NorTex Gas Storage Co. LLC is holding an open season through Thursday (Feb. 17) for capacity at its Hill-Lake and Worsham-Steed gas storage facilities in North Texas. Up to 6 Bcf of high-deliverability, multi-cycle (HDMC) firm capacity will be available starting April 1. Service levels range from single-cycle to four-cycle, including hourly profiling customized for power generators, which are significant gas consumers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market during the summer. For bidding instructions, contact John Holcomb at jholcomb@nortexgasstorage.com, or Johnny Ulrich at julrich@nortexgasstorage.com.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is suing Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) alleging that the pipeline entities withheld overtime compensation to more than 4,500 employees. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division (4:11-cv-00454). DOL alleges the defendants failed to include bonuses when calculating overtime pay over a two-year period. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires companies to pay bonuses when overtime pay is calculated. The lawsuit, which includes a 90-page list of 4,569 employees, does not specify the amount of damages it seeks. A KMI spokesman called the lawsuit "both disappointing and unnecessary" and said the companies are cooperating with DOL and have attempted to resolve the issue amicably.

Chevron Corp. has agreed to pay an extra 10 cents/share to nondirector shareholders of Atlas Energy Inc. to settle a lawsuit challenging the proposed takeover (see Daily GPI, Nov. 15, 2010). Excluding the 4% of shares held by directors, the additional payment will add more than $7 million to Chevron's $4.3 billion offer. Atlas shareholders are to vote on the Chevron offer next Wednesday (Feb. 16). Following Chevron's offer, several Atlas shareholders sued, alleging that management breached fiduciary responsibilities by not obtaining the best offer. The lawsuits were combined, and a settlement was filed in a memorandum of understanding on Feb. 3, according to a regulatory filing by Atlas. India's Reliance Industries Ltd., an Atlas drilling partner, has suggested it may make a counter proposal (see Daily GPI, Feb. 4).

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