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Briefs -- GreenHunter Resources, MarkWest Energy, Freeport LNG, Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, Cameron LNG

February 26, 2016
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The oil and gas wastewater management company GreenHunter Resources Inc. and several subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Texas' Fort Worth Division. GreenHunter, an affiliate of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., which also filed for bankruptcy protection in December, said it would continue to operate as a debtor-in-possession (DIP) (see Shale Daily, Dec. 15, 2015). The company has filed a motion for the approval of DIP financing of $3.5 million to run its day-to-day operations. But the company said it anticipates selling all of its assets by May 5. The company operates in the Appalachian Basin. It entered the region in 2011 and has become one of its largest brine water disposal businesses.

MarkWest Energy Partners LP said that remediation efforts were still ongoing in Wetzel County, WV, nearly a week after the company discovered that chemicals had leaked from its Mobley Processing Facility (see Shale Daily, Feb. 23). Initially, the state said 3,000 gallons of heat transfer oil, identified as Dowtherm MX, had leaked from a failed valve at the plant. MarkWest confirmed Friday that 260 gallons of the fluid was released. The oil breached the facility's storm water retention system and made its way into the tributary of a creek, jeopardizing the town of Pine Grove's freshwater treatment facility. The town has since switched to an alternate water source and MarkWest said the cleanup effort is still ongoing. Water samples have shown that amounts of the fluid in the creek have rapidly declined, the company said. The Mobley facility is located in Smithfield, WV. It is a 520 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff said the agency will issue an environmental assessment for the Capacity Uprate Project of Freeport LNG Development LP and affiliates on March 31 [CP15-518] (see Daily GPI, Nov. 14, 2014). The deadline for a decision on federal authorization of the project is June 29. Freeport seeks to amend its existing authorization for its liquefied natural gas project in Brazoria County near Freeport, TX. The Uprate Project would allow for the liquefaction and export of an additional 0.34 Bcf/d of natural gas.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea by 20 states to block the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plans to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, a win for the Obama administration. Last June, the Supreme Court ruled against the Obama administration in the case, saying EPA failed to adequately consider the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule's costs to industry (see Daily GPI, June 29, 2015). That decision reversed an earlier decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and sent MATS back to EPA for further consideration of the costs to industry. The circuit court was also instructed to determine whether MATS should remain in effect while EPA conducts its analysis. In December, an appeals court ruled that the MATS rule could remain in place as EPA works to bring the proposed regulation in line with the Supreme Court ruling (see Daily GPI, Dec. 15, 2015). EPA said Thursday it will finalize a supplemental consideration of MATS costs in April in response to the Supreme Court's June 2015 decision.

Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. has struck an agreement to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced from the Cameron LNG terminal in Louisiana (see Daily GPI, Sept. 30, 2015) from Diamond International Pte. Ltd., a unit of Mitsubishi Corp. Tokyo Gas plans to buy about 200,000 tons per year at a price linked to the Henry Hub. The agreement is to run for about 19 years starting in 2020 and represents three cargoes per year delivered ex-ship. "From 2020 onward, Tokyo Gas will purchase around 2.12 million tons of LNG per year at a price linked to the Henry Hub price to achieve further diversification of LNG sources, price indices and destinations," it said in announcing the Diamond Gas deal.

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