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Briefs -- Schlumberger-Cameron, FERC, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Cameron International Corp. stockholders have overwhelmingly voted for the proposed $14.8 billion takeover by Schlumberger Ltd. (see Shale DailyAug. 27). Once the transaction is completed, which is expected in early 2016, each share of Cameron common stock would convert into the right to receive 0.716 shares of Schlumberger stock and a cash payment of $14.44/share. The merger partners said the transaction would create the first "complete" drilling and production services oilfield operator with "pore-to-pipeline" products and services. The deal remains subject to regulatory approvals.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday established a new index level to calculate annual charges for interstate oil pipeline rate ceilings for 2016-2021. FERC set the new index level of Producer Price Index for Finished Goods plus 1.23% (PPI-FG+1.23) for the five-year period beginning July 1, 2016. The current level is PPI-FG+2.65. Under the indexing methodology, oil pipelines may adjust their rates to applicable ceiling levels as opposed to making cost-of-service filings. The adoption of the new index level reflects FERC's review of Page 700 data found in Form No. 6 Annual Report of Oil Pipeline Companies and comments submitted following a June 30, 2015 notice of inquiry. Commissioners said the Page 700 data more accurately measure changes in oil pipeline costs than the Form No. 6 accounting data used in previous five-year reviews. 

The Marcellus Shale Coalition's Land Affairs Work Group has helped secure a $2,400 donation from Williams to help pay for two high-tech cameras that will aid the Pennsylvania Game Commission's efforts to curb the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) among bats in the state. Dawood Engineering Inc. has led the group, which builds relationships with the conservation community. The game commission will use the cameras to monitor human activity in restricted caves in the state. A leading cause of WNS is thought to be bat-to-bat contact from habitat disruption. Restricting human access could help curb the disease's spread. WNS has decimated bat populations across the United States. An estimated 6.7 million bats are thought to have died from the disease since 2006. Some of the affected bats are now protected by the Endangered Species Act. The timber and oil and gas industries have had to work under tighter restrictions in some areas to help protect bat habitats, particularly midstream companies that utilize forest land.

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