Cameron LNG LLC has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin its pre-filing review of the proposed expansion of liquefaction facilities at the Cameron LNG terminal near Hackberry, LA. The Cameron expansion includes the addition of liquefaction trains four and five as well as the addition of a fifth liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank. It would increase LNG production capacity to about 24.92 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 14.95 mtpa from the first three trains alone. Cameron said it would file its formal application for the expansion in August, seeking authorization by April 2016 for a construction start in May 2016 and completion of the project in 2019. Parent company Sempra Energy broke ground for the Cameron liquefaction project last fall, just weeks after receiving final authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy that cleared the way for it to export up to 1.7 Bcf/d of domestically produced LNG to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries (see Daily GPI, Oct. 24, 2014; Sept. 10, 2014).
Enterprise Products Partners is taking on partners in its expanding Panola Pipeline, which transports natural gas liquids (NGL) from Carthage, TX, to Mont Belvieu, TX. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., DCP Midstream Partners LP and MarkWest Energy Partners LP have formed of a joint venture with Enterprise and will have a combined 45% ownership interest in Panola Pipeline Co. LLC. The interest will be evenly divided among Anadarko affiliate WGR Asset Holding Co. LLC (WGR), DCP Midstream and MarkWest. Enterprise will remain operator and own the remaining 55%. Enterprise plans to install 60 miles of new pipeline, pumps and other associated equipment as part of an expansion designed to increase capacity by 50,000 b/d in the first quarter of 2016 (see Daily GPI, Jan. 22).
A Travis County, TX, judge has granted the request of the city of Denton, TX, to move a lawsuit against the city filed by the Texas General Land Office(GLO) to a district court in Denton County. GLO last year sued the city in Austin, TX, after Denton voters overwhelmingly passed a ban on hydraulic fracturing (see Shale Daily, Nov. 5, 2014). GLO is challenging the city's fracking ban on constitutional grounds, as is the Texas Oil & Gas Association in its own lawsuit. It is possible that the two actions could be combined. A GLO spokesman told NGI's Shale Daily that the office had no comment on the change of venue for the lawsuit and said it was just waiting to go to court. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers have introduced bills in the current legislature that if passed would likely thwart other Texas cities from enacting similar fracking bans (see Shale Daily, Dec. 18, 2014).
CenterPoint Energy Inc. said it will build new and expand existing electric transmission infrastructure to provide the 656 MWs needed to serve the Freeport LNG Development LP liquefied natural gas export terminal under construction on Quintana Island in Brazoria County (see Daily GPI, Dec. 8, 2014). The $80 million electric transmission project includes a new 345/138 kV substation and multiple 138 kV transmission system upgrades. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas recently endorsed the project, which is expected to be completed in mid-2017. Operations at the Freeport LNG facility are expected to begin in 2018.
XTO Energy Inc. has been assessed a $1.33 million federal penalty for "knowing or willful" failure to allow an audit in North Dakota concerning multiple lease, or communitization, agreements. The Department of Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) said at issue was information related to federal leases that were combined because they draw from the same oil or natural gas reservoir. A request was made in February 2013 that the ExxonMobil Corp. affiliate comply with a data request by April 1, 2013. Despite "numerous" requests, the company did not comply until February 2014, "preventing timely completion of North Dakota's audit," ONRR said. The agency is responsible for collecting/disbursing revenues from energy production that occurs on federal and American Indian lands.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, in an editorial published in the state's newspapers, is talking up an alternative to the producer- and TransCanada Corp.-backed Alaska LNG project (see Daily GPI,Feb. 11). He wrote that while the state's own plan for an in-state pipeline -- the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) -- is too small to succeed as currently conceived, in his opinion, it could be scaled up to include exports. The ASAP project is 100% owned by Alaska and was designed as a small-volume pipeline to deliver North Slope gas to Fairbanks, Southcentral and other communities within the state (see Daily GPI, Dec. 29, 2014). Walker said the state supports the Alaska LNG effort, but there are doubts about whether the mega-project will advance. He wrote that the state will "increase the viability of the ASAP project...[M]y intention is that ASAP be market-driven, with Alaska in control. Using existing funding, the project will explore market opportunities and financing arrangements with potential buyers of Alaska's gas and will be designed for both in-state and export markets. Working with the buyers, the project will develop a financing plan anchored with long-term contracts for purchase of Alaska gas."