Black Hills Corp. has asked Arkansas regulators for permission to recover in rates its recent investments in safety, reliability and system integrity. Since 2016, Rapid City, SD-based Black Hills has invested more than $160 million in replacing, upgrading and maintaining more than 5,500 miles of transmission and distribution lines in the state. If approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, gas utility revenues will increase by an estimated $29.9 million annually, and the utility's return on equity will be set at 10.2%. Black Hills expanded to Arkansas in 2015 when it acquired SourceGas Holding LLC for $1.89 billion, more than doubling its utility operations in eight states.
Houston-based Linn Energy Inc., which is revamping its exploration and midstream businesses, has agreed to sell its estimated 179,000 net acres in the Oklahoma waterflood and Texas Panhandle to an undisclosed buyer for $122 million. Third quarter production for the properties was about 5,200 boe/d, with proved developed reserves of 22.8 million boe. Annualized field level cash flow was estimated at $21 million, while annual general and administrative expenses for the combined properties is around $4-6 million. The sale is expected to close in early 2018 with an effective date of Oct. 1. Jefferies LLC acted as financial adviser for the Texas Panhandle properties, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel for both transactions.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio dismissed a lawsuit filed by more than 60 landowners that were trying to stop the Nexus Gas Transmission pipeline project from advancing. A judge found that the court has no jurisdiction to consider the lawsuit. The landowners filed the complaint in May, challenging theFederal Energy Regulatory Commission’s final environmental impact statement for the project. The Commission has since issued the certificate authorizing the pipeline. While the dismissal was a victory for Nexus’ backers, other legal challenges remain. The 257-mile, 1.5 Bcf/d project would deliver Appalachian shale gas to markets in the Midwest and Canada. The project, a joint venture of Enbridge Inc. and DTE Energy Co., is under construction and scheduled to enter service in 3Q2018.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.(PG&E) has suspended its dividend payout out of concerns over findings of liability for California wildfires this fall. With the Thomas fire in Southern California still not totally contained, the San Francisco-based combination utility said the dividend suspension was "prudent with respect to cash conservation." The utility, which is the focus of an ongoing fire probe reportedly has lost close to one-third of its market value or an estimated $11 billion since a series of fires ravaged parts of the service territory in Northern California. Utilities that serve Southern California are facing similar hurdles related to other wildfires. Regulators denied a request for $379 million in rate recovery for costs incurred 10 years ago for wildfires involving San Diego Gas and Electric Co. facilities.
Approximately 16,500 gallons hydrostatic test wastewater were released Nov. 20 from a portable storage tank at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) compressor station 261 in Agawam, MA, without the Kinder Morgan Inc. affiliate's permission, according to a TGP filing at FERC [CP14-529]. TGP said it was notified of the discharge by a contractor Nov. 27, and it then contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection about the incident Nov. 28. The discharged water had been used to test TGP's Connecticut Expansion Project, which would expand natural gas delivery capability to the Northeast, accessing supply from the Marcellus Shale.
Dallas-based onshore operator Exco Resources Inc. has begun trading on the OTC Pink Marketplace under “XCOO” after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) began proceedings to delist its common shares. Exco failed to maintain an average global market capitalization of at least $15 million over 30 consecutive trading days and was suspended from NYSE trading. Exco’s principal operations are in Texas, North Louisiana and Appalachia.
CNX Resources Corp., which recently acquired Noble Energy Inc.’s interest in Cone Midstream Partners LP, is changing the system’s name to CNX Midstream Partners LP once the deal is complete in 1Q2018. Cone’s ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange would change to “CNXM” from “CNNX.” CNX, formerly Consol Energy Inc., also rebranded after the natural gas and coal businesses were seperated. Cone gathers CNX’s Appalachian natural gas production, operating about 250 miles of pipeline and 91,000 hp of compression.