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Briefs -- Carnival Corp. | Rangeland | Noble Midstream, National Energy & Trade, Mon Power, Washington Utility Rates, Hillabee Expansion

Carnival Corp. has struck separate agreements with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku to deliver three cruise ships fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Two of the ships are intended for the Carnival Cruise Line brand and are to be built by Meyer Turku at its shipyard in Turku, Finland, with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022. A new ship for P&O Cruises UK would be built by Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, with an expected delivery in 2020. The company now has agreements in place to build seven LNG-fueled cruise ships across four of its 10 global cruise brands in coming years. The first of these ships is expected to be in service for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises in 2019. The new ships would use LNG to generate 100% of their power, both in port and on the open sea, which the company said "will significantly reduce exhaust emissions."

Rangeland Energy of Sugar Land, TX, has formed a subsidiary to pursue midstream opportunities in Western Canada. Rangeland Midstream Canada Ltd. is led by Briton Speer, who joined Rangeland Canada in August as vice president, business development. Headquartered in Calgary, Rangeland Canada's expertise includes gathering, compression, treating, processing and storage services for natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. Rangeland Energy was formed in 2009 to develop, acquire, own and operate midstream infrastructure. The company is focused on emerging shale plays across North America with an emphasis on the Permian Basin's Delaware sub-basin in West Texas, the U.S. Gulf Coast and Canada. Speer most recently was vice president of business development for DK Canada Energy ULC, a subsidiary of Delek US Holdings Inc. Prior to DK Canada, he worked for eight years at Pembina Midstream LP. Separately, Rangeland Energy said its RIO Pipeline has entered commercial service to transport crude oil and condensate from the Delaware (see Shale DailyApril 12). The 110-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline originates at the RIO State Line Terminal in Loving County, TX, a gathering hub at the Texas-New Mexico border in the heart of the Delaware with tankage and truck unloading facilities. The pipeline has the capacity to transport more than 125,000 b/d to Rangeland's Geneva and Zurich terminals in Midland, TX.

Noble Midstream Partners LP, formed by Noble Energy Inc. to own and operate U.S. oil and gas infrastructure, has launched another bid to go public after pulling the offer in late 2015. The initial public offering (IPO) to sell 12.5 million units at $19-21/apiece would help expand services beyond its Noble Energy-focused Denver-Julesburg Basin business. The master limited partnership postponed an offering in November 2015, citing "unfavorable equity market conditions" (see Shale DailyNov. 23, 2015). The common units offered represent 39.3% of the limited partner interest, or 45.2% if the underwriters exercise in full an option to purchase up to 1.875 million additional units at the same price. Noble Energy and subsidiaries would own the remaining stakes. According to a Form S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Noble Midstream plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under "NBLX." 

FERC has approved a settlement agreement between its Office of Enforcement (OE) and National Energy & Trade LP that resolves allegations that the company violated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Prohibition of Natural Gas Market Manipulation by manipulating physical natural gas prices between Jan. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2015 at the Houston Ship Channel, Tetco M3, Transco Zone 6 (New York) and Henry Hub in order to benefit its related financial positions [IN16-5] (see Daily GPIAug. 9). Under terms of the agreement, National Energy neither admits nor denies the allegations, and agrees to a civil penalty of $1.16 million and disgorgement of $305,780. The disgorged funds will go to the Texas Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary Mon Power has completed a $5 million project to provide electric service to Antero Midstream Partners LP's wastewater treatment facility in Doddridge County, WV. Mon Power said the facility is expected to use more than 16 MW of electricity once it's fully operational, or about the equivalent of what 16,000 homes use. Announced in 2015, the $275 million treatment complex is being constructed on 635 acres (see Shale DailyAug. 19, 2015). It will process wastewater from Antero Resources Corp.'s shale wells in Ohio and West Virginia and produce salt and sludge byproducts. It's expected to be in service by 2017. Mon Power said the project to supply the facility with electricity is part of the company's efforts to provide the state's "energy-intensive" shale gas industry with reliable electric service.

Washington state regulators approved a $17.8 million, or 8.7%, decrease in retail natural gas utility rates for Cascade Natural Gas Corp. The decrease is the net effect of two decisions by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) -- one related to Cascade's annual purchased gas adjustment (PGA) to reflect changes in the wholesale costs of its gas supply purchases, and the other approved an all-party settlement in the gas utility's last general rate case. In July UTC approved the all-party settlement, resulting in a $4 million, or 1.6%, general rate hike, but the PGA more than offset that resulting in an overall rate reduction.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday authorized construction to start on Phase I of the Hillabee Expansion Project [CP15-16]. The authorization includes the loops known as Billingsley, Proctor Creek, Hissop, and Alexander City, as well as appurtenant facilities, workspaces and access roads. The project will add capacity to Williams Partners LP's Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) system in three phases in order to serve Florida demand via the Sabal Trail Transmission project. It will provide incremental firm capacity from receipt points at Transco's Station 85 in Choctaw County, AL, to a proposed interconnection between Transco and Sabal Trail in Tallapoosa County, AL. Sabal Trail will acquire by lease 100% of the Hillabee capacity on a long-term basis (see Daily GPIMarch 11). 

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