Oilfield service specialists John Wood Group plc and Amec Foster Wheeler plc, each based in the UK but with substantial reach in North America, have agreed to merge in an all-stock deal valued at $2.7 billion.
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given unconditional clearance to the proposed merger of Royal Dutch Shell plc and BG Group plc. Three of the five pre-conditions of the merger have now been satisfied.
Crestwood Niobrara LLC is buying a 50% interest in Jackalope Gas Gathering Services LLC from RKI Exploration & Production LLC for $108 million, parent Crestwood Midstream Partners LP said Monday.
Natural gas prices trending up nationally were cited by Minnesota-based Xcel Energy for its latest higher retail gas charges at its Colorado combination utility as part of its quarterly price adjustments for retail electric and gas rates. Overall, Xcel said total utility bills in Colorado will be lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, but on an annual basis, “a national trend in higher natural gas commodity prices” will continue to put upward pressure on utility bills. Under the quarterly gas cost adjustment, the cost of natural gas in the third quarter will be slightly higher than the second quarter, but because of a “significant drop” in use expected in the summer quarter, residential bills will be about $8 lower/month, compared to the current quarter, Xcel said. Residential gas bills in the third quarter will still be $3.15 more than they were in the third quarter last year. “Much of 2012 was marked by historically low gas prices,” Xcel said. Typical monthly residential and small business gas bills during the third quarter are expected to be $21.98 and $81.73, respectively, compared to average bills of $18.83 and $68.81, respectively, in the third quarter of 2012.
After adding its $5.59 billion acquisition of Las Vegas-based NV Energy Inc. announced late Wednesday, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., will be a $66 billion combination natural gas and electric utility company serving more than 8 million customers globally, along with a growing renewable energy portfolio, international grid and generation businesses and two major interstate natural gas pipelines.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc.’s Colorado combination utility said Thursday that it has reached a settlement with WildEarth Guardians on a four-year-old lawsuit by the environmental group involving emissions at the Cherokee Generating Station north of Denver. Under the agreement, Xcel’s Public Service Company of Colorado will fund several environmental and community projects in the area impacted by the 611 MW coal-fired generation plant. The settlement will not be final until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department have reviewed it and made comments, an Xcel spokesperson said. Since the 2009 lawsuit, Xcel has decided to convert the Cherokee plant by 2018 as part of the Colorado Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which has prompted more renewables, efficiency and natural gas-fired generation in the state. Cherokee will remain a “vital resource,” but as a natural gas-fired plant. The conversion process began last October, the spokesperson said.
Two Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) executives said Tuesday the San Francisco-based combination utility’s natural gas pipeline system is safer than it was two years ago in the aftermath of the rupture and explosion in San Bruno, CA, that killed eight people and injured scores.
Xcel Energy’s combination Colorado utility filed quarterly rate changes with state regulators that could result in monthly retail natural gas utility bills dropping by up to 8% compared to the first quarter this year. The rate for residential natural gas customers would drop 6.9% from 52.06 cents/therm in1Q2012 to 45.17 cents/therm in 1Q2013; for small businesses, rates would drop 8% from 52.28 cents/therm to 44.82 cents/therm. The Denver-based utility is asking the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for the changes to be effective Jan. 1.
Washington state regulators fined Bellevue, WA-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE) $250,000 for failing to correct violations found two years ago in the combination utility’s management of customer accounts. The state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) originally fined PSE $104,300 in October 2010 for allegedly improperly handling customer accounts, including low-income customers that were disconnected for nonpayment. In addition to the penalty, PSE was ordered to correct 265 accounts. UTC approved a multi-party settlement of a complaint that originally alleged 515 violations of the regulators’ 2010 order. Besides the UTC staff and PSE, the settlement included the Public Counsel Section of the Washington Attorney General’s Office, and the nonprofit The Energy Project, representing low-income customers. UTC said PSE now has provided refunds and credits to the customers with the mishandled accounts, and it has changed its billing practices to ensure that customer payments are applied correctly to avoid improper shutoffs. The utility also has agreed to make a $75,000 contribution to its low-income assistance program.
Biogas, including renewable natural gas (RNG), is primed for some strong growth over the next decade through a combination of societal initiatives for waste management, reducing greenhouse gases and shifting to more renewable sources of energy, according to a new report from Navigant Consulting’s Boulder, CO-based Pike Research.