pivotal Energy | BLM Utah Lease Sale

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) staff plans to recommend a $6.8 million, or 3.1%, general rate decrease forCascade Natural Gas Co. The Kennewick, WA-based utility has a pending request for a $5.9 million, or 2.7%, rate increase. However, UTC staff is recommending the decrease, including $3.5 million due to recently enacted federal tax reforms. New rates are to take effect Aug. 1.

Xcel Energyhas filed quarterly natural gas and electricity commodity adjustments with Colorado regulators that would keep utility bills essentially flat year/year in 2Q2018. Compared with the year-ago period, gas bills would be 2% higher, but they would be lower compared to 1Q2018, which includes higher gas volumes related to winter weather. Residential customers would see typical bills of $30.80 in 2Q2018, versus $30.27 a year ago. Small business customers’ average monthly bills would be slightly above $127, compared with an average of $124.55 in 2Q2017.

An affiliate of Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc. is taking a $50 million zero coupon preferred equity investment in Tellurian Inc. with an implied common share price of $8.16/share. Bechtel, a leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) operator, has with Tellurian constructed about 55 million metric tons/year (mmty) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity. In November 2017, Tellurian and Bechtel signed four fixed price, lump sum turnkey agreements totaling $15.2 billion for EPC of Tellurian’s 27.6 mmty Driftwood LNG export project proposed near Lake Charles, LA. Bechtel, which overall has delivered 41 LNG trains on 16 projects in 10 countries, said its facilities account for about one-third of global LNG capacity.

Pivotal LNG, which secured a contract last fall to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has made its first delivery to the Huntsville, AL, facility. Pivotal and parent Southern Company Gas operate a network of LNG production facilities with the capacity to produce over 554,000 gallons per day and the ability to store more than 96 million gallons. Pivotal and NorthStar Midstream are developing an LNG production facility in Jacksonville, FL, with that is expected to be in service by mid-year.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management received more than $1.5 million in bids for the sale of 51,482 acres offered in the southeast corner of Utah during a March 20 lease sale. All 43 parcels were sold with an average bid of $28.68/acre. The high bid was $145,600 for Parcel 44 in the Monticello field office territory, which also had the highest bid/acre at $93 from Lasrich Lane of Sandy, UT. Denver-based Context Energy Co. LLC submitted the high total bid per parcel, also in Parcel 44.

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