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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave a favorable environmental review of Perryville Gas Storage LLC's proposal to construct a salt dome natural gas storage facility and associated facilities in the Crowville Salt Domes in Franklin and Richland parishes in northern Louisiana. The facility would provide approximately 15 Bcf of working capacity in two caverns, with a maximum injection rate of 226 MMcf/d and a maximum withdrawal rate of 600 MMcf/d, according to Houston-based Perryville Gas. Plans call for interconnections with CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission and Columbia Gulf Transmission near Delhi, LA (see NGI, June 15). In addition to the two caverns, Perryville Gas proposed to build 11.69 miles of 36-inch diameter gas pipeline; 2.68 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline; a 9,500 hp compressor station; and associated facilities in Franklin and Richland parishes. The company asked FERC to issue a final order by Dec. 1 and grant it a construction period of five years. It said it expects to have the facilities in service by June 2012.

By securing another 10-year contract to transport natural gas from the Haynesville Shale, total capacity commitments for the proposed Tiger Pipeline have risen to 2 Bcf/d, Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) said. The Dallas-based partnership in September said it obtained a 10-year commitment with an undisclosed shipper to transport 300 MMcf/d on the proposed 180-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline, which at that time took total capacity commitments to at least 1.8 Bcf/d (see NGI, Sept. 14). The pipe, initially designed to carry 2 Bcf/d from Carthage, TX, through the heart of the Haynesville play, would terminate near Delphi, LA. Throughput capacity may be increased to up to 2.4 Bcf/d with added compression, the partnership said.

Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has been fined $56,650 for three spills in September of a liquid gel used to fracture natural gas wells, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said. The spills, which occurred in one week's time at Cabot's Heitsman gas development in Dimock Township in Susquehanna County, forced Cabot to cease drilling activities in the region for around three weeks until it complied with a state order (see NGI, Sept. 28). The company was allowed to resume its drilling operations on Oct. 16.

High Island Offshore System LLC (HIOS) said it might seek to abandon compression facilities on its system to reduce the level of its firm certificated capacity because an open season drew no interest. HIOS is owned by Enterprise Product Partners LP and transports production from fields in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to downstream pipelines off the coast of Louisiana including ANR Pipeline and Tennessee Gas Pipeline, UTOS and Stingray. In August a compressor fire on the HIOS system forced the shut-in of some GOM production (see NGI, Aug. 10). A bypass later allowed the resumption of some gas flow (see NGI, Aug. 17). Work to repair the junction platform that was damaged is ongoing, Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey told NGI. He said the HIOS line had never flowed at its certificated capacity of 1.4 Bcf/d and had been flowing about 240 MMcf/d since before the platform fire in August. If Enterprise gets authorization to abandon compression from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and decides to proceed, it will not restore the compression capacity on the platform that was damaged by fire. Without the compression on the damaged platform, HIOS can flow up to 400 MMcf/d.

New Mexico's coffers took a hit due to weak oil and gas prices during the first quarter of the state's 2010 fiscal year as collections by the State Land Office declined $104 million from the year-ago period when $194 million was collected. Oil and gas dominated office activity, generating $82 million during July, August and September, which was made up of $67 million in royalties and interest and $15 million in rentals and related revenue. Still, oil and gas revenue fell $97 million short of the fiscal 2009 first quarter. "Land Office revenue is highly dependent on commodity prices for oil and natural gas, and those prices have recently started to strengthen. Therefore, despite the significant drop in earnings we remain optimistic that revenues will improve in the upcoming quarters," said Commissioner of Public Lands Patrick Lyons. "Attendance at the monthly lease sales has improved, and rentals and bonuses are up, which indicates that there is still an interest in developing New Mexico's natural resources, which would certainly help in pulling the state out of this budget mess."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Vector Pipeline LP the go-ahead to place into service its Athens Compressor Expansion Project in Michigan and Indiana. The project includes a new compression facility on Vector's existing mainline system in Calhoun County, MI, and modifications at its existing Springville and Highland compressor stations in Porte County, IN, and Oakland County, MI, respectively. The new Athens Compressor Station has a single 15,000-hp natural gas-powered compressor unit, which would increase Vector's mainline long-haul capacity by approximately 105,000 Dth/d to approximately 1.3 MMDth/d. BP Canada Energy Marketing Corp., Nexen Marketing U.S.A. Inc. and Merrill Lynch Commodities have made commitments for 60,000 Dth/d, 25,000 Dth/d and 20,000 Dth/d, respectively.

The natural gas vehicle (NGV) industry is poised for a period of growth that could put 7.3 million new NGVs on the road worldwide by 2015, a 75% increase from the current 9.7 million NGVs in operation, according to a report from Boulder, CO-based Pike Research. More than three million NGVs will be sold worldwide in 2015, the clean technology market intelligence company said. But while the global NGV market will grow, the report concluded that only 31,347 NGVs will be sold in the United States in 2015. The U.S. NGV market will continue to be dominated by fleet sales to government and commercial customers. According to the report, demand for NGV adoption is driven by economics -- fuel for NGVs must be cheaper than gasoline/diesel -- and by environmental benefits, availability and energy security concerns. The full report is available at www.pikeresearch.com.

Arlington Storage Co. asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorization to place its entire Thomas Corners Natural Gas Storage Project in southern New York in service by early November. The storage facility began offering interim interruptible service in late August (see NGI, Aug. 31). Arlington Storage said it expects to complete the remaining facilities (storage wells, compressor station and other facilities) so it can begin providing firm storage and other firm services from the facility on Nov. 8 [CP08-96]. The Thomas Corners field, a converted natural gas production field in Bath, NY, has working capacity of approximately 7 Bcf, along with maximum withdrawal and injection capabilities of 140 MMcf/d and 70 MMcf/d, respectively. The project has sold out all available capacity, according to Arlington Storage, a subsidiary of Kansas City, MO-based Inergy LP. The Thomas Corners Storage Field, which FERC approved in late 2008, interconnects with Tennessee Gas Pipeline's Line 400 and Columbia Gas Transmission's A-5 line, which accesses the Millennium Pipeline.

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has given UniSource Energy Corp.'s UNS Gas utility and Semstream Propane permission to to adjust rates depending on the swings in the wholesale costs of their respective fuels. The credits, dropping monthly charges for the customers of both companies, will be spread from Nov. 1 this year through October 2010. Impacted are UNS's 144,000 customers and Semstream's 7,500 customers. A credit of 8 cents/th was approved for UNS Gas customers, meaning an average gas utility customer's bill would be reduced by an estimated average of $5.85/month during the five highest-usage (winter) months and an average of $1.28 monthly during the five lowest-use (summer) months, the ACC said. The credit for Semstream customers will be 45 cents/th, projected to stay in effect through October 2010.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has allocated more than $17 million to the state's four major investor-owned utilities to be used for marketing energy efficiency to low-income customers through the individual utilities and through a statewide integrated program involving marketing, education and outreach programs. The latest CPUC action turns loose $8.6 million in funds held for the 2010 and 2011 marketing effort, along with allocating another $1.2 million among the four utilities for their contribution to the statewide marketing, education and outreach effort, and another $7.1 million is spread among the four utilities for 2010 and 2011 LIEE marketing programs. Allocations were made to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. ($7.8 million), Southern California Gas Co. ($4 million), San Diego Gas and Electric Co. ($3.2 million) and Southern California Edison Co. ($2.1 million).

Miller Petroleum Inc., which does business as Miller Energy Resources, is purchasing the south-central Alaska assets of Cook Inlet Energy LLC for $875,000. The transaction, scheduled to close in early November, includes $115 million worth of oil and natural gas reserves, 600,000 lease acres with potential additional reserves based upon $8.5 million in completed 3-D seismic geology and numerous production facilities valued at almost $200 million. CEO Scott M. Boruff said the transaction "increases our reserves by 30-fold and significantly strengthens our balance sheet for less than $1 million." In a $250,000 stock swap in June, Miller Energy acquired East Tennessee Consultants Inc. and related company East Tennessee Consultants II LLC, which included 377 natural gas and oil wells and about 5,000 leased acres in Tennessee's Chattanooga Shale. Also in June the company completed the acquisition of certain assets from Ky-Tenn Oil Inc., which included 35,325 leased acres located on the Chattanooga Shale and 173 producing natural gas and oil wells.

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