California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) safety staff on Monday levied a $2.25 million citation against Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) for 45 instances of failing to promptly correct deficiencies found in its corrosion control in parts of its natural gas pipeline system. During two gas safety inspections last year, the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division (SED) found that SoCalGas failed to fix cathodic protection packages for periods in some cases of more than three years. Cathodic protection helps prevent corrosion. Federal regulations require gas operators to test systems at least once each year, with intervals not exceeding 15 months, to determine whether the protection is adequate. SED found numerous SoCalGas cathodic protection packages to be deficient for intervals exceeding federal and state standards.
Williams Partners LP is holding a binding open season through June for capacity on its proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Project, which would expand the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. (Transco) system to serve northeastern markets (see Daily GPI, May 12). The additional capacity would enter service for the 2019-2020 winter heating season. The project is being designed to provide 400,000 Dth/d of firm capacity from Transco's Compressor Station 195 in York County, PA, to the Rockaway Transfer Point, an existing interconnection between the Lower New York Bay Lateral and the Rockaway Delivery Lateral offshore New York state. National Grid is the first to take capacity in the project, which would consist of additional looping and compression on existing Transco facilities. For information, contact Jamie Johnson, (713) 215-2404.
Production from all four wells flowing to Royal Dutch Shell plc's Brutus tension-leg platform in the Gulf of Mexico were shut-in after a 13-mile oil sheen was spotted almost 100 miles south of Port Fourchon, LA. The total release was small, estimated at around 2,100 bbl of oil, or 88,200 gallons. Shell said the sheen was observed near its Glider field, a group of four subsea wells in Green Canyon Block 248. No drilling activities were taking place at the time, Shell said. Production from the wells flows through a subsea manifold to Brutus, which is in 2,900 feet of water. Brutus, 165 miles southwest of New Orleans, began production in 2001 (see Daily GPI, Aug. 16, 2001). The Department of Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is leading an incident investigation. No injuries were reported and no evacuations were made from the platform, which is designed to house up to 94 people. The Marine Spill Response Corp. and Clean Gulf Associates were contracted by Shell to conduct cleanup and containment work.