Growing crude oil production from the Eagle Ford Shale has prompted Koch Pipeline Co. LP to expand its South Texas system by 24 miles in San Patricio County. A new 16-inch diameter pipeline would have initial capacity of 200,000 b/d and is expected to enter service during the second quarter. "...[T]his new pipeline will help us move domestic crude to the U.S. market more efficiently by using a combination of new and existing pipeline infrastructure," said Executive Vice President Bob O'Hair. The company operates about 540 miles of active crude oil transportation lines in Texas.
Gulf LNG Liquefaction Co. LLC has been cleared to enter the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pre-filing process for the proposed addition of natural gas liquefaction and export capability at its existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility in the Port of Pascagoula in Jackson County, MS. The project would also include terminal and pipeline modifications to allow for bidirectional flow of gas to and from the facility. Up to 10.5 million tons/year of LNG would be produced from up to 1.5 Bcf/d of gas. Gulf LNG told FERC it intends to file its application for the project in April 2015. Kinder Morgan Inc. is operator of the terminal and backer of the project along with GE Energy Financial Services. According to Kinder Morgan, a final investment decision on the project is expected during 4Q2016 with the first train potentially operating in late 2019.
U.S. District Court JudgeKeith Ellison of the Southern District based in Houston has approved one class action lawsuit by a group of BP plc investors led by the Ohio Public Employees' Retirement System and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the state's Common Retirement Fund. The groups have accused BP of misleading them on the severity of the Macondo well blowout in April 2010 (In re: BP plc Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, No. 10-md-02185). Investors that bought BP American depository shares from April 26-May 28, 2010 may pursue claims that BP executives' public statements "did not reflect the magnitude of the disaster facing the company." A second group of shareholders was denied class certification regarding claims that BP had overstated its ability to manage safety issues prior to the explosion because it would be too difficult to calculate class-wide damages. Ellison in 2013 found there was reason to proceed with a similar lawsuit against Macondo partner Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (25%) because of a statement made in May 2010 by Senior Vice President Robert Daniels (see Daily GPI, July 17, 2013).
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is seeking a new director for its safety and enforcement division to lead a staff of more than 200 inspectors, engineers and analysts. The unit has been expanded since the 2010 San Bruno, CA, natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion (see Daily GPI, July 26, 2013; May 13, 2013).
Frontier Midstream Solutions LLC said Alpha Crude Connector LLC (ACC) is developing a 400-mile crude oil pipeline with multiple truck racks and more than 300,000 bbl of storage capacity in the northern Delaware Basin of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. Initial capacity is to be 100,000 b/d serving multiple delivery points and accessing area refineries, rail outlets and major downstream pipelines, Frontier said. ACC is expected to file for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authority to operate as a common carrier pipeline, with an open season expected in June. Completion of the project is expected during the second half of 2015. ACC is a joint venture of Frontier and Concho Resources Inc., which has struck a long-term transportation agreement with ACC.
BP plc will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a ruling that would force the company to pay economic damages to businesses that haven't proved the Macondo well blowout directly caused their losses. The London-based oil major, whose largest operations are in the United States, said Wednesday it would appeal the 8-5 ruling issued on Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (see Daily GPI, May 20). The dissenting opinions by the circuit court "emphasize that the issues raised by BP 'present questions of exceptional importance,' reflect a deep divide in approaches among the federal appellate courts, and merit Supreme Court review," a spokesman told NGI. "The Constitution and established class action law preclude certification of a class that includes substantial numbers of claimants who were not harmed by the spill and thus lack standing to bring suit."
Pennsylvania state Rep. Jesse White (D-Cecil), a frequent and controversial critic of Marcellus Shale development, defeated a challenger for his party's nomination on Tuesday to the state House of Representatives. According to unofficial returns from the Pennsylvania Department of State, White received 3,107 votes (56.8%) while challenger Thomas Casciola received 2,366 votes (43.2%). White will now face Republican Jason Ortitay in the general election on Nov. 4. Ortitay ran unopposed for his party's nomination, receiving 1,280 votes. White raised the ire of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) after alleging its personnel committed fraud and misconduct while testing water supplies suspected of being tainted by drilling. Michael Krancer, who was then serving as DEP secretary, blasted White over the allegations (see Shale Daily, Nov. 19, 2012; Nov. 5, 2012).
More than three years after a New Year's Eve 2011 magnitude-4.0 earthquake rattled Youngstown, OH, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has begun installing portable seismic monitoring stations across the eastern half of the state to monitor Class II underground injection wells similar to one linked to a Youngstown quake. The event prompted ODNR to shut down that injection well, impose a moratorium on others within a five-mile radius and update its program (seeShale Daily, March 12, 2012), which gave it the authority to conduct seismic monitoring or require private companies that drill injection wells to install the devices. The move also comes after another magnitude-3.0 earthquake in the Youngstown area in March that regulators linked to a horizontal well that was being hydraulically fractured (fracked) by Hilcorp Energy Co. (see Shale Daily, March 11; March 12). A month later, ODNR made a first-of-its-kind move by setting forth new permitting conditions that require any horizontal drilling applicant to install seismic monitoring devices within three miles of a known fault line (see Shale Daily, April 11).
A Gulf Coast refined products export terminal that was reactivated to take advantage of the shale oil boom has loaded its first cargo, operator Enterprise Products Partners LP said Tuesday. The terminal on the Neches River in Beaumont, TX, can load at rates up to 15,000 bbl per hour. It includes a dock with a 40-foot draft that can accommodate Panamax-size vessels that have a capacity of up to 400,000 bbl. The terminal has access to more than 12 million bbl of refined products storage and receives products from eight refineries, representing 3.3 million b/d of capacity, as well as from the Colonial Pipeline Co. pipeline. Resumption of terminal operations required dredging, new pipeline construction and the installation of new loading arms and vapor-recovery systems. The work was done with the support of shipper commitments, Enterprise said. Plans for the terminal include a second dock and significant on-site storage for blending components. The project was announced one year ago (see Shale Daily, May 31, 2013).