FERC has authorized Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and Sabine Pass LNG LP to introduce feed gas and refrigerants for the third train of the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana [CP11-72; CP13-2]. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October authorized the start-up of the second train at the terminal (see Daily GPI, Oct. 13).

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding an oil and gas lease sale within the 22.8-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) on Dec. 14, in Anchorage. Details have been published in the Federal Register. The lease sale, the 13th in the NPR-A since 1999, is to include 145 tracts and offer 1.4 million acres. There are currently 134 authorized leases in the NPR-A that cover more than 895,000 acres. Bids received for the 12 previous sales generated more than $262 million, half of which was paid to the state of Alaska. The NPR-A, which comprises the largest single block of federally managed land in the United States, is nearly the size of Indiana. Based on an October 2010 analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey, this area contains an estimated 896 million bbl of economically recoverable oil and nearly 53 Tcf of natural gas. From March 31 through May 2 BLM sought public input on tract nominations from lands in the NPR-A planning areas not currently leased or deferred from leasing (see Daily GPI, April 1). The BLM then selected the tracts based on evaluation of comments received, natural resource information, resource potential, industry interest, and subsistence values. Sealed bids are due by Dec. 12 at the BLM-Alaska State Office.

The Sierra Club was again turned back in its efforts to compel FERC to weigh the indirect effects of increased natural gas drilling stemming from exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected the challenge to the permitting of Cheniere Energy‘s Corpus Christi LNG export terminal. The court said Friday that the Commission did not have to address the anticipated effects of natural gas exports as it is the U.S. Department of Energy that licenses such exports, not the Commission [15-1133]. The court reached the same conclusion in previous LNG cases brought by Sierra Club (see Daily GPI, June 28). Sierra Club also was thwarted in its challenge to the project based on greenhouse gas emissions. “…Petitioner’s arguments regarding greenhouse gas emissions have no merit,” the court said. “This court has already considered and rejected identical arguments relating to the social cost of carbon.”

Dallas-based independent Covey Park Energy LLC has added about 90,000 net acres prospective for the Haynesville Shale and Bossier Sands. The transaction, for an undisclosed amount, includes assets with average output of 35 MMcf/d net. The leasehold primarily is in the Texas counties of Panola, Nacogdoches and San Augustine, and in Louisiana’s DeSoto, Bossier and Sabine parishes. The acquisition, from an undisclosed seller, gives the Denham Capital-backed operator about 218,000 net acres across the natural gas-rich region. In October 2014 Covey Park acquired 89,462 net acres from Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. and Navasota Resources LLP. It added 34,000 net acres earlier this year in a $420 million transaction with EP Energy Corp. (see Shale Daily, March 21). During the fourth quarter, Covey Park expects production to average about 325 MMcf/d net. Total proved reserves with the acquisition are estimated to be more than 2.5 Tcf.