NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report

Briefs -- Leach XPress | PG&E Credit Rating | Genstar, DrillingInfo | CNX Fracturing Fleet

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (TCO) has restored a small percentage of flows on Leach XPress about a week after issuing a force majeure in response to an explosion on June 7 in Marshall County, WV that shut down the 1.5 Bcf/d line. The company has restored a segment allowing the Stagecoach-LXP meter to return to service. Nominations through the meter ramped to 107 MMcf/d shortly after TCO announced the repair and reached 190 MMcf/d on Friday (June 15). It’s unclear how long it will take to repair the rest of the line.

San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) faces potential liabilities from 2017 wildfires in Northern California, with three major credit ratings agencies downgrading the combination utility. Moody's Investors Service downgraded PG&E to "credit negative," noting a recent report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection that alleges the utility may have violated state laws in eight of 12 fires. "We're watching closely to see what happens next," a Moody's spokesperson told NGI. A Fitch Ratings analyst said the firm would be “assessing the latest information on the wildfires issue.” Fitch in February cut the ratings to “BBB+” from “A-1” and placed the company on “credit watch negative.” S&P Global Ratings also downgraded its rating to “BBB.”

Private equity firm Genstar Capital has agreed to become majority shareholder in Drilling Info Holdings Inc., whose Drillinginfo software-as-a-service, or SaaS, provides data to oil and gas customers. Drillinginfo is a portfolio company of Insight Venture Partners, which would continue to be a major shareholder. Financial terms were undisclosed. Austin, TX-based Drillinginfo has completed 10 transactions to build its business, including the recent takeover of PLS Inc. and 1Derrick. “Drillinginfo’s focus on the world’s largest vertical market, the energy industry, brings ample opportunity for future growth,” said Genstar managing director Eli Weiss.

CNX Resources Corp. has signed a three-year agreement with Texas-based Evolution Well Services to utilize a 100% electric fracturing fleet. CNX said it would be the Appalachian Basin’s first long-term agreement for a 100% electric, natural gas turbine-powered fleet. Evolution is providing a 56,000 high hp pressure pumping fleet, which it said can reduce fuel costs by up to 95% and operate below federal emission standards. CNX COO Tim Dugan said the agreement “has the potential to be the next step change in the efficiency frontier and exactly the kind of technological disruption we’re focused on across the board.” 

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