Regency Energy Partners LP plans to add a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing plant and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline at its Dubberly facility in North Louisiana that would accept gas from Regency's recently completed Dubberly gathering trunkline. The residue outlet for the facility would be the Regency Intrastate Gas System. A 160-mile, eight- and 10-inch diameter NGL pipeline would run from Dubberly to fractionation facilities with initial capacity of 25,000 b/d and expandable via additional pump stations. The projects are expected to cost $260 million and be completed by mid-2015. "Strong drilling around our facilities in the richer Cotton Valley play is driving significant volume growth," said Regency Chief Commercial Officer Jim Holotik. "This expansion will allow us to provide incremental processing solutions and create an alternative outlet for newly-produced NGLs from the region."
A rally organized by the Marcellus Shale Coalition to tout the benefits of shale gas development in Pennsylvania, attracted more than 2,500 participants, according to estimates from the capital police force in Harrisburg, PA, where the rally took place on Tuesday. It was one of the largest rallies the capital has seen in years, police officials said. Before the event, the MSC, which represents hundreds of exploration and production companies, midstream operators and supply chain businesses throughout the state, said the rally would be the largest in its roughly six-year history (see Shale Daily, May 1). A spokesman for the organization said business leaders, local government officials and residents from communities across the state had signed up. Many of the participants were bused to the capital and then marched to the stairs of the statehouse to voice their support for the industry as it faces headwinds from environmentalists and policy proposals calling for increased taxes on production. Local news media reports said dozens of people participated in a small counter-protest. No clashes between the two groups were reported.
Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) units Houston Pipe Line Co. LP (HPL) and Oasis Pipeline LP have signed 15-year agreements with Mexcio's Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) to provide 930,000 MMBtu/d of natural gas transportation services. ETP will utilize its existing pipelines and will construct a 24-inch diameter pipeline from HPL's pipeline located near Edinburg, TX, to a new international border crossing near McAllen, TX (Edinburg Extension). ETP will also construct 51 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline from its Robstown pipeline system in Nueces County, TX, to its facilities in Live Oak County, TX (Nueces Crossover). The Edinburgh Extension and Nueces Crossover are expected to be in service during the fourth quarter of this year and first quarter of 2015, respectively. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved the border crossing facilities (see Daily GPI, March 20). It was recently reported that CFE plans to seek bids for five natural gas pipelines in the northern portion of the country (see Daily GPI, April 22).
Encana Corp. on Monday agreed to pay a $5 million fine and pleaded no contest to charges that it attempted to commit antitrust violations in connection with a 2010 oil and gas lease sale in Michigan. Chesapeake Energy Corp. indicated that it plans to continue to fight the charges. Both companies were formally charged in March by Michigan officials for allegedly collaborating in 2010 to avoid bidding against each other in a lease sale (see Daily GPI, March 6). The U.S. Department of Justice, which had been conducting a parallel investigation, has dropped its charges against both companies (see Daily GPI, May 1).
Atlas Pipeline Partners LP (APL) has brought online its Stonewall cryogenic gas processing plant in the Arkoma section of the Woodford Shale, which will add capacity to APL's SouthOK system. The partnership is also accelerating plans to potentially increase the capacity at Stonewall, given increasing activity by Arkoma Basin and South Central Oklahoma Oil Province producers (see Shale Daily, May 1). Stonewall has an initial capacity of 120 MMcf/d. The plant was constructed under the Centrahoma joint venture with MarkWest Energy Partners, in which APL owns 60%. Due to the increase in activity in southern Oklahoma, the APL plans to accelerate the planned 80 MMcf/d expansion of Stonewall, bringing capacity to 200 MMcf/d. The expansion will add refrigeration and compression at the plant and will result in total gross processing capacity of 580 MMcf/d on the partnership's SouthOK system.
Encana Corp. expects to raise up to $785 million by spinning off PrairieSky Royalty Ltd., an oil and gas unit that holds 5.2 million acres extending from Alberta to the U.S. border. The spinoff, in the works since 2013, was announced in April; the offering is expected to launch by the end of May (see Shale Daily, April 15). Encana, which would retain a 75% stake, plans to sell 32.5 million shares of stock for around $21.00-24.00/share. PrairieSky isn't designed to conduct oil and gas operations, but it would farm out exploration, development and production to third parties. At the end of 2013, Encana had about 300 paying lessees on the offering, includingConocoPhillips, Husky Energy Inc. and China's Sinopec, which together were producing 14,275 boe/d. PrairieSky's undeveloped land could be worth more than $1.3 billion. In its prospectus, Encana said it viewed as "understated" the value of the assets because of the multiple leases for different underground formations on the same land.
The board of of directors of National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) has given final approval to spin off the distribution arm as an independent, publicly traded company to be known as NOW Inc. and headquartered in Houston. Each NOV shareholder of record as of May 22 would receive one NOW share for every four shares NOV. NOV is retaining no ownership interest. Approval is expected soon to list on the New York Stock Exchange as DNOW. During 1Q2014, the distribution and transmission segment generated revenues of $1.28 billion, up 2% sequentially and 4% year/year (see Shale Daily, April 28).
Lyondell Basell has received a key permit required in the company's multi-plant ethylene expansion program, which when fully operational is expected to increase annual ethylene capacity by 1.85 billion pounds per day, for a total estimated capacity of 11.8 billion pounds per day in North America. The ethylene expansion program began in 2013 and represents a total investment of approximately $1.3 billion in the company's Texas plants in Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, which benefit from shale gas production. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final greenhouse gas permit for the Corpus Christi project. The permit is the first to be drafted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and issued by EPA under a new program designed to help improve permitting efficiency and productivity for applicants in Texas. The multi-plant ethylene expansion is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2015 (see Daily GPI, Jan. 3).