The state of Alaska extended its cooperation agreement with Japan-based consortium Resources Energy Inc. (REI) to develop Cook Inlet natural gas (see Daily GPI, Dec. 29, 2014). The agreement extension comes three months after Gov. Bill Walker met with more than 25 companies and government agencies, including the prefectures of Kyoto and Hyogo, during an international liquefied natural gas (LNG) conference in Tokyo, where he told more than a thousand attendees of the Alaskan LNG opportunity (see Daily GPI, Sept. 23). The agreement, which was extended two years to Dec. 14, 2017, encourages the development of Cook Inlet natural gas to provide Alaskans low-cost energy while also supplying Japanese consumers. “The world market will certainly benefit from Alaska’s rich natural gas reserves, but my No. 1 priority is ensuring that we work toward affordable energy for Alaskan families and businesses.” Walker said. “Extending this agreement with REI shows Japanese consumers that Alaska is committed to exporting liquefied natural gas.”

The Houston-based National Energy Services Association (NESA) has been merged into the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. “The members of both organizations are very similar,” said Alliance Chairman George Rogers. “Both organizations believe that this move will be most beneficial for the members of NESA and the Alliance.” The 746 members of NESA will immediately become members of the Alliance. NESA’s members will receive full benefits of Alliance members, including receiving all publications, meeting notices, discounts on Alliance-endorsed affinity and educational programs, and the opportunity to serve on the board of directors and committees. The combination pushes the Alliance’s membership to about 4,000. NESA has served the needs of people in the service and supply sector of the oil and gas industry for more than 50 years. The Alliance was formed in 2000 with the merger of the North Texas Oil and Gas Association and the West Central Texas Oil and Gas Association, which were organized in the 1930s. The Alliance will establish an energy services section to ensure that the needs of the membership are met.

Columbia Gas Transmission LLC filed a customer agreement with FERC in support of extending its system modernization program. The filing extends and expands the first-of-its-kind customer agreement, initially approved by the the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January 2013. The program would be extended three years, through 2020, and would provide for $1.1 billion of additional investment. The agreement also expands the scope of facility investments covered by the program. Columbia Transmission asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the agreement by March 31.

FERC‘sOffice of Energy Projects (OEP) has revised its Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation, dated August 2002, to incorporate regulation changes and provide updated guidance on how to prepare resource reports and how interstate and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects may demonstrate compliance with certain regulatory requirements.The draft may be found on the FERC website under the docket number AD16-3. The comment period will close on Jan. 19, 2016. The OEP staff anticipates issuing a final updated version of the Guidance Manual in early 2016. The full text of the 2002 version of the Guidance Manual can be viewed on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website a and can be used as a reference to see the changes made.