NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- Driftwood LNG, Bear Paw Pipeline, Lake Charles Exports, Louisiana Coastal Lawsuit, ExxonMobil, Natural Gas Conversion Co., REV LNG, PTT Global Chemical, Kinder Morgan, LyondellBasell

Magellan Petroleum Corp. and Tellurian Investments Inc., a recently formed private company focused on developing a mid-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast, have agreed to merge. The boards of each company have approved the deal; shareholder and regulatory approvals are still required, with closing expected by the end of the year. Each share of Tellurian is to be converted into the right to receive 1.30 shares of Magellan. Magellan would issue 122 million shares of common stock to Tellurian shareholders, representing about 95% of pro forma outstanding common stock. Tellurian is developing Driftwood LNG, a 26-million tonne liquefaction project in Louisiana (see Daily GPIMay 13).

Bear Paw Pipeline Corp. Inc., a unit of Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., has received Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board approval to construct a 39-mile natural gas pipeline from Goldboro, NS, to the proposed Bear Head LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Point Tupper, NS (see Daily GPIJune 17). Bear Paw would connect the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline mainline, offshore gas, and other supplies near Goldboro to the Bear Head facility. The Goldboro to Point Tupper pipeline would connect Bear Head LNG to the North American natural gas pipeline network.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted final authorization for Lake Charles Exports LLC to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its proposed terminal in Calcasieu Parish, LA, to countries without free trade agreements (FTA) with the United States. DOE had previously granted conditional authorization for non-FTA exports from the terminal (see Daily GPIAug. 8, 2013). With final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (see Daily GPIDec. 17, 2015), DOE has made its export authorization final. However, Royal Dutch Shell plc in July postponed indefinitely a final investment decision on the project (see Daily GPIJuly 28).

The Vermilion Parish, LA, Police Jury Monday voted unanimously to stand against a lawsuit filed by Keith Stutes, district attorney for the 15th Judicial District on behalf of the parish against dozens of oil/natural gas companies for alleged coastal wetlands damage (see Daily GPIJuly 29). "Hopefully, the district attorney respects the wishes of the elected officials and drops the lawsuit against industry," said Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Don Briggs.

ExxonMobil Corp. plans to invest $15 million as a leadership member in the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute to pursue technologies that meet energy demand while reducing environmental impacts. The joint research initiative is designed to study a range of emerging technologies. The oil major also is expanding a collaboration with the university's Gulf Coast Carbon Center to complement a partnership with FuelCell Energy Inc. to advance carbonate fuel cell technology for use at natural gas-fired power plants (see Daily GPIMay 6).

Summit Natural Gas of Maine (SNGME) has asked the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to authorize it to dissolve Natural Gas Conversion Co. (NGCC), a Summit Utilities Inc.'s (SUI) subsidiary formed less than two years ago to convert home and business heating systems to natural gas (see Daily GPISept. 17, 2014). NGCC "has provided valuable conversion assistance to Maine residents and business...[but] is no longer consistent with SUI's business objectives," according to a petition filed at the PUC by SNGME July 29. If the PUC authorizes the request, SNGME plans to wind down NGCC operations, terminate affiliate transaction support services between SNGME and NGCC, liquidate the subsidiary's property, transfer any remaining NGCC assets to SUI and transfer any liabilities to either a third party or to SNGME. SNGME committed to ensuring that ratepayers are held harmless and that NGCC financial obligations and liabilities do not affect earnings sharings. 

Global engineering and design firm, HDR Inc., has been selected as the engineer for REV LNG LLC's small-scale liquefied natural gas facility in Northeast Pennsylvania's Bradford County. HDR said last week that it would be responsible for the project's management and detailed engineering. The facility, which was announced in 2014, would have 180,000 gallons of storage capacity and a liquefaction capacity of 50,000 gallons/d. It would primarily serve as a fuel supplier for trucks, but also for the exploration and production sector and eventually for marine customers. HDR's announcement is the latest indication that the facility will be built. It was initially proposed to be completed in the Summer of 2015. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, REV has operations across the country.

The final major structures at the site of FirstEnergy Corp.'s former coal-fired R.E. Burger Power Plant in Belmont County, OH, were demolished and cleared on Friday as part of work to prepare the location for PTT Global Chemical pcl's (PTTGC) proposed ethane cracker. The plant's 854-foot stack was demolished on Friday. The site sits along the Ohio River. According to local news media reports, traffic was restricted on both sides of the river in Ohio and West Virginia, with Ohio setting up a two-mile buffer zone to protect motorists and pedestrians from any debris caused by the demolition. West Virginia's Marshall County also set up viewing areas for the public to watch the work. Boilers were set to be cleared off the site as well. After a two year search, PTTGC selected the 150-acre site and another 350-acre plot nearby for the cracker. Ohio officials said at an industry conference in Pittsburgh in June that the company filed key air and water permits in May and June (see Shale DailyJune 27). The site preparation work is expected to be complete this fall (see Shale DailyJan. 8). PTTGC has said it expects to make a final investment decision about the facility by next year.

Repairs to damage caused last month near Energy Transfer Partners LP's King Ranch Gas Plant have been completed, Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) said in a Monday customer notice. "Kinder Morgan is now accepting nominations to all previously affected receipt points and delivery points on its systemwith the exception of the King Ranch Gas Plant receipt. We have been advised by Energy Transfer that the receipt from the King Ranch Plant is not expected to be placed back into service until Aug. 10-15." Shippers should submit their nominations as usual, KMI said. Last month, KMI pipeline facilities at the plant were damaged by fire. The incident affected multiple KMI-operated pipelines and certain customer receipt and delivery points on Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, Tejas Pipeline, Border Pipeline and Monterrey Pipeline, as well as assets owned and/or operated by outside parties (see Daily GPIJuly 20July 19).

LyondellBasell has made the final investment decision to build a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast. HDPE is used in numerous applications such as pipe, bottles, containers, toys, film, healthcare articles, plastic fuel tanks and industrial packaging. Products produced at the plant will serve markets around the globe, the company said. The plant will have an annual capacity of 1.1 billion pounds (500,000 metric tons). Start-up is planned for 2019. "We believe that the combination of our latest polyolefins technology and new ethylene capacity from low-cost debottlenecks will provide a good return on investment, said CEO Bob Patel. "Additionally, this project enhances our ethylene integration strategy, allowing us to capture value across the ethylene value chain." Recently, the company completed work on ethylene expansion projects at its La Porte and Channelview sites in Texas. A third ethylene expansion project is under way in Corpus Christi, TX. Additionally, development of a world-scale propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant at the company's Channelview site is progressing (see Daily GPINov. 23, 2015Aug. 26, 2014). LyondellBasell currently produces 7.8 billion pounds (3.5 million metric tons) of HDPE annually, including capacity of its joint venture facilities.

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