The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has approved a five-year, $256 million energy efficiency plan for 2019-23 for MidAmerican Energy Co. to carry out 14 energy efficiency and demand response programs estimated to provide $41 million in gas utility customer benefits and $709 million of electric benefits. The IUB also has scheduled 10 public meetings from April 11-May 23 for Alliant Energy’s Interstate Power and Light Co. in Iowa for a yet-to-be-filed rate increase request for both its retail gas and power operations in Iowa.

Arsenal Resources holding company Arsenal Energy Holdings LLC (AEH) has emerged from bankruptcy in a pre-packaged plan of reorganization. It implemented a debt-for-equity exchange to wipe out $861 million of outstanding subordinated bonds. Arsenal noted when AEH filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that its exploration and production operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia would not be affected. No other creditors were impacted by the proceedings.

CNX Resources Corp. said a four-well Utica Shale pad in southwest Pennsylvania where it  recently lost control of one well is not included in 2019 or 2020 plans. In a guidance update, the company said $30 million of capital expenditures for the pad are included in its 2019 budget. Faulty casing is thought to be the cause of the incident. One of the four wells was being stimulated at the same time and the other two are drilled but uncompleted. The other three wells “remain an opportunity for completion” in the future. 

Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) insurance against mishaps on the interstate oil pipeline that traverses the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a hub in south-central Illinois has passed a review by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). The IUB was satisfied that DAPL has at least $25 million in general liability coverage. In an updated filing the Energy Transfer Partners LP pipeline showed it has aggregate coverage of $50.1 million for the entire 1,200-mile length of the line.

FERC has granted a request by affiliates of Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) to introduce hazardous fluids to commission loading pumps that would feed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank at the Elba Island LNG Terminal near Savannah, GA. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission already has authorized Elba Liquefaction Co. LLC and Southern LNG Co. LLC to begin commissioning fuel for the facility [CP14-103]. In 2016, FERC approved KMI's plan to add liquefaction and export capability to the existing terminal and make modifications to existing pipelines in support of the project, which is expected to cost an estimated $2 billion. The first of 10 liquefaction units is slated to begin service before the end of March, with the remaining nine units coming online throughout 2019, according to KMI.

The American Petroleum Institute has released an updated report that provides procedures for promoting and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. The document, first published in 1981, applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs, and special services as they relate to operations on location. The latest edition includes a new section on flowback operations, revised requirements for facility and site process hazard assessment and mitigation, and introduction of formal risk assessments as well as expanded provisions for offshore operations.

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a combined-cycle natural gas-fired generation plant approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for Palmdale, CA. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concerns the proposed 634 MW plant, which has been on hold for certification as a developer and long-term contracts are sought. The lawsuit alleges that EPA "failed to adequately consider requiring clean-energy alternatives" to limit air pollution. The project would be a hybrid gas and solar power generation project approved by the CEC to transform an industrial site in northern Los Angeles County.  It originally was slated to begin commercial operations in 2013.