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Briefs -- Sabine Pass, Southern-AGL, Energy Transfer-Williams, BP, Jordan Cove Resolution, St. Charles Transportation Project

April 29, 2016
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Following the completion of commissioning demonstration tests, Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and Sabine Pass LNG LP asked FERC for authorization to place into service the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal's Train 1 facilities. More than a half-dozen commissioning cargoes have left the first train of the Cheniere Energy Louisiana terminal to date (see Daily GPIApril 29). Last Friday the Cheniere companies asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow certain Train 1 facilities to enter commercial service by Tuesday (May 3). "Pending approval from FERC, Sabine could begin commercial operations at Train 1," Genscape Inc. said in a note. The facility's first train has contracts to supply Royal Dutch Shell/BG Group, Kansai Electric Power Co., and Chubu Electric Power Co., Genscape said.

Southern Companyand AGL Resources have received approval of their proposed merger from the Maryland Public Service Commission. All intervening parties support a previously announced settlement agreement. Among other things, AGL is the parent company of Elkton Gas, a regulated utility serving Elkton, MD. When completed, the combination is expected to create the second-largest utility company in the United States by customer base (see Daily GPIAug. 24, 2015). The companies expect to complete the transaction in the second half of 2016.

Energy Transfer Equity(ETE) in a regulatory filing rejected two proposed solutions to tax issues that allegedly hinder its merger with The Williams Companies Inc. Williams proposed the solutions in a filing after ETE said the proposed merger was at risk of losing a favorable tax ruling (see Daily GPIApril 21). ETE, however, said it is not obligated to restructure the deal to accommodate Williams. ETE, which has shown buyer's remorse since not long after the deal's announcement, has significantly cut its estimate of the value of synergies to be achieved by a combination. Williams, however, has continued to push for the deal (see Daily GPIApril 15April 6).

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request by shareholders of BP plc to revive a class action lawsuit that asserted the oil major misrepresented safety procedures before the Macondo blowout in April 2010(Ludlow, et al. v BP plc, et al., No. 15-952). The high court affirmed a September 2015 decision by the U.S. Court Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, which refused to certify a petition filed by investors that bought shares up to 2.5 years before the tragic incident. BP had argued that the lawsuit should not proceed because the plaintiffs improperly were seeking damages for the entire decline in the share price as a result of the incident. The appeals court said some investors might have bought stock knowing the risks, and ruled that investors could sue BP individually. The appeals court also in the ruling allowed a lawsuit by investors to move forward concerning shares that were bought after the incident.

The Colorado state senate has passed a bipartisan resolution to support development of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal and related Pacific Connector transmission pipeline, recognizing their value helping to find long-term Pacific Asian markets for the state's natural gas reserves. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and its West Slope chapter noted the support mirrors that of Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado's congressional delegation. COGA CEO Dan Haley said Jordan Cove "transcends" partisan divides, and David Ludlam, West Slope COGA leader, said the resolution "further unites" Colorado and Oregon with important U.S. allies in the Asian markets.

Dominion Cove Point LNG LP(DCP) has asked FERC for authorization to begin service on or before June 1 on its St. Charles Transportation Project [CP15-22]. At the end of 2014 DCP filed an application at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking authorization for St. Charles Transportation, which will provide 132,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation service to CPV Maryland LLC's 725 MW St. Charles Energy Center in Charles County, MD. DCP added electric compression capacity at its existing Pleasant Valley Compressor Station in Fairfax County, VA, and installed pipeline taps (see Daily GPIDec. 3, 2014). 

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