Geneva, Switzerland-based Koch Supply & Trading Sarl has launched a global gas trading business, and Stephen Cornish has joined the firm to build the trading and marketing business for liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas and related commodities. “This venture into the international gas markets is a way to link its global portfolio to benefit its suppliers and customers,” said Cornish, who said the unit would build operations in Asia, Europe and the Americas. To complement existing North American activities conducted in Houston and to optimize its global portfolio, Koch Supply & Trading plans to build a Europe-wide gas business from Geneva and an LNG trading business from offices in Geneva, London and Singapore. Origination and marketing support locations are also planned in East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The privately held company declined to provide additional details.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have extended until March 23 the public scoping period over plans to protect the greater sage grouse. The agencies have concluded a series of public scoping meetings concerning environmental impact statements on land use in 10 western states to conserve the bird’s sagebrush habitat (see Daily GPI, Jan. 11). The meetings and comments are to be incorporated into a joint BLM-USFS report expected by September 2014 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will ultimately decide whether or not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The Department of Transportation‘s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said it resolved a record number of enforcement cases against pipeline operators over the last three years as part of the Obama administrator’s push for greater industry compliance. The PHMSA said it issued 102 final orders in 2011, closing its highest number of enforcement cases in a single year. But it did not report its closure rates for 2010 and 2009. All told, the PHMSA said it has issued 281 final orders to pipeline operators since 2008.

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