The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on Thursday were responding to a release of natural gas and condensate from a pipeline at West Cameron 165 in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), 32 miles southwest of Cameron, LA. A helicopter pilot flying over the site reported an incident to USCG at about 2:00 p.m. CST Wednesday. The pipeline is operated by Kinetica Partners LLC, BSEE said. "There were no platform personnel affected by the leak and at the time of the report, the sheen was about one mile across and 10 miles long," BSEE said. "The operator estimated the spill volume to be roughly 752 gallons, or 17.9 bbl, at that time."

VOC Brazos Energy Partners LP has struck a joint venture agreement with Hawkwood Energy East Texas LLC to develop the lower Eaglebine interval, also referred to as the Lower Woodbine Organic Shale (LWOS), within the southern half of the Kurten Woodbine Unit (contract area). The JV will recommence the Brazos horizontal LWOS drilling development program. Under the terms, Hawkwood Energy may carry VOC Brazos for its share of drilling and completion costs for up to four LWOS wells (earning wells), with the first to be spud by Dec. 31, 2017 and the fourth to be spud by Jan. 1, 2019. In exchange, Hawkwood Energy would earn a working interest representing 50% of VOC Brazos' interest in each earning well and up to a 50% interest in VOC Brazos' acreage in the contract area. Hawkwood Energy also would have the right to propose and drill up to eight LWOS wells per year in the contract area after the earning wells are completed.    

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has determined that regulations for constructing coal mines and natural gas wells near one another are adequate and don't need to be changed. The agency made its decision after reviewing a study proposing changes to current requirements for coal mine pillars and alternative methods for constructing natural gas wells where coal is mined underground. Coal mine pillars are columns left in place to support a mine and protect against gas wells drilled in the permitted area. Gas extraction is increasingly intersecting with longwall coal mining in the state. The study was required by 2011 legislation, and it was conducted by an engineering consulting firm in cooperation with the agency, the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance and the Marcellus Shale Coalition. The DEP said its analysis of the study's recommendations concluded that they could not be implemented as an alternative to current standards, which they deemed to be safer.

Magnolia LNG LLC, a unit of Australia's Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., signed a heads of agreement with Vessel Gasification Solutions Inc. (VGS) in relation to the Magnolia LNG Project in Lake Charles, LA, for the provision of up to 4 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The nonbinding agreement provides for a 20-year free on board (FOB) sale and purchase agreement. VGS is developing a floating LNG import and regasification terminal at the Kakinada Deepwater Port in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Krishna Godavari LNG Import Terminal is expected to be India's first LNG import project to become operational on the country's east coast. When operational, the import terminal is expected to allow for the full utilization of about 7,000 MW of near-idled power plants. The availability of power is expected to fuel an industrial renaissance in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. "With the execution of this agreement, VGS is now in a prime position to execute on the first-mover advantage we have established on India's east coast," said VGS President Gaurav Tiwari. From Jan. 1 through October of last year there were four cargoes of LNG shipped from the Lower 48 to India, all from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for the Sabine Pass Expansion Project. Comments in Docket No. CP17-22 are to be filed by Feb. 24. Commenters filing comments before the docket's opening on Dec. 13 need to refile. The project includes modifications of existing facilities and construction/operation of new facilities by Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC in Cameron, Evangeline and Acadia Parishes in Louisiana in order to serve Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export terminal.

BridgeTex Pipeline Co. LLC, which is owned 50/50 by Magellan Midstream Partners LP and Plains All American Pipeline LP, is expanding its current capacity from the Permian Basin of 300,000 b/d to 400,000 b/d. Expansion capacity is expected to be available in the second quarter following enhancements to existing pumps and related equipment. The 20-inch diameter BridgeTex system transports Permian crude oil from Colorado City, TX, to the Houston Gulf Coast area. Beginning early in the second quarter, a new origin point at Bryan, TX, which is 100 miles northwest of Houston, will begin operations to accept shipments from the Eaglebine region for delivery to Houston.

North American contract driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. has reactivated two fracture spreads since mid-December at a cost of about $2 million, including operating and capital expenses as its rig count climbs. As of Sunday (Jan. 22), the Houston-based operator's U.S. rig count totaled 77, versus an average 71 rigs working during December, while the Canadian rig count was flat at two. A preliminary analysis of 4Q2016 results, which are to be posted on Feb. 9, indicates net losses of about $78.1 million (minus 53 cents/share) with revenue of $247 million. During 3Q2016, net losses totaled $84.1 million (minus 58 cents/share) with revenue of $206 million. The company also is moving forward on its buyout of U.S. onshore driller Seventy Seven Energy Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at $1.76 billion.

Antero Resources Corp.on Tuesday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the Rover Pipeline Project as soon as possible so the company can begin construction "in a timely manner." Rover has committed to clear trees within approved seasonal windows, Antero said in a FERC filing, and those windows close March 31 in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia [CP15-93]. Antero also requested expedited approval in November, and Rover made a similar request in December, saying that if it couldn’t start tree clearing by mid-January, the project “very likely will be delayed for up to a full year.” The 710-mile, 3.25 Bcf/d Rover would connect Marcellus and Utica shale gas to the Midwest Hub in Defiance, OH, and to an interconnection with the Vector Pipeline in Michigan, giving Appalachian producers access to points such as the Dawn Hub in Ontario. Antero recently said its Utica activity this year would be "contingent on the construction timetable" for the Rover Pipeline, for which it's an anchor shipper.