AGL Resources initiated a non-binding open season April 30 for a proposed high- deliverability natural gas storage facility in the Spindletop salt dome in Beaumont, TX. The open season for 12 Bcf of working capacity will extend through 5 p.m. CDT May 18. Golden Triangle Storage, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources, proposes to develop a gas storage facility consisting of two salt-dome storage caverns. The first 6 Bcf cavern is scheduled for full commercial operation in spring 2011, with the second 6 Bcf cavern scheduled to be in operation in 2013. Located at a highly liquid market point, Golden Triangle Storage will interconnect with six intrastate/interstate pipelines serving diverse markets with counter-seasonal demand. The project is located near natural gas supplies, including East Texas gas fields, offshore deep water wells and gas imported through area liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. Prospective customers should contact Ed Gottlob at (832) 397-1798 or Laura McGuire Heckman at (832) 397-8503. Additional information, including bid procedures and a bid form, is available at

What does it take to entice residential consumers to choose a new natural gas supplier? How about, giving it away free? That’s the solution retail seller Intelligent Energy is offering New York and New Jersey residents. The idea is that first you have to get their attention. “Many New York and New Jersey residents are still not aware that, thanks to deregulation, they have a choice for purchasing natural gas for their home. In order to get that message out, we had to come up with an offer that would open some eyes,” said Intelligent Energy President Darin Cook. The company is sending out postcards offering two months of natural gas for residential customers at the rock bottom price of $0.00. At the end of the two-month trial period, the customer can, if they choose, remain with Intelligent Energy at their regular monthly deregulated rate, get price security by locking in a fixed rate, or return to purchasing gas from their utility with no penalty. The company currently serves more than 60,000 residential, commercial and government agency natural gas customers in New York and New Jersey, as well as in Georgia and Florida, where it does business as Infinite Energy. The free offer is valid to residential gas customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, Elizabethtown Gas, KeySpan Energy Delivery, National Fuel Gas, Nationalgrid, New Jersey Natural Gas, Orange & Rockland, Public Service Electric & Gas and South Jersey Gas.

Martin Midstream Partners L.P. (MMLP) says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding stock of Woodlawn Pipeline Company Inc., a natural gas gathering and processing company with integrated gathering and processing assets in East Texas. In conjunction with this transaction, MMLP is also acquiring a pipeline that delivers residue gas from the Woodlawn Gas Processing Plant to the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline system. The combined purchase price for the acquisition is estimated at $32.7 million dollars, with closing expected in May. Upon full integration of the Woodlawn and Pipeline assets, MMLP estimates that this transaction will add an incremental $4 to $5 million in adjusted EBITDA annually. The Woodlawn and Pipeline assets include more than 30 MMcf/d of gas processing capacity, 7,000 hp of compression, a low-pressure gas gathering system with more than 200 miles of pipe, a 32-mile condensate gathering pipeline, a saltwater gathering system and a saltwater disposal well. These assets provide low-pressure gathering, gas processing and saltwater disposal services to producers in the Woodlawn, Green Fox, Hallsville NE and Blocker gas fields in Harrison County, East Texas. Martin Midstream Partners has operations focused primarily in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. The partnership’s primary business lines include terminaling and storage services for petroleum products and by-products; gas gathering, processing and LPG distribution; marine transportation services for petroleum products and by-products; sulfur gathering, processing and distribution; and fertilizer manufacturing and distribution.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed an application Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to enforce a subpoena for documents it served on McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. in December 2006 relating to natural gas price information collected from a specific energy company by McGraw-Hill’s Platts division. The CFTC said it was the fourth time it had subpoenaed documents relating to data from various energy companies and their use in calculating price indices published in Platts’ Inside FERC’s Gas Market Reports. The CFTC is conducting a nonpublic investigation into whether an energy company attempted to manipulate prices to benefit its financial swaps positions. In a previous case where Platts objected that the material was privileged under the First Amendment, a judge overruled the privilege argument, saying the CFTC investigation was similar to a criminal investigation. The judge, however, also said the CFTC’s subpoena was overly broad and he limited the amount and nature of the material to be provided (see Daily GPI, Oct. 5, 2005). The CFTC’s investigations mainly have focused on the 2001-2002 time period.

As traders continue in their attempts to push natural gas futures prices north of $8/Mcf, Baker Hughes reported Friday that the number of oil and natural gas rotary rigs in the United States actively drilling on land and in U.S. waters remained flat from the previous week at 1,747 while Canadian rigs climbed by eight to 89. June crude continued its recent weakness Friday, dropping $1.26 to finish at $61.93/bbl. June natural gas put in a high of $8.10 on Friday before closing at $7.938, down almost a penny from Thursday (see related story). For the week ended April 27, 1,674 rigs were active on U.S. land and 73 rigs were operating in offshore U.S waters. For the week ended May 4, 1,673 rigs were working on land and 74 rigs were operating offshore. Rigs operating on land in Canada jumped by eight from week to week to 87 while offshore Canada remained stagnant at two rigs. Total U.S. rigs drilling for gas climbed by two for the week to 1,462 while oil rigs dropped by one to 282 rigs. There were three rigs categorized under miscellaneous for the week ended May 4, down one rig from the previous week.

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