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Rich Nemec

Richard Nemec began writing for NGI in 1995 and has 30 years experience in the energy industry. He holds BA from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and a MA in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and completed MBA courses at Northwestern's Evening Graduate School of Management.

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West Coast Correspondent | Los Angeles, CA

email rich.nemec@naturalgasintel.com

North Dakota Oil Production Flat, But Gas Increases 1%

North Dakota Oil Production Flat, But Gas Increases 1%

North Dakota’s Bakken Shale oil production under-performed in its most recent monthly statistics, reflecting a “serious shortage of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) crews,” the state’s chief oil/natural gas regulator Lynn Helms reported Tuesday. Helms told a webinar with reporters that he expects to see improvement in the summer months, but the May statistics — 34.9 million…

July 22, 2021
PG&E Equipment Potentially Linked to Raging Dixie Fire

PG&E Equipment Potentially Linked to Raging Dixie Fire

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) on Sunday told California regulators that its equipment may have been involved in the ignition of the now raging Dixie Fire in part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California. A PG&E field employee reported a blown fuse on PG&E’s Bucks Creek 1101 12-kV overhead distribution circuit,…

July 21, 2021
Forty California Jurisdictions Restricting Natural Gas in New Buildings

Forty California Jurisdictions Restricting Natural Gas in New Buildings

Permits have been issued in 40 cities and counties across California under new building code restrictions for natural gas, according to the state regulators. Restrictions vary within each jurisdiction, with exemptions for restaurants, laboratories, emergency shelters and others, the California Energy Commission (CEC) said. Longer term, CEC engineers plan to use data on the permitting…

July 20, 2021
California Well Stimulation Permitting Slows; Draft Fracking Ban Issued

California Well Stimulation Permitting Slows; Draft Fracking Ban Issued

California oil patch regulators on Friday denied 21 hydraulic fracturing (fracking) permits requested by Aera Energy, a unit of Shell Oil Co. and ExxonMobil. The decision to deny the well stimulation treatment (WST) permits by the California Geologic Engineering Management (CalGEM) division coincided with a draft released to ban fracking beginning in 2024. Since Gov.…

July 13, 2021
PG&E Proposing Broad California Wildfire Mitigation in Rate Hike Request

PG&E Proposing Broad California Wildfire Mitigation in Rate Hike Request

Stoked by concerns over wildfire risks and mitigation, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has asked California regulators to approve up to $5.5 billion in a rate hike from 2023-2026, a period during which it plans to spend $7.4 billion for related safety programs. About half of the general rate increase would cover wildfire reduction…

July 9, 2021
Sempra CEO Calls California, Texas Utilities ‘No. 1 Story’

Sempra CEO Calls California, Texas Utilities ‘No. 1 Story’

San Diego-based Sempra plans to add to its five-year $32 billion capital expenditure (capex) budget, with most for the utilities in California and Texas, senior executives reported on Tuesday. Since last year the California utilities Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas and Electric Co (SDG&E) have added $900 million to capex plans…

July 2, 2021
Oregon Governor Set to Sign Clean Energy Mandate

Oregon Governor Set to Sign Clean Energy Mandate

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign into law a bill passed by the legislature in June mandating 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.  State House Bill (HB) 2021 requires electric utilities to transition to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their generation sources until they provide only carbon-free power supplies to Oregon consumers over…

July 1, 2021
California Regulators All In on Green Power, Pushing Out Natural Gas

California Regulators All In on Green Power, Pushing Out Natural Gas

Pushing out more natural gas-fired electric generation, California regulators last Thursday ordered 11,500 MW of carbon-free power to replace upcoming retirements of several old gas-fired generators and the state’s last nuclear plant. Calling its action historic, the five-member California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) called for the added renewables, batteries and efficiency measures to come online…

June 30, 2021
Washington State’s Natural Gas Outlook Scrutinized

Washington State’s Natural Gas Outlook Scrutinized

In the aftermath of the rejection of major energy projects, Washington stakeholders are trying to determine what the future holds for oil and natural gas in the Pacific Northwest. Two years ago, Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) mandated carbon-free electricity by 2045. The use of natural gas was mandated until 2045 for up to…

June 29, 2021
Southwest Gas Readies Five RNG Projects

Southwest Gas Readies Five RNG Projects

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is set to take hold in Arizona and the high desert region of Southern California based on projects launched by Las Vegas-based Southwest Gas Corp. The five projects would collectively supply 10 million therms of RNG from wastewater treatment and dairy sites. The first project is the Tres Rios Wastewater Project…

June 28, 2021
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