Apache Canada Ltd. and Chevron Canada Ltd. have completed the previously announced transaction making them 50-50 partners in the Kitimat LNG [liquefied natural gas] plant in British Columbia, the Pacific Trail Pipelines and 644,000 gross undeveloped acres in the Horn River and Liard basins. After a brief transition, Chevron Canada will assume operatorship of the LNG plant and the pipeline. Apache Canada increased its ownership in the LNG plant and pipeline from 40% and will operate the upstream assets. Apache’s net proceeds from the transaction were $405 million. Encana Corp. and EOG Resources, formerly 30% nonoperating owners in Kitimat LNG and Pacific Trail Pipelines, sold their interests and exited the venture (see Daily GPI, Dec. 26, 2012).

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP has entered into new and extended long-term transportation and storage agreements with Calpine Energy Services LP to provide up to 450,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service as well as 5 Bcf of storage capacity to serve nine of Calpine’s power generation facilities in Texas. The service level under these new agreements represents an increase of 150,000 Dth/d of transport and 1 Bcf of storage over agreements previously in place. Kinder Morgan said it will invest about $30 million to expand its Texas intrastate pipeline system in South Texas to extend service to Calpine’s Magic Valley Generating Station in Hidalgo County.

Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. is holding a binding open season for gas storage services starting as early as March 1 at its Tecumseh Gas Storage facility in southwestern Ontario. Available is up to about 3.5 Bcf of capacity. Contracts will have a maximum daily injection capacity of 1.5% and a maximum withdrawal capacity of 2% of the contracted capacity. Information and bid forms are available at www.enbridgegas.com/gasstorage. Inquiries may be directed to Ian Macpherson, (416) 495-6535; ian.macpherson@enbridge.com. Signed bid forms must be received by noon EST Feb. 19 at Macpherson’s email address or faxed to (416) 753-6224.

Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities has reached a settlement on its pending general rate case in Idaho that if approved by state regulators will result in a cumulative 5.2% annual natural gas rate increase by Oct. 1, after taking into consideration a decrease in charges for gas costs. A similar settlement applies to Avista’s electric utility customers in the state, too. For gas, the agreement among the utility, Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) staff, and various large customer groups would allow a $3.1 million, or 4.9%, annual gas increase effective April, and another 0.3% increase for gas utility retail customers Oct. 1. Avista originally proposed a 7.2% gas rate increase and a 4.6% electric rate hike. A PUC spokesperson said the commission staff will conduct workshops this week on the settlement, and the three-member PUC will hold public hearings on the deal March 4-5. Avista serves 75,000 gas and 123,000 electric customers in northern Idaho.

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