Next Decade LLC has signed an agreement with CB&I for the front end engineering design (FEED) and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) terms for the Rio Grande Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export project in Brownsville, TX. The project attained pre-filing status at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last March (see Daily GPIMarch 23). The Brownsville project, known as Rio Grande LNG, is a land-based LNG export project located on a 1,000-acre site along the northern shore of the Brownsville Shipping Channel. The project includes plans for up to six liquefaction trains with a nominal output capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of LNG per train per year. The facility is to be constructed in phases timed to meet market demand. The 1planned 40-mile proposed Rio Bravo Pipeline will supply the facility with its feed-gas, connecting the facility to the highly liquid Agua Dulce natural gas market hub.

A coalition of environmental and other groups have petitioned Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to place a moratorium on Class II injection wells for high volumes of wastewater from hydraulically fractured (fracked) natual gas and oil wells in 16 counties. Those counties were highlighted in a recent Oklahoma Geological Survey study that concluded disposal wells, and the large amounts of produced water they handle from oil and gas operations, are "very likely" the culprit for numerous earthquakes in the state (see Shale DailyApril 22). The Coalition to Stop Induced Seismicity claimed 1,500 signatures were on its petition. Organizations making up the coalition include Clean Energy Future Oklahoma, Stop Fracking Payne County, Oklahoma Sierra Club, Oklahoma Coalition Against Induced Seismicity, OK State Conference NAACP, OKC Branch NAACP, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance and Norman Coalition Against Fracking. Under directives issued by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Oil and Gas Conservation Division in March, more than 50 disposal wells have had to shut down operations and reduce total depth to provide disposal into only the Arbuckle formation to mitigate the potential risk, 150 others have reduced their volumes by 50%, and other wells are keeping volumes below 1,000 b/d (see Shale DailyMay 11).

Columbia Gas of Ohio expects to begin construction this month on a 5,200-foot medium-pressure pipeline to deliver natural gas to a heating and power plant on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, OH. The pipeline would deliver up to 300 MMcf/hour to the Lausche Heating Plant, Columbia Gas spokesman Dave Rau told NGI. Construction is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30. Built in 1967, the Lausche Heating Plant supplies heat to all university buildings on the Athens campus using three coal-fired boilers and one natural gas boiler; with completion of the pipeline it will switch to gas exclusively. The university had the plant switch from coal to gas temporarily three years ago (see Shale DailyApril 18, 2012).

Delfin LNG LLC has submitted an application to the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard to construct, own and operate the Delfin LNG Project (Port Delfin) under the Deepwater Port Act. The project would liquefy and export natural gas to free trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA nations under authorizations from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project would be capable of exporting up to 443.3 Bcf per year of natural gas, or about 9.2 million metric tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG). "We believe that floating liquefaction technology is faster to market, more flexible, and more environmentally friendly than land-based liquefaction terminals," said Frederick Jones, Delfin founder. "As the first floating liquefaction project in North America, Port Delfin will be a significant development in the world's evolving natural gas markets and an historic milestone for the U.S. oil and gas industry." Port Delfin would be sited 50 miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, LA. The project proposes to construct an onshore compressor station and use existing, underutilized pipeline infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico to transport natural gas to four moored floating liquefied natural gas vessels. Delfin also has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the onshore components of the project. The company has signed a joint development agreement with Hoegh LNG Ltd.