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A northeast Pennsylvania activist opposed to drilling using hydraulic fracturing has been barred from all Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. sites in the state following a ruling by a Susquehanna County judge. The permanent injunction bars Vera Scroggins, 63, from entering Cabot property and/or coming within 100 feet of certain boundaries.

A sale by Bismarck, ND-based MDU Resources Group Inc. of Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. should not affect the parent company's credit ratings, according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P). S&P affirmed MDU's "BBB+" rating with a stable outlook. Credit analyst Susan Ding said the eventual sale would not cause a change in ratings because of a high proportion of MDU's earnings are unregulated, natural gas prices currently are low, and there is "the volatility of industry conditions" for Fidelity and its construction-related businesses. MDU's "satisfactory" rating on its business risk also remains unchanged.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s $5.15 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning legacy Tronox Inc. operations received final approval from the U.S. District Court of Eastern District of New York (see Daily GPIApril 3). The settlement, the largest environmental recovery ever by Justice, resolves all claims regarding alleged actions by Kerr-McGee Corp. before it merged with Anadarko in 2007 (see Daily GPIJan. 30, 2007). Before the merger, Kerr-McGee spun off Tronox, which at the time was burdened with environmental liabilities related to pollution site cleanups (see Daily GPIApril 3, 2006).

Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. has struck a deal with GDF Suez for 20 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG), about 1.2 million tons, to be delivered over 27 months starting in the first quarter. GDF Suez, which announced the deal, said it will source LNG from its global portfolio. Chubu is Japan's third-largest power company by generating capacity, electric energy sold, operating revenues, and total assets. Last year, Japan imported about 88 million tons of LNG, which represents 37.5% of world LNG consumption, according to GDF Suez. In the next decade Japan is expected to remain a major gas importer. Since Jan. 1,  2012, GDF Suez has delivered more than 6.6 million tons of LNG to Asian countries.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. is pursuing the sale of its 50.1% share of the Eagle Ford Shale Midstream business (EFS Midstream) that it owns and operates with Reliance Holding USA Inc. (49.9%). "The sale of EFS Midstream would allow us to strategically redeploy capital to our core, oil-rich Spraberry/Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas..." said Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield. "We currently have no plans to divest our Eagle Ford Shale upstream assets." The sale of EFS Midstream, he said, is not expected to impact the company's ability to export processed Eagle Ford condensate (seeShale DailyJune 25). The joint venture was formed in 2010 and services are provided by operator Pioneer (46%), Reliance (45%) and Newpek LLC (9%), and for various third parties. The system consists of 10 central gathering plants and 460 miles of pipelines. Pioneer's cash flow from EFS Midstream is forecasted to be more than $100 million in 2015. A data room is to be opened in December.

Appalachian pure-play Rice Energy Inc. has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the initial public offering (IPO) of a master limited partnership (MLP) for its midstream assets in southwest Pennsylvania. Rice did not say when it would launch Rice Midstream Partners LP, how many units it intends to offer or what each would be priced at, but it expects to raise at least $425 million, according to the statement. The MLP will handle production from Rice and third-party customers across 76,000 gross acres in Washington and Greene counties, PA. At the time the statement was filed, Rice Midstream's assets consisted of 3.2 MMDth/d of dry gas gathering and compression capacity.

Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGPL) may be up for sale by the end of this month, according to published reports. NGPL's owners are interviewing financial advisers for a sale and are preparing to mandate a firm, according to a report in The Deal. The price tag could be as high as $3.6 billion. Kinder Morgan operates NGPL and owns a 20% interest in the pipeline company, which has close to 9,200 miles of pipeline, more than one million compression hp and 280 Bcf of working gas storage. The two-pronged mainline stretches from Chicago to the Midcontinent and from Chicago to the Gulf Coast.  Privately-held Myria Holdings Inc. is the main owner with an 80% interest in NGPL. A Kinder Morgan spokesman told NGI the company "does not comment about market rumors or speculation regarding potential mergers, acquisitions or divestitures." NGPL and Myria Holdings did not respond to inquiries about a possible sale.

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