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Briefs -- Texas Eastern Transmission | Aliso Canyon | Northern Access | NextDecade-GE Oil & Gas | Sunoco-ETP Merger

Staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for Texas Eastern Transmission LP's (Tetco) proposed Idle Line 1 Abandonment project [CP17-6]. FERC staff concluded that, with appropriate mitigating measures, the project would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Tetco is seeking authorization to abandon in place and by removal 165 miles of Line 1 pipeline that runs from Fayette County, OH, to Greene County, PA, that were placed into idle service in 1989, including three segments of 24-inch diameter pipeline, associated lateral lines 10-L and 10-M, metering and regulating facilities and other aboveground facilities. FERC will accept comments on the EA through May 22.

Nearby residents and environmental activists working to permanently close the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage facility urged the Los Angeles City Council Friday to use a city-owned water/power utility to study alternatives for relying on the 86-Bcf capacity facility. More than a dozen residents spoke and a group of residents from the Save Porter Ranch and Food & Water Watchorganization cited a recent study by EES Consulting which concluded that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) can  meet summer and winter peaks without the Southern California Gas Co. storage facility. Opponents who have worked for more than a year to close Aliso Canyon permanently urged the city council to direct LADWP to conduct an independent study on alternatives to the gas storage field. The city is already a party in a proceeding being conducted by the California Public Utilities Commission, which ultimately, along with the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, has the authority to decide Aliso Canyon's fate.

National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG) subsidiaries have have asked a federal court to review the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) decision to deny the Northern Access expansion project a water quality certification and other permits. NFG filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday. DEC rejected the project's permits earlier this month, saying construction would negatively impact the environment. The 490,000 Dth/d Northern Access project would expand the Empire and National Fuel systems to move natural gas from wells in northwest Pennsylvania to markets in New York, Canada, the Northeast and the Midwest.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal developer NextDecade LLC has named GE Oil & Gas exclusive supplier of gas turbine and compressor equipment for the liquefaction trains of its Rio Grande LNG project and associated Rio Bravo Pipeline in Texas. GE Oil & Gas also is providing NextDecade with a common equity investment and has been granted the right to invest up to a specified amount in project-level equity and debt financing for Rio Grande LNG at the time of final investment decision.

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) unitholders have voted to approve a merger with Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. ETP said 88% of its units voted in favor of the deal, which is expected to close on Friday (April 28). Sunoco said in November it would acquire ETP in an all-stock deal valued at nearly $20 billion to create the nation's second largest midstream master limited partnership by enterprise value. The combined company is keeping the ETP name. The deal comes about five years after ETP acquired Sunoco Inc. in a $5.3 billion deal.

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