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Briefs -- California Energy Commission | Trinity East Energy | Kalnin Ventures Acquisition | Aspen Midstream

The California Energy Commission (CEC) on Wednesday awarded more than $36 million for clean energy freight transportation in the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports and other clean transportation projects -- $24 million for freight transportation and $12 million for other projects. The South Coast Air Quality Management District and Long Beach Harbor Department each received $10 million, and the Los Angeles Harbor Department received $4.5 million to carry out field demonstrations of medium- and heavy-duty cargo handling equipment that have zero and near-zero emissions. Last year, CEC launched the state's Sustainable Freight Action Plan, supported by grants from the statewide alternative/renewable fuel and vehicle technology program. Zero emission and near-zero emission technologies are involved in the program.

The city of Dallas has asked the Texas Supreme Court to block a $200 million lawsuit by spurned driller Trinity East Energy LLC. The Fort Worth-based company sued in February 2014 after the Dallas City Council voted in 2013 to deny the company the permits it needed to drill on leases in the Barnett Shale region for which it had paid the city more than $19 million. Last February an appellate court ruled that the city must face the lawsuit, City of Dallas v. Trinity East Energy LLC [No. 05-16-00349-CV]. In asking the Texas Supreme Court to block the lawsuit, Dallas is arguing that it should be immune from the action as its decision to enter into the mineral leases with Trinity East was a governmental function and it was not acting in proprietary capacity.

Energy investment firm Kalnin Ventures Inc. has agreed to acquire a nonoperated interest in 34 natural gas wells in Northeast Pennsylvania. It is Kalnin's fourth transaction in the region since last year on behalf of its client Banpu pcl, a Thailand-based coal mining and power company. Valued at about $16 million, the agreement was signed with a subsidiary of the chemical manufacturer LSB Industries Inc. The wells are operated by Warren Resources Inc. Kalnin has acquired nonoperated stakes in Marcellus Shale assets fromRange Resources Corp., Chief Oil & Gas LLC and affiliates of Tug Hill Inc. Since last year, the firm has spent more than $200 million for an interest in 241 active wells and interests in over 50 MMcf/d of production.

Newly launched Aspen Midstream LLC of Dallas is starting out with a $200 million initial commitment from EnCap Flatrock Midstream and company management. Aspen offers natural gas gathering, processing, compression and treating; condensate stabilization and vapor recovery; crude oil gathering and terminaling; and produced-water gathering and disposal to producers throughout North America. CEO James Clarke most recently was vice president of business development at Energy Transfer Partners LP. Aspen’s other founding executives are Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Reilly, COO Robert Underwood and Matt Ray, vice president of business development. Reilly previously served as senior director of business development at Energy Transfer, where he worked alongside Underwood, who was director of engineering; and Ray, who was director of business development.

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