The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Monday approved DCP Midstream LP's request to build an 11-mile pipeline to transport gas from the Niobrara Shale in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin to interstate natural gas markets served by the Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG) pipeline. The proposed $12 million pipeline facilities (LaSalle Residue Line) would connect to the proposed LaSalle processing plant in Weld County, CO. The only shipper on the proposed line would be DCP. DCP Midstream is a joint venture of Spectra Energy and ConocoPhillips. Based on new production in the Niobrara Shale in the DJ Basin, DCP told FERC it plans to construct the 110 MMcf/d LaSalle gas processing plant and a new gathering pipeline in Weld County (see Shale Daily, May 16, 2011).

Copano Energy LLC plans to extend its 96-mile, 24-inch diameter DK Pipeline in the Eagle Ford Shale by adding 65 miles of pipeline southwest into McMullen County, TX, which will allow Copano to access significant new Eagle Ford volumes, the company said. The DK Pipeline extension is expected to begin service in the first half of 2013 and is projected to cost $120 million. The pipeline extension will follow the same route as Copano's recently announced condensate pipeline, Double Eagle Pipeline LLC, a joint venture with Magellan Midstream Partners LP in the rich gas window of the Eagle Ford. The DK Pipeline extension is supported by a new long-term agreement with Petrohawk Energy Corp., a subsidiary of BHP Billiton. Copano will provide Petrohawk with gathering, processing and natural gas liquids handling services for a "significant commitment" of natural gas volumes from leases in McMullen County.

The Center for Energy in the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering has received a $22 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, one of the largest private foundation grants in the school's history. The grant is designed to bolster the center's position as a leading energy research center. "With this funding, we will be in a much better position to attract top-notch faculty and students to our region," said Center for Energy Director Brian Gleeson.