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United Shale Advocates (USA), a grassroots web-based initiative launched by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), plans to build support for Pennsylvania's oil and natural gas industry by offering an online outlet for other proponents, including consumers and labor groups. MSC has close to 300 industry members and associate members that share best practices to develop the Appalachian play and provide outreach. USA takes those outreach efforts beyond industry confines to hear from consumers and groups representing economic development, labor, small business, agriculture and conservation may "further engage in the increasingly important energy and public policy debate." The website plans to use letters to editors and public rallies in the state and in Washington, DC, to inform lawmakers about drilling policy, said MSC President David Spigelmyer. The first rally is scheduled for May 6 in Harrisburg, PA. "It's an opportunity for us to engage folks from broad segments of the community, folks that are looking for an outlet to have their voices heard," Spigelmyer said. He formerly headed Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s outreach in the region.

DCP Midstream LLC plans to construct a 200 MMcf/d sour natural gas processing plant (Zia II Plant) in Lea County, NM, with associated gathering system expansions to serve producers in the southeast New Mexico and West Texas regions of the Permian Basin. The project includes front-end treating for sour gas, two acid gas injection wells, a 50-mile, 20-inch diameter high-pressure trunkline that would intersect DCP Midstream's existing New Mexico gathering system, and new high-pressure pipelines and compression in West Texas. The project is expected to be in commercial operation during the first half of 2015.

How to design and implement best-practice offshore leak detection systems is the aim of a joint industry project (JIP) launched by 20 industry operators, DNV GL, a ship and offshore classification company, said. The JIP follows several big oil leaks and spills in the offshore, including the Macondo well blowout in 2010. There are leak detection sensors on the market, but they have limited coverage and gaps need to be closed concerning the design, engineering, commissioning and operation, DNV noted. The JIP includes BP plc, Eni SA, GDF Suez, Petroleo Brasilerio (Petrobras) and Lundin Norway. FMC Technologies also is taking part, as are several suppliers.

CB&I and a U.S. unit of Japan-based Chiyoda Corp. said Monday their joint venture has been awarded a contract to build Sempra Energy's $6 billion Cameron liquefaction facilities on the Louisiana Gulf coast for exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to global markets later this decade. The scope of the work for Cameron LNG LLC will include engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of three liquefaction trains among other facilities at the Hackberry, LA, site. Sempra last month received a conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export LNG supplies to non-free trade agreement nations, including markets in Asia and Europe (see Daily GPI, Feb. 11). Senior executives with the EPC joint venture touted their respective histories designing and building major LNG projects. The Cameron project is projected to create 3,000 on-site jobs, along with several hundred jobs at the CB&I fabrication facility and another several hundred engineering/project management jobs at its Baton Rouge offices.

Outrigger Energy LLC has started to develop a midstream system in the Delaware Basin of West Texas. The company's plans include gathering pipelines for natural gas, crude oil and produced water, three compressor stations and a cryogenic processing plant with a capacity of 60 MMcf/d. The facilities will be located in Loving and Winkler counties, and the crude oil system will connect to multiple takeaway pipelines, as well as a possible rail outlet in Wink, TX. Outrigger has secured an independent producer to anchor the system and is in discussions with several others that could expand it.

The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed a bill by a vote of 15-10 that would ensure landowners receive a minimum royalty payment of 12.5%, sending it to the House floor for a full vote. The legislation clarifies language included in the state's Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 and would prohibit companies from making unfair deductions. It comes as Chesapeake Energy Corp. faces a possible investigation from the state Attorney General's Office (see Shale Daily, March 14) for allegedly deducting oil and gas marketing and transportation costs from royalty checks. The state's Senate Energy Committee has already passed a package of bills known as the Oil and Gas Lease Protection Package that would give landowners greater rights to pursue underpayment and make inquiries about the royalties they receive.

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