The New York Senate overwhelmingly approved a temporary ban on drilling in the state’s portion of the Marcellus Shale by a 49-9 vote. The measure would prohibit new drilling permits until May 15, when further environmental studies by the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to be completed. The state’s General Assembly has not yet taken up the measure. The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York has fought the bills. “New York simply cannot afford to wait to tap this homegrown resource,” the association’s website says of the Marcellus Shale.

Regency Energy Partners LP has completed the Phase I and Phase II expansions of its Logansport Gathering System in the Haynesville Shale in North Louisiana. The expansions add an incremental 485 MMcf/d of gathering capacity to Regency’s existing system. The expansions increase the gathering capacity of the Logansport Gathering System to approximately 710 MMcf/d by adding approximately 28 miles of gathering pipeline, ranging from 10 to 24 inches in diameter. The projects also included the construction of a 300 MMcf/d amine treating plant, as well as compression and dehydration facilities.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved East Cheyenne Gas Storage LLC’s proposal to operate a natural gas storage facility in Northeast Colorado to serve the peak-day and load-growth needs in markets throughout the Midwest and West. East Cheyenne, a wholly owned subsidiary of Littleton, CO-based Merchant Energy Partners LLC, plans to convert the nearly depleted West Peetz and Lewis Creek oil and gas reservoirs located about 23 miles north of Sterling in Logan County, CO, to gas storage service. When completed, the storage facilities would have a total capacity of 29.5 Bcf, of which approximately 19.9 Bcf would be working gas capacity (11.5 Bcf within the West Peetz Field and 7.4 Bcf within the Lewis Creek Field) and 10.6 Bcf would be cushion gas. The company says an initial 4 Bcf of working gas capacity will go into service by May 2011 [CP10-34]. The storage facility would have a maximum injection capability and maximum withdrawal capability of 350 MMcf/d, and would interconnect through a header system with Rockies Express Pipeline LLC and Trailblazer Pipeline.

Tenaska Marketing Ventures/Tenaska Marketing Canada/Tenaska Gas Storage (collectively TMV) has renewed a $1 billion committed credit facility for a four-year term maturing in July 2014. The facility, first established in 2006, will be used to finance TMV’s natural gas inventory transactions and as liquidity support for TMV’s operations. TMV is the natural gas marketing affiliate of Tenaska, which recently was ranked eighth in NGI‘s North American natural gas quarterly trading survey (see NGI, June 14). Tenaska regained control of TMV in January 2009 after completing a repurchase from affiliates of American International Group Inc., which at the time owned a half stake in the venture (see NGI, Jan. 12, 2009).

Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. and Colombia’s largest integrated producer, Ecopetrol SA, agreed to acquire BP plc‘s affiliate company in Colombia, BP Exploration Co. Colombia Ltd., for close to $1.9 billion. The transaction, in which Talisman would hold a 49% stake and Ecopetrol would be majority owner, includes all of BP’s interests and business in Colombia. BP’s proven and probable reserves in Colombia are estimated at 94 million boe; current production is around 24,000 boe/d.

A new shuttle and regasification vessel (SRV), the GDF SUEZ Cape Ann, is scheduled to arrive this month at the GDF Suez Neptune LNG deepwater port offshore Gloucester, MA, and will be commissioned at that time, a company spokesperson told NGI. Demand will determine the number of cargos Neptune LNG will handle in the future, the spokesperson said. Earlier this year the port’s south buoy was successfully tested and became operational (see NGI, May 31). In March the SRV GDF SUEZ Neptune made the first delivery to the Neptune port. The pipeline for the LNG project was completed in late 2008 (see NGI, Oct. 20, 2008).

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