California regulators have approved a one-time contractual waiver to allow Chevron Corp. to lower its obligation for capacity on Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) backbone natural gas transmission system by 9,000 Dth/d. The waiver is effective through the end of Chevron's three-year contract with SoCalGas on Sept. 30, 2014. Involved in the case is Chevron's role as a California gas producer delivering up to 25,000 Dth/d into the SoCalGas system. Chevron's total capacity on the SoCalGas system will drop to 16,000 Dth/d. The change was necessitated when the gas utility was forced to close one of the interconnecting pipelines used by Chevron in 2011 because of demands from the owner of the pipeline right-of-way. Since that time, SoCalGas decided it would not build a replacement line, forcing Chevron to lower the capacity volumes covered in its multi-year contract.

General Electric (GE) has launched the latest version of its natural gas-fired turbines, the FlexEfficiency 60, for operation in an era of more intermittent renewable-based generation. The 60 series is designed for 60-hertz electrical grids found in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Japan. GE is also marketing a 50-hertz version for other parts of the world. GE said it has more than $1.2 billion in orders for the new turbine technology, which is designed to provide baseload power that can respond quickly to fluctuations in wind- and solar-generated electricity.

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