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Power generator PSEG Power LLC, a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group, has taken an equity stake in PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC's proposed $1 billion, 100-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, PennEast said Thursday. The pipeline would run from Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania to Transco's Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey (see Shale DailySept. 5Aug. 12). The pipeline, which is projected to enter service in 2017, would transport up to 1 Bcf/d and is targeting Marcellus Shale gas supplies. Additional pipeline partners include AGL Resources; NJR Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources; South Jersey Industries; and UGI Energy Services (UGIES), a subsidiary of UGI Corp. PSEG Power, which would be a shipper on the pipeline, will have a 12% interest in PennEast. The other PennEast Pipeline Co. members each will have 22% interest. Preliminary engineering studies have begun, and a formal application is to be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission next year. UGIES is the project manager and would operate the pipeline.

Rice Energy Inc. has won a bidding war of sorts in Belmont County, OH, to develop 195 acres owned by the city of St. Clairsville. The city council agreed to lease the acreage to Rice for $8,650/acre after it offered a bid to counter American Energy Partners LP's $8,600/acre offer. According to reports, the councilors said besides the price they also chose Rice because of language included in the lease that would not allow the company to deduct from future royalties. Rice has assets in Belmont County, as well as in southwest Pennsylvania's Washington and Greene counties.

The Texas Natural Gas Summit to connect job-seekers with representatives of more than 60 energy-related companies across Texas, is being coordinated by Railroad Commission of Texas Commissioner David Porter. The summit on Oct. 23 at the Palmer Events Center in Austin is free and open to the public. Information is available at www.rrc.state.tx.us under the search term "summit." Jobs may be available for welders; accountants and finance professionals; drilling, petroleum, reservoir, production, mechanical, pipeline and process engineers; mechanics; truck drivers; sales and marketing professionals; construction workers, rig hands and field service technicians. "The jobs featured at the summit are crucial," Porter said. "The industry expects both domestic and export markets to grow, which will likely maintain demand for workers down the road for some time. This year gave us unprecedented growth in the number of natural gas vehicles, fuel sales, fueling stations and jobs created. I look forward to building on this record in 2015 and beyond."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas construction permit to CCI Corpus Christi LLC for a 100,000 b/d condensate splitter and bulk petroleum terminal near Corpus Christi, TX. The terminal is to include storage tanks and barge loading operations that can handle 500,000 b/d of crude condensate for export. In addition to exporting product, the company also plans to use the crude condensate to produce diesel, jet fuel, naphtha and other petroleum products. CCS is a unit of Stamford, CT-based Castleton Commodities International LLC, which was formerly known as Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy. Earlier this year, the Obama administration confirmed that export of condensate was permissible under existing law (see Shale DailyJune 25).

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed three pieces of legislation (AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319) to adopt first-ever guidelines for local management and monitoring of groundwater supplies throughout the drought-plagued state. Brown said the new laws are part of a broader effort to better manage energy, land and investments, along with the state's water resources. The three new laws will allow local agencies to tailor sustainable groundwater plans to their regional economic and environmental needs. Making up more than one-third of the state's water supplies, groundwater remains critical, according to the bills' authors. The new laws define "sustainable groundwater management," and they require local agencies to adopt management plans for each of the state's most important groundwater basins.

Steel producer Nucor Corp. is raising its annual flat-rolled capacity in the United States by 16% to 13 million tons with the $770 million acquisition of Kentucky-based Gallatin Steel. The transaction would make Nucor the No. 1 provider in the United States. Gallatin, a joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Gerdau Ameristeel, produces more than 1.6 million tons a year at a mill in Gallatin County on the Ohio River. "Gallatin will enhance Nucor's current position serving flat-rolled customers in the growing pipe and tube segment," CEO John Ferriola said. The mill would be Nucor's fifth in the country.

The city council of Denton, TX, which overlies the Barnett Shale, has extended a moratorium (see Shale DailyMay 12) on new drilling permits within the city until Jan. 21, while a referendum to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city is on its way to voters Nov. 4. If voters approve the ban, Denton would be the first city in the Lone Star State to ban fracking (see Shale DailyJuly 16).

Rimrock Midstream LLC and NGL Energy Partners LP is holding a binding open season through Oct. 3 for its joint venture Grand Mesa Pipeline crude oil pipeline. The pipeline, originating in Weld County, CO, and extending 550 miles to NGL's crude oil storage terminal at the Cushing hub in Oklahoma, will provide takeaway capacity for crude oil producers in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, the companies said. As proposed, the pipeline will be capable of receiving and transporting more than 130,000 b/d for delivery into the Cushing hub. For information visit www.grandmesapipeline.com.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) and BP Singapore Pte. (BPS), which is an affiliate of BP Group, have struck a liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale and purchase agreement for Tepco to buy up to 1.2 million tons of LNG per year over 17 years from BPS starting in April 2017. The LNG is to come from "multiple sources" held by BP Group, making the deal a "portfolio contract," the first long-term agreement of its kind for Tepco, the Japanese utility company said. The agreement includes supply of lean LNG and also indexes prices to the Henry Hub. Tepco and other Asian LNG consumers have sought LNG supplies through contracts indexed to more favorable North American prices. Tepco said it has reviewed multiple supply sources, including those of U.S. origin, in its effort to buy about 10 million tons of lean LNG annually. With the BPS agreement, a total of 2 million tons of lean LNG per year will have been secured, Tepco said.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has changed the water requirements for a desert-based natural gas-fired power plant to respond to the state's worsening drought. The CEC altered some of the operating provisions approved in 2000 for the 830 MW High Desert generation plant, about a 100 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles near Victorville, CA (see Daily GPIMay 9, 2000). The action approved a water supply amendment to the plant's original authorization. The CEC said it ordered the plant owners "to secure a temporary backup of limited regional groundwater for addressing the drought impacts on its primary supply from the California State Water Project." The owner must also file a plan for what the CEC called a drought-proof, sustainable water supply by Nov. 1, 2015.

The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (Tipro), a trade association representing the interests of more than 2,800 independent oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners throughout Texas, will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square Monday (Sept. 15). Tipro President Ed Longanecker and Raymond Welder, CEO of Welder Exploration and Production Inc. will ring the closing bell that day.

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