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Industry Briefs

Dominion Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, and River Gas Corp., a privately held company based in Northport, Al, said Friday they have jointly acquired lease rights to develop 19,000 acres of coalbed methane territory in Alabama's Black Warrior Basin. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The area produces about 315 MMcf/d of coalbed methane. The joint venture acquired the assets from Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Mining Co. Dominion and River Gas expect to drill approximately 200 wells on the newly acquired acreage over the next three years. Together, the two companies currently own and operate more than 530 coalbed methane wells in the region which produce 50 MMcf/d. River Gas began operation of these properties in 1987 and was one of the earliest operators in the Black Warrior Basin. The Black Warrior Basin is a 35,000-square-mile area in northwest Alabama.

Chevron said it completed the sale of the company's remaining coastal California production assets to Arguello Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Plains Resources Inc. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed. Chevron said its California assets represented less than 1% of the company's overall production. George Steinbach, manager of Chevron's coastal California production, said the exit from this area will allow the major energy company to shift its resources to international growth prospects and will result in significant cost savings. The sale included Chevron's 26% share of production assets associated with the Point Arguello Field, consisting of Platforms Hidalgo, Hermosa, and Harvest, located in federal waters at the northwest end of the Santa Barbara Channel; an oil processing plant located in Gaviota; and interconnecting pipelines. These assets were owned by Chevron U.S.A. Production Co. and Chevron Pipe Line Co., wholly owned subsidiaries of Chevron Corp.

Representatives of Independence Pipeline and the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) agreed to environmental standards. The agreement augments procedures already included in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Plan and Procedures and the Best Management Practices prepared by Independence. One of the 31 conditions included in the joint agreement with the OPSB requires that Independence adhere to all provisions in a separate, extensive construction and agricultural mitigation agreement with the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation districts. That accord calls for Independence to implement a series of construction measures and precautions on privately owned agricultural land during pipeline construction, cleanup and restoration activities.

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