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Dallas-based Navigator Energy Services LLC is expanding the capacity of its Big Spring Gateway (BSG) Pipeline System from 85,000 b/d of crude oil to 140,000 b/d to serve the Permian Basin. Construction has begun and the system is expected to be placed into service in the second half of 2015 to serve new origin points in western Midland County, southern Glasscock County and western Martin County in Texas, in addition to points already planned in Glasscock, Martin and Howard counties. Navigator also said it would launch a supplemental binding open season for additional transportation commitments starting Monday (Feb. 2). The system is to include more than 250 miles of gathering pipeline, 200 miles of transportation mainline, seven truck injection stations and 225,000 bbl of planned storage capacity, and it would offer delivery into the BridgeTex Pipeline and Sunoco-operated pipelines near Colorado City, TX. The system would provide West Texas producers a direct path to 900,000 b/d of takeaway capacity from Colorado City to Texas Gulf Coast and Midcontinent markets. Contact Matt Vining at (214) 880-6001, or mvining@nesmidstream.com.

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has acquired 25,820 net acres in Noble, Washington and Monroe Counties, OH, or about 80% of the assets it previously agreed to purchase from Ohio-based MNW Energy LLC. Under a purchase agreement in June, Magnum said it would buy 32,000 net acres from MNW on a staggered basis as title work for the properties cleared. Most recently, it acquired 2,665 gross acres in Washington County for $11.7 million. As part of that deal, the village of New Matamoras received a more than $307,000 lease signing bonus for 72 acres of village-owned land, which far surpassed its general fund budget of $121,368 last year.

BP plc, whose largest operations are in North America, is freezing the base pay across its group this year, CEO Bob Dudley said. "The tougher external environment in 2015 means that our businesses and functions need to work," requiring the company "to take a number of measures in response to the harsh trading environment," Dudley said in an internal message to staff that was confirmed. "One of the measures we are taking across the group is a general freeze to base pay for 2015, with only a few exceptions for specific circumstances around the world." BP employed close to 84,000 people in 2013. Including salaries, pensions and benefits, the payroll totaled more than $13 billion. About 300 layoffs were announced recently, which impacted the North Sea business. In December BP said it also expected to take $1 billion in total global restructuring charges from 4Q2014 through this year (see Daily GPIDec. 10, 2014). A spokesman said the latest announcement coordinates with "work we are doing to simplify and increase efficiency throughout BP," and "we see this as a prudent response to the currently challenging market environment in which BP operates."

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by an anti-drilling organization that it previously listed as a terror threat in state security bulletins. The Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC), based in Luzerne County, PA, had filed the suit because it said the state had no evidence that it posed any threat to infrastructure or public safety. The security bulletins were listed weekly and distributed to law enforcement and industry personnel throughout the state during the tenure of former Gov. Ed Rendell's, who eventually apologized for the posts. The group and its attorney said a settlement had been reached, but the terms were not disclosed. The Associated Press reported, however, that a public records request showed the group would receive $40,000 as part of the settlement. PEMA started issuing security bulletins about the coalition after the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response -- under contract at the time with the state -- generated reports that identified it as a threat. PEMA Director Glenn Cannon recently said in a letter to the group circulated by its attorney that "this agency has no information or reason to believe GDAC at any time in the past or currently could be fairly characterized as a 'terrorist organization.'"

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