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Dominion Cove Point LNG LP (DCP) has filed an application at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking authorization for its proposed St. Charles Transportation Project, which would provide 132,000 Dt/d of incremental firm transportation service to CPV Maryland LLC's 725 MW St. Charles Energy Center in Charles County, MD. DCP is proposing to add additional electric compression at its existing Pleasant Valley Compressor Station in Fairfax County, VA, and install two pipeline taps to provide incremental pipeline capacity. In its filing, DCP said it wants to begin construction in September to meet an in-service date for contracted firm transportation service by June 1, 2016 [CP15-22]. DCP conducted an open season in March and April 2012 for the proposed firm transportation services.

American Energy Partners LP (AELP) affiliate American Energy Mineral Holdings LLC (AEMH) has raised $500 million in equity commitments to pursue a business plan to acquire minerals and overriding mineral interests in U.S. onshore basins. AELP's private equity sponsor The Energy and Mineral Group (EMG), AEMH management and others provided an initial commitment of $350 million to purchase 28,000 net mineral acres and 29,000 acres of overriding royalty stakes in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin, and the Woodford, Utica and Marcellus shales. EMG, based in Houston and run by CEO John Raymond, also provided AEMN with initial working capital. AELP was founded by Aubrey McClendon in April 2013 with 15 employees and has grown to more than 650 people. AELP said it has raised more than $16 billion since its inception.

Range Resources Corp. is preparing to test its first horizontal Utica Shale well in southwest Pennsylvania's Washington County. The company told Donegal Township supervisors, where the well is located, that it plans to begin flaring the well sometime next week in the absence of a gathering pipeline. The well is a significant one as it's the region's first drilled into the Utica. EQT Corp. has plans for a Utica Shale well in nearby Greene County as well (see Shale DailyJuly 24). Range, which drilled one of the earliest exploratory Utica Shale wells in northwest Pennsylvania in 2009, said during a 4Q2013 conference call that its latest Utica well would be drilled to a total depth of 11,500 feet (see Shale DailyJuly 5March 26).

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has fined MarkWest Energy Partners LP $320,000 for 19 spills related to pipeline construction that occurred between September 2012 and November 2013. The OEPA began an investigation into the incidents in 2012, in which thousands of gallons of non-toxic drilling slurry, or lubricant -- a mixture of water and clay -- spilled into wetlands and streams. A large chunk of the fine will be sent to Cadiz in Harrison County, OH, where one of the largest spills occurred. MarkWest has become one of the Appalachian Basin's leading processors and the fines against it were partly delayed by a change in leadership at the OEPA.

The Railroad Commission of Texas has upgraded its online Geographic Information System (GIS), which is used by the public to view statewide oil, gas and pipeline data. The upgrades are part of the commission's information technology modernization program. The Public and Legacy GIS viewers are now both available on the enhanced Public GIS Viewers (Map) web page. The public is invited to review the new Public GIS Viewer and complete anonline survey on the Public GIS Viewer by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 21. All feedback will be considered by the commission prior to a final version of the Public GIS Viewer being released. The Legacy GIS Viewer will no longer be available on the commission's website after the final release of the Public GIS Viewer.

Veterans of the Central Basin Platform in West Texas have raised nearly $100 million in private equity funding to have another go at the play. Newly formed Tulsa-based Capstone Natural Resources II LLC (Capstone II) has funding from Lime Rock Partners, Wells Fargo Energy Capital and members of Capstone II management, which includes certain members of the former Capstone Natural Resources LLC (Capstone I) and Arena Resources Inc. management teams. Capstone II will focus on employing an "acquire and exploit" strategy in the Central Basin Platform. The strategy was implemented at both Capstone I and Arena. Capstone I sold its Permian Basin properties last September to a private operator. Arena, a publicly traded company, was sold to SandRidge Energy Inc. for $1.6 billion in 2010 (see Daily GPI, April 6, 2010). Capstone II management includes Phil Terry, chairman; Pat McConn, CEO; Mike Willis, COO; Clint Brian, vice president of operations; and Fred Schantz, vice president of land.

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