Keyera Facilities Income Fund said it will construct its Carlos pipeline from the Keyera Rimbey gas plant into the Hoadley region of central Alberta. The pipeline will allow area producers to deliver liquids-rich gas to the Rimbey plant, which is equipped to remove a high percentage of natural gas liquids from the gas stream. The Hoadley area is undergoing active development as multiple producers target liquids-rich natural gas reserves found in the Glauconite geological zone, Keyera said. The 45-kilometer (28-mile), 12-inch diameter raw gas gathering pipeline is expected to be in service in the second quarter of 2011.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has unanimously approved a 21 Bcf expansion of the Wild Goose Storage LLC independent underground natural gas storage facility in Northern California. As part of the decision, a major intrastate transmission pipeline connection with a nearby compressor station was also authorized. Wild Goose, a subsidiary of Niska Gas Storage, currently operates with 29 Bcf of capacity, allowing injection of up to 450 MMcf/d and withdrawal of 700 MMcf/d. The expansion will increase the facility's capabilities to 50 Bcf of capacity, up to 650 MMcf/d of injection and 1.2 Bcf/d of withdrawal. The expanded above-ground facilities will be interconnected with two Pacific Gas and Electric Co. intrastate pipelines (Line 400/401) near the Delevan Compressor Station in Colusa County.

Spectra Energy Corp.'s Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC is holding a nonbinding open season through Feb. 11 for the proposed Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project to deliver additional Appalachian and Marcellus Shale natural gas supplies to markets in the Northeast and New England. The AIM project would provide shippers with the opportunity to design transportation services from multiple receipt points on the pipeline system to multiple existing and proposed delivery points, Algonquin said. Shippers also may request to increase the capacity at the Algonquin interconnect at Brookfield, CT, to provide incremental gas deliveries into the Iroquois Gas Transmission system via a compression-only service. For information contact Greg Crisp at (713) 627-4611. Information is available in the "Growth Projects" section at www.spectraenergy.com.

Spectra Energy is expected to file an application Monday (Dec. 20) at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a major pipeline expansion to serve the New Jersey and New York natural gas markets.The project would be an expansion of Spectra Energy's existing pipeline systems, Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission, which already cater to the New Jersey and New York markets. The expansion would provide new diversified supply, as much as 800 MMcf/d, to the region. Spectra last week was making modifications to the final plan, according to spokeswoman Marylee Hanley. If approved the pipeline expansion, which would be 42-inch and 36-inch diameter, would be built over a two-year period, with completion targeted for November 2013, Hanley said.

House Republican leaders have decided against combining the energy jurisdictions of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee into one committee -- the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), had proposed the marriage of the two committees last month, saying that the time was ripe for this change in committee structure as Republicans become the majority in the House in the next Congress (see NGI, Nov. 29). Hastings said he looked forward to working with Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who was named chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this month (see NGI, Dec. 13).

Range Resources Corp. has more than doubled its Marcellus Shale production year/year. The Houston-based explorer was producing 100 MMcfe/d net at the end of 2009. Net production from the Pennsylvania leasehold averaged 212 MMcfe/d net in the first two weeks of December, which exceeded the 2010 exit rate target, the company said. Range had expected to exit 2010 producing 200-210 MMcf/d net. CEO John Pinkerton said the company is focused on another "double" in 2011 with an exit rate of 400-420 MMcfe/d.

Denver-based Forest Oil Corp. is spinning off its natural gas-weighted operations in Canada by selling one-fifth of its Lone Pine Resources unit for up to $375 million in shares through an initial public offering (IPO). About four months after the IPO is completed, Forest would spin off the remaining shares of Lone Pine through a special shareholder dividend. Lone Pine, to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "LPR," would become the parent of Canadian Forest Oil Ltd., which now owns all of Forest's Canadian assets.

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal said he was encouraged by a deal that Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) reached with two interest groups to retire nearly half of the independent producer's gas drilling lease acreage in the Wyoming Range. The deal calls for PXP to retire 28,000 acres of its federal mineral leases within the Bridger-Teton Forest in western Wyoming. It would allow the Houston-based producer to drill 136 wells from 17 pads. In addition, PXP agreed to provide $6 million in funding for habitat projects, wildlife studies, and air and water quality monitoring over the life of the project. PXP reached the conservation agreement with the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association and Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife; it will need the approval of the U.S. Forest Service.

The Canadian government threw its financial support -- about C$18.1 million -- behind a new pipeline development in Quebec with an eye toward economic development in the region. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government will financially back a pipeline between Vallee-Jonction and Thetford Mines in Quebec. The project will be carried out by the Gaz Metro Co., which will finance part of the venture. The project is expected to cost C$24.7 million. It will bring natural gas service to the Thetford-Mines region as early as 2012 by extending the Gaz Metro distribution network by 72 kilometers (45 miles).

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