Regency Energy Partners LP said it plans to expand its Dubach processing facility in North Louisiana to increase capacity to 210 MMcf/d by adding an incremental 70 MMcf/d of cryogenic capacity and 20 MMcf/d of Joule-Thomson capacity. "We have seen volumes at our Dubach facility continue to grow throughout the first half of 2012 due to increased drilling around our facilities," said Chief Commercial Officer Jim Holotik. "This expansion will allow us to process new production from the area and provide more efficient liquids recovery across the facility." The $75 million expansion, expected to come online in the second quarter of 2013, is to include construction of high-pressure gathering lines to bring production to the facility. The project is backed by fee-based contracts and an acreage dedication, Regency said.

Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities has asked Idaho regulators to approve two rate decreases for its natural gas and electric utility customers in the state, effective Oct. 1. If approved, gas utility rates will drop by 8% and power rates by about 2%, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) said. The decrease in monthly bills could be $4.42 for gas customers and $1.09 for electric utility customers. Separately, Avista has told the PUC that after Oct. 10 it intends to file a combined gas-electric base rate case whose changes would be effective in April. Avista serves about 125,000 electric and 75,000 gas customers in northern Idaho.

A swarm of moderate earthquakes hit the southeast corner of California Sunday near the Imperial County town of Brawley and close to the Mexican border, but no damage was reported to major energy infrastructure, although the idle nuclear plant at San Onofre recorded "unusual events" that shook its control room. The 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (Songs), which is in the midst of an undetermined outage for assessment and repair on both of its units' steam generator tubing, reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it had detected quakes at 12:39 p.m. and again at 2:03 p.m. The NRC Notice of Unusual Event was exited at 8:17 p.m. Sunday, according to the Songs majority owner-operator, Southern California Edison Co. (SCE). On Monday Sempra Energy's San Diego Gas and Electric Co., which is a minority (20%) owner at Songs, said it had sustained no damage from quakes that hit as high as 5.5 in magnitude, centered about 100 miles east of downtown San Diego.

NG Advantage LLC has lined up the first industrial customers for its business of compressing pipeline-quality natural gas for shipment by truck to areas off the nation's gas pipeline grid. Beginning next year from a site in Milton, VT, NG Advantage will truck compressed natural gas (CNG) to the likes of Pike Industries and Putney Paper, following the signing recently of multi-year contracts with the two companies. Privately held NG Advantage said low prices for natural gas allow CNG to cost 70% less per BTU than either oil or propane for industrial users. "Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have dramatically driven down the price of natural gas in North America," said NG Advantage founder Tom Evslin.

©Copyright 2012 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.