The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Port Arthur Pipeline LLC’s (PAPLC) planned Port Arthur Pipeline Louisiana Connector Project for pre-filing review [PF17-5]. The project would entail construction of 135 miles of 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline; up to eight interconnects; receipt meter stations; and appurtenances in Evangeline, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, and Cameron parishes in Louisiana and in Jefferson County, TX. PAPLC also plans to construct a compressor station in Allen Parish, LA. The project would transport up to 2.0 Bcf/d of additional feed gas to the Port Arthur Liquefaction Project, which is being developed by Port Arthur LNG LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Co. LLC. PAPLC is expected to file an application for the pipeline project by October.

The University of Calgary, in collaboration with Mexican universities and research institutes, has received C$44 million (MX$646.94 million) in funding for four knowledge networks to support energy reforms in Mexico. The funding commitment follows from a partnership the university signed in December 2015 with the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER). The research focuses on four areas: heavy oil, mature and unconventional oil resources, pipeline loss reduction, and industry and labor market development. Research networks will be created through the University of Calgary’sGlobal Research Initiative in Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources. The networks will be led by the University of Calgary and the lead Mexican partner institutions: the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Funding is administered by CONACYT, a national funding organization in Mexico that works to advance science and technology. Research will be developed over the next three years.

Retail natural gas utility bills in Colorado are headed up, according to Xcel Energy‘s Denver-based combination utility, which sees a 12-16% rise in monthly bills coming in 2Q2017 compared to the same quarter last year. Xcel made a quarterly gas cost adjustment filing to state regulators on Wednesday calling for residential gas rates to increase to 33.6 cents/therm next quarter, compared to 24.1 cents/therm for the second quarter last year, a 12% increase to average bills of a little more than $30 monthly. For small businesses, the rate increases to 33.3 cents/therm from 23.8 cents/th in 2Q2016, an increase of 16% to average bills of $125 each month. Xcel asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to approve the rates to be effective April 1.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has agreed to sell an acreage package in the Permian Basin of West Texas to an undisclosed buyer for $266 million. The sale in northeastern Martin County includes current production of 1,500 boe/d net. The Dallas independent said in February it wasevaluating offers to sell about 20,500 acres in Martin County. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of April.