Due to the recent shutdown of the federal government, the Galveston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it could not give a time frame for when the agency would issue a permitting decision on the expansions of the Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC terminal, a Cheniere Energy Inc. affiliate, and the associated Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline. [CP13-553]. The processing of permits will take approximately 120 days. The projects then will be put out for public notice, the agency said. The plant and pipeline expansion projects would add trains 5 and 6, representing additional liquefaction capacity of about 1.3 Bcf/d.

PAA Natural Gas Storage LP (PNG) is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA) through a unit-for-unit exchange, the companies said Tuesday. PNG public unitholders are to receive 0.445 common units of PAA per PNG common unit surrendered, plus cash in lieu of any fractional common units of PAA. Closing of the merger, which is expected during the latter half of the fourth quarter, is conditioned upon unitholder approval. Last week, PAA’s recently formed general partner, Plains GP Holdings, raised $2.82 billion in the nation’s largest initial public offering so far this year (see Daily GPI, Oct. 18).

The Interior Department‘s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) said it has assessed XTO Energy a $648,000 civil penalty for knowing or willful failure to permit an audit. “XTO’s non-responsiveness to an audit information request prevented ONRR auditors from performing substantive steps in an audit of one of XTO’s federal oil and gas properties,” said ONRR Director Greg Gould. “XTO’s failure to fulfill these requests substantially delayed completion of the audit and diverted ONRR resources to pursuing — rather than examining — the requested information.” XTO failed to comply with a data request in 2012 and did not respond to numerous follow-up telephone and e-mail messages related to a federal lease in Kansas.