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Brief -- Sempra Energy, Northeast Energy Direct, Western Governors, Cheniere Energy, Appalachian Resins Inc.

September 25, 2015
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As previewed in mid-September (see Daily GPISept. 18), Sempra Energy's two Southern California utilities have filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval to build a 47-mile, 36-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline link in the heart of San Diego County and the center of the population at the southern end of the state. Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) made the joint filing, citing safety and reliability reasons. They pointed out that the pipeline was included as part of SDG&E's already approved multi-billion-dollar, multi-year Pipeline Safety and Enhancement Plan. The CPUC ultimately will determine the final design, construction and route of the project following an environmental review.

Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (TGP), has executed agreements with producers, local distribution companies (LDC) and a New York end-use market participant totaling 627,000 Dth/d for the supply path component of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Project (NED) (see Daily GPISept. 18). The NED supply path, from northeastern Pennsylvania to Wright, NY, is scalable up to 1.2 Bcf/d, and the project's market path is scalable up to 1.3 Bcf/d. From the Wright area, shippers can deliver into the market path component of the NED for transport to Dracut, MA, or into TGP's existing pipeline system or into the Iroquois Gas Transmission system. Both the supply and market path segments have a planned in-service date of November 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. Additionally, the NED supply path component and associated agreements are subject to approval by the Kinder Morgan board of directors. TGP is continuing talks with additional potential shippers on NED, including LDCs and others and said it expects to announce more commitments later.

Led by new Chairman Gov. Matt Mead from Wyoming, five members of the Western Governors Association (WGA) are scheduled to testify Tuesday and Wednesday at Congressional committee hearings in Washington, DC, offering their thoughts on state authority and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Mead was scheduled to give his views on ways to improve the ESA at a Senate subcommittee Tuesday and the need to respect state authority on resource management and energy development the following day at the House Natural Resources Committee. Other WGA members scheduled to testify are Govs. Steve Bullock (Montana), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota), Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), and Gary Herbert (Utah).

Activist investor Carl Icahn has grown his position in Cheniere Energy Inc. again to a total of 27 million shares, held through entities controlled by himself. He hold 11.43% of the Houston-based company, which is slated to bring online its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at Sabine Pass in Louisiana by the end of this year (see Daily GPISept. 21). Last month, two representatives of Icahn Capital LP joined the Cheniere board after Icahn acquired a more than 8% stake in the company (see Daily GPIAug. 14Aug. 7). 

In social media posts and interviews with news media, officials from startup company Appalachian Resins Inc. have acknowledged that they are putting on hold plans to build a small-scale, regionally focused ethane cracker in Monroe County, OH. The company had hoped to construct a 15,000 b/d facility capable of producing 500 million pounds per year each of ethylene and polyethylene, which are key building blocks for plastics (see Shale DailyMay 2, 2014). Instead, the company is for now tabling the facility, saying larger projects such as Thailand-owned PTT Global Chemical pcl's plans for a nearly $6 billion cracker in Belmont County, OH, would likely absorb all available skilled labor (see Shale DailySept. 3). Company officials said PTT's plans to make a final investment decision in 2016 or 2017 would interfere with its timeline for construction. 

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