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Briefs -- Southern Natural Gas Co., Atlas Energy, Imperial College London, Warren Resources

Southern Natural Gas Co. (SNG) has submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a draft implementation plan for its proposed SNG Zone 3 Expansion Project [CP14-493]. According to an application filed at FERC May 30, 2014, the project would add 235 MMcf/d of firm transportation capacity to the existing SNG pipeline system by constructing pipeline loop in Marengo County, AL; installing additional compression at SNG's existing compressor station in Upson County, GA; installing additional compression and gas cooling at SNG's existing compressor station in Liberty County, GA; installing compression at a new compressor station to be built in Nassau County, FL; and abandoning a compressor from operation in St. Bernard Parish, LA, relocating it to an existing compressor station in Liberty County, GA. FERC issued an environmental assessment for the project Oct. 31, 2014. 

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has moved forward with proceedings to delist Atlas Energy Group LLC (ATLS). NYSE also suspended trading of the company's common units on Friday. The move comes nearly three months after NYSE first notified the company that its market capitalization and stockholder equity had fallen below the $50 million minimum over a consecutive 30-day trading period (see Shale DailyDec. 31, 2015). While Atlas said it is "considering what actions, if any, it may take in response to the decision," its units started trading on the over-the-counter market OTCQX on Monday. ATLS owns all of the general partner interest, distribution rights and a 23% limited partner interest in upstream subsidiary Atlas Resource Partners LP (ARP). ARP, a separately traded company with producing wells and reserves in 17 states that include assets in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus and Utica shales, is not affected by the ATLS delisting. ARP's stock, which is traded on the NYSE, has performed poorly, however, with a 52-week low of 56 cents/share.

Imperial College London researcher Paul Balcombe has confirmed from a review of more than 250 global emissions studies that reducing methane emissions globally is a key to mitigating climate change impacts. However, measurements of the extent of the problem vary widely and are not always very accurate. "The range of emissions is extremely large across the natural gas supply chain, everywhere from identifying and drilling the well, processing the gas to delivery to the end-user," Balcombe said. "While some emissions are extremely large, the vast majority of estimates are at the lowest end of the scale, suggesting that only a small number of 'super emitters' are skewing the distribution of emissions." In the United States, methane research work over recent years spearheaded by the Environmental Defense Fund with various industry, government and university research partners has zeroed in on the so-called "super emitters" (see Daily GPI, July 9, 2015).

Warren Resources Inc. produced 980,300 bbl of oil last year, a 12% decline from 2014, the company said in its year-end earnings release. Natural gas production, however, increased to 28 Bcf last year, up from 16.1 Bcf in 2014. The 74% increase reflected the company's first full year of Marcellus Shale production after it acquired Citrus Energy Corp. in mid-2014 (see Shale DailyJuly 8, 2014). Warren said low commodity prices drove declines in 2015 results. Revenue was down to $88.4 million in 2015 from $150.7 million the prior year. The company reported a full-year net loss of $619.9 million (minus $7.55/share), compared to net income of $24 million (31 cents) in 2014. The loss was largely attributed to a $578.3 million property impairment charge. The company's average oil price declined to $41.14/bbl, compared to $86.02/bbl in 2014, while its average natural gas price declined to $1.55/Mcf, compared to $3.06/Mcf in 2014. Warren has defaulted on an interest payment for its 9% senior unsecured notes and is in currently in the process of trying to restructure its debt. It has warned investors of bankruptcy twice since February in separate news releases (see Shale DailyMarch 14). In addition to the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, the company has waterflood oilfield recovery operations in California and coalbed methane assets in Wyoming.

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