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2013

House Passes Go-Nowhere Bill to Expand Offshore Access

The House Friday passed legislation that would open more federal waters to oil and natural gas exploration and production, but the bill has next to no chance of advancing in the Senate and being signed into law by President Obama.

July 1, 2013

Supreme Court of Ohio Will Hear Appeal of ‘Home Rule’ Case

The Supreme Court of Ohio has agreed to hear an appeal in a case involving local ordinances, or “home rule” laws, that pits a Utica Shale driller against a Summit County municipality that had tried to shut down the driller’s operations.

June 24, 2013

Court Rejects Dodd-Frank Challenge

A U.S. District Court judge in Washington, DC, has dismissed a challenge by Bloomberg LP of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Dodd-Frank regulations of the multi-trillion over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market. At the same time, a coalition of associations urged the agency to maintain the $8 billion threshold for swap dealing activity that a participant may engage in before it becomes subject to the requirements.

June 17, 2013

Spectra Stepping Up MLP Dropdowns

Under pressure from an activist investor, Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) said last week it would drop down all of its remaining U.S. transmission and storage assets to Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) by the end of the year.

June 17, 2013

Royalties Top 1,000% in Some Pennsylvania Counties

Rents and royalties reported on Pennsylvania income tax returns from 2006 to 2010 have increased 61% statewide, and 119% in counties with Marcellus Shale activity, according to a report by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (AIPP). Rent and royalty income for landowners and mineral rights owners in the state rose 34% in counties with no Marcellus activity.

June 17, 2013

Industry Briefs

Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from northern Pennsylvania to Northeast markets, and Iroquois Gas Transmission has filed an application to build a key interconnect project. Constitution, owned by subsidiaries of Williams Partners LP, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Piedmont Natural Gas Co. and WGL Holdings, expects to complete the122-mile pipeline by spring 2015 (see NGI, June 3). The 30-inch diameter gas line initially would carry up to 650,000 Dth/d from Susquehanna County, PA, interconnecting with the Iroquois and Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) systems in Schoharie County, NY. Constitution reached an agreement with Iroquois to expand the Wright compressor station to eliminate the need for a 32,0000 hp compressor facility in Schoharie County, NY (see NGI, Jan. 21). Iroquois requested that FERC issue its certificate by May 1, 2014 to meet an in-service date of March 31, 2015.

June 17, 2013

Lackluster Cash Trading Outdone By Futures Gains

The natural gas cash market on average slipped by a penny in Wednesday’s trading, with many points trading within just a few pennies of unchanged. Great Lakes locations were flat to a couple of pennies lower, and the Gulf mostly registered losses of 2-3 cents. California prices were squarely in the red. At the close of futures trading, July had added 5.3 cents to $3.777 and August was up by 5.4 cents to $3.797. July crude oil added a half buck to $95.88/bbl.

June 13, 2013

Spectra Shares Bounce on MLP Dropdown News

Shares of Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) spiked Wednesday the day after the company said it would drop down all of its remaining U.S. transmission and storage assets to Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) by the end of the year. Analysts joined investors in cheering the move and raised their ratings on SE shares to “buy.”

June 13, 2013

Ohio Governor Revives Severance Tax Proposal

In an effort to revive his plan to levy new severance taxes on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and natural gas liquids (NGL), Ohio Gov. John Kasich has proposed giving 25% of the tax proceeds to 33 counties in the state’s Appalachian region, home to Ohio’s Utica Shale drilling.

June 11, 2013

NatGas Pipeline Construction, Legislation Advance in Maine

The race to bring natural gas to Maine’s Kennebec Valley continues, with Summit Natural Gas of Maine announcing Tuesday that it has begun the build-out of its $350 million transmission and distribution system into the area.

June 6, 2013