The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) has denied an application filed by Fairbanks Natural Gas LLC (FNG) and approved an application filed by Interior Alaska Natural Gas Utility (IANGU) for the right to distribute natural gas in the Fairbanks North Star Borough area. In denying the application by FNG, commissioners said the privately owned utility relied too heavily on presumed gas demand from Golden Valley Electric Association. The commission found that the FNG application overstated expected demand from Golden Valley by 0.5 to 1.5 Bcf per year. Three local area governments formed IANGU about a year ago to serve an area beyond the existing FNG service territory following dissatisfaction with the rates charged by FNG. FNG, which is owned by Minnesota investors, had also applied to the RCA to serve the same territory.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has been revealed as the seller of some natural gas-weighted properties in the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah field to a unit of Vanguard Natural Resources LLC for $581 million (see Shale Daily, Dec. 30, 2013). Vanguard confirmed the seller in a required Securities and Exchange Commission filing; it was advised on the sale by Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Inc. The transaction would nearly double Vanguard's reserves, with daily output increasing by 55%.

Continuing with their pledge to ban fracking in Youngstown, a grassroots committee is seeking signatures for a third ballot initiative in May that would once again ask voters to amend the city's charter, while affiliated anti-hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activists will try for the same in nearby Niles, OH. The Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights Committee announced late last week that it was heading door-to-door within the city to gather signatures for a ballot referendum in May. The move is the group's third such effort to ban fracking and related activity in Youngstown after voters rejected the measure 57-43% in May, and more recently by 55-45% in November (see Shale Daily, Nov. 6, 2013).

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the preferred alternative fuel for over-the-road trucks, compared to compressed natural gas (CNG), according to California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., which supplies both LNG and CNG to customers. Clean Energy has decided that America's Natural Gas Highway, which it helped conceive and is helping to implement (see Daily GPI, Aug. 25, 2011), has to go for LNG to fuel class-8 trucks, as opposed to CNG, said Brian Powers, vice president for operations. The Newport Beach, CA-based company is aiming for 150 highway-located LNG fueling stations by the end of 2014. "From what we're seeing, the cost of an LNG truck is less than a CNG truck with a comparable range," Powers said. Clean Energy emphasizes "total cost of service" in making determinations regarding LNG or CNG for fleet operators.

Royal Dutch Shell plc on Thursday completed its purchase of Repsol SA's liquefied natural gas (LNG) portfolio outside of North America, giving it a wider berth in the Atlantic Basin, as well as existing charter leases to substantially increase its global reach. The transaction gives Shell an additional 7.2 million metric tons/year (mmty) of directly managed LNG volumes through long-term offtake agreements, boosted with LNG supply in the Atlantic from Trinidad and Tobago, and in the Pacific from Peru. In addition, it immediately contributed to cash flow, while requiring limited ongoing capital spending. The transaction was struck last February for $4.4 billion cash (see Daily GPI,Feb. 27, 2013). The purchase also included assuming leases for LNG ship charters that at the time were worth about $1.8 billion. At closing Shell paid $3.8 billion cash and  assumed $1.6 billion in liabilities. Repsol's Canaport LNG regasification terminal in Saint John, NB, was not included.