Williams Partners LP‘s Northwest Pipeline GP has received authorization from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place its 30-inch diameter mainline loop, known as the Sundance Trail Expansion, into service. The project includes about 15.5 miles of pipeline and related facilities that will provide 150,000 Dth/d of firm capacity from the Greasewood and Meeker/White River hubs in Rio Blanco County, CO, to the Opal Hub area in Lincoln County, WY. Northwest replaced and added compression at its Vernal Compressor Station in Uintah County, UT. The project cost about $56 million.

The deepwater port license application submitted by TORP Terminal LP for the Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal has been approved by U.S. Maritime Administration. Bienville Offshore Energy Terminal would be a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification facility in the Gulf of Mexico, 63 miles south of Dauphin Island, AL, in a water depth of 425 feet. TORP Terminal is a limited partnership owned by TORP Technology Inc., privately held TORP LNG AS of Norway and Siemens Financial Services Inc.

Ryckman Creek Resources LLC, a gas storage project owned by Peregrine Midstream Partners LLC, concluded its nonbinding open season for firm service at its proposed high-deliverability, multi-cycle (HDMC) facility in Uinta County, WY. In response to Ryckman’s offer of 15 Bcf of capacity beginning April 2012, it received market-priced bids requesting more than 50 Bcf of capacity from 25 companies in various sectors of the energy industry. Project backers plan to have additional capacity available, for a total of 35 Bcf, by spring 2013. Based on the open season responses, the company is considering a Phase II expansion of up to 50 Bcf, it said.

Liberty Natural Gas LLC filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build an onshore pipeline to transport regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a proposed deepwater port off the coast of New Jersey to northeastern markets. The proposed 9.2-mile long onshore pipeline would accept gas from a submerged pipeline that would tie in with Liberty’s deepwater port 16.2 miles offshore New Jersey. The onshore pipeline would be designed to transport up to 2.4 Bcf/d of gas to markets in New Jersey, New York and surrounding areas. The Jersey City, NJ-based company said it expects the pipeline, which it estimates will cost $550 million, to be in service by late 2011.The onshore pipeline would extend from the high water mark on the shoreline in Amboy, NJ, to Linden, NJ, interconnections with the interstate pipeline systems of Texas Eastern Transmission LP and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. In conjunction with its FERC application, Liberty Natural Gas also filed an application for a license to construct and operate its deepwater port and submerged pipeline with the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard. Liberty Natural Gas is affiliated with Excalibur Energy Inc., a 50-50 joint venture of Canadian Superior Energy Inc. and Global LNG Inc., a New York-based privately held company.

Natural gas and electric utility rates have changed for the state of Washington’s three major private-sector energy utilities: Avista Corp., Cascade Natural Gas Corp. and Puget Sound Energy (PSE). The changes had previously been approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). Avista received UTC approval to pass through higher gas costs amounting to a nearly 5% monthly increase, or about $3/month for the typical residential customer, and higher power costs under the federal Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) residential exchange program that amounts to about a 2%, or $1.42/month, increase for retail residential electric customers. For PSE, the gas increase amounts to nearly 2% monthly, or about $1.50/month for a typical residential customer. Finally, a large rate decrease is now in effect for Washington-based Cascade Natural Gas customers, about 9% for residential customers and up to 10% for businesses.

AGL Resources Inc. reported 3Q2010 net income of $22 million (29 cents/share), compared with $12 million (16 cents) for 3Q2009. At the same time AGL reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance range of $2.95-3.05/share. AGL Houston-based subsidiary Sequent Energy Management recorded earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $15 million for 3Q2010, compared with an EBIT loss of $2 million loss in 3Q2009. Reduced market volatility, coupled with higher gains on hedges of Sequent’s storage positions in 2010 compared with last year, has resulted in a decrease in the expected operating revenues to be recognized in future periods as compared with last year, AGL said. AGL’s retail energy operations segment, consisting of SouthStar Energy Services, reported a 3Q2010 EBIT loss of $9 million, compared with a loss of $2 million in 3Q2009.

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