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El Paso Calls NGC Deal ‘Pro-Competitive,’ Blasts Protesters

The recent protests of El Paso Natural Gas shippers regarding Natural Gas Clearinghouse’s much tighter grip on westbound firm transportation capacity (1.3 Bcf/d) are just the cries of industry fat cats who would rather avoid increased competition on what they consider their home turf, El Paso told FERC last week (please see stories in NGI 1-12-98, p.1 and 11-10-97, p.1).

January 19, 1998

El Paso Continues Intra-day Noms Delay; GISB Sets Standards

As the Executive Committee of the Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB) recently ironed out most of the differences over one of the more contentious issues facing the industry – intra-day nomination standards – the year-long battle to implement procedures in El Paso Natural Gas’ tariff continued without an end in sight. El Paso had been expected to implement changes Nov. 1, 1997, at last giving its shippers several opportunities a day to nominate gas, correct nominations and schedule multiple (10) pool-to-pool transfers of gas. But the pipeline continues to push back its deadlines while changing its planned pooling provisions, which has angered shippers.

January 19, 1998

MMS Issues Final Rules on Deep Water Royalty Relief

The Minerals Management Service published final rules implementing provisions of the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 in the Federal Register Jan. 16. The act mandates volumes of royalty-free production from fields in water depths exceeding 200 meters, both for new leases (after Nov. 28, 1996) and for existing leases if production from those existing leases would not be economic without royalty relief. The act, which was enacted Nov. 28, 1995, has led to a surge of activity along the Offshore Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

January 19, 1998

FERC Hears from Maine Residents Opposing LNG Facility

Attorneys for Granite State Gas Transmission and the Town of Wells squared off against each other last week at FERC over the merits of siting a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in the Maine community.

January 19, 1998

’97 Production Stats Start to Flow

While the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is bullish ongas production capacity, at least one analyst group holds a morereserved view. And 1997 year-end production data released last weekby two independents, while up, isn’t enough information to predictfuture production trends.

January 19, 1998

Enron Income Up for Quarter, Down for Year

EOG reported net income of $43.2 million, or 28 cents/share for Q4 1997, up from $35.1 million, or 22 cents/share, for Q4 1996. Net operating revenues totaled $238 million, up from $204.3 million in Q4 1996. Discretionary cash flow totaled $173.6 million, up from $153.2 million for Q4 1996.

January 19, 1998

Slower Growth Projected For U.S. E&P Spending

While the deep-water Gulf of Mexico continues to be a hot spot for E&P spending in the U.S., analysts are expecting a sharp slowdown in spending growth at most other domestic locations next year, a significant contrast to the record spending growth in the U.S. over the past two years. According to Salomon Smith Barney’s 16th annual survey of worldwide E&P expenditures, there will be a general shift toward greater spending overseas in 1998.

January 19, 1998

New Cogeneration Units Target Residential Market

Cogeneration has hit the single family home market with a new system that produces electricity every time the heater kicks in. Now available in New England and eastern Pennsylvania, the 5 kW units can be powered by fuel oil, propane or natural gas and in many cases wipe out electric bills altogether.

January 19, 1998

PG&E Puts 4 More Gas-Fired Power Plants on Auction Block

Hoping to continue 1997’s over-book-value bidding on fossil-fuel plants, Pacific Gas and Electric will auction four more natural gas-fired power plants and one geothermal power plant later this year. The plants collectively represent $850 million in book value, 4,712 MW of capacity and a total natural gas load (on the four gas-fired plants) of 273 MMcf/d.

January 19, 1998

Nine Companies Join in Filing Midwest ISO

The Midwest ISO, now consisting of nine companies covering eight states, 32,000 miles of transmission and 63,000 MW of electric power, has made its initial filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, just a month after some onlookers thought the plan was dead. In December major participants backed away from a five-year commitment to consider joining an alternative plan (see NGI, 12-15).

January 19, 1998